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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Here Come the 'Buts'

Reported in the DRF online today is some of the terms the Meadowlands needed to make to the NJTHA.  The thoroughbred horsemen will have the option to run a six day mixed meet in the spring and a fifteen day turf meet in the fall or early winter.  As for costs, the thoroughbred horsemen would be required to cover all incremental costs for having a thoroughbred meet at the track; for example the starting gate crew and additional employees which may be required to deal with the running of the meet or to handle a larger live audience.  There is no news as to how many of the races during the mixed meet will be thoroughbred versus standardbred.

Also according to the Meadowlands lease the thirty year lease provides for an initial five year period at which point Gural has the option to pick up the next twenty five years.  Hence if Gural is unable to obtain additional financing to build the new grandstand, he can end the lease after five years if he chose.

No sense of saying this is a good deal or a bad deal for standardbred horsemen.  That train has already left the station so there is no sense to even discuss it; especially after all the time it took to come to a resolution.  I am sure Gural had to give up things he rather not have done; I am sure the NJTHA had to give up things thy rather have not done.  In other words; a perfect negotiation. 

The one thing I will say is if this six day mixed meet does move forward, wouldn't it be a great time to have monté racing?  Maybe not in 2012, but perhaps in 2013.

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