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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Meadowlands Early Peek

The initial condition sheet for the Meadowlands upcoming race meet has been released.  From a quick look at the condition sheet, it appears purses have been cut when compared to the start of the 2009 race meet.  For example, last January the invitational trot went for $35,000; this year it will be contested for $32,000.  Horses racing for a $25,000 tag will be racing for $14,400 as compared to $16,000 in 2009.  For the initial five racing programs, $15,000 is the bottom claiming price and non-winners of 6,000 in last 6 starts the bottom conditioned class. 

Whether the purse cuts are a barometer of things to come for this meet or just a precaution due to the economic climate remains to be seen.  However, the Meadowlands is taking some steps to improve things for the fans and gamblers.  By the end of January, the Meadowlands expects their website to have a 'community' feature for fans.  The Meadowlands will be adding hi-def television cameras and their pre-card television show will feature interviews with individuals discussing their entries for the evening and the show will allow fans to ask questions via-email.  While the Meadowlands may be going through hard time, they are doing their best to make their racing product as desirable as possible and attract their share of the simulcast market by taking advantage of the technology available.   


JLB said...

Except for Dover Downs, the Meadowlands has the non-half-mile-track market cornered in the Northeast at this time of year. Their simulcast quality has always been top-notch, and full fields should prove attractive to serious gamblers and casual handicappers alike. For those of us who campaign a few overnight horses, it is a tough time of year to get started on a regular basis, given the prevalence of the Winter series. A quick look, however, at this year's series entries on their website seems to reveal that most had fewer horses nominated than last Winter. Do you have comparative figures for 2009?

Pacingguy said...

I know last year the Super Bowl final was estimated to be $75,000 and this year it is estimated at $67,500 so this would reflect fifteen less nominations. Yet, the Presidential is estimated to be the same purse so it depends on the particular series.

It doesn't surprise me that there are less horses in some of these series. In many ways, racinos have reduced entries in these late closers in ways not thought off. First of all, in the past many Meadowlands horses would have stopped at the end of the meet and then took time off but with racino purses, they kept on racing. Hence, some of these horses would earn out of these series.

For example, the Super Bowl is for non-winners of 2 races or $30,000 lifetime. By racing longer into the year, horses would find themselves ineligible, especially with racino purses being inflated.