Pitty the Meadowlands. This weekend, the Spring Preview series is being conducted. These races, purses for $15,000 have finals going for $30,000 (est.) or $35,000(est). as long as 18 horses drop in for each division. So how did these races fill?
3yo trotting fillies (nw1) - Ten horses (no final, same conditions next week)
3yo trotting fillies (nw2) - Did not fill
3yo trotting C&G (nw1) - Eight horses (no final, same condition next week)
3yo trotting C&G (nw2) - Did not fill
3yo pacing fillies (nw1) - Eleven horses (no final, same conditions next week)
3yo pacing fillies (nw2) - Did not fill
3yo pacing C&G (nw1) - Eighteen horses ($29,000 final next week)
3yo pacing C&G (nw2) - Eight horses (no final, same condition next week)
Only one division had enough horses entered to merit a final? Three divisions didn't even have enough horses to fill? Four divisions had enough horses to get on the card but not to have finals, but will just race for $15,000 purses the following week. This with purses for the eliminations higher than the purses at Pocono and Harrah's. It makes you wonder what's happening.
One of course must consider the fact with certain trainers excluded, the horses trained by them are not welcome by default so the Meadowlands is beginning with a smaller pool of available horses but you would think other trainers would have horses which would fill these cards as well until you realize Pocono Downs is currently conducting the Bobby Weiss Late Closing Series for non-winners of three which means there is competition for the same set of horses. (albeit some of those horses in the Weiss are aiming high).
When you consider the work Meadowlands Race Secretary Peter Koch goes through to fill two race cards a week, the above example shows the Meadowlands simply can't compete against the Pennsylvania tracks for horses. It would appear the Meadowlands has two choices; modify their conditions to attract the upper classes at Freehold which would hurt Freehold or throw in the towel and race the majority of their dates in the winter where the supply of horses will runneth over.
Not feeling the love: On the other side of the pond, the UK is involved in a national campaign for control of Parliament. While I don't anyone needs to worry about the Green Party winning control of the legislative body, it is interesting to note the Party would consider the banning of horse and greyhound racing after the completion of its planned review of racing, factory welfare, and animal welfare issues. No, there is no need to worry about a ban on horse racing anytime soon, but when a political party takes an issue such as this up, it is time to stand up and take notice.