TRENTON - Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) says he has reached a deal to save harness racing at the Meadowlands.

The governor will give the Meadowlands racetrack until April 1, 2011 to improve its performance and to obtain a short-term loan from the state. The loan will allow for private investors to have more time to get a lease to take over the Meadowlands Racetrack.

The governor says he always wanted racing to continue, but that taxpayers just can't afford to continue to pay subsidies.

State Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-N.J.) and Republican Assembly members Declan O'Scanlon, Caroline Casagrande, Joe Malone and Ron Dancer issued a statement calling the deal a "positive development for the horse racing industry." They also say they "appreciate Gov. Christie's willingness to work with key stakeholders as we seek practical solutions on this critical issue."