Having turned down the possibility of merging with the KYSS program, the NJSS program remains in trouble as what was once one of the stronger sires stakes programs in North America continues to be a shell of its former self. The finals of the NJSS now go for $150,000 which when compared to programs in Kentucky, New York, Ontario and Pennsylvania is woefully lacking, especially when there are only two preliminary legs in each series. The Green Acres program for second tier statebreds race for $25,000 finals, which considering their $7,000 preliminary legs is a joke. With purses like this, what is going to attract people to bred to NJ-sired horses besides Rocknroll Hanover and Muscle Hill? Unfortunately, not much.
With a small yearling crop of state-breds, not only will it be hard to put together sires stakes races, you really can't depend on a local horse population to fill races at the Meadowlands. Breeding farms are hurting further, imperiling racing in New Jersey.
What is needed is a revamp of the NJSS program. The first thing I would suggest is adding companion races for NJ state bred horses. By having a series for NJ bred horses, it will increase the number of broodmares in the state which will help breeding farms by allowing them to partially become equine nurseries.
I would also bring back sires stakes races for 4yos. By offering races for 4yos, it gives owners an additional year to earn money in state restricted races. Knowing you have three years to race in sires stakes program programs instead of two should increase the value of state-sired horses which hopefully will stimulate the breeding programs and encourage sires to stand in New Jersey. Until horses can nominate as yearlings to the 4yo program, a late closing event should be offered for NJ sired 4yos.
Lastly, offer significantly higher purses for maiden, nw2 and nw3 races for NJ-sired horses, perhaps as much as double the purses for non-restricted horses. When owners realize their maidens can race for $12,000 and additional purses for other green classes, it will make investing in NJ-sired horses less risky, thus stimulating interest in NJ-sired horses.
Something needs to change. Otherwise, the NJSS may become a thing of the past.
Bulletproof Enterprises Resurfaces in a ORC hearing. The ORC has outlined the reasons for suspending those racing entities allegedly connected to David Brooks of Bulletproof Enterprises. Jeffrey Brooks et al will get their chance within the next three weeks to make their case to have their suspensions reversed. Depending on the final disposition, this story may finally come to an end.