In what could be a fatal blow to the New York Racing Authority, Paul Lo Duca’s unofficlal Red Ass Captaincy in Flushing is probably over, as Newsday’s Ken Davidoff and David Lennon explain.

Having lost out on Jorge Posada, the Mets are wasting no time in trying to close a deal with Yorvit Torrealba, and it looks like an agreement could be struck by the end of this week.

General manager Omar Minaya, spurned by Posada’s decision to return to the Yankees late Monday, contacted Torrealba’s agent yesterday with the intent of moving ahead quickly, according to a National League official familiar with the situation.

Torrealba, the former catcher of the NL champion Rockies, earned $1.075 million last season and Colorado reportedly has tried to retain him with a two-year offer in the $7-million range. The Marlins also have shown interest, but the Mets may be willing to go to a third year (or option) in order to fill the only position they do not have an in-house replacement for.

Though Torreabla is described by the Newsday twins as “a defensive upgrade on Lo Duca” (talk about damned with faint praise), the pair do point out Colorado’s starting catcher hit a mere .212 last season away from Coors Field.