For photos from the Meadowlands contact Lisaphoto@playmeadowlands.com

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Time for Classified Racing at Freehold?

With the success of classified racing at the Meadowlands, one must wonder why classified racing has not expanded.  A logical place for classified racing would be Freehold Raceway, the fellow standardbred track in New Jersey.

First of all, let's make it clear that the classes at the two tracks would be different.  A FFA horse at Freehold may be only a B-1 at the Meadowlands, but most handicappers are educated enough to realize the classification at each track is unique; you can't say there is an equivalency in quality.

Here is a perfect example of why classified racing would be appropriate for Freehold.  Freehold raced on President's Day and here are some conditions used: 

  • Race 2 - Non-Winners $1,500 last 5 starts (Non-Winners last 3 allowed $500); Winners Over $20,000 in 2012-13 ineligible  AE:N/W 3 Ext. P-M races life.
  • Race 3 - Non-Winners $1,500 last 5 starts (Non-Winners last 3 allowed $500); Winners over $20,000 in 2012-13 ineligible  AE:Non-Winners 3 Extended Pari-Mutuel races life  Opt. Claim $5,000 - (NJSO Preferred)
  • Race 5 - The same conditions as Race 3 except an Optional Claim at a $6,000 tag.
  • Race 6 - Non-Winners $3,500 in last 5 starts (Non-Winners last 3 allowed $500); Winners over $30,000 in 2012-13 ineligible  AE:Non-Winners 5 Extended Pari-Mutuel races life
  • Race 7 - Non-Winners $4,500 in last 5 starts (Non-Winners last 3 allowed $1,000)  AE:Non-Winners 6 Extended Pari-Mutuel races life. Opt. Claim $15,000
  • Race 9 - Non-Winners $2,500 last 5 starts (Non-Winners last 3 allowed $700); Winners over $25,000 in 2012-13 ineligible  AE:Non-Winners 4 Extended Pari-Mutuel races life.
  • Race 11 - Fillies & Mares - Non-Winners $1,500 in last 5 starts (Non-Winners last 3 allowed $500); Winners over $20,000 in 2012-13 ineligible.  AE:Non-Winners 3 Extended Pari-Mutuel races life  Opt. Claim $6,000

Wouldn't it be easier if Race Secretary Karen Fagliarone classified these horses into classes instead of having to write races like this?  As with the Meadowlands, classifying horses may ensure competitive races, perhaps even making the outside posts more competitive.  This is not to say Freehold racing stock would not require the use of C-3, B-3, and A-3 where as the Meadowlands avoid using the 3's.

Handle at Freehold has been hurting the past few years.  Isn't it worth trying classified racing and see if an increase in handle can be achieved?