The first condition sheet for Pocono Downs has been released and it spells bad news for the Meadowlands and Freehold. Changes were expected in the purse amounts as a result of the reduction of the horsemen's portion of slot revenue, but purses still remain attractive despite the cuts. Here is a sample of the purses being offered as well as a comparison to the Meadowlands and/or Freehold.
Claiming Pocono Meadowlands Freehold
$7,000 $6,400 $3,500 ($6,000clm)
$10,000 $9,800 $4,900
$15,000 $13,000 $9,200
$20,000 $17,000 $11,700
$30,000 $21,000 $17,000
Condition Pocono (L5) Meadowlands (L6) Freehold (L6)
nw1pm $7,500 $4,000
nw2pm $8,700 $11,000 $6,250
nw5000cd $9,000 $9,200 (nw6000cd) $5,800 (nw6000cd)
nw7500cd $11,000 $11,700 (nw8000cd) $8,300 (nw8000cd)
nw10000cd $17,000 $15,000
Open $28,000 $30,000 $11,000 (Preferred)
No doubt horses racing at Freehold and the Meadowlands will be heading to northeast Pennsylvania for the Pocono meet which starts on March 23. While Chester Downs has not yet issued their first condition sheet, it is safe to assume horses will be leaving for Chester as well. Hopefully, the cut back of the Meadowlands race week will help in securing enough horses to fill out their card. Otherwise, expect short fields and $10,000 claimers at the Meadowlands. As for Freehold, short fields and a reduction in the number of races on a daily basis is all but certain.
Lucky Jim makes his 2010 pari-mutuel debut this Friday night in the 10th race Invitational at the Meadowlands, drawing the outside in the short seven horse field. I expect he will pick up where he left off last year.