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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

New Era in Jersey Begins (Tentatively)

The card is out for Friday at Monmouth even as a deal to lease the track to Morris Bailey has not quite been finalized (nor has one with Jeff Gural at the Meadowlands). John Brennan reports on his Meadowlands Matter blog that today's June 1 deadline (which I've seen characterized as "tentative") for agreements with both tracks is not quite expected to be met.

But Jeff Gural, who is on track to take over at the East Rutherford harness racing mecca, tells me he is seeking to soon be put in charge of decision-making while the attorneys and regulators figure out how the changeover will work specifically. Morris Bailey, a friend of Gural’s who is expected to run Monmouth Park, likely is not even as far along as Gural is, since he got started months later. [Meadowlands Matters]
While Gural has a master plan to stanch the red ink, the centerpiece of which is the razing of the existing grandstand to be replaced by a smaller one across the way, we haven't heard anything comparable from Bailey. I guess he's depending on some new marketing magic (good luck with that) and, better yet, OTB facilities to be built in conjunction with Gural.

In any event, I know this is a Friday card and I haven't seen the weekend purses yet. but Monmouth will have to do better than what it's (presumably) offering that day. There are 11 races on Friday's card for total purses of $300 million thousand; an average of just under $27,500 a race. There haven't been any Friday cards for direct comparison, but just for fun, last Saturday's card at Monmouth had purses of $545 million thousand for 12 races (over $45,400 per race). More relevant-ly, Belmont on Friday is offering $363 million thousand for just 9 races; a bit over $40,000 per race. And we all know that NYRA's purses have only one direction in which to go at this stage. It's likely to be a far different story this summer than last, when Monmouth's purses (though not the races) far outshone those at Saratoga.


El Angelo said...


Anonymous said...


opps dude.

alan said...

yeah, well at least I got the average purses right. :-/

Anonymous said...

You'll know things have hit rock bottom at Monmouth when the Penn National horses start shipping in.

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