Big Racing This Weekend - The North American Cup eliminations take place this weekend at Mohawk Racetrack while the Artiscape and Bettor's Delight takes place this weekend at Tioga Downs. Admittedly, I am not up to snuff to provide my handicapping selections for these races but they promise to be interesting cards. Tioga Downs will be offering a $5,000 guaranteed Pick 4 on Sunday in conjunction with the USTA's strategic wagering program.
Liberals Outline Transition Plan - The Ontario Government has outlined they will be allocating $50 million towards the transition of racing to a slots-free future over three years in the budget. The government has established a committtee to work with racing interests on a transition plan. On this side of the border, it is unkown if this money also includes funding for Employment Ontario to help displaced workers find careers outside of racing or if the funds are to be allocated solely on racing. If the Ontario government is determined to pull the slots out from racing, at least they are finally seeking the industry's input. It would have been nice if this transition plan was in place when the boom was lowered on Ontario racing, but better later than never. Meanwhile Kawartha Downs joins Windsor Raceway in announcing that racing will be coming to a end at their facilities the way it looks right now.
New Jersey Considering Unfair OTW Legislation - New Jersey is considering offering tax breaks on the materials to be used in building OTWs in the Garden State to help facilitate a build out. The problem is the bill will only help the operators of Monmouth Park and Meadowlands; the tax benefit not offered to Freehold Raceway or Atlantic City Race Course. Last I knew is the building out of Freehold's and ACRC's OTW network can only help racing in the state on the whole. One has to wonder, as far as the state government is concerned that Freehold and ACRC can end up in the scrap heap.
Meadowlands Filling Cards - I guess it is a case of listening to the horsemen helps. This weekend the Meadowlands with their purse increase has been able to fill their race cards, in some cases to overflow levels as Saturday night, there are some eleven horse fields and one twelve horse field in the nw$4,000 series which will feature the top money earners in the preliminaries competing for $25,000 in a final. Clearly increaseing the purses has helped but the money is going to have to come from somewhere eventually, if the handle doesn't cover the increase purses, expect some stakes races to be eliminated or race for less money in 2013. But for now, people can't argue that the short fields are keeping them from wagering.