Today the announcement was made that Jason Settlemoir was taking over as CEO and General Manager of the Meadowlands. With respect to the General Manager position, Settlemoir takes over the post which has been vacant since the departure of Mike Newlin who moved on after one season to take over a Penn National property in Florida. Settlemoir takes on this new position will continuing on as Vice President of Racing and Sponsorship at Tioga and Vernon Downs.
No disrespect to Newlin, but Settlemoir was the logical choice from the beginning. Having been with Jeff Gural since the opening of Tioga Downs and re-opening of Vernon Downs, what better candidate could be chosen to execute the vision for horse racing at the Meadowlands than the person who developed the model with Gural? Having developed a model which is successful in upstate New York, Settlemoir should have no problem building on the initial steps his predecessor has taken.The selection of Settlemoir continues to reflect the commitment Gural has towards harness racing. Having dealt with Jason in the past, he has a passion for harness racing and fights the battle to keeping racing as relevant as possible. In addition, having other additional duties in the sport as Chairman of the Board and Past President of the USHWA, Director of Simulcasting at the Delaware County Fair, serving as back-up track announcer at the Little Brown Jug, and being a USTA Director clearly shows this is not a person who is merely holding the seat warm until slots come to East Rutherford.
I am convinced there is a new model for racing to be found which will be successful and it will be found first in East Rutherford. With Settlemoir’s appointment, it re-affirms my belief.