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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Less Purse Money for the Meadowlands?

Just when you though purse contributions to the Meadowlands could not get lower, get ready.  The possibility that the Meadowlands and Monmouth will lose most of the funding they get from the Casino Simulcast Fund which was created years ago to compensate racetracks for the loss of earnings due to racetracks taking simulcasting exists.

Where will that money go?  If the bill is approved, $1 million dollars will go to Atlantic City Race Course for capital improvements as they would get 90% of the Casino Simulcast Fund instead of the 7% ACRC received last year.  The remaining 10% of the fund would be divided equally between Freehold, Meadowlands, and Monmouth Park.  After the first year, the money would be dedicated to adding racing dates at ACRC.  The thoroughbred breeders object to it because it could cost Monmouth Park up to $775,000 in purse money at a time they are seeking sources of funds to boost purses.  The NJTHA actually has no problem with the money going to ACRC provided it be used to boost racing dates and not capital improvements. 

No word comes from the standardbred horsemen as they would lose about $225,000 in purse money which in the grand scheme of things is not that much. 

Atlantic City Race Course officials claim they deserve the bulk of the fund being located about 10 miles from Atlantic City, they are the most impacted track being that close to Atlantic City and one must agree there is some logic there.  They claim they got none of the casino subsidy the other tracks received over the last three years and if they get this money for capital improvements, ACRC could run a true 'elite' meet and possibly attract the Breeders Cup.  The President of ACRC claims it is time for South Jersey to get their share of the money for the first time.

My take is let ACRC get the money and let the first year funds be used for capital improvements.  You will never get a harness meet at Monmouth Park and with ACRC racing a very short thoroughbred meet, anything which improves their physical plant can only make the track more attractive should standardbred interests ever think of expanding race dates by racing at ACRC. 

For once, ACRC deserves to be treated fairly..

1 comment:

The_Knight_Sky said...

Atlantic City racecourse's buildings and grounds is kept in such unkempt condition that $1 million won't even get the dirt parking lot repaved.

Owner Greenwood Racing must decide what to do. Do they make a long term investment that will ultimately create excitement for two boutique meets around The Monmouth season. Or continue to wait it out until the walls fall down.

That said, $1 million in purses for Atlantic City would be nice and allow them to expand to 3 weekends of Spring racing. But anything more than that is wishful thinking.