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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Does Anyone Really Know What is Going On?

I sure hope so; I don't.

The legislature has approved most of the racing legislation needed, including providing for a decreasing subsidy.  Instead of $30 million to thoroughbred and standardbred interests each year, 2011 would see horse racing receive up to $15 million; 2012 up to $10 million; 2013 up to $5 million.  Only problem is we don't know if the Governor will sign-off on this particular bill or any or all of the racing legislation.  Does the subsidy go towards purses or operating expenses which may allow the NJSEA to continue running the Meadowlands?

The NJSEA is holding their monthly meeting tomorrow morning where it is expected that racing dates will be selected under the 100 day calendar for harness racing and the reduced calendar for thoroughbred racing (Monmouth Park), including purse structure.  This without knowing if the Governor will approve the legislation.

On Thursday, the NJRC meets in special session to discuss certain issues.  After the executive session, the NJRC is scheduled to consider allocation of standardbred and thoroughbred dates for the NJSEA.  No mention of Freehold applying for dates which leads me to suspect Freehold will not be racing in the early part of 2011.  Then they will discuss the revoking of the licenses of the Toms River and Vineland OTWs at the request of the NJSEA.  Toms River is Freehold's one OTW and Vineland is ACRC's one OTW.  Is this an annual motion of is there something new coming up?  Lastly, the agenda calls for the approval by permitted entities for the operations of Toms River, Vineland, Woodbridge, and Bayonne OTWs for next year.  Again without the governor's position known, this may be all for naught.

Once the NJRC concludes their meeting, the minutes go to the Governor for approval.  Does he reject the racing dates again or does he approve them?

Most would agree this is a make or break moment for New Jersey Racing.  I would certainly hope someone knows what's going on.  Fasten your seat belts, if one thing goes wrong in this week's meetings, New Jersey's racing industry may be blowing  up.  It is make or break time.

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