If you opened up Twitter when Rick Dutrow was reinstated with a stay and could race at New York tracks off his 10 year suspension, there was quite a bit of incredulity. Harness racing went through a similar situation at the Meadowlands a few years ago during the Ledford raid and subsequent suspension.
NYRA and the Meadowlands are/were considered public entities, and using things like private property rights are not in the arsenal.
With the announcement that Jeff Gural has been granted a 30 year lease at the Meadowlands, that is all about to change. He told Harness Racing Update in a detailed interview:
When asked if anyone who has applied to race at the Meadowlands would be rejected, Gural replied, “ I would think so.”
Woodbine Entertainment does similar, so arguably the two tracks stand as one. If someone gets a long suspension, I highly suspect you won't be seeing them race at the Meadowlands now if granted a stay.
Several people had an influential year in harness racing this season. Here are six of them (pdf, page 4).
I haven't been playing California racing for well over a year now. I even hadn't been playing it before I announced my reasons why here. Interestingly, in that piece I surmised handles in the short-run would be fine, but they fell off a cliff, so I was completely wrong. They took a solid short-term hit in handles, and the long term (as with any takeout increase we've seen in racing) doesn't look bright either. They will be comparing handles this season to last seasons horrible numbers, so maybe the press releases this year will look better, though.
Harnessracing.com reports that the interest in some of the Meadowlands late closing programs are good. Let's hope they have a great meet.
The O'Brien voting came out and San Pail was the unanimous choice for older trotter of the year.
Have a great day everyone!
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