Auckland Reactor will be racing this Sunday, but not in the Bettor's Delight at Tioga Downs as originally planned. Instead, the Reactor will be racing at Chester Downs, but even there, a dose of reality has set in as he will bypass the Open to race a notch below in a winners over event. The aim is now to be ready for the Ben Franklin eliminations at Chester on July 11.
Clearly, Auckland Reactor's connections have realized sending him against FFAllers would be fool hardy at this point as he still needs to get acclimated to the North American style of racing. The prudent decision is to allow him to get acclimated against easier stock. That being said, this field is no walkover.
Here is the field for Auckland Reactor's race prior to driver changes being made:
June 13; 10th Pace - Chester Downs - $28,000; winners over 25,000 lifetime - Estimated Post 3:45
1 - Solano (G. Napalitano Jr)
2 - Mucho Sleazy (D. Miller)
3 - Smellthecolornine (T. Tetrick)
4 - Lindy's Bandit (B. Sears)
5 - Jim's Guy (G. Napalitano Jr)
6 - Auckland Reactor N (B. Sears)
7 - Blueridge Western (C. Callahan)
While not a "must win" race, anything short of a solid effort will be devestating. This is not to say Auckland Reactor would be a bad horse, but when you pay $3.5 million, you are expecting greatness; not overnight stock.
June 30 is the deadline for NJ Governor Christie's committee on Gambling and Entertainment to report back on their findings for the future of horse racing. We may then get some clarity regarding the future of harness racing in the state.