For photos from the Meadowlands contact

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Stretch the Race and Bait the Carrot

So far those twelve horse races at the Meadowlands has not shown the desired result as for the most part, those second tier horses have not made their presence known in the payoffs.  Is it the fact races at 1 1/16 mile are not long enough or is it drivers/trainers who have drawn the second tier are just giving up before the gate opens?

I suspect it is a bit of both.  I would suggest making the races 1 1/8 miles long to give the second tier horses a better chance to get involved but in addition to that, I would offer a bounty system where an incentive fee is paid for those horses from the second tier who finish in the money; with a higher amount if they win the race.  Perhaps a little incentive may make drivers attempt to change their perception of the second tier.

It may be worth a try because while you can have fifteen horses in a race, if no one expects the second tier to get involved, you are still wagering on a ten horse race.

Those that thought Plainrdige Racecourse was going to waltz to their slot license may not be as confident as three other developers have formally announced they are going for the one slot license in the state.  Cordish Companies, Rush Street Gaming, and Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment have entered the fray.  These three had previously announced their intention to get into the Massachusetts gaming market, but up to now, it was unknown if they were going to go for full casino licenses or compete for the sole slot parlor license.

This is not to say Plainridge won't win out in the end, but with more competitors, there is always the chance for an adverse decision as there is for an appeal in the courts by a loser to tie things up.

Running Aces Harness Park has issued a release as to why they are suspending multi-breed simulcasting in the state, keeping Canterbury from taking harness signals as well as keeping Running Aces from the lucrative thoroubhred signal.  Under the agreement which Running Aces was entitled to re-open for negotiations, they had to pay $150,000 a year to Canterbury Park for the privilege of carrying thoroughbred simulcasting; money not for purses, but to management.  Truth is, the net result was Running Aces was roughly breaking even on simulcasting due to the subsidy to Canterbury Park.  Clearly, the amount Canterbury Park was sending to Running Aces for harness simulcasting was not as much as Running Aces was sending to Canterbury so rather than en-rich Canterbury Park, Running Aces has decided to halt simulcasting until a new agreement is worked out.  This is likely to impact the thoroughbred purses.

As you may recall, Running Aces had also stopped making purse payments from their card room to Cantebury Park citing breaches of the contract by Canterbury.  This has made the thoroughbred horsemen hopping mad as they are trying to get Running Aces' harness license pulled.  Quite honestly, after abandoning Running Aces to receive purse enhancements from an Indian tribe, is this money needed?  That being said, it will be up to the Minnesota HRC to sort this out.