For photos from the Meadowlands contact

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Racetrack Killer?

Looming over the future of Monticello Raceway is the success of Empire Resort's (the parent company) bid for a casino in Sullivan County.  Even without the raceway moving if their bid is successful, the track should be able to continue at existing purse levels; failure of Empire Resorts to secure a bid may result in Empire Resorts throwing in the towel, taking Monticello along with it or putting it up on the market for sale.  After all, even as a racino, Monticello Raceway is not exactly rolling in the profits and the introduction of a casino elsewhere is bound to draw business away from the raceway.

On the plus side, Foxwoods has pulled out of the bidding for a casino in Sullivan County, leaving only two bidders remaining in the Sullivan County contest of which Empire Resorts has one project.  On the down side, Foxwoods had announced theit reason for pulling out of the contest is its inability to secure financing due to the possibility a casino license may come to adjacent Orange County.  The banks' fear?  Most of those customers expected to come to Sullivan County may be 'hijacked' by a casino in Orange County; resulting in any Sullivan County project being unable to hit its projections, quickly becoming a failure.

To give you an idea of what Empire Resorts may be going up against, here is a press release fromThe Cordish Companies and  Penn National Gaming which are jointly proposing an Orange County casino.  Should they receive a license, will those coming from the Hudson Valley and Northern New Jersey go past this project and head over to the former Concord Resort?

I am as big a Sebastian K fan as there is, but am I the only one that is slightly uncomfortable with a horse making only two starts this season being on top of the Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll?  Now I will be the first one to tell you I wouldn't be surprised to see Sebastian K on top by the end of the year, but there seems to be something wrong with being there after two starts; it seems hype has trumped performance.  There should be a rule that a horse must start a specified number of starts before being allowed on the list.  Despite her loss last week, I would have voted for Perfect Alliance to be on the top of the poll.

It may be only elimination night at Pocono Downs on Saturday, but the 10th race may as well be a championship fight as Captaintreacherous and Foiled Again start next to each other in the first elimination of the Ben Franklin early closer.  Yes, Captaintreacherous failed last year against the older horses in the TVG FFA Series Final, but after the winter off, the Captain should be able to give a better account of himself, especially after his victory in the Meadowlands Maturity.   This is one race I want to watch.

Jackson Raceway lives.  The Jackson County Board of Freeholders has offered a 2 year lease of their fairgrounds to Jackson Raceway LLC with the lease possibly being extended to 5 years.  The board now goes to the MCBG to get back it's license to conduct racing while Jackson Raceway must obtain a meet license.  Whether a license will be issued for 2014 is questionable, but I see no reason racing won't resume come 2015.  If this is the case, standardbreds will once again have a home in Michigan.

No comments: