Meadowlands Hires Haskell To Enforce On Track Policies

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

In a continuing effort to provide the most competitive racing product possible during this season’s “Championship Meet”, The Meadowlands will employ USTA licensed and ROAP accredited Presiding Judge Lou Haskell to enforce Meadowlands on-track policies beginning on Friday, March 31.


During the course of the “Championship Meet”, The Meadowlands will have eight race cards telecast to a national audience on the popular “America’s Day at the Races” program on the Fox Sports Networks via an arrangement with the New York Racing Association (NYRA).


This exposure to a new audience, the majority of which are existing Thoroughbred horseplayers, is invaluable. It’s a reasonable assumption that some of those watching The Meadowlands races on Fox Sports the past few seasons may have cultivated an interest and are contributing to the handle surge thus far in 2023. To keep the interest of those new to our races and attract more customers, our product must be competitive and entertaining.


Meadowlands President Jeff Gural has long observed that the style of racing has become more courteous and less contentious, resulting in a less interesting wagering product. The culture from the glory days at The Meadowlands had changed, and he set about to change it back.


“Harness Racing has missed out on all that TV can do for a sport, which was a huge mistake,” said Gural. “Through our arrangement with NYRA we will have one chance to return to relevance with the Fox Sports broadcasts and we must have a product that is exciting and competitive to capture the public’s interest.


“Without the benefit of the large subsidies from casinos, as is the case in surrounding states, it’s critical that we reverse the trend of declining handle at The Meadowlands to maintain the purses at a competitive level. Last weekend’s back-to-back $4 million plus handle indicates substantial progress.


“We have been working with the drivers toward more exciting, less predictable racing and the increased handle this year shows that it is working. I’m hopeful that they will continue to cooperate in the best interest of our on-track product.”