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It seems the expression 'speed kills' is not completely accurate. Apparently sluggishness can kill as well. The lease agreements with Bailey at Monmouth Park and Gural at the Meadowlands were finalized on June 24. Well up to now, no formal lease has been received by Bailey or Gural; remember Jeff Gural was to formally take over the Meadowlands by September 1? Well September 1 has come and gone and no formal lease has been signed. With no lease signed, neither Bailey or Gural can start the licensing process with the NJRC.
At the Meadowlands, the problem is not as critical as the race meet is over. According to the The Star Ledger, The problem is at Monmouth, racing is continuing into November and since the leases have not been finalized and Baily is not licensed, Bailey has not been able to start making significant changes to cut losses so the losses continue to mount. Now Bailey is reported not be satisfied with the lease agreement he agreed to. For example, all the money in a $4 million loan the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (NJTHA) made to the track to keep purses at $400,000 a day has been spent and now Bailey doesn't want to accept the loan due to the delay. The question is if Bailey's letter to the NJSEA declaring the memorandum of understanding null and void is a negotiating ploy or is really him saying "I'm out of here"?
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No truth the man in the picture is Governor Christie.
So how does this impact the Meadowlands? If Bailey truly walks, then the State will have to start all over with the bidding process for Monmouth Park or the State can finish the year out and there will be no racing at Monmouth next year (an unlikely scenario). We also know the Governor wants both leases resolved at the same time which actually protects the lessors at both tracks. With no lease in place at Monmouth, the operating parameters for the Meadowlands can change with respect to what percentage of the thoroughbred simulcasts will need to be paid to the thoroughbred horsemen as thoroughbred interest's needs may need to change depending on negotiations between the horsemen and a new Monmouth Park leaseholder.
Right now Jeff Gural's group is paying the bills for the Meadowlands operation. If Monmouth Park's situation is not settled, how can Gural start with construction of the new grandstand not knowing how much expense the Meadowlands will inccur once an eventual Monmouth lease is finalized? In fact, it may be an error to finalize a lease if Monmouth Park's situation is not resolved.
If the Meadowlands lease does not get finalized and the new group is licensed, the 20% pay cuts won't take effect meaning Gural will be paying more to operate the Meadowlands during this interim period. There must be a point where Gural, as with Bailey, will say enough is enough. The question is when is that point met.
Why the delay is unknown. The State of New Jersey must get these leases done and finalized without delay. Otherwise, there may be no racing at the Meadowlands or Monmouth Park in 2012.