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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday Briefs

The Federal Government has formally been invited to intervene in the New Jersey Sports Betting Lawsuit. With the judge now issuing an Order of Constitutional Question, the federal government has until January 20 to intervene in the case. Presumably, if the Feds don't intervene by then, the government will not be defending the law prohibiting sports wagering in the Garden State. One would presume the Justice Department will have their say.

Will Valley View Downs ever get built? Endeka Entertainment, the third company to be granted the right to operate the proposed Western Pennsylvania casino (and racetrack) has asked for a thirty-day extension to apply for a license from the PGCB to operate a casino by the PHRC. Their request was approved with a new deadline is January 25. Time to get ready for operator number four?

Racing returns to the Meadowlands in one month. Mark December 28 on your calendar.

Any New Jersey horsemen who may have been hoping Governor Christie would not run for re-election are now dealing with the reality he is in the race. If you go by polls, they better get used to the idea the Governor will be around, at least through election day 2016. Seventy-seven percent of NJ residents surveyed think the Governor is doing a good job with fifty-nine percent thinking he should be re-elected to a second terml darn good numbers for a Republican in a traditionally Democratic state. Heck, even sixty-seven percent of Democrats think he is doing a great job. Of course, these numbers are skewed thanks to the Governor's response to Superstorm Sandy; the numbers will trend south from here but he's off to a good start and may scare off some of the Democratic hopefuls.

Personally, I wouldn't worry about the Governor, the problem is the leadership in the State Senate. Until Senate President Sweeney acquiesces and allows legislation permiting an expansion of gaming in the state to reach the floor, it doesn't matter who the Governor is. Being Sweeney is beholden to a South Jersey party boss, I don't see Sweeney changing his position. The best thing which could happen for pro-racing interests is the Democrats get thumped (but not enough to cause them to lose majority status) enough in the next election to cause Democratic legislators to demand a change in leadership which may put control of the leadership roles back in the hands of Northern New Jersey officials..

The bill allowing wagering using mobile devices at racetracks is scheduled for a vote in the New Jersey Senate today. The bill still needs to get through the Assembly if it advances. There is no reason to suspect it will not pass.

I received my ballot of nominees for possible induction into The Living Horse Hall of Fame and there are four candidates up for election; Bettor's Delight (nominated as a racehorse), Fool's Goal (racehorse), Life Sign (stallion), Precious Bunny (racehorse), and Real Desire (racehorse).  Under the rules of voting, I get to vote for two of these nominees.  To me there is no question as to Precious Bunny getting my vote   After all, Precious Bunny was a lifetime winner of $2,281,142 which was in the days before slots at tracks.  Bunny retired as the single-season moneywinning standardbred record holder  and  a lifetime record of 39-21-5-4 and a mark of 1:49.4 as a three year old back in 1991.  Precious Bunny was the winner of the North American Cup, Meadowlands Pace, Art Rooney Pace, Adios, Cleveland Classic, and Windy City Pace.

My second choice was a little more difficult, but I ended up going with Fool's Goal, a winner of $3,057,070 over seven seasons with a lifetime mark of 122-35-9-10 with a lifetime mark, trotting in 1:51.3.    The gelding won the Breeders Crown Open Trot two years in a row, won the Titan Cup three times in four years.  Fool's Goal was also the winner of the Cutler Memorial, TItan Cup, Maple Leaf Trot, and Nat Ray Trot. 

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