SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) -- Churchill Downs Inc. is finalizing a deal with the operators of the Saratoga Casino and Raceway to manage the upstate New York gambling facility and another in Colorado, the companies announced Wednesday.

Churchill Downs and Saratoga Harness Racing Inc. announced they are finalizing a five-year management contract for the Saratoga Springs harness track and video gambling operation and the Saratoga Casino Black Hawk in Black Hawk, Colorado. The deal would require regulatory approval in New York and Colorado.

The two companies also are negotiating a stock purchase in which Churchill Downs would buy 25 percent of economic and voting interests in Saratoga Harness.

Saratoga Harness and Churchill Downs have already proposed a full casino with table games across the Hudson River from Albany that would be called Capital View Casino & Resort. State officials are expected to grant four casino licenses in upstate New York this fall.

Both companies said they were pleased to be strengthening their business relationship.

"We are excited to expand our operations into New York and Colorado and hope to become more involved in the Capitol Region if we are fortunate enough to be awarded a license to build and operate Capital View Casino & Resort," Bill Carstanjen, president and CEO of Churchill Downs, said in a prepared release.


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