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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Don't Forget About Freehold

Is it a case of if we have to offer racing, we may as well get try to make a go of it?  Pompano Park (Isle of Capri)  has recently updated their website to not only show live races, but also shows replays of races (since the start of the current meet).  In addition, you can get race pages for the upcoming racing program.  These are basic program pages, not the race pages you can get from Trackmaster, but they are something.  

The votes are in.  In our unscientific poll, when asked who is harming hanress racing (Joe Farldo vs Jeff Gural; 80% of the voters (41 votes) blamed Joe Faraldo for harness racing problems.  7% (4 votes) blamed Jeff Gural and 11% (6 votes) hold both of them blameless for nay harm in racing's problems. 

In all the talk about New Jersey racing, all the conversation has been Meadowlands, Meadowlands, Meadowlands.  While granted the survival of the Meadowlands is important to the industry nationwide, Freehold is important to the New Jersey industry.  How many times do you see a horse which appears to be good breeding yet they are racing in the bottom classes or the second tier races?  Owners and trainers need somewhere to race.those second tier horses.  Now there is no doubt Freehold will be operating this year but with minimal, if any, subsidy coming their way, what kind of purse structure and racing classes will be available? 

I know a trainer who is considering to move.  They currently are in New Jersey and need to decide to whether to remain in New Jersey or to shift their operations to Pennsylvania even if the Meadowlands keeps racing; remembering even if survived, there will be no racing at the Meadowlands in April, a good part of May, and from mid-August to December..  The person is a strong fan of Jeff Gural but if the conditions and number of days of racing will not allow their horses to get in, some trainers are going to need to look at other options.  For circumstances beyond their control, upgrading their stock is not an option.  Freehold is one of those options for those trainers.  If there is no real racing opportunities between the two tracks, they may need to move to another states to make sure their horses get raced.  So while everyone is talking Meadowlands, Meadowlands, New Jersey harness racing is a two track issue.  Once the status of the Meadowlands is resolved, is it possible that the consortium Jeff Gural is putting together turns its eyes to Freehold?

Don't laugh about the possibility.  The best thing for the overall health of harness racing in the state is the coordination of racing at the two tracks.  What better way would that be accomplished other than having the same owner for both tracks?

1 comment:

STGM said...

Freehold is a private enterprise so I would think they can do what they want. I think they will keep status quo. Maybe they feel that the possibility of future sports betting or slots makes it worth while to keep the ownership private and hold on. I wonder why they have kept the track operating? Does anyone have an opinion.