Aqueduct Negotiations Round Final Curve, Enter Home Stretch — our favorite horse racing rag — is reporting that the state’s selection of a vendor to convert the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens into a racino should be happening soon. Real soon.

That’s because New York State’s Division of Lottery has finally reviewed all three proposals and deemed all three viable.

The parties vying for the chance to remake the dilapidated racetrack include SL Green in partnership with Hard Rock Entertainment; Delaware North Companies with Saratoga Harness Racing; and Capital Play, in partnership with Mohegan Sun, Extell Development and Plainfield Asset Management.

Morgan Hook, a spokesman for the governor, told that Governor Paterson, the Senate majority leader, Dean Skelos, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver now "can begin to have discussions about which one will be best for the state."

Given the government’s budgetary woes, it’s a high-stakes game for both the bidders and the state.

“If that [racino] had been up five years ago we’d be $2.5 billion better off in this state,” the former Senate majority leader, Joseph L. Bruno, said recently.

Aqueduct Negotiations Round Final Curve, Enter Home Stretch