Faraldo: reaching out to Jeff Gural on his Meadowlands quandary
- Maybe telling drivers, some Hall of Famers, how to drive to suit a perception that is not reality to those whose expertise got them into the Hall in the first place is a policy that should be rethought. Drivers shouldn’t be concerned about satisfying some preconceived notion about how a horse is to be driven. Owners seek out drivers who consistently use their best strategy more often than not, to win. That does not fit the niche of rigid rules. Owners have other options.
- While the more information made available to the wagering public is very desirable, asking drivers what a driver’s strategy is pre-race can possibly lock a driver into making a commitment that changes at the point when a driver looks over to his left when strategies often change. Down Under, where such a policy was utilized, some drivers were penalized for reporting one strategy pre-race and not adhering to it. Plus announcing a strategy gives other drivers some idea what other drivers’ intentions are that does not make any sense. In addition, when a driver makes comments about a horse he isn’t training his opinion can be deceiving.
- Racing across the river in New York or racing in Pennsylvania is a person’s right, so he/she can earn a better livelihood for his family by earning more money for an owner and his own interest. That choice should not result in that horseman being harassed and threatened that he/she will not be able to race at the Meadowlands in the Champion Meet. That is possibly a wrongheaded policy. While horsemen may not have to worry about the occupancy of the multiple buildings they may own, they have the right to take care of their business too, to best maximize their own income.
- Other racing venues do not restrict or limit where drivers can or cannot go to earn a livelihood. Maybe racing participants are growing a bit weary of the limitations imposed upon them by management.
- While amateur races are well supported at the Meadowlands, ordering drivers to leave their family or vacation spot to return and drive at the Meadowlands or risk being barred from being employed by an owner at the Championship Meet, while having them sit out while five amateur races are contested presents to the professional the option to consider more attractive and efficient ways to maximize their opportunities to earn a livelihood at another venue. No?
- It is often said that drawing the 8 hole on a half is death. On a big track, the same can be said about the outermost posts. There is a difference in that on a half, three horses don’t get money. On the mile track, five horses don’t get money. Leaving the gate with no chance of getting a tuck at all, means no money for anyone
Jeff, just my .02
Joe Faraldo / president SOA of New York