It may have been the worst kept secret, but out it came out at the World Trotting Conference that the gamble being taken on the Meadowland is based on a belief that slots will be coming to the Meadowlands in the next couple of years. Jeff Gural believes that table games are going to be coming to New York (he is pushing for that at Tioga) and figures New Jersey will finally have to respond to it.
And he is right, there will likely be casino gambling in Northern New Jersey but don't assume it is a slam dunk that the Meadowlands will be the eventual destination for slots and even more importantly, don't think the casino industry is going to give up control of the slot machines to racing without a fight.
Don't forget Saturday is Bet Five for Larry. Everyone is asked to bet an extra $5 on the Meadowlands fifth race as the Meadowlands and the SBOANJ will be donating their profits from that race towards Freehold track announcer Larry Lederman's medical expenses.
Horsemen are complaining about Gural's plan to not allow horses sired by four year olds from competing in stakes races at Gural's tracks. Number one argument? How dare he tell us what we can do with our property? Memo to those who make this argument: Gural is not telling you what to do with your property. Feel free to send your horse to stud after three. It's not like it's a USTA rule banning you from doing so. No one forces you to nominate horses to any stakes race. You can't nominate a New Jersey sired horse to an Indiana Sires Stakes race or vice versa. If your horse doesn't meet the conditions of a stakes race, you pass it by. If you choose to buy a horse that doesn't qualify for these stakes races, it is your choice.
The USTA has started a See You At Peelers website. Oh no! SYAP has been doing very well without a website. I am not superstitious, but she has been racing quite well without a website. Hopefully it doesn't become the Kiss of Death.
I must confess, I am somewhat conflicted about Yonkers banning Lou Pena. Intellectually, I can't fathom the fact a trainer can have almost three times as many victories as the second place trainer. Yonkers has every right to exclude him from racing there, but I can't help but wonder whether he was banished because Yonkers Raceway thinks he is cheating or are they doing this because his fellow horsemen were complaining about his being so successful that they are not winning races? The fact he is entitled to re-apply for racing privileges in October makes me think it may be the later. Private racetracks have every right to exclude someone they feel is bad for business, but there is a real problem if a racetrack is excluding someone due to a lynch mob.