For photos from the Meadowlands contact

Friday, August 12, 2011

Stakes Moving, Cry's Dream Controversy Continues

As part of the shuffling of things with the ownership change at the Meadowlands is the W.N. Reynolds and John F Simpson Memorial which has been raced at Tioga and Vernon Downs will becoming to the Meadowlands next year.  Some of you may never heard of these races and those of you who do, know they are minor stakes which tend to draw the second tier horses, or horses that have lost time for one reason or another and are not ready for prime time come stakes time.

So what do these races provide the Meadowlands?  It provides them a lot of races.  Why these races don't have large purses as it goes to stakes, there are a lot of entries to these stakes so you have many divisions for each group (age, sex, and gait).  You could have a whole race card for each group at times.

An unintended benefit of these stakes moving to the Meadowlands, is it may attract a large number of horses who previously were not nominated to the stake from New Jersey, primarily those that race at Freehold.  Since Freehold is becoming a near bare bones meet, horsemen may be interested in nominating to these races as they don't have to travel far and the cost of getting into the stakes are relatively small.  Hence, it may keep stallion fees of the few second tier New Jersey stallions from completely collapsing.

A win-win situation indeed.

The Crys Dream controversy continues.  While the connections of Crys Dream was able to race after getting a court injunction, the NJRC has told the horsremen's bookkeeper not to pay the $107,500 portion of the purse they had earned in the Hambo Oaks elimination and final, correctly noting the court injunction was a stay and not a final disposition.  Of course, the connections of Crys Dream is going to court to get the purse money released.

The court should deny the connections of the horse the right to get paid until the case is settled.  At most, the court should order the funds held in an escrow account pending the outcome of the original case.  If the ORC finds for the plaintiffs, everyone will drop the case and the funds will be released.  If the ORC does not find for the plaintiffs, the case will go to the trial and Crys Dream's connection will be able to have their day in court and if they win, the money will be released.  If the NJRC wins the case, the funds are easily retrievable from the escrow account.  To make the NJRC pay the purse money on an injunction is wrong.  Crys Dream was able to race, no harm comes to them if the money is not released until final disposition of the case.

The NJRC should be congratulated for their stand in this case.  I have often criticized  them for being ones to make settlements or dismiss charges too quickly which weakened the integrity of NJ racing.  If this approach continues by the NJRC, win or lose, those who skirt the rules may serve their time sooner or not tempt fate.


Anonymous said...

Hey Pacingguy,

Applause for the NJRC, however, I believe Crys Dream should not have been allowed to race anywhere until the case was settled. That "show" money from the Hambo Oaks should have went to Jezzy and her connections - in a perfect world.

Just my two cents.


Pacingguy said...

Well, who knows, the show money may still get to Jezzy. However, the fact Crys Dream raced meant if the ORC doesn't dismiss the suspension and the NJRC is found to have been correct to refuse entry, a horse was denied the opportunity to race in the Hambo. You can say that horse would not have done much, but you never know.

I think the connections suit against the NJRC is dangerous. It is one thing to argue they were denied due process, but they are also arguing that the NJRC can't honor a suspension from a foreign country. If that is found to be the case, harness racing is going to become the wild west with cheaters heading North or South of the border, depending on where they got nailed.

Anonymous said...

Did the NJRC inform the connections of Crys Dream that in the event she placed in the money, it was to be held?

Yes, I think your words are true. And globally speaking, this is one of the primary reasons that the industry needs to be ruled by a single governing body - where a suspension is a suspension, and will be honored until said case is settled - no crossing the borders to race. Did the NJRC allow Crys Dream to race because of who she was, or would "Noname Hanover" been provided the same allowances?


Pacingguy said...

My guess is the NJRC did not tip them off ahead of time regarding the purse withholding. For two reasons, why stir up a hornet's nest for know reason and knowing they would be heading to court if you sneezed wrong, why tip them off.

The NJRC allowed Crys Dream to race because they had no choice, the NJ Supreme Court issued an injunction. Would "Noname Hanover" been provided the same allowances? Probably not; they likely would not have been able to afford the lawyer required to appeal to the Supreme Court.