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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cleaning Up the Meadowlands

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.


John said...

I enjoy your passion and comments Pacingguy.

Unfortunately I just don't think you can police it to the level where if you keep cheaters out you might be looking at short fields as a result as cheaters who have been caught won't be at the track and cheaters both drivers and trainers who think they will be part of a witch hunt would rather go over to Yonkers if that is the case.

Though noble an idea I just can't imagine in a sport where gambling is involved it's possible.

Pacingguy said...


There are honest trainers and drivers out there. If the cheats bolt the Meadowlands, the honest trainers will be given an opportunity they never would have had.

But let me tell you, right now every trainer, except possibly one high profle trainer that have normally raced there, are probably trying to get back into the Meadowlands. Those that are less than honest, are probably hoping they slip by, what is the worst thing that is going to happen to them? It's not like Gural is going to announce "Joe Blow has been exluded", they just won't be showing up when the racing begins.