The Monticello Raceway contract continues. As reported by the DRF, the main issue is legislation which caps horsemen's share of racino profits to 2013 levels meaning if a full casino comes to Monticelo Raceway, horsemen may lose out on revenue as wagering at the racino can increase.
The fact this issue has come up is not surprising being SOA of NY President Joe Faraldo is representing the MHHA in contract negotiations (as he does with many of the horsemen groups). This is an issue which rankles him as the head of the Yonkers horsmen association as he fears his horsemen at Yonkers getting short changed when slots are replaced by table games.
What amazes me is they are fighting over an issue which is set by law. Why tie things up when the law expressively forbids Monticello to pay more? A more prudent position would be to sign a one year contract and work on the legislature to change the law; then at least you are fighting over something real instead of something the law forbids in the first place. That is unless you like racing for a third of what you were racing for because you have restricted simulcast wagering..
In the meanwhile horsemen and the track continue to suffer from the lack of revenue. Everyone suffers in the long run as a result of this ego move.
Meanwhile, Chicago horsemen are idle for another weekend over the issue of recapture which allows tracks to recover loses through recapture Make no mistake, this is a biggie as recapture is a legal right the tracks have under current law. Once again, perhaps getting the law changed would make more sense than asking the tracks to give up rights conferred up them by the Illinois legislature.
Miami Valley opens tonight, replacing the old Lebanon Raceway and a lot of the top horsemen in the Midwest will be visiting or setting up shop at the new 5/8th mile oval. For those planning on playing Miami Valley, the passing lane is a thing of the past. It should be interesting to see if/how strategy changes without this crutch. Instead of being the garden spot, the two hole can be a heartbreaking position.
In today's HRU, Dean Towers wonders if harness racing would be in a better shape if it remained the summer time county fair sport instead of going big time. I wonder that the Meadowlands has been both a blessing and a curse. It brought harness racing in to the big time but at the same time it made race horses a widget instead of a member of a stable.