The counsel handling Suffolk Co. OTB’s bankruptcy case before the US Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York says it could be Halloween before there’s a ruling on the Churchill Downs petition to toss out the Suffolk OTB filing.
Attorney Chris Graham says the court has set a briefing schedule through September on the attempt by Churchill Downs to block bankruptcy protection for the Long Island OTB entity. Graham predicts “it could be Halloween” before the judge decides whether Churchill Downs’ argument that Suffolk needed the approval of the state to seek protection from creditors holds merit. The Suffolk County Legislature did approve a resolution permitting it to seek Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection just days before Suffolk OTB’s filing on March 18th of this year.
Six weeks later, Churchill Downs asked the Brooklyn-based court to block Suffolk’s bankruptcy attempt.
While race tracks top the list of creditors, with the New York Racing Association allegedly being owed a million dollars, the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund is also one of Suffolk OTB’s creditors. The pre-petition amount owed the Fund is roughly $74,000. Since the March filing, Suffolk has been making its statutory payments to the Fund on a monthly basis at the urging of the State Racing and Wagering Board.
– Tracy Egan