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Friday, July 26, 2013

Plainridge Takes a Blow

Has Plainridge Racecourse been dealt a devastating blow in its attempt to get the sole slot parlor license?  The Boston Globe reports that former track president Gary T. Piontkowski allegedly had been for many years been making personal money withdrawals from the money room totaling $1 million.  This information came to light in testimony before the state gaming commission, the very ones who will be deciding who gets the gaming license so coveted by Plainridge.

While Piontkowski's 'resignation' can't wipe out the harm his alleged actions may have had on their quest to gain the slot license, hopefully the fact he is no longer with Plainridge will mitigate the damage his actions have done.

Driver Brian Allen, who plied his trade mostly at Saratoga Raceway and on the NYSS circuit has likely thrown his career away with his conviction regarding involving moral turpitude.   A driver/trainer with over 3,000 driving wins and $18 million in earnings, is certainly done in New York where they are strict about not licensing people convicted for such crimes.  Whether another state will give him a chance after this is not likely.  What makes people do such things is beyond me.

Management at The Meadows has some drivers and owners annoyed in that management scheduled their stakes races on Adios Day at the end of the card which is making drivers having to decide where to be with the Meadowlands having eliminations for their big season-ending stakes races tonight.   I have no problem with the Meadows for bunching the stakes races up and putting them later on the card, but perhaps the next time racing secretaries meet in Florida, they can consider whether they will be requiring drivers to be in the same place at the same time.

Tonight is the second leg of the Hambletonian Day Monté Race late closing series.  As with last week, there will be two divisions, this week with seven horses each competing to qualify for the $25,000 final on Hambletonian Day.  The first division will go off at 7pm at the Meadowlands while the second division will hit the track after the third race on the regular card.  For those north of the border, RUS returns to Grand River Raceway as there will be one non-wagering event on their card tonight.

Fair racing is still big in some states such as Ohio.  Here is an article about the upcoming two days of fair racing at Xenia, Ohio.  The quality of the horses may not be what you are used to at your local raceways, but there is something better at the fairs, being part of the action and the relaxed atmosphere.  Sort of harness racing nirvana.  For those states who no longer have fair racing, they have lost something truly special.

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