The Record reports that Jeff Gural expects to have the deal for the Meadowlands wrapped up by the end of this coming week. Of course, once the memo of understanding it needs to be voted on by the NJSEA (Yeah, what are the odds of them voting it down?) and then the licensing procedure needs to take place but it seems like progress continues. Yes, I've said it before and may say it again; but the point is sooner or later, it will come to fruition.
There is still time to participate in the Tioga Downs/HANA Pool Party today. Click on this link for free programs courtesy of Trackmaster, computer selections as well as my own. Don't forget the exciting Artiscape and Bettor's Delight will be contested today as well.
I just shake my head regarding some of these super trainers and their accomplishments. Even more amazing is how the track's press department highlights these accomplishments. Will they write articles about them if they get busted? I rather they write articles about the hard working drivers, trainers, and grooms who may not be as successful as those super trainers, but at least we can be assured those articles won't come back to haunt us.
Last night I was watching the Firestone Twin 275s; Indy Car racing from Texas Motor Speedway. What was unique about last night is instead of one race, the Indy drivers drove in two shorter races, with an hour between races (to allow them to adjust their cars; get replacement cars if their car from the first one was wrecked, etc.). To determine starting positions for the second race of the night, the drivers, in order of finish in the first race, got to pick off a wall a card which when removed revealed their starting position for the second race. An on-track broadcaster interviewed a couple of car owners about the two races in one night and the drawing for the starting positions and the responses from the owners were to the effect, they rather have raced one longer race and if they were going to have two races, the second race starting positions should have been determined by the order of finish in the first race but each owner ended their comments with "But the fans seem to like this". Could you imagine a horse owner saying this, agreeing to something they feel is against their interest for the benefit of the fan? Maybe if horse owners had this attitude, racing would not be in the situation it is.
Big Jim finished 3rd in his elimination for the North American Cup last night at Mohawk. Maybe he has just not hit his peak form; maybe the others have caught up to him at three; perhaps there is a little injury which is nagging him. Whatever the reason, I think it is time to hold off on the coronation for now... Meanwhile, See You at Peelers is now 17 for 17 after winning her elimination for the Fan Hanover. Next week may be her greatest test thus far as she needs to defeat Krispy Apple to remain undefeated.
A blog entry in the New York Times discusses the use of lasix and other race day medication in horses and the perceived problem of federal regulation. This week there is a summit scheduled in an effort to prevent the federal legislation from moving forward. To know ones surprise, the Jockey Club is in favor of a race day medication band and the thoroughbred horsemen are opposed. Just to make it clear, I assume the same views are taken by harness horsemen. The proposal is stiff, any track that does not participate in a race day ban and enforcement testing will lose the right to simulcast races. Let's not kid ourselves; what would be considered sufficient testing is questionable; but the fact is left to itself, the industry will not institute its own bans. The sword of Damocles in the form of the proposed federal legislation may be the best thing to happen.
Speakin of the Sword of Damocles, horsemen of both breeds better recognize it is a matter of time until whipping will be the next target of federal intervention. Let's see if both breeds can outlaw the use of the whip before the government does it for them.