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Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Push to Attract More Horses to the Meadowlands

Apparently some ideas submitted to last week were worthy ones as the Meadowlands announces some new changes starting with next week's draw.  Starting June 8, the purses for non-winners or one or two races lifetime will be increased 25%, meaning NW1 will be racing for $10,625 instead of the current $8,500 (for non-NJOS races) and NW2 will be competing for $11,875 instead of $9,500 for the non-restricted class, clearly this makes racing the NW1 horses more attractive at the Meadowlands instead of at Harrah's Philadelphia due to the higher purse and with regards to the NW2 horse, Harrah's doesn't have the class, instead the next step up at the Pennsylvania track is NW3 which goes for a $125 more.  So for a $125 less, you can race against cheaper company and then go back to PA for the NW3 is you want to.

Something else which may attract trainers is the fact everyone who races earns 2% of the purse if they finish between sixth and tenth places, this additional 10% will be paid over and above the regular purse.  This may just be the thing needed to get a horse to race at the Meadowlands if the trainer is not certain where to start them.

Lastly, two new late closing series for 4yo and 5yo horses have been added to the schedule.  A pacing series for horses who have earned $50,000 but not more than $150,000 lifetime and a trotting series for horses who have earned at least $50,000 but not more than $150,000 ($200,000 for mares) lifetime.  This ensures for at least three weeks, Fridays and Saturdays will have solid races to card.  While the preliminaries are going for $20,000 each and the final for $60,000, I must confess, I am not sure how many horses are going to want to drop the $1,000 to get into these series.

I suspect the biggest bump will come within the NW1 and NW2 classes, making the Meadowlands a proving ground for the green horses.  Obviously the 2% bonus for finishing out of the money can't hurt.  Time will tell how these late closing series will be received.  Is this the ideal racing the Meadowlands wants?  No, but at least they should be able to put on full competitive races.

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