Power Cap

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20 March 2010

New Jersey Racing Highlight Of The Week

As the intense corruption endangers the exsistance of New York racing, I thought it would be a good time to highlight some of the greatest moments in New Jersey horse racing. As New Jersey takes over the role of premier racing venue in the Northeast, it should be known that New Jersey has a rich racing heritage. Especially a heritage of trying new things and blazing trails. In the highlight below Spend A Buck shows tremendous courage to hold off Crème fraiche. At the top of the lane Spend A Buck is a beaten horse; somehow he calls on all of his class and holds on. From Wikipedia:

Earlier in the season, Spend A Buck had won two races at the newly reopened Garden State Park Racetrack in Cherry Hill, NJ: the Cherry Hill Mile on April 6, and the Garden State Stakes on April 20. Before the season had begun, Garden State Park owner Robert Brennan had put up a $2 million bonus to the horse that could win the two April prep races,the Kentucky Derby, and the May 27 Jersey Derby, Garden State's signature race.

Spend A Buck owner Dennis Diaz opted to skip the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes, and thus trade Spend A Buck's chance to win the Triple Crown for a shot at the bonus. Cordero, Spend A Buck's regular jockey, was committed to another race that day, so Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. was to ride Spend A Buck at Garden State. Spend A Buck won the Jersey Derby by a neck over eventual Belmont winner Creme Fraiche, capturing a $2.6 million prize, the largest single purse in American racing history. That record stood for 19 years, until Smarty Jones won the 2004 Kentucky Derby and a bonus inspired by Brennan's.

Due to Spend A Buck skipping the last two legs of the Triple Crown, the Triple Crown races immediately put up a bonus of their own, to prevent that from ever happening again.

It was New Jersey innovation that forced the triple crown to match New Jersey racing with a triple crown bonus. Perhaps it will be New Jersey innovation in 2010 with its "category killer" Monmouth meet that will raise the bar and set the standard for other tracks to follow.


The_Knight_Sky said...

Raising the bar is a good thing. While the summer meet-2010 is a one shot deal, I can't help but wonder why wouldn't a similar a plan help tracks like Laurel/Pimlico/Colonial ?

It is time to find out if racing can succeed on its only without slots revenue. Quality + Quantity.
Is it enough? or does it need lower takeouts in the equation?

We shall soon see.

G. C. said...

The Monmouth "category killer" track idea is something that has been kicked around for a few years. A commenter named Cholly invested the idea and now New Jersey is implementing it.

To my eyes New Jersey is poised for tremendous success. Not only are they prepared with an excellent plan but they are fortunate to make this move at the time when New York racing looks ready to die.

The_Knight_Sky said...

For the record who is "Cholly" ?

And I'm not at all certain NY racing will die because of 3 months of weekend action at the shore.

Everything will be back to normal after Labor Day anyway. Still a lot must happen before this is plan gets tweaked for the long term.

The Meadowlands Harness cut to 3 day week recently Thursday-Friday-Saturday. No Sunday live racing.
Things will be rough in NJ for a while.

G. C. said...

"Cholly" is a commenter that proposed the idea of a "category killer" track offering mega purses and an abbreviated schedule two years ago while commenting on Power Cap. It seems like Monmouth has taken up his idea.


The_Knight_Sky said...

I see. I just read those comments for that post, but there are two main points missing from Cholly's plan. a) comprehensive drug testing b) lowered takeouts.

In other words Monmouth Park will be proceeding "half-heartedly" this summer.

Amidst recent clarification, GM Kulina is shooting for a 20 to 25% increase in all-sources handle so I'd have to believe they'll succeed.

But for a meet like this to happen again in 2011 (next year) they'll have to far exceed their projections. Enjoy it while it lasts. ;-)