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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Odds and Ends

In New Jersey, a rule change has been proposed to modify purse distributions at the Meadowlands. If approved, the current 50-25-12-8-5 distribution will be changed for overnight races to 50-25-10-6-4 with the sixth through tenth place finishers each receiving 1%. Before this rule can be approved by the NJRC, legislative action is required. Being it is estimated that it will take at least six months before this rule can be approved and implemented, this rule will have little impact on horsemen this year.

This rule change will help horsemen. With many horsemen shipping in to race, awarding 1% of the purse to horses finishing worse than fifth will help subsidize the expense of shipping, paddock fees and other expenses. The only problem is this subsidy comes at the expense of those finishing third through fifth. Perhaps a better option would be to pay each starter a flat fee for racing and leave the purse distribution as is.

Dean Hoffman in the latest issue of Trot magazine notes one of the reason attendance at the track has declined is there is no need for a handicapper to attend the races as there is nothing to be gained by being at the track. One example he cites is the lack of scoring. I remember how at Yonkers you would hear Bob Meyers announce “Pacers are away on their first/second score” and you would see the horses score down the stretch and handicappers would watch the horses to see how they were warming up. Now, after the post parade, most horses head to the far reaches of the track to prepare for the race. Maybe it is time to restore pre-race scoring to our raceways.

Readers of this blog may be wondering what happened to the proposal to introduce the fair star tule in New Jersey. Latest word is the proposal has been drafted and is awaiting review by legal counsel. Once it has been formally published for public comment I will bring it to your attention.

Monticello Raceway has begun their annual marathon by conducting racing programs eleven days straight ending on Christmas Eve. With many race meets having come to an end or tracks taking a brief break during the holiday season, Monticello’s policy is to race when there are fewer signals available for simulcasting


Pocket Up said...

Great news on your proposal Pacingguy. I hope it gets through the next stage and approved in the new future. Next, I would hope other jurisdictions jump on board.

As far as changing purses distribution in NJ, we are going in the wrong direction imo. I have read and tend to agree that purses should be distributed only to the horses that are including in the wagering to improve the competition level of races. This current proposal does nothing to improve the quality of races we tend to see on a regular basis aka little movement.

As far as scoring goes, this is not what I think of when it comes to that.....sorry:).

Pacingguy said...

Well, it would be nice to think the fair start rule will get approved, but rest assured there will be opposition to it from the race tracks and likely the horsemen. They won't want to refund any money. Also, it remains to be seen if New Jersey wants to be the first state with a fair start. The one good thing is the WEG tracks have it.

As for the purse distribution, I don't think giving everyone 1% of the purse is going to change the outcome of the race; you will go broke if all you collect is a $75 a race at the Meadowlands. This is probably an attempt to attract more horses to the Big M.

As for scoring, let's leave it at that.