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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Pocono Red; Case Returns? Exclusion in Season; Helping Heather

The Meadowlands is safe as 2011 ends, but another track is at risk.  Mohegan Suns at Pocono Down's owners are in technical default, but have received a waiver from their lenders at this time.  The problem?  The inability to refinance debt due in 2012 which has caused them in regulatory filing to indicate "The delay in refinancing fiscal 2012 maturities is among conditions that “raise substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern,”

The question would be will the PAHRC issue a license to race to a track that can't guarantee paying its debt?  This conceivably could result in a one year suspension of racing at the most, if at all as there would be a bankruptcy filing if an agreement could not be reached and they could not receive debtor in possession financing (usually they can).  If a Bankruptcy auction were to take place, make no mistake someone would want to buy the property so they can get a pre-built racino and racing would continue.  The only problem is would horsemen and management have a cooperative relationship as they do now?

Walter Case Jr. had a meeting with Jeff Gural at the Meadowlands and has been informed he will be welcomed IF he can get licensed by the NJRC.  While I will be happy to have Casey back at the Meadowlands, if memory serves me correct, the NJRC once denied him a license.  I don't recall it being a total revocation.  I would hope the NJRC give Walter a chance by issuing him a probationary license for a couple of years before giving him a full license.  This way, Case gets a chance to drive, and the state has an out if it turns out a mistake was made.  HRU reports that Case made a commitment he would stay at the Meadowlands and not head back to Yonkers Raceway.  Regarding Walter's legendary kicking habit, Case agreed to use a special sulky which will not allow him to free his feet from the stir-ups during the race.  If the NJRC doesn't give Case a license (and I would expect probationary), a disservice would be done to Case as he tries to show he is a changed man, and the Meadowlands.

Excluding trainers is in vogue these days with word coming that Chris Marino has been excluded from Pompano Park. Marino has had two major violations this year; a violation for Flunixin at Pocono Downs and this December a TCO2 violation at Pompano Park. There have been a few other violations over the year as well. Marino has trained up at the Meadowlands as well in the past; something tells me he would not be welcomed there as well.

Help Heather Help Others: Harness racing personality, Heather Moffett is looking for more Facebook friends as she has committed to making an $800 donation for obtaining 4,000 friends.  She is 350 people short.  Help Heather by becoming her friend.  For more information, you can check this site out: Please give her a hand as she helps others.

Assuming I don't write any further today (don't count on it), I wish you a Happy New Year.


Anonymous said...

The threat to racing and casino operation in PA probably passed when Mohegan Sun got the waiver, but it's an interesting case.

Mohegan Sun in CT is losing money (the reason the loans can't be repaid), but those holding the notes can't foreclose on that property since it's on Native American land.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is making money, but because it's not on Indian land could be grabbed by the bank(s) if there's a decision to foreclose. How's that for a kick in the horse's behind?

JLB said...

Happy New Year to you, and congratulations on another fine year of showcasing issues important to racing.

I question the wisdom of a racebike where Walter can't remove his feet from the stirrups. I would think that would pose a danger to him in the event of an accident (though maybe there is some form of safety release). More important, either he has the maturity to control his past impulses, or he doesn't, and that, to me, is the issue here.

Pacingguy said...

Of course we will never know for sure if he has that maturity to keep the feet in the stirups unless he drove in a regular bike, but I suspect he has; but his willingness to use a special bike is just another way to get him back on track.