The great driver exclusion is now over. In a joint statement, it appears Brian Sears and Jeff Gural cleared the air and as a result, the exclusion of Sears at the three tracks operated by Gural has been lifted.
Most will claim Sears won this skirmish. I am not prepared to say it is the case though clearly public opinion sided with the talented driver. I rather focus on the positive that Gural and Sears were able to work this out between them.
I still believe as an individual with private property rights, Gural has the right to exclude whomever he feels it is necessary to do so in the interest of racing at the Meadowlands. Drivers, as independent contractors, do what they feel is in their best interest so why shouldn't a track operator be able to do the same? That being said, since a person who is typically excluded gets a scarlet 'C' attached to their name, exclusion should never be used for retaliation (not saying it was this time). With the power of exclusion comes great responsibility.
In other news, Trainer Robin Schadt has decided to move to the administrative side of racing by becoming the new Director of Racing at Cal Expo.