In Illinois as the IHHA has reached an agreement to extend their contract with Balmoral and Maywood on the same terms through October as it expires on June 30. Of course, the contract needs to be approved by the bankruptcy court before it can be put into effect.
Of course, that assumes there are racetracks to race at. The Johnstons are to find an acceptable buyer by June 29 or face the judgement against them. Supposedly there are prospective buyers out there; it is unknown whether or not they are interested in racing long term. It is also reported that the Johnstons have petitioned the courts for two additional months to file their reorganization plan so perhaps it will buy some extra time.
Meanwhile, no state budget has been approvnd come July 15, the Governer plans to start shutting down government, and purse money for state fairs may dry up. Still no word on casino gaming. I suspect if nothing is voted on yet regarding gaming, it isn't happening this year.
Meanwhile the clock continues to tick. Is this the year harness racing dies in the Prairie State? Hopefully not.
This weekend is a big one at Pocono Downs. I'll have no part of it with their obscene rakes. Instead I will look at the TVG Trot Friday night at the Meadowlands. A short field but intriguing as Ake Svendstedt unveils another pupil, Mr. Picolit S, an eight year old son of Scarlet Knight. He makes his North American debut off of one 1:55 qualifier at the Meadowlands, following a similar path as did Sebastian K.
One difference though between the two. While Mr. Picolit S has back class, 2014 was certainly not his year as he earned the equivalent of roughly $34,000. He won the 2013 Coppenhagen Cup defeating none other than Commander Crowe and competed successfully against some top European talent. The question is which horse shows up? If he shows his back class he toys with this field. He is reported to be ready but if you think you are getting the morning line of 10-1, you will be disappointed. I expect people remembering last year's debut of Sebastian K will pound this one down to no more than 6-1.
If you are looking for something a little more known, I like DW's NY Yank though there will be little value there. If you are looking to play the shipper angle, then Flanagan Memory is worth a look.