If you can't beat them, find a new niche. That is the attitude at the Meadowlands as they announce a new two week series starting this week, The Gina Giant, which is for horses that started for a claiming tag of $12,500 or less in their last three starts. Eliminations go for $12,500 with the final going for $20,000.
Clearly the Meadowlands would prefer to be top dog with regards to having the best horses racing at the East Rutherford oval, but with the lack of slots, the best horses are racing primarily at Harrah's with some at Yonkers and Pocono Downs so what is a race secretary supposed to do to fill their race cards?
Being we are seeing gamblers expressing a preference for full competitive fields instead of the top horses, Race Secretary Peter Koch has decided to bring cheaper horses in to fill race cards. The past two weeks, the C-1 and C-2 classes were used in the Dash for the C Notes series; the next two weeks it will be the $12,500 claimers being seduced to race at the Meadowlands with the hope of winning a jackpot for this caliber of horse ($20,000). By offering this class, the Meadowlands should be able to draw at least thirty horses which will provide at least three races this coming Saturday evening. Does it work? Well Friday and Saturday nights both provided $3 million plus handles suggesting the strategy is working.
It would sure be nice if we can have Saturday night cards with the best horrses in the nation gracing the Meadowlands every Saturday night, but I rather see competitive fields of C-1s. C-2s, and $12,500 claimers instead of short fields in virtually every race. Most bettors it seems would agree.
Upcoming in the Northeast this week:
Tuesday, April 9 - Pocono Downs - Bobby Weiss Series (3yofp) 3rd leg
Wednesday, April 10 - Pocono Downs - Bobby Weiss Series (3yocgt) 3rd leg; The Meadows - The Trotlikeawind Trot Series (3yoft) 1st leg
Friday, April 12 - Meadowlands - Night Styles Pacing Series 2nd leg; Yonkers - Blue Chip Matchmaker series 4th leg
Saturday, April 13 - Meadowlands - The Gina Giant, Hudson River Pacing Series 1st leg; Pocono Downs - Bobby Weiss Series (3yocp) 4th leg; Yonkers - George Morton Levy Memorial series 4th leg