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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Where are the Baby Purses?

One of the biggest complaints which come from those concerned with the declining yearling crops is the cost and rewards of owning a yearling is out of wack.  Purses are too low for the beginner classes (maiden thru nw4) compared to what overnight horses, in particular cheap claiming and conditioned classes, go for.

While this idea will not make owning yearlings a bargain, why do we ask our 2yos to race for no purses in baby races?  For example, at the Meadowlands, it has been over a decade since baby race had a $1,000-$1,500 purse.  Other tracks such as the Meadows and Buffalo Raceway used to promote their 'Learn and Earn Races' where horses would earn money as they learn how to race.

I understand why the non-racino tracks don't offer baby races with purses, but the racino tracks certainly can afford to put purses on their baby races.  Why not have 2yo qualifiers to prove a horse meets the qualifying standards for the track and then offer 2yo non-wagering baby races with a $2,000 purse for horses who meet the qualifying standards?  No, no one will get rich on these purses, but a couple thousand dollars earned in these races will make a dent in the owner's expenses.

Some news regarding the Meadowlands which doesn't include Jeff Gural or Brian Sears; the opening of 'The Backyard'.  A description of the new dining options in the outside area appears in The Record.

Dresden Raceway in Ontario opens on Canada Day (July 1) with the entire operation being run by General Manager Greg Blanchard who is the Raceway Manager at Western Fair District (WFD).  The Dresden Agricultural Society has taken over the track from the owner of the now defunct Windsor Raceway.  This season will b abbreviated with 11 racing cards, primarily on Sunday afternoons.  With WFD closed for the season, much of their team will be working at Dresden.  It will be interesting if they are able to work their magic and draw more people to the races.

In Massachusetts, the sunshine over Plainridge Racecourse is turning partly cloudy thanks to the State's Supreme Court's ordering a referendum to repeal casino gambling in the state to appear on the November ballot.  This means, all the efforts to open a casino at Plainridge, allowing it to survive; may have been for naught.

With casino gambling being approved this past November, there is a good chance this referendum will go down to defeat, but the fact they are even allowed to offer a reversal referendum on the issue the following year is plain wrong; it's as if they are keeping to push the same issue until they get the decision they want.  This creates needless uncertainty for the casino industry, racing industry, and the general public.  The only one getting rich on this are the professional campaign people who will run the campaigns for both sides.

Despite the lack of a thoroughbred meet this year, Colonial Downs has announced their standardbred season begins on September 17 with the barn area opening on September 10.  As long as their license is not pulled,  harness racing is a go.

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