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NJ Horsemen Look To Christie

Published: November 5, 2009 2:14 pm ET

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According to a release by the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey, the future of the state's racing industry will be one of the issues confronting Chris Christie, who was elected the state’s governor on Tuesday, November 3.

Christie has promised to bring horsemen and casino interests to the table and find a solution that will ensure that both can prosper.

The newly elected governor disputed the approach of the man he defeated in the election, governor Jon S. Corzine, who had threatened to disband New Jersey’s Department of Agriculture during his downsizing of state government earlier this year.

“We’ve had a chance to discuss our concerns with governor-elect Christie and hope to have additional meetings in the weeks and months ahead,” said Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey president Tom Luchento. “We’re looking forward to the fresh start that dealing with his administration will present.”

Horse racing, the breeding industry and agri-business are important to the economic well-being of New Jersey, Christie told a group of horse people last month.

“One solution toward balancing the state’s budget could be provided by the racing industry,” Luchento noted. “Slots at the Meadowlands could, we believe, yield the state a $1 billion windfall each year.”


In a related note, Harness Tracks of America has clarified Christie's position on the New Jersey racetracks / slot machine situation via an item in its Daily Executive Newsletter.

The item appears below.

Yesterday’s Executive News carried a direct quote from now governor -- then candidate -- Chris Christie of New Jersey that slots would remain the province of Atlantic City. The quote spoke for itself.

What was not known here, because it was not publicized, was a campaign promise of help for the sport made by Christie to horsemen at a fund-raiser held at Deo Volente Farm.

The statements, both made by a candidate then running for office, will await the new governor’s actions. So will we, rather than cast aspersions on Christie’s concern for racing, or his intentions. He might, for example, fulfill both commitments by brokering an extension of the A. C. track subsidies.

(With files from the SBOANJ and Harness Tracks of America)

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