Jeff Gural has given an update to Trot Radio regarding the taking over of the Meadowlands. At this point, it appears to be more a question of going through paperwork to meet the December 5 deadline (licensing not included). Gural reminded Norm Borg, that the restraining order is against the union's executive committee; not him. Will the tellers cause a problem? According to Gural, it won't be a problem as most tellers have been offered jobs and they have accepted them.
With regards to a casino at the Meadowlands, Gural does not expect a casino at the Meadowlans until 2014 at the earliest when he expects table games to come to New York. At that point, Atlantic City loses their argument about North Jersey residents not coming to Atlantic City as they will all be going to New York and Pennsylvania anyway.
Regarding Gural's plan for four year olds not going to the stallion shed, he reiterates the need for stars to continue racing, citing the case without Zenyatta, the Breeders Crown's telecast was down 70% this year. The interesting point which came up is his belief that standardbreds are not as sound as they should be and by having them race through their four year old campaign would help make the breed sounder as the top four year olds would be the ones going to stud. You can hear Gural's comments here.
Freehold Raceway has raised purses an average of 30%. This has been made possible by payment of a much delayed payment by the NJSEA to Freehold from the last purse enhancement agreement. Freehold has become a track that features New Jersey sired horses with preference to NJ-Sired and horses that made two of their last three starts at Freehold. As time goes on, expect this preference to continue.
We often talk that harness racing participants play games in the courts to delay fines and suspensions. Well, thoroughbred people are just as good at this. In West Virginia, jockeys found guilty of not reporting overweights and avoiding weighi-ins were given $1,000 fines and 30-day suspsensions. The racing commission has been following hte courts orders and yet the jockeys continue to ride. Charlestown tried to use private property rights to exclude theese jockeys yet the court is denying the tracks their rights.