Good news for standardbred horsemen in Iowa. In a rebuke to Prairie Meadows management, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has implemented their own racing schedule for Prairie Meadows in 2010. While the specific dates have not yet been determined (deferred to January), standardbreds will get racing days at Prairie Meadows.
No doubt, standardbred interests are happy, but when a member of the Prairie Meadows board says "They don’t come or they leave early. And when it comes to standardbreds they don’t come at all", there is a real problem. While the horsemen have received a reprieve, they should not rest comfortably. Sooner or later, if things don't improve, the IRGC will finally see things Prairie Meadows' way.
Horsemen should work with track management in an attempt get more interest in the standardbred meet. Get an Adrenaline-type festival organized there to get people out to the track early in the meet; get the harness signal accepted at more venues, even if horsemen need to offer a sweetheart deal on their share of the revenue to make it work for importing tracks; get some of the national personalities to make an appearance; if they can't get some of the top horses to make an appearance then make an effort to get some races which may attract the second tier horses Otherwise, in 2011, harness horsemen can be on the outside looking in.