For photos from the Meadowlands contact

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Best Paces and Happy Birthday PA Harnessweek

Today is Meadowlands Pace night and it is a big night for HANA Harness contest handicappers.  You may find their selections for the big stakes races at the Meadowlands as well as the Hanover Stakes at Balmoral Park here.

Hall of Fame Hollywood Hayden says the 2008 Meadowlands Pace was the greatest one he ever saw.  This is the one where Art Official collared Somebeachsomewhere at the wire, perhaps the greatest upset ever.  I will concur that it probably was the greatest final ever of the history of the

Pace, but for the greatest moment in Pace history, I would go back to the 1980 Meadowlands Pace Elimination where Niatross finished fourth to qualify for the final.   With the suicide speed duel with Safe Arrival and the subsquent break, Niatross' finishing fourth was perhaps the greatest display of pure grit I ever saw.  Unfortunately, I can't find this particular elimination anywhere on the net so here is the 1980 final with Niatross.

PA Harnessweek celebrates its 200th episode this weekend.  If you are not in the market where the show is seen on cable, you may see it here.  The show includes a look back at it's first 199 episodes.

Hold off on burying Truro Raceway.  It seems a group of people, including the former owner of Somebeachsomewhere, Brent McGrath have approached the exposition board with a proposal to keep racing going at the 138 year old facility.  As of now, there is a two week extension to the racing season and the fall meet will be scheduled as planned if an agreement can be reached, the facility will be saved for racing in the future.  As mentioned, it will require changing the mindset of quite of a few ideas that are 'that's the way we always did it'.  Supposedly, all parties were happy after the meeting.

Why does it always come down to the wire before anyone is willing to make changs? 

Some food for thought.  On Thursday night, Yonkers Raceway's total handle for their 12 race card was $823,394.  Meanwhile, Monticello Raceway handled a combined handle of $801,667 for their fourteen race card.  Of course, Yonkers should do better.  After all, they are the big signal on Thursday night while Monticello competes against day time thoroughbred signals.

However, consider the fact while Yonkers had three trotting races on Thursday's card, Monticello had eleven trots on their card; eight of them two year old events, races many gamblers would treat as the plague.  So while Yonkers average wagering figure per race was $68,616 versus Monticello's $57,261,  Monticello can be extremely proud of their reception on the simulcast market.  As for Yonkers, considering the market they have, there must be some head shaking going on.    

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