Another update from Jim Brennan from the Record about yesterday's meeting. There were a couple more politicians in attendance and in addition to the Tellers, other unions attended the meeting as well. I am not sure the unions heard all they wanted to here. Jim's source told the unions that the 20% pay cut is non-negotiable. They were reminded that with the Bayonne OTW coming on line in a year or two, more jobs would be available with the assumption any employees being displaced at the Meadowlands would have first dibs on jobs there. In addition, some of the politicians indicated their belief that slots may show up at the Meadowlands in a couple of years. According to Brennan's source, more than one attendee left the meeting "cautiously optimistic".
If I was laying odds on whether the Meadowlnads deal happens or not, I would give it a 3-5 morning line. Obviously a positive vote from the tellers would help, but at this point, I have a feeling too much time may have been invested and it would take a lot for Jeff Gural to walk away. Not that Gural has too much invested in acquiring the Meadowlands right now; but he is perhaps the staunchest supporter of the game right now I don't know if he would walk away and risk a free fall.
Now this may shock you, but let's actually talk racing. There are a couple of big overnight events occurring tonight and Saturday with some of our best FFAllers strutting their stuff. Being some have made only one or are making their first start, is it possible there can be some upsets? Let's take a look:
Pocono Downs, Friday, April 22
10th Trot - $30,000; Open Handicap
1 Rompaway Beau (Simpson, 8-1) - Scored big upset three starts ago, but has had trouble in last two; pass.
2 In Focus (Takter, 5-1) - Was making winning move last week when jumped in stretch. Legitimate upset chance.
3 Winning Mister (A Miller, 4-1) - Finished second to #7 at Chester two back. Just missed from seven hole last week; don't ignore.
4 All About Justice (Simons, 12-1) - Seems way overmatched. Pass,
5 Great Emancipator (Ackerman, 15-1) - 4yo returns from Pinehurst, NC. Seems tough spot to make seasonal debut against older.
6 Enough Talk (Pierce, 2-1) - Returned with 1:56.2 qualifier at Pocono. Don't forget gelding returned sharp of layoff after Sweden last year.
7 Arch Madness (Sears, 9-5) - Winner of two straight at Chester. Is the tightest right now, but odds will be low.
Vernon Downs, Saturday, April 23
10th Pace - $10,000; Open I (No Show Wagering)
1 - Firethorn (Mac Donald, 8-1) - Won Preferred at Rideau Carleton. This is tougher.
2 - Four One One (Bailey, 10-1) - Flat in seasonal debut. Must show more.
3 - Diamond Stick Pin (Okusko, 6-) - Been super consisted finished behind #4 in last. Factor.
4 - Dry Gulch (Rice, 9-5) - Former 8K claimer has been hot since Brainard claimed. Ignore at own peril.
5 - One More Laugh (Schnittker, 3-1) - Two sharp qualifiers at Pocono. Meadowlands Pace winner may be ready.
6 - Vlos (Mollor, 5-1) - Freshened after Presidential. May be tough this week.