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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wednesday Bits and Pieces

The Meadowlands had a struggle putting together a race card on Saturday night with only six of the thirteen races drawing a full compliment of ten horses; four races having less than eight horses including a 4yo open pace with five starters.  In addition, a $10,000 claiming race is on the card, which could be a nod to the availability of lower class horses now that Freehold has closed. Only six 3yo pacing fillies are going in the NJSS.  It will be interesting to see how the bettors respond.

The curtains come down on Wager and Win's inaugural meet at Cal-Expo Saturday night.  There is no racing on Friday night, most likely because a good number of horses have headed out of town.

The good news in Toronto is the city council has rejected the opening of a new casino in the city which has to be a blow to the OLG's modernization plan.  Unfortunately, the bad news is the city council also rejected the expansion of gaming at Woodbine, meaning while slots and horse racing is fine, there will be no table games at the racetrack.  This presents a problem because it means in all likelihood, the OLG will pull the slots out of Woodbine and place them wherever a casino is eventually built.

Yonkers Raceway's revamping of nomination and sustaining fees has apparently paid off as twelve colts have entered for the Art Rooney Pace, necessitating in eliminations for the first time in a number of years.  While eliminations won't be required for the filly companion race, the Lismore, a full field of eight will go to the gate.

The Raceway at Western Fair District's Molson Pace is starting to shape up into a very good race with six invitations already accepted.  So far, Aracache Hanover, Foiled Again, and Versado head the list of invitees.  The Molson card closes out the spring meet at the Raceway.

The headline sounds so good, "Freehold Wagering Tops $26 Million".  Then when you think about it, it shows how bad things are in Freehold when you realize there were 61 cards of racing contested.  While the daily handle averaged $426,229, which for a small-time track isn't that bad, only 0.$59,368 of it was wagered on track.  When you look at how much the track and horsemen make commission-wise, we have a model which can't survive long-term.  The track promises some changes on and off the track by the time they reopen on August 28.


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