In Florida, the suicide battle between Gulfstream Park and Calder Race Course continues with the two tracks planning another year of competing against each other, starting July 1, 2014. However, there does appear to be some conversation to see if a compromise could be reached for thoroughbred interests realize it is not in the best interests of thoroughbred racing to have two tracks, less than 10 miles apart, racing at the same time.
While Calder and Gulfstream Park are within the same state, no one seems to discuss the foolishness of having the Meadowlands and Yonkers Raceway racing at the same time. Granted, the distance is about 20 miles (and 30 minutes if the GWB is not being used as a political weapon) and there are competing horsemen groups, involved but each track is poaching on each other's potential wagering handle.
Are you telling me, considering how few days the Meadowlands races, there is no way for the two racetracks to set up their schedules so they can co-exist and maximize their profitability? Yes, there are few fans who actually attend the races but wouldn't it be better if the live track fan base was at one track instead of split between the two ovals. I realize with slots, handle is not as important to the New York horsemen and being the apparent animosity between Joe Faraldo and Jeff Gural with their different philosophies regarding the future of racing, there is little desire to come to an accommodation despite the fact in the long run, it would be to the betterment of horsemen in both states.
Talk about snake bit. Buffalo Raceway has cancelled opening night three times due to the weather. If all goes to plan, Buffalo opens up Wednesday night, January 15 which happens to be the night Buffalo is scheduled to be part of the Great White North Tour. The forecast currently calls for snow which is appropriate for the area.
Racing suffered a couple of losses this weekend with the passing of Jack D. Parker Sr., father of drivers Jack Parker Jr. and Howard Parker. He also has a daughter Lynne who raced on the NJ fair circuit when it existed. In addition, Chip Noble passed away during the evening. The adjective used to describe Noble the most is 'gentleman'. I would like to extend my sympathy to both families.
Kudos to horsemen at Pompano Park who came to the rescue when Davie Police contacted the track about 5 stallions who were rescued from a farm being severely malnourished (a total of 19 horses were confiscated). These horses are now in the process of being rehabilitated.