Yonkers Raceway already has the highest purse structure in North America. What the half-mile track has lacked is the ability to get bettors to play along. Despite its lofty perch for horsemen, Yonkers has been unable to get on track, with money through the windows virtually stagnant.
This is not a news flash for the Standardbred Owners Association of New York. Over the last year they have made a concerted effort to bring about change, not necessarily by playing to the same audience, but by looking overseas.
Earlier this year they announced an agreement with PMU (the wagering arm in France) to simulcast races during the fall. The initial conversation saw Yonkers ask and receive permission to race on Tuesday afternoons, but the French team expressed a desire to give Yonkers a window if they agreed to race on Sunday afternoons instead.
The arrangement was forged and for five Sundays during the heart of the NFL season, the track will open at 11:00 a.m. for a live racing program that will commence with five consecutive trotting races of varied field sizes and distances.
“I don’t think there’s that big a difference racing Tuesdays or Sundays,” said Alex Dadoyan, Executive Director of the SOA of New York.
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