In what may be an indicator that negotiations with Jeff Gural and the NJSEA are going well, the Meadowlands has released the balance of their schedule through August. The winter meet ends on March 26 with the Championship meeting beginning on May 7 (KY Derby Day) and will conclude on August 20, racing Thursday-Saturday with Thursdays being dropped for the final two weekends of the meet after the Hambletonian which will be held on August 6. This means a total of 81 race days will be held this year.
Of course, with the schedule being shortened considerably, some of the late closing series traditionally held will be cancelled for this year. With better scheduling next year, there is a chance they will return, but I tend to doubt they will. As for the Meadowlands Pace, it will be held on July 15. The complete racing calendar may be found here with the stakes schedule available as well.
Yes, negotiations could still break down, but I tend to doubt the schedule would have been announced if there was a reasonable chance a deal could not be made. Perhaps we can let out a sigh of relief?
The first press release from DAR has been published on several industry websites. The release does include some of their initial goals. With support from people like Anthony Perretti and Peter Kleinhans and other members, it is hoped the group can start making a difference soon. Make no mistakes, these changes will not be occurring overnight. Some of the goals may come into being relatively soon, others will take a while. After all, when a culture change in the industry is required, it will take some time to for certain changes to be made. There is one error in the press release, Wendi Kraslow Weiner, a California horsewomen who races as well as breds and rescues horses in the Golden State will be on the board.
It has been snowier than usual up to this point this year in the NYC metropolitan area and Stephane Bouchard was found skiing at Goshen Historic Track.
No word if he is getting days for putting the reins in one hand. With the weather forecast calling for another Winter Storm midweek, it looks like Yonkers Raceway picked a good time to take their three week vacation.