For photos from the Meadowlands contact

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Lessons from the Runners

The standardbreds have been shown the door at Hazel Park Raceway and renovations are already underway to convert the track to thoroughbred racing in an effort to keep the track going. The track should last a bit longer as a result of the runners paying a kick back each time they race.  However, the reprieve should be short-lived and the end result of the track closing still seems inevitable, especially as the casinos managed to rig the game in their favor.

In the better late than never category, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed legislation making it legal for telephone betting on races contested at Arizona horse and greyhound racing tracks.  It's so nice that the State or Arizona approved telephone betting finally; especially when you consider the fact the vast majority of people wagering off track are now using their computers to wager (the bill does allow VOIP).  Arizonians may wager on out of state races provided a source market fee is paid to the tracks which hold similar type of races. The governor did veto the provision of SB 1282 which allows unclaimed funds to be used to fund county fairs and breeders awards.

The point is this is a perfect example of why racing is behind the eight ball.  When a state legalized phone wagering, but not Internet wagering it is endemic of how hard it is to implement change in racing.  Rest assured legislating from behind would not be taking place when it comes to casino gaming.

I can't help but notice the lack of human interest stories in the post-Derby coverage of the Triple Crown.  Granted I am not a thoroughbred fan, but any chance of getting me interested in these races has been lost because the last thing I am interested in is reading about who had a work out; these stories truly have my eyes rolling.  Sure there are those who take racing seriously and they will eat these articles up but once again, they are preaching to the choir.  The key is to take advantage of these big races and attempt to attract new players.

In Florida, Gulfstream Park and Calder, recognizing racing against each other harms only the two tracks due to a lack of horses, has worked out a tentative deal to end this head-to-head competition.  It is a shame that Yonkers and the Meadowlands can't work out a similar deal.  Unfortunately, with the horsemen at Yonkers demanding on racing virtually 365 days a year and their leadership seemingly bent on giving Jeff Gural the needle whenever possible, the chance of any deal which would work to the benefit of both tracks seems highly unlikely.

Blue Chip Farms and Chase partnered together to put together a commercial for Chase Merchant Services.  This commercial puts Blue Chip Farms in a good light.  Take a look at the commercial here.

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