Thursday, May 15, 2014

Voices Carry

Monmouth Park earlier today re-issued registration forms for the upcoming $300 National Handicapping Championship (NHC) qualifier with one subtle change.

Pimlico, not Churchill Downs, will serve as the third track in play for the Saturday, May 31 contest card, signaling the New Jersey Racing Commission (NJRC) was receptive to the voice of a horseplayer with valid objections about Churchill's recent shenanigans.

Mission Accomplished

Kudos to the NJRC for letting me submit a letter for consideration at Wednesday afternoon's meeting at Monmouth Park.  

On account of my professional obligations, I could not attend, and so contacted NJRC last Friday and spoke with Michael Vukcevich, expressing my objection to Churchill's inclusion in May 31 NHC qualifier at Monmouth, where 4 seats to the Vegas championship are up for grabs. 

Mr. Vukcevich graciously entertained my request to submit a brief letter for public consideration.

Apparently my comments carried some weight, as my cell buzzed this afternoon with a tweet from "Jersey Capper" friend Ray Wallin about the altered contest card.  

"Looks like (Monmouth/NJRC) replaced it with @PimlicoRC"

Evidently, the state's racing commission saw my side!

Pimlico in, Churchill out.

Simple Thesis, Easy Substitution

Signed on for a late-afternoon bankroll-builder contest last week, I soon discovered that Churchill Downs' video feed (and betting) was unavailable on 

ADW operator TVG quickly confirmed that this was because of a dispute over simulcast signals.

More bean counters at the revered Twin Spires, I imagined, trying to squeeze more money out of horseplayers in the end.

Thoughts of Horseplayers Association of North America's (HANA) boycott of Churchill over higher takeout, in addition to Churchill's well-documented unconscionable treatment of Ron Turcotte, only raised my ire and emboldened my case for approaching the NJRC about removing Churchill from Monmouth's upcoming NHC qualifier.

Kudos to NJRC

Even though I cannot play on May 31 on account of a family wedding, the concept of concerned NHC Tour member horseplayers in a live-money contest betting into the pools at Churchill did not sit well philosophically.  

In short, why should Churchill profit from New Jersey players in any way in the wake of recent unfavorable treatment?

On account of solid decision-making, now Churchill will not profit, at least off the backs of players in the May 31 contest.

Horses, matter
Monmouth could have substituted the Iditarod as the third contest track for all I cared.

Pimlico, which mind you could stand to lower its own takeouts as well, will do.

I will reach out to Mr. Vukcevich and the rest of the NJRC on Friday to applaud their open-mindedness and for siding with not just one, but all New Jersey horseplayers on this one, particular since the Commission had already approved the tournament slate and could have simply ignored my plea.  

As an anonymous poster to this website commented minutes ago, "chalk one up for the little guy."


  1. Great job Bill. Now I don't have to feel guilty about playing in this tournament. Lol
    Frankie Sal

  2. Speak and ye shall be heard! Nice job! Glad I could be the bearer of good news (for a change)!