At its Friday, March 18 meeting at Freehold Raceway, the New Jersey Racing Commission (NJRC) addressed several issues relevant to harness racing.
The commission granted Penwood Racing’s request to reshuffle the 2011 race days for Freehold. That track’s 2011 meet began on January 1, and was supposed to run until June 5, then resume racing on August 12 through December 31, will race three days – Thursday through Saturdays - beginning in April and concluding on May 21. The dates cut from the spring meet will be added to the fall meet and the track could still race 168 days this year, but that could change if bills currently awaiting Gov. Christie’s signature allow both Freehold and the Meadowlands to reduce their 2011 dates.
The “fair start pole” rule was approved for publication, and will now be sent out for public comment passed and will now be sent out for public approval. The rule calls for the implementation of a yellow start pole that would be 200 feet before the start and be two feet tall. The pole would be used to disqualify a horse from the pari-mutuel wagering pools if the horse has not reached the fair start pole when the mobile starting gate reaches the race’s starting point. The rule would provide an opportunity for bettors to receive a refund of their wagers if a horse they wagered on did not receive a fair start and was disqualified.
The commission also agreed - for the first time - to allow for split sample testing for blood. That proposed rule will also be advertised for public comment. (harnessracing.com)