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Friday, November 30, 2012

Meadowlands Changes; A Surprise Retirement

The Meadowlands has made some changes for the upcoming meet.  The first change is the post time for evening racing will be 7:15 instead of the previous 7:00pm, no doubt to get a better reception at simulcasting locations.  With the prior post time, there was competition at the start of the card with post times overlapping.  With the later post time, hopefully they will be able to get at least the first race off without any conflicts.

On the betting side, the Pick 6 is history.  When there was a large carryover, the Pick 6 drew the attention of horse players, but otherwise it was lightly supported.  The Pick 6 is just not a wager that does well with harness racing, likely a product of the races being too predictable and the small handles harness racing typically attracts.

The Pick 6 is being replaced with an early Pick  4.  The early Pick 4 will have a nightly guarantee of $25,000 starting in the third race.  The late  Pick 4 will begin in the seventh race with a $50,000 guarantee on weeknights and a $75,000 guarantee on Saturday nights.  The Pick-5 returns with a $15,000 nightly guarantee.

Serious horse players need to look at the Meadowlands this coming meet.  Where else in harness or thoroughbred  racing do you have three large guarantees on a nightly basis?

John Gilmour has hung up his colors for the final time yesterday at Monticello Raceway, retiring at the age of 74.  His retirement was handled quietly with no one knowing of his plans ahead of time.  Deciding to go out a winner, he managed to go wire to wire yesterday in with a hosre he trained and co-owned and after getting his picture taken in the winner's circle, he told the track photographer he was retired.  No ceremony, no commotion; just going out his way.  Gilmour retires with 4,492 wins and over $9.5 million in earnings. 

I remember seeing Gilmour race at Monticello for the longest time, first training and driving many horses and then eventually being limited to horses he trained and owned on his own due to age bias in this sport by owners.  Let's face it, racing is a sport for the young drivers and after a while, people just stop comming to you.

Here's wishing a John a Happy Retirement..

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