The classified system, apparently you love it or hate it. There has been plenty of conversation regarding the classified system being proposed for the Meadowlands. In fact Standardbred Canada has a poll regarding the classified system. As of this writing 49% say the classified system will be good for the horsemen and the customer; 31% say it will benefit neither.
I understand the hesitation regarding the classified system. While I am a fan of classified racing in theory, I was not a fan of it when it was conducted at Tioga Downs. The idea of classifying horses relative to which horses drop into the entry box each week is a horrible idea for the gambler. A horse could be classified as B3 one week and the following week classified as C1 not because their performance got worse, but dropped in class just because some better horses show up.
If you are going to have classified racing, horses should be classified based on their ability and their ability alone. A horse's classification should change only if their ability to race improves or declines, not because some better horses ship in the following week. The racing secretary can still card races based on which horses drop in the box, but at least the gambler is not going to be subjected to fake class hikes or drops.
Question 7, which permits the expansion of gaming in Maryland passed on Election Day. In addition to allowing table games at existing slot parlors, it authorizes the establishment of a new casino in Prince George county. While bidding for the one license will be conducted, speculation has it that it is pre-determined to be at National Harbor which means Rosecroft Raceway is once again in jeopardy of closing. However, this story has plenty of chapters remaining.
Lest anyone think harness racing is the only one in trouble, Hollywood Park may be racing its last fall meet as speculation has it after their spring meet which begins in April, Hollywood may meet the same fate as Bay Meadows, becoming a housing development.
New Jersey standardbred horsemen can't catch a break. First they get hit with Superstorm Sandy, which stops racing at Freehold due to the lack of power. Today, Freehold is closed not from Sandy, but a nor'easter which dropped a foot of snow in the Freehold area. With luck, the raceway will resume racing on Friday, but the way things are going, it may be Saturday. This is four racing days which standardbred horsemen can barely afford to lose.