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No fall 2004 Big M meet

October 15, 2003
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The Meadowlands has filed its 2004 racing dates request with the New Jersey Racing Commission, and it does not include fall harness dates.



The Meadowlands has requested 151 harness dates, beginning on Jan. 2 and continuing through Aug. 7. No fall harness dates were requested because a fall Thoroughbred meet is scheduled to be held at the Meadowlands. However, the New Jersey Racing Commission will not act on the dates request until its Nov. 5 meeting, at the earliest.



Bruce Garland, executive vice president of racing at the Meadowlands, said the extended fall Thoroughbred meet at the Big M is necessary because of the state law that requires a certain number of dates if phone betting or off-track betting is to be allowed. New Jersey racing officials have been meeting to formulate a plan for implementing both phone betting and OTB in the state.



Although Thoroughbred horsemen continue to express their disdain for racing at the Meadowlands, they have not shown any signs of agreeing to a dates reduction, which the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which operates the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park, has sought. A total of 72 dates were requested at Monmouth, from May 29-Sept. 5. Atlantic City Race Course has also asked for four days of Thoroughbred racing.



Freehold Raceway has requested its usual dates. It asked for an early meet from Jan. 1-May 29 and a second meet from Aug. 11-Dec. 31.
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