The Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey (SBOANJ), representing the horsemen and women who race in the Garden State, will "vigorously oppose” Freehold Raceway's request of only 90 racing dates in 2013.
The Freehold application for dates, submitted on Monday, would have the track closed in January and February and race only 90 dates.
"By virtue of legislation, Freehold Raceway is required to race 192 dates per year,” said SBOANJ President Tom Luchento. "The SBOANJ has the authority to consent to a lesser amount of days, and we have accommodated Freehold's past requests. However, we made it clear to Freehold that we would not accept anything less than 120 dates, and we think it is important for the track to be open for live racing in January and February.
"Dropping more dates does not work for our horsemen,” Luchento explained. "It makes it impossible for our horsemen to qualify for their health coverage and pension, and we plan to vigorously oppose Freehold's application for 2013. Without SBOANJ approval, no dates can be awarded for 2013.” (Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey)