Although negotiations with the New Jersey Thoroughbred horsemen regarding percentage splits of simulcast money still continue, the Meadowlands will re-open on Saturday, May 7. Contrary to previous reports, the track will not reopen under the management of Jeff Gural, but under the terms of the previously agreed upon deal between the state of New Jersey and the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey (SBOANJ).
Michael Drewniak, a spokesman for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, issued the following statement late Friday: "With significant progress being made toward Governor Christie’s goal of establishing a self-sustaining racing industry, the May racing calendar at the Meadowlands Racetrack will proceed as scheduled. New union agreements with concessions have been reached by Jeff Gural, but at this point it is clear that additional time is needed to complete work on the outstanding issues that remain.
"The live Standardbred meet will open on May 7 and simulcasting will continue and both will be held until the end of May. The parties will continue discussions next week in an effort to try and resolve the remaining issues.”
Before the 2011 meet opened in January, the SBOANJ agreed that if a lease to continue harness racing there was not successfully negotiated, it would be responsible for any losses the state incurred by pledging future purse earnings.