For photos from the Meadowlands contact

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

New Jersey is Classified

Following its successful implementation at the Meadowlands, the SBOANJ and Freehold Raceway has decided to ditch conditioned racing for classified racing starting in 2014.  This will be a welcome change for those horseplayers who are annoyed by having to deal with conditions such as the second race this past Friday.

Fillies & Mares - Non-Winners $1,500 last 5 starts
Non-Winners last 3 allowed $500
Horses that raced for a purse of $6,500 or higher in last 2 starts Inel
AE:Non-Winners 3 Ext. Pari-Mutuel races life.
Opt. Claim $6,000 (NJSO Preferred)

Do I think classified racing will expand past the Garden State border?  Classified racing has been tried at certain tracks elsewhere with limited success.  Horsemen are still suspicious of the racing secretary who 'plays favorites'.  Has it happened in the past?  Perhaps.  At least you will hear it from those who feel they were at the short end of the stick.

I wouldn't be surprised if other tracks take on classified racing.  For tracks which regularly have to combine non-claiming races to get full fields, it is probably a wise thing to do whereas tracks which are able to amass full fields using a straight condition will probably keep doing things the way they are.  Down the road if more tracks show increases in handle as a result of moving to classified racing, then other tracks may join in; after all find a horsemen group which doesn't want to race for more money.


Anonymous said...

What track can make the claim that they enjoyed an increase in handle due to classified racing?

If you're referring to the Meadowlands, that's a bad example on TWO counts:

1- there's no way to determine that any rise in handle is attributable to "classified racing", as opposed to any other assorted factors, and

2 - virtually ALL of the handle increase at the Meds last year is directly attributable to the handle of the cartel; and with the track receiving very little benefit from that handle, there's ultimately no additional money going to the horsemen.

Pacingguy said...

1 - My sources tell me handle did increase at the Meadowlands outside of the 'cartel'. Since I can not reveal my sources, I realize some will choose not to believe this; that is their prerogative.

2 - Regarding little benefit to horsemen. A little of something is better than a lot of nothing. In addition, if this stoking the pumps, providing liquidity gets additional money wagered, it helps the horsemen.

3 - No, there is no way to 100% say classified racing increases handle but then you can't prove it doesn't. However, if you can make the argument you have more competitive fields and reduce the number of odds on favorites winning, you will get more interest from gamblers.