June 25, 2007


A summation of racing realities

Whereas The Meadowlands Racetrack was anointed the capital for North American Harness Racing from inception on Wednesday September 1st 1976.

Whereas The Meadowlands escalated to world capital for Harness Racing upon it’s acquisition of the Hambletonian in 1981.

Whereas The Meadowlands Thoroughbred program has never been more than a secondary product unable to impact the powerful NYRA tracks across the Hudson River.

Whereas The Meadowlands Standardbred product virtually devoured the existing standardbred tracks across that same river due in part to the brilliant program created by Sonny Werblin Bob Quigley and Joe DeFrank and the expansive one mile track which offered traditional half mile track fans a glamorous and innovative new way to enjoy a great sport.

Whereas that same one mile racetrack was hardly innovative for thoroughbred racing and in fact more confining than the mile and one half track at Belmont and mile and one eighth track at Aqueduct nor was the modest introductory program a remote threat to the powerful Fall Championship programs entrenched in New York.

Therefore it was The Meadowlands Standardbred product that truly captured the imagination of the densely populated metropolitan areas instantly catapulting the State of New Jersey to the pre-eminent position amongst harness racing states.

Whereas the open spaces in and around the Cream Ridge-Allentown area evolved into prime New Jersey horse country given the location of a number of breeding and boarding farms and training centers needed to meet the increasing need for horses.

Whereas horse farms also evolved in other open spaced New Jersey locations, those located in the Cream Ridge area so replicated that of the famed Kentucky blue grass region that it mandated the area’s identity as New Jersey’s “horse country”.

Whereas so many champions were born and raised in New Jersey’s horse country that recognized farms from other states had no choice but to locate satellite farms in New Jersey..

Whereas New Jersey’s resident breeding program evolved into the enviable standard by which to measure all other sire stake programs.

Whereas the scope of the New Jersey Standardbred Racing Program is so much more than just the sire stakes also comprising such venues as The SBOA New Jersey Classic and Miss New Jersey, The Lou Babics, The Harold Dancer, The Charles Smith, The Helen Smith, New Jersey futurities, Green Acres program, early and late closing programs and the season long overnight program for New Jersey owned or sired horses.

Whereas the spring editions of The New Jersey Sires Stakes serve as prime STEPPING STONES to traditional Meadowlands classics as The Hambletonian, Woodrow Wilson,. Mistletoe Shalee, Woodrow Wilson, Sweetheart, Meadowlands Pace, Merrie Annabelle, Peter Haughton Memorial etc it gives New Jersey sired horses an additional leg up to the most coveted stake events in the harness industry.

Whereas the Breeders Cup appearance at Monmouth Park later this year will be indeed a classic spectacle and a great honor for the State of New Jersey, the fundamental reality is that the odds of any those thoroughbred starters being bred, foaled or raised in New Jersey are rather remote.

Whereas the Haskell Memorial at Monmouth Park is the traditional highlight of the thoroughbred season in New Jersey, chances are that not one of the Haskell starters will be bred, foaled or raised in the State of New Jersey.

Whereas the Breeders Crown an annual fixture at the Meadowlands ALWAYS includes a substantial number of starters bred, foaled or raised in the State New Jersey.

Whereas The Hambletonian at The Meadowlands is the traditional highlight of the New Jersey Standardbred season always includes substantial numbers of starters bred foaled and raised in New Jersey,

Whereas a healthy New Jersey standardbred breeding industry not only maintains and increases vital green acreage but ensures that the world focused Hambletonian and Breeders Crown events will always feature substantial numbers of homegrown participants

Whereas The Meadowlands Racetrack has always been the engine that drives the entire New Jersey Sports Complex the majority of the input provided has stemmed from the standardbred meeting.

Whereas a healthy standardbred breeding industry remains a vital source of employment and revenue for local workers, vendors and independent contractors significantly enhancing the economic climate for the state of New Jersey.

Therefore a leveling of the playing field with neighboring states like New York and Pennsylvania via location of slots at appropriate New Jersey racetracks will ensure New Jersey’s position as the pre-eminent racing and breeding state remains intact.

Bob Marks



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