With last night's closing of the 2011 Meadowlands Winter Meet, all that is left is the waiting; waiting for a decision to see if the Meadowlands is leased by Jeff Gural and Cantor Gaming. Is April 1 a hard date set by the state which won't move or is there flexibility in that deadline?
According to The Record, the unions have had a change of heart. Will the unions, specifically the mutuel clerks union show flexibility in their game of chicken or are they willing to sink the whole deal or attempt to extract a pound of salt in the name salary cuts to and/or demand the sacrifice of on air-talent to placate their rank and file? Remember, the mutuel clerks are not just looking at this negotiation, but are setting the ground work for the negotiations with whomever wins the lease at Monmouth Park. Give too much now, and it will be hard to get it back at Monmouth when they renegotiate their contract at there. There are many dynamics involved and they just need to play out.
At this point there is nothing really to do but wait. It is a matter of negotiations between the principal parties. Will the Meadowlands open on May 7 as tentatively scheduled; some time later, or in August to allow the NJSEA to fulfill the contact obligations towards the Hambletonian Society? Now is the time we feel the most helpless, all the prep work has been done and Jeff Gural should be congratulated for his efforts; all which remains to see is if it was enough.
Calling all videographers: Anyone have video of races on the NJSS Fair Circuit, in particular Johnson Park in Piscataway, NJ? I would love to be able to go back in time to see some races from there and look back at a simpler time. If you know of such videos being posted on Vimeo or YouTube, kindly let me know so I may post them on the blog.
In the meanwhile, I came across some video from Atlantic Canada for a flavor of Atlantic racing. I would like to share a few of those videos with you now. Many of us will never get the opportunity to see these races live.
Here are some Monctonians which used to be held at the defunct Champlain Raceway/ New Burnswick Downs. You may be surprised to hear the name of some of the horses competing, like Guts, Bomb Rickles, Shipps Fella, Rompus Hanover..
A race at Northside Downs.
A race at Inverness Raceway.
A race from Fredricton Raceway: