Admittedly, I am the least bit interested in harness racing, but feel bad for the harness players and patrons of the Meadowlands in light of Thursday's NJ.com report that the tellers union will not vote on job concessions to keep the track in operation. Clearly I am missing something, since to me it looks as if the track will close down -- and many jobs will be lost -- if investor Jeff Gural cannot work out some kind of arrangement toward a workable business model.
Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations, one would think I would be entirely sympathetic to organized labor (not the case), but as a fan of the sport you would have to be oblivious to think racing can succeed in New Jersey on its own, considering the huge operating costs and no slot gaming to augment purses, much as they have in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New York. I am no insider, but based on Governor Christie's rhetoric about racing and foolish belief that AC is the best place to invest in restructuring, it looks like Mr. Gural is the only one interested in saving the Meadowlands, so for organized labor leaders to scoff at a new business model is a disservice, again, to the fewer fans who support the sport. Really, in all of this, New Jersey's live racing fans are the ones who get the short end of the stick.
Speaking of the Meadowlands, I am planning on participating there in the Horse Player World Series Qualifier on Saturday afternoon. With rain in the forecast for the area tomorrow, I'm figuring Aqueduct will have a ton of scratches, leaving Gulfstream, Keeneland and Oaklawn as the other three contest tracks for me to consider. I plan on going in cold and seeing what happens. It cannot be worse than having done a ton of prep work heading into the January and March simulcast contests at Monmouth Park and losing out.