TVG and the Meadowlands have announced TVG will be the title sponsor for the $4 million TVG FFA Series. This has been the first significant sponsorship in the United States for harness racing (outside of races sponsored by breeding farms) since Cadillac sponsored the Hambletonian a while back (The North American Cup continues to be sponsored by Pepsi in Canada).
Granted, this is not a sponsorship by a non-racing corporation but for harness racing, having TVG provide sponsorship not only puts money in the coffers of the Meadowlands for naming rights, it guarantees TVG will cover the series as it does the thoroughbred races run with the Betfair moniker and confers instant legitimacy on these races.
Hopefully this is the first in many sponsorships in American harness racing and it leads the way to corporate sponsorships by non-racing entities. May the Meadowlands be the first track to benefit from such sponsorship but may it not be the last for there is no reason why other tracks in geographically desired markets should not benefit from such an arrangement. Of course, it requires someone at the track to have the specific duties of being responsible for sponsorships to work corporations.
On to the courts for the connections of Odds on Equuleus as the KHRC has informed the connections of the horse that the judge's controversial decision to disqualify him from the victory in the $85,800 Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile is not subject to appeal. The connections of the horse will now be heading to the circuit court to get the relief they request.
I have several problems with this. Now let it be stated that I was one of the few individuals who thought the DQ was proper but be that the case, what the heck is going on that the KHRC refuses to allow the parties who feel aggrieved to have their day in front of the commission to present their case even if the decision is still it was a judgment call which may not be appealed? As for the connections of Odds on Equuleus, going to court, in our litigious society should be expected but whatever happened to the days when the racing commission decision was accepted even if you disagreed with it? After all the winner's share is $42,900; not exactly make or break for a stable of this size especially when you deduct the legal fees. Grant it, it is their legal right to seek redress but I suspect a civil court is going to leave the decision to those who should know and demur to the KHRC.
New York State is considering a bill similar to the ban on the transport of horses for slaughter that New Jersey passed last year.