Sebastian K dominated the field once again at the Meadowlands Friday night in the TVG FFA Series, this time showing gate speed to get quickly to the front before going on cruise control. This year's Horse of the Year is now 3 for 3 this year.
Yes, you heard me right. If Sebastian K stays healthy this year, there is not a trotter in North America who can beat him; thus Horse of the Year will be his.
As for the Great Gural-Sears Dust Up it appears the problem was that Sears may have reneged on a gentlemen's agreement to race at the Meadowlands till the end of the meet with the two driving Millers on the disabled list. With the banning, Gural has sent a message of 'Don't Screw with Me". Some may call it being petty, but if you give your word, you should honor it. Anyway, with Gural putting the screws on Sears this past weekend, I suspect the two of them will come to an understanding and Sears will be at the baby races this week. I suggest you read other thoughts on this in Harness Racing Update.
With regards to the alleged posting attributed to Joe Faraldo on Facebook (I didn't get to see it), all I can say is it must be nice to benefit from slot legislation enacted because of 9-11 and being a casino just north of New York City for that would be a situation hard to screw up. That being said, do you remember the days you were racing $4,000 claimers for $2,500 purses and the track was up for sale at the Old Hilltop? It must have been a lot of fun back then.
Well the Meadowlands has no slot money to use so they race 82 days. Personally, I would like to see at least three-four days a week of racing at the Meadowlands as much as anyone, but then, they would be racing $6,000 claimers as they would have to spread their purse account thinner.
Since Joe Faraldo is such a champion of great racing at Yonkers. I challenge him the next time the SOA contract comes up for renewal he offers more of the purse account to offer a stakes program like the Meadowlands has to benefit the industry nationally. How many times have has Yonkers bid on the Breeders Crown, and the SOA offered money from their purse account to pay for it? All these things reduce the purse account at the Meadowlands which means they can't compete with Yonkers purse-wise..
I'll take Faraldo's alleged statement that Tioga and Vernon Downs have some of the lowest handles in New York State. I guess they can race more days there if horsemen want to race for $1,500 purses. Despite the low handles, they have stakes races of national importance.
Would Jeff Gural have purchased Tioga and Vernon were it not for the VLT bill? Of course not, one would have been an idiot to by racing properties that went bankrupt in the past without a way of covering the losses. However, one should remember the Rooneys, who I respect a lot, would have unloaded Yonkers if the VLT bill didn't come along.
Does everything Jeff Gural do is correct? Of course not, but his intentions are good as I assume Faraldo's are; the problem is the two of them have very different views on how racing should look in the future. I just wish instead of criticizing how the Meadowlands is run, that Faraldo would take over as President of a horseman's group in a state without slots and see how it is when the shoe is on the other foot; I suspect his tone would change.