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Luchento pleads with industry to enter horses

May 10, 2011
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On Tuesday, May 10, Tom Luchento, president of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey (SBOANJ), wrote an open letter to industry participants, slamming them for failing to support the Meadowlands. Luchento wrote the letter after just 65 horses were entered for the upcoming Friday card. The letter appears below:
 
Dear Horsemen:
Saturday night the Meadowlands Racetrack opened with a full card and world-class racing. Everyone was happy and excited to be back at harness racing’s premier track. But here we are a few days later and the reality is that you, the horsemen and horse owners, have failed the Meadowlands.
 
It is beyond comprehension how there could only be 65 horses in the entry box for Friday.  It is like a kick in the teeth to the SBOANJ, Jeff Gural and all those who stepped up to help. It is a disgrace.
 
Obviously, the future of the Meadowlands could not mean very much to you if you are not supporting the entry box. Despite all the time, effort and money that has gone into the battle to keep the Meadowlands open, it would appear to be a mistake.  Why did we give up so much of ourselves to make the track viable when you, our members, clearly are not prepared to support that effort?
 
We understand the pressure of following the money, but there is certainly nothing wrong with the purses at the Meadowlands.  You need to step up and enter your horses.  If you want, split your stables.  But abandoning the entry box at the Meadowlands is to doom the track.
 
We go, hat in hand, to the governor’s office and legislators, pleading your case because you claim you want the Meadowlands.  Without the Meadowlands the other tracks at which you are racing are doomed as well.  But still you fail to understand this.
 
We will lose the confidence of the governor and the legislators if we do not believe in our own industry and in our most important racetrack, the Meadowlands.
 
We thank those horsemen and owners who “get it” and are entering their horses.  If you are not, if you think the “other guy” is taking care of this, wake up! Stand up and be counted.  Support the entry box at the Meadowlands or do not be surprised if all the efforts of the last five months will have been wasted.  And the Meadowlands will be gone. 
 
The fault, horsemen and owners, will fall directly in your laps.
Sincerely,
Tom Luchento
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