The ban against George Brennan driving at the Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs has been lifted following a talk between Jeff Gural and the driver Sunday afternoon at Tioga. The driver assured Gural that his comments were misconstrued and were not an endorsement of cheating. One controversy is put to rest.
Of course, this was one controversy which did not need to occur. As operator of these three tracks, Jeff Gural has (and should have) the ability to ban those he feels will harm business, but the fact remains this whole situation could have been avoided if Brennan and Gural had a conversation when Brennan's comments were first published in the New York Times before instituting the ban in the first place. Harness racing has enough scandals to deal with; we don't need to create any artificially.
Update: Harnesslink which has been on top of this story from the beginning reports Jeff Gural's response regarding the fact other trainers are not being scrutinized as much as Lou Pena as being: “I agree others may also be violating these rules which also needs to be addressed and I intend to do that,”
Meanwhile, if you have not already caught the action, check out the replays of yesterday's running of the Artiscape Open Mare Pace and the Bettor's Delight Open Pace which were contested at Tioga Downs.
First, the Artiscape Open Mare Pace won by Dreamfair Eternal in a track record 1:49 for aged pacing mares.
Lastly, the Bettor's Delight won by Clear Vision in 1:48.2, one fifth off the overall track record for the pace.