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Submitted Letters's Blog


Trogdon: On The Meadowlands Stakes Stabling Rule

Published: July 4, 2017 10:55 am ET

Last Comment: July 8, 2017 4:20 pm ET | 4 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

I thought it might be easier to just send this out in advance about the Meadowlands Pace entry box. Fear The Dragon was really in good form Saturday at the Hempt and we were tempted to change plans and go and supplement to the Meadowlands Pace.

I had a private conversation with Jeff Gural, owner of the Meadowlands, a week earlier and told him I would be willing to supplement if it looked like there might be 13 or less entries so Dragon could get a bye and have a week off. But I told Jeff that I thought his 150-mile two-week stabling rule was totally unfair to somebody from Ohio and there was no way I would do that to my horse. It would have forced Dragon to go straight from Pocono and spend two weeks there, while the New Jersey horses all get to sit at home. This is even if he had taken a bye.

For the good of the sport I might have supplemented, but that was the clincher in deciding to stick to his original schedule. Jeff admitted that his rule had unintended consequences but was not willing to change it. I told him that although I am totally supportive of out of competition testing, that his 150 mile rule was totally unfair and in fact, I think, illegal.

I told him and would go on record saying that this geographic rule is terrible for the sport and The Meadowlands, turning it into nothing more than a "B" track which is very sad.

Even if I had already paid into the race in the normal fashion and he made that rule I would have refused to go. I might have even considered legal action because how can you do that to someone like Downbytheseaside who had paid in and everything? I told Brian Brown before the Hempt Final that unless that rule was changed that there is no way I would send Dragon. That is why Brian stated in the winner circle that he was "99%" certain that Dragon would not go. The rule was not changed and Seaside (who I do not own) did not return on the trailer with Dragon back to Ohio and headed for New Jersey right after the Hempt.

Dragon came straight back to my farm and is being rested to get ready for The Adios at the Meadows. My wife and I got engaged there 42 years ago so it is a race that means something to us, especially with Roger Huston calling the races.

I had been planning to supplement to the Cane at the Meadowlands as well, but again if that rule stays in place I will not. I will also never stake another horse to the Meadowlands as long as Jeff discriminates against horses not trained in New Jersey.

The views presented in Trot Blogs are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Standardbred Canada.

July 8, 2017 - 4:20 pmMy thoughts exactly. Fear The

john thomas SAID...

My thoughts exactly.
Fear The Dragon gets penalised because of where he resides.
This gives trainers who reside within the 150 miles an unfair advantage much like the Golden State Warriors having home court advantage in the NBA.
They can in effect have a less demanding travel schedule by getting to just sit at home.
No reason at all the horse cannot be tested by the powers that be with a little effort and some worthy connections to do the job.
I admire Jeff's integrity about the issue but I think he didn't think this through all the way.
"Jeff admitted that his rule had unintended consequences but was not willing to change it". Perhaps he may want to rethink this and find a better way to deal with out of competition testing done fairly and eliminate the 2 week 150 mile rule.
A better way to handle this is is to just find a way to have out of competition testing done the same as it would be done whether you reside around the block or across the country.
One side effect of this rule is that a lot of trainers will be looking to find barns within the 150 miles.
I applaud Mr Trogdon's stance.

July 4, 2017 - 6:06 pmI believe there should be

Roger Haynos SAID...

I believe there should be some latitude for stakes horses as opposed to overnight entries which are entirely a different story. What if a Canadian owner/trainer were blessed enough to get a Somebeachsomewhere type of horse? There needs to be a reasonable curbing of a stringent guideline to better the industry.

July 4, 2017 - 2:34 pmNorm Do you really think that

Dave Snowden SAID...


Do you really think that a horse 149 miles away is less likely to have something than a horse 152 miles away. I applaud the out of completion testing but REALLY what would it cost to test this horse in Ohio instead of New Jersey. It is a tough season for stake horses, a few days at home does a world of good.

July 4, 2017 - 12:11 pmThe rule is there to protect

Norm Brunet SAID...

The rule is there to protect the betting public and yourself from trainers that don't honour the rules of racing. I applaud Mr Gural for taking a stand.

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