Freehold horsemen must have slept well last night. While Governor-elect Christie has ruled out VLTs for New Jersey Racetracks, his pledge to work together with racing and casino interests to strengthen both industries should convince reasonable people to give the Governor-elect a chance to see what he envisions happening. As a result, one would hope Freehold Raceway management (Pennwood Racing) accepts the terms of the current purse enhancement agreement as a sign of good faith, thus allowing purses for the 2010 racing season to return to 2008 levels. If Pennwood Racing turns down the purse enhancement agreement, then it is time for them to put the track up for sale. In the same spirit of good faith, Governor-elect Christie give Pennwood Racing a seat at the table when discussions take place, something Governor Corzine was unwilling to do.
This weekend at Yonkers Raceway is the the Lady Maud and the Messenger Stakes. While we will cover the two stakes in more detail later, it would appear that Yellow Diamond should have an easy time of it in the Lady Maud. As for the Messenger, If I Can Dream, Hypnotic Blue Chip, or Clear Vision will take down the major portion of the purse.
I truly doubt this year's Messenger can rival last year's edition. Somebeachsomewhere put on one of the gutsiest performances in last year's Messenger Stakes out dueling Shadow Play after being parked out virtually the whole last half mile in what could easily be described as a monsoon.
If this year's race is half as good as last years, racing fans will be in for a treat.