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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Too Much Leeway

In DRF Harness, Jay Bergman talks about new language added to the conditions of their stakes races and how the condition may give the Meadowlands too much leeway.  Bergman is 100% dead on with regards to this topic.  Here is the new language which has been added:

Amendments: The Meadowlands reserves the right to add to, amend or delete the conditions of all or any part of these conditions, without liability including but not limited to:
  1. Eligibility of horses, fees and payments, racing conditions, format, the amount and distribution of purses to be awarded in each race and/or elimination;
  2. Time and/or date of declarations; Dates and/or the location of the Races including the date of the eliminations;
  3. Other matters that The Meadowlands determines to be necessary and appropriate for the proper administration, promotion and implementation of the race(s).
I have no problem with the second and third condition; these items tend to be put in for emergency situations, such as when the Cane Pace had to be moved to Pocono Downs from Tioga Downs after massive flooding in the Nichols area.  The problem is with the first item.

I understand the desire to keep trainers (and owners) who the Meadowlands feel are not worthy of competing at the New Jersey track from competing in these races, but the ability to change the racing conditions, format, and how the distribution of purse money is to take place should not be allowed to be changed (the total amount of purses is a different story as it can depend on the number of nominations and other external factors).  When an owner nominates a horse, they should have confidence in knowing the conditions of the race and how many places purse money will be paid out to.  Eligibility of horses is fair game in the track's desire to clean up the sport, even if only the Gural tracks decide to participate in this effort.

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