The Meadowlands had a bang up opening night with handle up 24% over last year's opener with the total just under $2.7 million dollars, no doubt helped by the addition of the early Pick 4. As for the payoffs, two favorites won but they both paid north of $5 so for at least one night, odds on favorites were kept at bay. But there were longshots galore, topped off with a couple of triple digit ($240.80, $107.40) win mutuels,. As good as the payoffs were last night, I was bad when it came to my handicapping so I wont subject you to my selections for tonight.
Speaking of success, Rosecroft Raceway's fall meet concluded with handle up a strong 70%. Despite the improvement, if slots come to National Harbor without the licensee being Penn National, the long term survival of the track remains in question.
Up north, fallout as a result of the OLGL's termination of the SAR program continues. In order to ensure they can complete the winter meet, Western Fair District is cutting purses for their winter meet by 12%. While they expect to receive some type of subsidy to head their way, it was felt by track management and horsemen as the responsible way to go. Expect to hear some similar announcements elsewhere.
Meanwhile, PTP posts an article on how Standardbred Canada has jumped the shark over the SAR program cancellation. Yes, it hurts racing but it was never really about trying to hurt racing, it's about the province trying to bring in as much money as possible with paying the least amount of money in expenses; the same thing racing would try to do if it had the opportunity.
Horse Rescue United reaches out and thanks Mark McKelvie, the Hambletonian Society, and the Gural-operated racetracks for their donations as a result of The Pen vs. The Chip Handicapping Challenge.