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Monmouth Park Negotiations Take a Turn for the Worse

The plans for racing at Monmouth Park in 2012 have collapsed again.  Real estate mogul and potential investor Morris Bailey has completely withdrawn from being part of any future deals. This was reported at 6:51am on December 12, on mycentraljersey.com, which is the website for the Home News Tribune. Read the entire article. mycentraljersey.com
Investor Abandons Bid for Racetrack
An investor has pulled out of a deal to lease state-owned Monmouth Park, ending a bid by a horsemen’s group to save what would have been a guarantee of thoroughbred racing for the next five years at the Oceanport track.
Real estate executive Morris Bailey is withdrawing the $5 million letter of credit he had posted as a condition to take over management of the track and off-track wagering licenses, his attorney, Ronald J. Riccio, said Sunday.
Bailey’s departure leaves the state options that include rebidding the lease, keeping the track under the management of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority or suspending operations. 

At 12:17pm NorthJersey.com, the website for the Bergen Record, posted an article that included some extremely strong comments from New Jersey Governor Christie about the NJ Horsemen’s Association. Read the whole article NorthJersey.com

Governor Gives Thoroughbred Horsemen 

One Week or Else


“Well, listen, the problem is that the thoroughbred horsemen are completely untrustworthy. That’s the problem. We had a handshake deal with the thoroughbred horsemen at 12:45 last Tuesday morning, and then eight hours later their lawyer called up and demanded $5 million in purse subsidies.


I simply am no longer going to permit millionaire horsemen to take money from waiters and waitresses and police officers and teachers who are the taxpayers in this state to fund their industry. And so when they — thoroughbred horsemen come and at the last minute and they always do, you can check with Mr. Bailey on this stuff. That’s why Mr. Bailey is gone. Mr. Bailey is gone because the thoroughbred horsemen are completely untrustworthy.”



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Older Comments about Monmouth Park Negotiations Take a Turn for the Worse...

