PLAINVILLE, Mass. (AP) — The head of the Plainridge Racecourse is stepping down from his post for health reasons as the state's only harness racing facility pursues a slots parlor license.

Gary Piontkowski, a former state racing commissioner, founded the Plainville track in 1997.

Plainridge is one of four bidders for the sole slots parlor license allowed under the state's casino law. It was the first to submit a required preliminary application and $400,000 application fee to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

The commission hopes to award a license by the end of the year.

John Grogan, who has been a consultant to Plainridge since 1997, will succeed Piontkowski as president and continue the track's push for the license.

In a statement, Piontkowski thanked his business partners and called the resignation a "personal decision."