Just more proof that horse racing in the United States can’t survive economically today.
Freehold Raceway has released a reduced purse structure and the Meadowlands is expected to follow with drastic purse cuts if the New Jersey legislature does not quickly fulfill promises to provide a purse supplement.
Freehold issued a statement to its horsemen on Tuesday which said:
“No deal has been reached as of yet for a new purse supplement. We have been overpaying purses by over $100,000 per week. With the current purse schedule, we would be in an overpayment situation in another week. This will be the new purse schedule until a new agreement is reached. Unfortunately, we will not be able to write an invitational pace, open mares or open trot until a new agreement is reached.”
The Meadowlands has also indicated that it could possibly be cutting its purse structure by as much as 45 percent by the end of the month if no agreement is forthcoming from Trenton. Additionally, the leading standardbred track in the country will be asking for payback of the overpayments it made in January.
Without a purse supplement, the Meadowlands’ nightly purse distribution would drop from the current average level of $220,000 per program down to $90,000 nightly.
That is a 60% dropoff. You would think with its close proximity to New York City, racing at The Meadowlands and even Freehold would be thriving. Apparently not, remember the New York Racing association even had to file for bankruptcy almost fifteen months ago. Few race tracks today can survive without support of other forms of gambling(casinos, poker), even then racing establishments often struggle to survive.
Sadly I think horse racing may be dead in this country about 50 years from now. It could happen alot sooner. I’ve been to the races no more than five times since leaving the Navy 18 years ago. If a racing fan like me don’t attend the races, then the sport has problems.
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