Andy: here is the website to go to to see the article in the newspaper that states that Bailey tried to pull out in Sept..because of issues with the losses in the Sports authority books sboanj.com. This is the standardbred horse owners of NJ website. In one of the last paragraphs of the article about the collapse of the talks in December , it talks about Bailey wanting to pull out in Sept. and the reason why. Forbes neglects to mention this tidbit of news in his interview and leaves the impression that everything was great until now, which it wasn't. One of the things that is clear to me is that breaking this agreement on the race dates and simulcasting , Christie is severing the link between the two tracks. Previously, the thoroughbred people had to sign off on the simulcasting so that The meadowlands could continue to get signals there and at the New Bayonne OTBS. This was the tie between the two tracks which involves the race date issue etc. so now one track can be leased out and the other can be canned. Before it was both open or both closed. Perhaps this what Christie promised Gural. Who knows.
Andy, with all due respect, you need to go to the harnessracing websites to get the story from their point of view, because that information fills in alot of the gaps in the thoroughbred version of the story
Forbes in that interview never said anything about the fact that Gural said all along that he would NOT run a thoroughbred meet on the dirt,but would run a grass meet. Gural is building with his own money the Bayonne facility, he also is giving the thoroughbred people money out of own pocket for their purses and over a million for the standardbred purses. The fact remains is that Baileynwanted to pull out in Sept. Forbes never dealt with that issue at all. If you listen to Forbes, he says Baileynhas ended his line of credit for the track, but will help the thoroughbred people get financing. He wanted out and got out. Forbes can spin it that was December, but it was much earlier as reported in NJ papers. If you guys don't know that Hansen was Real estate developer, you should have known. Also I wonder if you are aware that Christie released over $300,000 to Freehold from the purse subsidy? Also in the interview that Gural gave ian the Meadowlands, Gural was asked if Christie had promised him any additional help, he refused to answer, but he indicated that there was something he was promised.
But you never answered my initial question Andy: did you and other people concerned about Monmouth and in NJ contact your legislators. I live in North Carolina and I contacted by phone and email all the members of the Hansen commission. No where on the Bloodhorse or Thoroughbred Times was there any information about who to contact to help NJ Racing stay alive. Hansen commission had at least three meetings which the public could speak at. The harness people came out in force but the thoroughbred people didn't appear to. So did you call or email these legislators?
Yes Andy I did listen to it. All I heard was that OTB money is not counting in the numbers and that Monmouth did not lose money. I have said repeatedly that Christie is cozy with Atlantic City to help him get elected President. I agree he is a crumb and wants to kill racing. But you tell me Andy why harness racing and Gural look like they are going to open the Meadowlands, build a new grandstand, open and refurbish other OTBs but Monmouth is in the toilet and could be closed. If there is not more to the story than just Christie is an idiot, which I agree he is, then why the two potentially different outcomes? And if there were not other problems, why did Bailey want to pull out in September which he did. If you don not believe me, look at NJ.com for their archived stories about the matter. You are aware i assume that Jeff Gural in order to get the deal with the two tracks done offered 1.5 million for thoroughbred purses at Monmouth in order to get the simulcasting deal completed. If you think my info on zgural is wrong, go to the Meadowlandsbwebsite and pull up Gural's interviews concerning the Meadowlands negotiations.
Buckpasser, did you listen to that Steve Byk "At the Races" show at stevebyk.com?
Just out of curiosity, to all of you who are so concerned about Monmouth, how many of you contacted the legislators who wer e part of the Hansen commission to register your support for horse racing? Harness people did. But thoroughbred people were conspicuously absent .
NJ.com reported that Monmouth lost 8 million last year. Bailey was willing to absorb that loss and post a 5million letter of credit for the track. The problem centers on racing dates and that the thoroughbred owners want to race at the Meadowlands in order to collect more money for purses etc. by taking a large piece of the simulcasting fees. In lieu of racing at the Meadowlands, they are looking for money either from simulcasting or from purse subsidies. Gural has stated that he will not have them run a thoroughbred meet at the Meadowlands that is on the dirt, he was ok with grass racing. I agree that no one ever seems to take into account OTB revenue when talking about any of the tracks. But the fact remains, Bailey wanted out in Sept. and it was AFTER he looked at the NJ Sports Exposition Books. Christie said Bailey was just using that a negotiating ploy, but I heard he was really unhappy about the deal and was looking for a way out.
When the Governor makes his statements about Monmouth losing money he does NOT include the very large revenue produced by the state's OTB facilities. Favorites at Woodbridge is THE busiest OTB in the country. I live 5 miles from there and I am always amazed at how busy it is there. The revenue from the OTB's is extremely significant. I recommend that everyone go and listen to the replay of Steve Byk's At the Races show from today, Tuesday at stevebyk.com
Losses because he is planning to build a smaller grandstand and beef up services to make money while waiting for slots and or sports betting. The other problem with the closure of other New Jersey tracks is apathy.
One of the problems with the Monmouth deal that is not being looked at is that Bailey wanted out in Sept. when he looked at the books. This is why he wanted to limit his liability by having less racing dates and/or have the NJ horsemen share the financial burden. That is really at the root of the problem with the deal. Gural is willing to absorb some the Meadowlands
Dominoes: Atlantic city, Garden State and now this one...Face it mismanagement and a disaproving government combine to make racing a soon to be extinct creature in Jersey.
Can we reach a deal so I can have my track back next summer?
There will always be a Monmouth". Maybe not. Don't get me wrong, I consider the shuttering of Monmouth to be a true tragedy. But I won't waste sympathy on people who misjudged this governor and whose arrogance are killing this sport
Yes but he wouldn't be able to spew his rhetoric if there was not something behind it. I am sorry but the thoroughbred people did not step up to help Monmouth. They did not attend the threebHansen hearings. The standardbred people did. As a matter of fact, at one hearing, someone got up in the audience and played the call to the post with a bugle. The harness people had over 300 people packing the hearings. How many did the thoroughbred people bring out? The thoroughbred people acted as if they were above the fray. Bloodhorse and thoroughbred times had nothing about the hearings. Bloodhorse ran their usual arrogant article entitled "forgetaboutit
I cannot trust what the Governor has to say. He is a politician who has once again found an opportunity to spew his rhetoric.
Well Christie is right for once. The Thoroughbred horsemen never stepped up to the plate during the Hansen hearings. The harness people did. They mobilized their members for the Meadowlands. Jeff Gural is a true sportsman. He is willing to put his money up to support this deal. He even was willing to put up over a million and half dollars of his own money for the thoroughbred owners for purses at Monmouth. I hope that the Meadowlands can go forward, which it appears from the comment ithat it will. If Monmouth is shuttered, so be it, but the people responsible are the thoroughbred people.

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