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.