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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Breaking News: Meadowlands Deal Finalized

According to John Brennan of The Record, the deals for the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park were finalized last night at the Meadowlands in a nine hour bargaining session.  The Star Ledger had highlighted the Monmouth deal having been completed.  I imagine an announcement from the Governor's Office will be forthcoming.  I had reported earlier that the final piece in the Monmouth Park lease had been resolved.  Turns out a deal had to be completed for both tracks yesterday as the Governor's aides told all parties if a deal was not reached last night, both tracks would have been shut down.

The only downside in the deal is standardbred interests had to make further concessions to get the approval of thoroughbred horsemen.  What the concession(s) is remains to be seen.  However, the good thing is that short of the formalities, the Meadowlands survival is a done deal. 

Perhaps for harness racing fans, the best news other than the Meadowlands surviving is at least one trainer is likely to be participating in their final Meadowlands meet as Jeff Gural has indicated he will take advantage of his ability to ban individuals from the Meadowlands as it will no longer be publicly operated. 

Additional details will be forthcoming.


Bonnie said...

"The only downside in the deal is standardbred interests had to make further concessions to get the approval of thoroughbred horsemen."

I can see you and I will always agree to disagree.The standardbreds have been riding the backs of thoroughbreds for over 20 years. With out that thoroughbred signal, there would be NO harness racing in NJ, that is a point that is always conveniently overlooked by the standardbreds. Tom Luchento isn't going to to doing any heavy lifting for thoroughbred industry anymore.

Pacingguy said...

Bonnie, I would disagree about it being twenty years, though I would certainly agree the thoroughbred signal has carried the Meadowlands for the last ten years. I just don't see why Monmouth horsemen should benefit from a signal coming from Chicago; how many NJ horsemen are racing at Arlington Park; conversely, why should Meadowlands horsemen benefit from a signal from Indiana?

I have heard several rumors regarding what the final concession is. I won't talk about them since I have not gotten a definite word as to what it was. Suffice it to say, their impact ranges from managable to what I would consider too much that I would have walked away.

Being an agreement was made, I assume both sides had compromised and are satisfied. In the end, isn't that all which matters?