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T-Bred Date Issue Puts Big M Deal In Peril

Published: December 7, 2011 8:26 pm ET

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According to a report, Jeff Gural’s deal to take control of the Meadowlands Racetrack from the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority could be in jeopardy due to issues which have arisen on the thoroughbred side of the state’s horse racing industry.

An article by John Brennan in The Record has explained that the deal which would have seen Morris Bailey take over control of thoroughbred raceway Monmouth Park has ‘fallen apart,’ according to New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association President John Forbes. The report has quoted Morris’ lawyer as saying that his client, “is extremely disappointed that the transaction did not close.”

Forbes has been cited as saying that his group will be heading to court with the state government after it tried to change some of the terms of the agreement. According to Forbes, the issue is in regard to the state government handing over a permit for thoroughbred race dates for the Meadowlands Racetrack.

Gural has long established that the Meadowlands will not be hosting live thoroughbred racing if it is under his control. The Record report indicates that the NJTHA wants the permit for the Meadowlands thoroughbred dates just in case additional funding for horse racing becomes available. If the funds were to become available, the state’s thoroughbred horsemen would then try to get the race dates switched to Monmouth in an effort to have extra race dates.

The report has cited Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey President Tom Luchento as saying that he hopes the issues which have arisen on the thoroughbred side of things in the state do not put Gural’s deal in jeopardy. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has aligned both of the deals to close at the same time due to complications which can possibly arise due to simulcasting issues.

“Just because their deal may be dead doesn’t mean it has to be over for us,” Luchento was quoted as saying. “I’m sorry about the thoroughbred situation, and I sympathize with them. But that’s not my problem. I think the governor has seen that we have been working with him.”

(With files from The Record)


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