Thanks to my colleagues for keeping VFTRG active this week. To say it has been a week from... well, you know. Sometimes these things can't be helped.
Anyway, so what happened this week? Some of these you have already heard, some may have missed your radar.
Let's start with John Campbell, who was having somewhat of a renaissance year. Well, that has at least been put on a temporary hold thank to breaking his wrist in a baby race Friday morning at the Meadowlands. Come hell or high water, Campbell is planning on racing on Hambletonian Day.
Speaking of the Hambletonian, Gingras will drive both Pinkman and Mission Brief in their presumed eliminations and then pick the horse he will race in the final after the eliminations are completed. This adds a little more drama to the Hambletonian race; wouldn't this make a wonderful proposition wager?
Racing returning to Jackson Raceway? Well, they are half way there. The Jackson County Fair got a two year racetrack license from the MGCB but they still need to find an operator with the financial resources to feed the purse account for an inaugural season of racing. Once such a entity is found, they may apply for a license to have a race meet and get dates for the 2016 season if they are found soon enough. What about the $1 million sitting at Hazel Park for the standardbreds? Those funds may go only to an existing racetrack, not a new track, so those funds may not be used to restart Jackson Raceway.
Like many people, I don't buy it that Chuck Sylvester had a horse treated with cobalt. While no one has come up with an explanation how the horse tested positive, there must be a logical explanation. If not, this mystery could be up there with why the great Niatross fell over the hub rail at Saratoga Raceway, another case where there has never been a valid explanation.
Work is underway to construct Central New York Raceway Park, a multi-purpose facility which will have auto racing as well as harness racing. The facility is being built without having a license for racing but assuming a license is granted, it will signal a rare occurance. A track built without plans for alternative gambling. Odds are 1-2 the first horses will be racing in Hastings, New York before Valley Downs opens in Western Pennslvania.
Governor Chris Christie will be showing up to Monmouth Park on Haskell Day. Okay, this is a thoroughbred story, but everyone is going to play nicey-nice with the guy who tried to bury horse racing in New Jersey. at one point giving Monmouth Park a week to find new owners or be shuttered. Of course, with the Governor running for President, he wouldn't dare miss this event. What about the Hambletonian the following week? No network television coverage, no Governor.