As we move forward with the next phase of the Meadowlands project which consists of building a new grandstand at a cost of around $90,000,000, I am becoming increasingly concerned over the fact that it is becoming harder and harder to get horses to race at the Meadowlands. It seems everybody likes to qualify their good horses but when it comes to racing they would rather go someplace else. One wonders does it really make sense to build a new grandstand and try to fill it with customers young and old if there are not enough horses to race? Our income is derived solely from wagering and only half as much as is bet on a seven horse race as is bet on a ten horse race. The other option is to do what our competitors do and only allocate 10% of our available purse money to stakes races and 90% to overnights. Personally, I think that would be a disaster for the industry especially in light of the problems we may face next year in
if WEG has to cut back on their stakes programs. Canada
In any case, if any one has any suggestions as to the type of races they would like to see us card at the Meadowlands that would help alleviate this problem please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will discuss it with the racing department.
I appreciate that everyone is thrilled the Meadowlands is not going to close but the industry has to support the racing program and not just pick and choose the stakes races if we are going to survive. The next few weeks will be especially difficult now that the sire stakes are ending and before the two year olds start up again so any input would be greatly appreciated.
What does Jeff Gural need to do to get horsemen to drop into the box? This situation is typical of the dysfunctional racing industry. Almost everyone was saying the demise of the Meadowlands would have basically killed of harness racing in the United States so people were fighting tooth and nail to save it. Then, the second the Eastern Pennsylvania tracks open, a lot of horsemen find themselves 'getting out of Dodge' for greener pastures. Rest assured, if and when the Meadowlands gets alternative gaming, you won't be able to drop in the entry box because it will be overflowing.
I know some will argue the Meadowlands doesn't write races for them. Odds are it is because Peter Koch doesn't get enough interest for them. That being said, call up the race office and tell them you want to drop horses in but there is no class for them. If the problem is the race doesn't fill, you need to talk to your fellow horsemen. Horsemen need to support the Meadowlands racing program or you will see the third day of racing due to resume late June get dropped. After all, if you can't fill two days of racing, what is the sense of offering the third day.
If I was the racing secretary, I will be telling horsemen that next winter, when the Eastern Pennsylvania tracks are closed, some of the races will be limited to horses that made a certain number of starts at the Meadowlands after March 1 of this year. Then watch the horsemen scream bloody murder about not being able to get their horses raced. Remember, racing is a two way street.