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Hot-Button Issues With Jeff Gural

Published: March 21, 2014 9:50 am ET

Last Comment: March 21, 2014 7:17 pm ET | 3 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

There has been no shortage of news coming out of New Jersey recently -- trainers told they aren't welcome, drivers told they're not driving and feet told to stay in stirrups.

On this edition of Trot Radio, Norm Borg goes one-on-one with The Meadowlands' Jeff Gural in advance of his appearance next Tuesday as the keynote speaker at a Q&A Session with the Ontario PC Party in Milton, Ont.

The Q&A session will take place at Granite Ridge Golf Course, and will be hosted by MPP for Halton, Ted Chudleigh and Guelph PC Candidate Anthony MacDonald. Gural will issue the keynote address, and noted that he was reluctant to appear since he felt that Ontario's horse racing industry "doesn't want to hear what he has to say" about the relationship between horse racing and government -- one Gural knows all too well given his background in New Jersey with Atlantic City and Gov. Chris Christie.

"I told [Anthony] what I thought and he said, 'no, no, that's fine, we'd really appreciate it if you'd come up."

Trot Radio will feature more of what to expect in Gural's keynote address at a later date.

What Gural and Borg did discuss were some recent issues that made headlines at the Meadowlands, including the removal of driver Joe Bongiorno from his drives last Saturday night, the news that trainer P.J. Fraley has been effectively banned from the Big M, and his thoughts on hock-brushing with the driver's foot, or what's commonly called 'kicking' a horse.

Here are a few quotes from Gural on these topics.

Gural on Bongiorno's comments:

"You have to make it clear that if things go your way, you're still trying to win. I think that's the most important thing."

Gural on hock-brushing or kicking:

"I talked to all the drivers before the meet started and I told them that anyone who kicks a horse, it will be the last time they drive a horse at the Meadowlands. I made it as clear as that....The perception is bad."

Gural on trainer P.J. Fraley:

"We told P.J. that he's no longer welcome at the Meadowlands....I'd rather not go into the reason."

To listen to the full interview between Borg and Gural, click the play button below.

Trot Radio - Episode 319 - Jeff Gural
Audio Format: MP3 audio
Host: Norm Borg

The opinions expressed are those of the participants and do not necessarily represent those of Standardbred Canada.

(photo courtesy

March 21, 2014 - 7:17 pmI enjoyed this interview very

Jim Brown SAID...

I enjoyed this interview very much Mr. Gural, it was right to the point and it didn't miss a punch. The Medowlands is setting a good example and it is also upholding the integrity of the fans which is vital to our industry.

I'llHaveAnother - Ontario Needs Racing

March 21, 2014 - 2:25 pmMr Gural is the best thing to

Mr Gural is the best thing to happen to Harness Racing in years....His operation should be copied by all tracks if we wish to survive the post Sarp era......

March 21, 2014 - 12:19 pmI am a strong supporter of Mr

I am a strong supporter of Mr Gural and he certainly is head and shoulders above anything we have in Ontario and sadly probably always will be. That being said it certainly is not "natural justice" when someone can have his livelihood possibly destroyed without and open hearing and a chance to respond to accusations.rumours,jealousies.cronyism,nepotism etc.
Millions have given their lives in the fight against Star Chamber practices, and it behooves Mr Gural to give open hearings at least in these situations. Then he can certainly use the Trespass To Property Act to ban anyone without cause but the public could than make their own judgements!!

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