First, a number of passionate bloggers have picked up the void left by the major media. The Knight Sky, absolutely one of the best at this craft, in my opinion, posted a timely piece on Kelly Breen, trainer of winner Pants On Fire in Saturday's Louisiana Derby, and along with Pacingguy and Alan from Left At The Gate, have fueled discussion on the fate of NJ's standard-bred racing and white knight Jeff Gural, who I find as blunt as they come (January 21 and March 25), even as I am not a follower of pacers and trotters.
|Pony Bob, pictured here, still relevant as the deliveryman
for NJ Horseplayer's minuscule 4NJBets startup funds
Meanwhile, fellow NJ-based NHC Tour blogger Terry at Red Rock Or Bust touched upon the interesting quandary for Monmouth Park, some 40 days before the tentative Saturday, May 14 opening, what with the bidding for a 5-year operating lease and 50% take of OTB revenue still up for grabs. As I have commented in the past, a 141-day meet is obscene and unrealistic in this environment. The Monmouth meeting, at most, should run 70-90 days, with weekday racing (including Tuesdays, when Saratoga is dark) from July 4 weekend through Labor Day weekend, and weekend racing through Columbus Day. I seriously hope the legislature and horsemen recognize the preposterousness of a 141-day meet and reach a common ground on a logical calendar. The 2010 "Elite Meet" was clearly a step in the right direction, and could be easily improved upon and perhaps welcome input from the horseplayer community. And it is scary to think that the only certainty the NJ racing fan has is 6-day turf meet at the decrepit Atlantic City Race Course.