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Governor’s Cup, Three Diamonds Cancelled

Published: February 5, 2019 1:17 pm ET

Last Comment: February 11, 2019 3:59 pm ET | 4 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

The Meadowlands Racetrack announced on Tuesday (Feb. 5) that it has been forced to cancel the 2019 editions of the Governor’s Cup and Three Diamonds.

The New Jersey track announced the cancellations via release, the contents of which appear below.

The Meadowlands has stated that the cancellation has occurred because breeders that have previously helped sponsor the ‘Big M’s Grand Circuit races have declined to continue their contributions for 2019, which has thus created a shortfall in the track's stakes account.

Meadowlands Racetrack operator Jeff Gural has stated that the 2019 editions of the Governor’s Cup and Three Diamonds – both of which are for two-year-olds – can be reinstated if sufficient sponsorship is found, or else they will be cancelled for 2019.

As the purse subsidy bill (Senate Bill 2992) awaits the signature of Governor Murphy, The Meadowlands is finalizing live racing and stakes purse details for this season.

Although it is clear in the language of the bill that the subsidy money is to be used for overnight races, a number of breeders who have previously helped to fund Meadowlands Grand Circuit races over the past few seasons via sponsorships have declined to continue their contributions for 2019, creating a shortfall in the stakes account.

As a result of this shortfall the Governor's Cup two-year-old colt pace and Three Diamonds two-year-old filly pace will have to be cancelled for 2019 without the sponsor contributions.

"The breeders had another record breaking year at the sales and seem to think that the pressure is now off at The Meadowlands with the purse subsidy, but it's far from off," said Meadowlands CEO Jeff Gural.

"I am adding a minimum of $1 million from sports betting to the $6 million subsidy for overnight purses. The language is clear that the subsidy is not for use in our Grand Circuit stakes, so nothing has changed so far as funding those. If we get sufficient sponsors for these races we can reinstate them, if not they will be cancelled for 2019."

It's important to realize that while the bill passed contains language to continue the $20 million in total to the horse racing industry for five years with $6 million directed to Meadowlands purses, it also requires the track to demonstrate that the funds are in fact improving the racing industry in New Jersey.

The parameters set out by legislators include impact on handle, the number of horses in races, the success of the New Jersey-bred horse in their home state and increased attendance and revenue at the tracks.

The overnight purses will be increased immediately after the bill is signed. Another increase will come in late March or early April, when the competition for horses increases.

February 11, 2019 - 3:59 pmThe update from The

Mike Mobley SAID...

The update from The Meadowlands is good news. Maybe Jeff Gural read our comments!

February 7, 2019 - 12:12 pmOn Thursday (Feb. 7) a

Jeff Porchak SAID...

On Thursday (Feb. 7) a statement was released by The Meadowlands offering an update on this situation:

February 6, 2019 - 6:40 pmJust another symptom of

Just another symptom of having the same barns with the same owners entering the most horses, and not just winning all the races but carving up most of the purse money... I think this is an unfortunate trend that will continue.

February 5, 2019 - 4:43 pmI think it would have made

Mike Mobley SAID...

I think it would have made more sense to cancel The Goldsmith Maid and The Valley Victory, the two "fall final four" races for 2yo trotters. The Meadowlands already did away with its two signature races for 2yo pacers, The Woodrow Wilson (which was once run for a purse of $2.16 million) and The Sweetheart, back in 2013. The New Jersey Classic, held annually in late May dating back to the 1980's, for a $500,000 purse, no longer exists either. What's next to go, The Meadowlands Pace?

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