Harness Racing Update reports that Cantor Gaming is out as an investor in the Meadowlands. According to the report, they will still be involved at the Meadowlands as consultants in helping develop new wagers. According to Jeff Gural, this is a minor bump in the road as he will be able to raise the money Cantor was bringing to the table to lease and build the new grandstand.
While we do not know the reasons for Cantor Gaming pulling out from the partnership, it may be the best thing in the long run. Cantor Gaming is an affiliate of Cantor Fitzgerald. Something which has not been getting much attention is Governor Christie's wife works for Cantor Fitzgerald so while everything is likely above board with the original agreement for Cantor Gaming to be a partnership, it is only a matter of time until the mainstream media made an issue of the Governor's wife's connection with Cantor Fitzgerald. So for the Meadowlands, as well as the Governor, it is probably best this distraction is nipped in the bud to avoid any sense of impropriety.
In other news, HRU reports over the winter the Meadowlands oval will be re-banked to the original configuration. Apparently, one of the reasons the races have been run the way they were was the track's banking was lowered to placate the thoroughbred horsemen when they raced at the Meadowlands. With no more main track thoroughbred racing taking place, the track can be reconfigured back.
As a sign of how bad things are in Ohio, this year there will be one less day of racing at the Delaware County Fair. The mini-meet at Delaware heavily features Ohio bred races. With breeding numbers down in the Buckeye State, rather than fight for entries and race short fields that do nothing for wagering, they have decided to drop the first day of racing from the meet.
HRU also reports that the ban at Tioga and Vernon Downs for Richard Norman may soon be lifted as a result of his meeting with Jeff Gural. It now appears Norman was unfamiliar with the rules and security may have been lax (after all how was he released from the detention barn in the first place). It was also earlier reported that the horse in question appeared to have a bump from an injection; something that Norman claims was from the day before and was legal. Rest assured, if this is the case, security will be tightened at the detention barn. In the meanwhile, he remains persona non grata until the investigation is completed. This does not mean the barring of Norman was incorrect. Based on the facts known at the time it was a proper decision. The key was Norman was given the opportunity to defend himself and if things check out, he will be allowed to return. It should be noted that everything is being resolved promptly, without the incident being lawyered up.
Yes, I have heard all the stories and allegations regarding this incident. However, it is easy to say whatever you want with the anonymity of chat boards. Conspiracy theorists will say what they want, but as in the court of law, you must give a person the benefit of doubt without proof.