Day At The Track

Meadowlands to apply for 68 days in 2019

03:38 AM 12 Oct 2018 NZDT
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Meadowlands Racetrack, harness racing
Meadowlands Racetrack
Chris Gooden photo

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands will apply for 68 live racing dates for the 2019 season by the October 15, request for dates deadline of the NJ Racing Commission.

The main factor in forcing us to reduce dates is the failure to obtain a purse subsidy that would enable us to compete with the Pennsylvania tracks when they open in late March.

By reducing dates we believe it would help to be able to attract enough horses to race during that period and we are quite certain that without the subsidy racing more than 68 days would be impossible.

The thoroughbreds have also advised us that they would like to race in the fall and they have the legal right to do that but we believe that if we were able to get the subsidy, which is split between the standardbreds and thoroughbreds, we might be able to work out a schedule that would be beneficial to both breeds.

This will unfortunately force The Meadowlands to drop the fall stakes program. The Fall Final Four and possibly the TVG Championships will have to be relocated or cancelled along with The Kindergarten series.

The purse account deficit is another issue as without any subsidy the funds available limiting the daily average to approximately $110,000 which is not enough to attract enough horses to fill Meadowlands cards when the PA tracks open. Fewer dates will permit an increase as we attempt to field races that will be attractive to the horseplayers.

As it stands with Monmouth racing in the fall and the purse revenue status quo, the schedule will be Friday & Saturday from January 4 through Hambletonian Day August 3 then Thursday - Saturday the last two weeks of December.

We hope in the next few weeks that the legislature will act on the purse subsidy legislation in which case we would revisit this with the expectation that we could increase the race dates including a modified fall schedule.

by Rachel Ryan, for the Meadowlands

 

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