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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Monmouth Park Offer - Racing at Meadowlands Likely a Go

According to the Asbury Park Press, the NJTHA and Morris Bailey may have been trying to come up with a proposal to get the impasse at Monmouth Park broken through.  However, up to now the Governor's office has been resistant to accepting the proposal.  Under the deal, Morris Bailey would still be the leaseholder on Monmouth, but he would assign the contract to the NJTHA to operate the meet.  By doing so, if the thoroughbred horsemen felt they wanted to race extra days, they would be able to without the Meadowlands thoroughbred license, but under the existing Monmouth license.

As we previously reported, the Attorney General refused to approve the transfer of the Meadowlands thoroughbred license as it needs to be held by a leaseholder and not a third party.  Hence, it appears the transfer of that license is dead.

Why the Governor is resistant to the thoroughbred horsemen's plan is beyond me.  While Morris Bailey may assign the contract to operate the meet to the NJTHA, as the original leaseholder, Bailey would be ultimately the responsible party; in effect the guaranteeing lease payments and obligations to the state.  Perhaps the problem is the NJTHA would be dealing with Jeff Gural directly at that point.

Anyway, it seems the Meadowlands meet is likely a go on January 6.  If thoroughbred horsemen can't get an agreement with the Governor's office in time for the December 20 meeting of the NJRC, legislators are prepared to quick fix existing legislation to change the minimum number of racing days for OTW and ADW wagering to include only harness racing.

My question is while the NJTHA may not be able to stop thoroughbred simulcasting at the Meadowlands as there would be, at least temporarily a Monmouth Park, the question remains would out of state thoroughbred horsemen permit their signal to come to New Jersey?

One thing for certain, with the December 20 meeting of the NJRC only nine days away, any dealing that will take place needs to happen, and fast.  It should be an interesting week.

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