- Only 65 horses were originally entered for Friday's card at the Meadowlands, and the head of the SBOANJ (you can figure out what it stands for) fired off an angry letter to his membership.
Despite all the time, effort and money that has gone into the battle to keep the Meadowlands open, it would appear to be a mistake. Why did we give up so much of ourselves to make the track viable when you, our members, clearly are not prepared to support that effort?Perhaps the letter had its desired effect; this commenter on John Brennan's Meadowlands Matters blog at NorthJersey.com (also the home of the excellent Ranger Rants blog, where I get all my info and insight on my beloved Broadway Blueshirts from The Record's beat writer Andrew Gross), notes: "They had a full box for Saturday with 137 horses entered." I'm gonna take his word for it, don't feel like counting. [Confirmed.] (And Friday's card seems to be up to a still uninspiring 76.) The card does include two stakes races worth over $450,000 in total purse money, which both drew full fields of ten.
We understand the pressure of following the money, but there is certainly nothing wrong with the purses at the Meadowlands. You need to step up and enter your horses. If you want, split your stables. But abandoning the entry box at the Meadowlands is to doom the track.
On Friday, the Meadowlands is offering ten races for a total of $153,000 for ten races, while Yonkers has 11 for $283,000. It's almost not fair. Plus, from what I've read, the competition is considered to be easier at Yonkers. So, you can use the rah-rah approach for awhile, but hey, people have to pay their bills and make a living. I think it's hard to blame and reproach people for doing what they need to do.
- Brennan also writes about the situation at Monmouth.
Meanwhile at Monmouth Park, the only clarity is that racing will continue through Memorial Day weekend. After that, horsemen Morris Bailey is supposed to take over operation, assuming responsibility for losses that figure to be in the millions unless purses are drastically reduced - thereby dimming fan enthusiasm for what would be lesser cards. Some more details here.[Meadowlands Matters]Worth checking out that link for more info, but it seems as if a deal to keep the track open beyond May 31 is not at all certain.