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Changes Coming To Meadowlands

Published: January 23, 2015 11:15 pm ET

Last Comment: January 26, 2015 12:44 pm ET | 5 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Meadowlands Racetrack has announced that it will be implementing changes that include suspending ABC classification racing and returning to condition racing in addition to withdrawing its trainer loyalty rewards program.

Beginning with the condition sheet for the week of Thursday, February 5, The Meadowlands will return to condition racing. After meeting with many horsemen and representation of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey, The Meadowlands race office will respond to the request of the majority of horsemen to return to condition racing.

Additionally, The Meadowlands will be suspending its loyalty rewards program. With the exception of New Jersey Owned and Sired horses, the only factor used to determine preference will be the date of a horse's most recent start. The rewards program was a system instituted in 2014 to provide preferences to trainers who supported the spring and summer racing programs.

The Meadowlands will also card overnight races only at the distance of one mile and only with 10 horses on the gate. However, in the event that a stakes race, early closer or late closer consists of a field of more than 10 horses, that race will be contested with horses starting in the second tier and will be raced at the 1-1/8 miles distance.

A press release issued late Friday evening from The Meadowlands states that "these changes are being made at the urging of New Jersey horsemen and the SBOANJ. The Meadowlands is pleased to work together with its horsemen to ensure the best racing and give the horsemen the best opportunity to race."

“We have always been willing to explore any strategy that would bring about the best possible racing at the Meadowlands,” said SBOANJ President Tom Luchento after meeting with Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural on Friday. “Until we have slots revenue, which I feel is not far off, we have to be responsive and creative to whichever concepts will fill the entry box and provide the full, competitive fields that are the hallmark of the Meadowlands. Director of Racing Peter Koch will be issuing his condition sheets to reflect the return to condition racing.

“We hope these changes are reflective of both the needs of the trainers and race office,” Luchento added. “The SBOANJ and the Gural team are partners in making the Meadowlands a success and look forward to a return to the glory days of harness racing in East Rutherford.”

For those with questions regarding these changes, please contact The Meadowlands race office.

(With files from Meadowlands & SBOANJ)

January 26, 2015 - 12:44 pmI GET IT,i understand why

I GET IT,i understand why they "drag" EVERY harness race(not so much thoroughbreds)post times!It's a necessary EVIL.There is a strategy to maximizing the pools.I GET IT.

1)What the tracks have to realize is they're taking the FUN out of the game when you're forced(fast food generation)to wait minutes after posting ZERO minutes to post.
2)They force people to BET EARLY cause they can't be sitting at home FOCUSED on the VIDEO waiting for the horses to get behind gate.
3)It allows syndicates to exploit the pools!I am sure someone is getting paid off to make a simple call to alert them 40 seconds before every race.

Implementing a "one minute" count down clock puts EVERYONE on the same "betting" field.

Could you imagine ordering a burger and they say it will be 3 minutes.10 minutes later it's still not ready and the cook is outside having a smoke!!!

January 26, 2015 - 6:37 amThere is some thought that

There is some thought that the mutuel handle increases by delaying the start. But I agree. Post time is post time. Post it and follow it.

January 26, 2015 - 5:53 amA count down clock is one

John Carter SAID...

A count down clock is one solution but there is a far more simpler solution that all tracks should abide by and that is post time means post time and unless there is a re call or a horse has to go back to the paddock then post times should be respected. Sure some bettors may get shut out a time or two but once they catch on that post time means post time they will get in on time. Post time at some of these tracks is an absolute joke. At Maywood and Balmoral for example the horses are just coming onto the track at zero minutes to post and it is a good 7 to 10 minutes later before the race begins. This is a complete lack of respect to their customer base.

January 24, 2015 - 12:45 pmI totally agree with the

Joe Riga SAID...

I totally agree with the comment below. Seems like all tracks be they harness or thoroughbred don't know what zero minutes to post means. After a race finishes they put up the minutes tithe next race and it's always at least 5 minutes after that before the race actually goes off.
The countdown clock would be a simple and one expensive fix.

January 24, 2015 - 12:43 amHow about doing something for

How about doing something for the handicappers!Like implementing a "one minute count down clock" like they do at Woodbine!

Absolutely ignorant that EVERY harness track "drags" their post time at least 5 minutes every race.People playing online are 2 minutes a head of their time,so if they "drag" the post time 8 minutes they are actually "dragging" it ten minutes for the people playing online.

Nothing worse then playing online and seeing zero minutes to post and bet,only to see 8 minutes later the race still hasn't gone off.

What harness racing is doing is killing action.Once most people bet a race at home,they are committed to that race.You take them out of circulation for 5-9 minutes.

If your going to drag,get a one minute count down clock.

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