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HORSE RACE: Aqueduct decision two years in the making

February 2008 — Gov. Eliot Spitzer and legislative leaders select the New York Racing Association to continue its lease for Aqueduct Race Track, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course for another 25 years. Spitzer says negotiations are underway with interested parties for the video lottery terminal contract and the talks should be completed within a month.

April 2008 — Spitzer resigns amid a prostitution scandal and the VLT decision stalls.

May 2008 — Three firms vying for the VLT contract — Capital Play, S.L. Green and Delaware North — make presentations of their proposals to state leaders.

Oct. 10, 2008 — Gov. David Paterson recommends state leaders choose Delaware North for the VLT contract, citing its offer to give the state a $370 million upfront payment.State Sen. Serphin Maltese slams the governor’s recommendation, saying Delaware North was his third choice of the three bidders and state Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer (D-Rockaway Beach) said she came away unimpressed after meeting with Delaware North officials. City Councilman Joseph Addabbo sides with Paterson.

Oct. 22, 2008 — Paterson, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos agree to award the VLT contract to Delaware North.

March 2009 — The deal with Delaware North collapses after the company is unable to make the $370 million upfront payment it promised the state.

April 2009 — Paterson reopens the bidding process for the VLT contract. Six bidders apply for the contract: S.L. Green, Penn National Gaming, Aqueduct Gaming, the Peebles Corp., Wynn Resorts and Aqueduct Entertainment Group.

November 2009 — Wynn Resorts abandons its bid for the VLT contract, citing his disapproval of the bidding process.

Jan. 29, 2010 — Paterson, Sen. John Sampson (D-Brooklyn) and Silver — with conditions — select Aqueduct Entertainment Group for the VLT contract. AEG faces scrutiny because one of its investors is the Rev. Floyd Flake, the influential minister of the Allen A.M.E. Cathedral in Jamaica.

Feb. 1, 2010 — Paterson meets with Flake, who a week earlier said he would be open to supporting state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo for governor if he decided to challenge Paterson in a primary.

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