Two new racing bills have made advances in the NJ Legislature, all in the name to keep racing alive in New Jersey. One bill would allow a one year transition period where NJSEA and the acquiror of the Meadowlands jointly run the racetrack until the new ownership group is approved by the NJRC. This bill makes sense. Then there is the other bill.
That bill, would allow the minimum number of racing days at Freehold and the Meadowlands go to seventy-five days a year each. Under the proposed legislation the NJRC would approve a license for Freehold to race, but would have no say as to the number of days being raced there; that would be decided upon by the SBOANJ. If we are to believe the SBOANJ's own press, Freehold Raceway management would have no say on how many days they would race. It is unknown if Freehold agreed with this legislation, but one would have to wonder how they would acquiesce to such a proposal.
As long as relations between track management and the SBOANJ are fine, there would be no problem, but if relations sour, the SBOANJ could force Freehold Raceway to race more days than they can afford to race. I am not talking about purse money; if horsemen are foolish enough to insist on racing 120 days, they can race for $900 purses if so desired, but the track is responsible for hiring the track crew, concession people, tellers, security, officials, and the like needed to run the meet. If the bill provided for mutual consent in number of days to be raced, it would be one thing, but as written, it is a bad bill. The bill should be revised or killed.