N.Y. Developer Jeff Gural Inks 30-Year Deal To Operate Meadowlands Racetrack
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie yesterday announced N.Y. real estate developer Jeff Gural "has signed a 30-year deal to operate The Meadowlands Racetrack," according to John Brennan of the Bergen RECORD. Christie also announced a separate deal “to continue thoroughbred racing at Monmouth Park for at least one more year.” Brennan notes the dual announcements “came after weeks of acrimonious exchanges between thoroughbred horsemen and the Governor's Office.” A request for bids for long-term operation of Monmouth Park “is expected to be sent out in the next 60 days.” N.Y. Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association President John Forbes said that his group “is interested in managing the track.” Gural plans to “begin construction of a smaller grandstand next spring and would open it in the spring of 2013.” The old grandstand “would be razed.” Both deals are scheduled "to be ratified at a special sports authority board meeting Friday.” The Meadowlands winter meet “is schedule to begin Jan. 6” (Bergen RECORD, 12/21).
SURPASSING EXPECTATIONS: BLOODHORSE.com’s Jim Freer reported Gulfstream Park reported “average daily all-sources pari-mutuel handle of about $6.6 million during its first 10 race days in December, surpassing management’s expectations for its first December racing in several decades.” Track President & GM Tim Ritvo said that the average through Dec. 18 “was 14% higher than the $5.8 million average for days in April 2011 that Gulfstream is using as a comparison” (BLOODHORSE.com, 12/20).
SLOT SUBSIDIES: In Baltimore, Hanah Cho reports the Stronach Group, which owns Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, “plans to ask the state for up to $6 million in slots subsidies to help run 146 days of live racing at the two tracks next year.” The move “was part of a deal approved Tuesday by the Maryland Racing Commission, three days after the Maryland Jockey Club and the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association agreed to maintain year-round racing in 2012.” The deal reached yesterday “also calls for the horsemen's group to contribute $4 million to the financially ailing Jockey Club to support the 146 days of live racing” (Baltimore SUN, 12/21).