Another race, another victory for Sebastian K in his elimination of the Maple Leaf Trot, winning in a 1:52.2 training mile. Archangel did come to him at the three-quarters but then he pulled away to win by four lengths.
Next week's final promises to be a little more challenging and while we expect him to go a perfect 6-6 in North America next week, it should be a more exciting race with a possible assault at the all-time trotting record he set last week at Pocono Downs.
Another casino in Atlantic City bites the dust as news comes out that Trump Plaza will be closing September 16, making it the fourth casino to close this year (assuming the Revel doesn't get a buyer at an auction in bankruptcy court in early August). This will be another step in right-sizing Atlantic City to face the reality of the commoditization of gaming.
No doubt there will be those who will argue it shows Atlantic City will be unable to withstand the opening of casinos in Northern New Jersey. Hogwash. The fact is with fewer casinos, the money flowing into Atlantic City casinos will be divvied up between fewer casinos making the survivors stronger. True, not like the days when one opened a casino and they basically got to print their own money, but stronger to survive the opening of casino(s) in Northern New Jersey, especially since they will get subsidized by the North Jersey operations.
While I still think a casino will end up at the Meadowlands, the talk about a possible casino in Jersey City is somewhat unsettling to me. Of course a casino in Jersey City would likely make a Meadowlands casino less profitable (how couldn't it?), but that is not my concern. My fear is of certain politicians throwing the Meadowlands under the bus in order to please politicos from the big cities in the North such as Jersey City and Newark.
Remember the rodeo race at the Meadowlands back on June 14? It is now reported that driver Joe Bongiorno was given a $500 fine and a five day driving suspension for his part in the race.
Lord knows I am a supporter of RUS racing, but there is a need to make it harder to get a license to ride. Right now it is pass a written test and one successful qualifying race and your in. Unfortunately, things happen in RUS races like regular races and you are not going to encounter all these mishaps in one race. I realize it is still an exhibition sport in the United States, but you need to show you can handle these horses in these situations before you get your license, otherwise someone is going to find themselves seriously hurt or worse. It's not a question of protecting the public, it's a matter of protecting the other riders in the race.
A sad mystery has developed at the Mecosta County Fair in Big Rapids, Michigan as for two nights in a row, a standardbred collapsed and died after their race. State investigators have pulled blood in an attempt to determine a cause. Being standardbreds are so hardy, an investigation is certainly mandated. Perhaps it is a coincidence, but this is a case due diligence is required.
Remember, Meadowlands Pace night starts at 6:30 in an effort to avoid the concert going crowd which will be heading to the stadium. The Pace is tentatively scheduled for 9:39. If you can't make it, TVG is carrying the entire card. In addition, there will be a one hour show on CBS Sportsnet between 9-10pm tonight. For what it is worth, my analysis is available here while the HANA Harness handicappers make their selections for the handicapping contest..