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On The New Jersey Front

Published: September 6, 2011 1:14 pm ET

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Three different news stories from the New Jersey horse racing industry reared their figurative heads over the course of the long weekend. One involves Freehold Raceway, while the others are in regard to a legal challenge and a lease dispute on the thoroughbred side of things.

On Sunday, September 4, the Asbury Park Press ran an article in which it discussed the state of Freehold Raceway with Chris McErlean, president of Pennwood Racing Inc., Freehold’s parent company.

The APP report explains that the raceway opened its meet last Thursday with low purse levels and race dates. McErlean was quoted as saying, “Business is OK compared to last year, but the track loses money."

The APP article also stated that Freehold is under increased pressure from a new off-track wagering location, and that the track is seeking relief from $3 million it annually pays in 'regulatory assessments.'

On Monday, September 5, an article by The Star Ledger explained that Morris Bailey, the man that won the bidding process to lease and operate Monmouth Park, is not happy with the current state of the transfer of the track.

The Star Ledger report explains that Bailey has sent a letter to the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority in which he has declared the memorandum of understanding surrounding the lease null and void.

NJSEA spokesman John Samerjan has been quoted in the report as saying that he believes Bailey's stance is a negotiating ploy.

A report by on Saturday, September 3 explains that the Thoroughbred Breeders Association of New Jersey is legally challenging New Jersey Governor Chris Christie regarding his veto of casino subsidies to the state's racing industry.

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