In Harness Racing Update, Jeff Gural has indicated that cheaters will not be allowed to race at the Meadowlands; indicating he will be meeting with Race Secretary Peter Koch on a weekly basis going over who has asked for permission to race at the Meadowlands. When asked, Gural indicated he suspects some people who have already asked for racing privileges will not be racing at the Meadowlands this year.
Everyone is already assuming one of those individuals will be a trainer on the East side of the Hudson River, especially since this individual was denied access to Tioga and Vernon Downs except for stakes races this past summer, but I think it is safe to assume a few other trainers who have been racing at the Meadowlands will be seeking a new home next year to ply their trade.
I hope Peter Koch and Jeff Gural is not looking only at trainers. Yes, the trainers are the ones that have to apply to race at the Meadowlands, but I suspect there are a few drivers who may fall into the category of cheating. Now, they may not be drugging horses, but they may have one too many violations on their record; perhaps a couple of lack of efforts on their record. Certain drivers who have been nailed for animal cruelty and racing in Canada should not be welcomed at the Meadowlands.
On a positive note, one good thing may come with the change of ownership and the reality some drivers will be racing elsewhere this year. I always looked forward to the start of a new meet when there would be a press release about new drivers or trainers giving the Meadowlands a chance that year. Hopefully, we will be seeing some new blood racing at the Meadowlands this year, grateful for the opportunity as in the days of old.