Eight eastern states have agreed to adopt uniform medication and withdrawal rules effective Jamuary 1, 2014. While this effort was spearheaded via the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, one would assume the same standardization would apply to the standardbred world. Out of the eight states, the ones conducting standardbred racing are: New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, and Massachusetts.
The future of horse racing is the Internet but when you build a grandstand, don't you think the grandstand should seat more than 200 people? The Ohio Racing Commission does too. They have told Penn National Gaming to come back and show the ORC how they can increase seating for harness racing. In particular, they are talking about the replacement for Raceway Park where they have roughly 400 people sitting in their grandstand. No, no one expects PNG to build a grandstand for 5,000 people, but at least make room for those people who may actually want to attend the races. In other words, keep the Race in racino.
Could Dresden Raceway and Hiawatha Horse Park be the next two tracks to bite the dust in Ontario? That is the latest rumor. Being Dresden is operated by the same people who owned Windsor Raceway it wouldn't surprise me (granted Windsor lost their slots). I also wouldn't be surprised if Woodstock Raceway ceases operation.
Dresden is a perfect example of what happens when a track pockets the money without many conditions. Take a look at the picture in this story and note how well maintained the facility seems to be. Couldn't the track operator have used some of the funds they received in the past to keep the facility somewhat maintained?
Fair Start Anyone? Remember back in 2010 when we first brought up the subject of adopting a Fair Start Rule in America, starting with New Jersey? Well, the proposal still lives. It was supposed to be on the agenda for the last NJRC meeting but was removed due to more pressing issues. It is next scheduled to be discussed at the May meeting of the NJRC (they tend to meet every other month), but I wouldn't hold my breathe. Clearly it is a low priority for the industry so it is one of those issues which can be bumped for other things. One day we will have an answer, yes or no.