Well, the day has come and gone and no word on the leases of the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park. It seems like we are in an episode of the Twilight Zone when time stops.
For the Meadowlands, it is not known if Jeff Gural and the SBOANJ has agreed to a six day mixed meet in the early spring where the standardbreds would race on the main turf and the thoroughbreds would race on the main track. I assume the request for the right to have up to fifteen days of thoroughbred turf racing after the standardbreds are done would not be an issue. The other issue is whether or not the lease for the Meadowlands is going to be a standalone lease or tied to the lease of Monmouth Park. If tied to the lease of Monmouth Park, would it delay the building of the new grandstand?
For Monmouth Park, it appears the problem is there is no money to fund the stakes program, including the Haskell Invitational. The NJTHA has 'respectfully' asked the NJSEA to fund the $4 million for the stakes program. With Governor Christie, I can't see him subsidizing Monmouth even for the Haskell. I would imagine though he may be willing to have the NJSEA 'loan' the $4 million to be repaid back. Then again, since the state is planning to re-bid the contract next month, it is possible a lease could be given to the NJTHA with the option to give the lease up if a new longer team lease holder is found in time for this season which would eliminate the need for a loan and get them bigger purses.
No news is good news, or it can be bad news; I tend to think it is good news only because everyone is being quiet. No statements from Gural, the NJTHA, or the Governor's office. The meeting of the NJRC is scheduled for 1:30pm today so I imagine there is a little time left to get the leases completed and have the NJRC transfer the licenses to operate the track today.
Once again, I will keep you updated as I become aware of developments.