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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Nickel Claimers

The Meadowlands has gone where it has never gone before with the standardbreds.  On Friday evening, there is a F&M conditioned tilt for non-winners of $2,000 in last five starts going for a purse of $5,000 and to top that (or is it bottom that?), Saturday has a race for $5,000 claimers going for a purse of $4,500.

It is obvious the Meadowlands is having a problem to attract horses to fill the card, but it is more a case of the horse shortage taking its toll.  One has to look at Vernon Downs and see they cancelled Friday's race card when only 55 horses entered the box, 25 horses short of what they typically need.  Vernon took those races and split them between Saturday and Sunday to fill out those two cards.

With the Meadowlands racing only two days a week, going to one day a week is not really an option.  Fortunately, with Freehold closing last week, the Meadowlands was able to card these races and draw some Freehold shippers up North.

Yes, it is a question of free competition and the lack of slots is hurting the Meadowlands greatly  The shame is if the race meets were coordinated, there would be no need to drop down to nickel claimers.  Unfortunately, the days of coordinating race meets seems to be a thing of the pass.

But while there will be those taking delight in the Meadowlands hard times, it is important to remember, with the exception of Mohawk, no harness track in North America will out-handle the Meadowlands.   We know which product the public prefers.


Anonymous said...

Shame on Vernon management for cancelling Friday's races with 55 horses drawing in. That is more than enough for a 9-race card. And Pacingguy, you know more than anyone else that without the special treatment given to the Meadowlands syndicates artificially boosting the Meadowlands handles, of which they contribute next to NOTHING toward the horsemen or the purses, that their handle would resemble Dover Downs handles of the 80s. No one at any other racetrack is betting the Meadowlands via simulcast.

Pacingguy said...

A nine race card of six horses each does not make a good race card, certainly for bettors. Of course, for horsemen, having to beat only one horse is a dream come true.

Anonymous said...

It's not that people "prefer" The Meadowlands - racing patrons are purely creatures of habit, and seem to just automatically do what they've "always done". It's the same reason that Monticello will outhandle Chester despite racing cheap horses, with bad drivers, and the same few trainers winning every race - the "regulars" are used to "their track", and it takes a lot to get them to switch. Obviously the Meadowlands racing doesn't resemble "Meadowlands racing" anymore, but the old timers just continue to wager on what is now an awful product (and where they have even LESS chance to win than they used to, thanks to having to play against a cartel that is afforded the unfair advantage of having a direct link to the tote system, unavailable to "regular guys").