With no new offers, it appears Balmoral Park and Maywood will be picked apart and sold as if one giant garage sale (albeit by auction) in March. Yesterday was the deadline for new bids for Balmoral Park and no offers were submitted other than the prior bid was deemed unacceptable. So if you are in need of a tote board, track lighting, and other odds and ends, March 16 is a date to mark on your calendar.
Meanwhile racing moves to Hawthorne on January 8 and if you are a horseman, it is kind of hard to feel sorry for Balmoral and Maywood Parks; after all, horsemen will be racing for more money than they have recently done at Balmoral and instead of racing two days a week and twiddling their fingers the rest of the week, they will be racing a good part of the week, allowing horsemen to be fully employed during the race meet before having to go on the road the rest of year.
The Meadows is cutting their takeout rate for 2016. to have one of the lowest blended rates in North America with WPS having a 17% takeout rate with all exotics now carrying a 20% race. In addition, all Pick-4s will be having a $5,000 pool guarantee. Granted, the Meadows will not be handling million dollar handles anytime soon, but for those who are looking for an afternoon track featuring harness racing, it is a track worth looking at in 2016.
The number of mares bred has decreased once again in 2015 in the United States according to Harnesslink while the number of mares bred in 2015 in Canada increased solely on the back of Ontario. If this drop continues, pretty soon the have and have nots will not be about slots but horses. Interesting in the United States is the drop of mares bred in Indiana, New York and Pennsylvania. Perhaps even more interesting is the fact the oft-maligned program in New Jersey which shows an increase of 182 mares bred despite the lack of slots. Obviously, the industry is betting on slots at the Meadowlands, but for an industry which has had little to be happy about of late, it is a strong sign.