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East Rutherford, NJ - The State of New Jersey protocol requires all employees and harness racing horsemen to complete this mandatory Covid19 test before returning to work.   Begin by clicking on the link provided below which will lead to a televist with a doctor where you will receive a date, time and location to be tested.   Be advised that there is may 4 to 5 day lead time from making the appointment and getting your result.   All horsemen are required to have this test prior to racing at The Meadowlands on June 5.   Meadowlands Racetrack has set up testing for COVID-19 for all employees returning to work. Testing is also provided for all NJRC licensed Horsemen and State Officials. Dates of Testing: Open Everyday Time: 9:00 am - 2:00 pm Place: After Televisit, you will receive an email and SMS with date, time, and location of testing.   Procedures as follows:  ·         Pre-registration required for COVID-19 Screening: ·         Registration includes: o   Name as it appears on your photo ID o   Date of birth o   Address o   Copy of your State ID (drivers license preferable) §  If you do not have a drivers license, your state issued NJRC license should suffice o   Copy of your Insurance Card ·         Employees will NOT BE RESPONSIBLE for any out of pocket costs. All expenses for COVID testing are covered by insurance or if you do not have insurance, these expenses will be covered by the State. ·         Appointment is for Virtual Telehealth Visit with Provider for initial screening. Once screening is complete, you will receive a date, time, and location for testing via SMS and Email. ·         On-site Drive Thru Test Site Instructions o   Please follow signs to Covid/Agile testing and line up as instructed o   Stay in your car o   Only employee/Horsemen allowed o   Two person max per vehicle o   Keep your windows rolled up until you are asked by the technician to roll them down o   Have your photo ID and insurance card readily available o   ID is mandatory ·         Follow technician instructions ·         Once test is complete, roll up your window and leave the testing area ·         Test results will be provided to you as well as our Medical department

TRENTON, NJ -- May 19, 2020 -- As shuttered sectors of New Jersey's economy begin inching back to life with more outdoor activities approved, such as horseback riding, Assemblyman Ron Dancer has sponsored a resolution supporting the Meadowlands Racetrack to resume harness racing, initially without spectators. "With a proper plan in place, the Meadowlands Racetrack should be allowed to operate, especially with Governor Cuomo announcing the re-opening of all New York racetracks without fans effective June 1," said Dancer (R-Ocean). "By resuming horseracing, the gaming and racing industries would be able to generate revenue while stimulating our economy from internet wagering within the State, as well as, simulcasting the races to other states that have already approved the return of horse racing." He noted that the industry supports 13,000 jobs and has led to the preservation of more than 175,000 acres of farmland and open space in New Jersey. "We cannot let the gaming and racing industry fall to the wayside and must ensure they can reopen in the safest way possible," concluded Dancer. "This resolution would do just that and keep one of New Jersey's staple industries afloat." The resolution supports the Equine Center at Rutgers University and the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey proposal to safely phase in the return of horseracing to the Meadowlands Racetrack with the "trifecta" health-related protocols of social distancing, hand sanitizing and face coverings. Courtney Stafford

MANALAPAN, NJ -- May 11, 2020 -- As we work towards a plan to re-open harness racing at the Meadowlands, the SBOANJ has been in constant contact with a number of New Jersey legislators that have consistently been supportive of our program, including Senate President Sweeney and Senators Sarlo and Gopal. Senator Sarlo has been appointed by Senator Sweeney to head "The Strategy for Fiscal Recovery to Restart the New Jersey Economy" Committee and both Sarlo and Gopal were sponsors of our Appropriation Bill. Assemblyman Ron Dancer, a longtime friend of our racing and breeding industry, was one of the invited participants to a special conference call with Governor Murphy this past Saturday, when the Governor acknowledged that he is aware of what we are doing to return to "spectator-less" racing. Governor Murphy added that his team is reviewing our plan and also commented that his office would follow up this week with more specifics. In conjunction with Dr. Karyn Malinowski, Director of the Rutgers Equine Science Center, we have submitted an extremely comprehensive "Risk Management Plan" of safety and sanitation protocols to commence racing at the Meadowlands. This plan, along with significant information referencing the much needed economic benefit to New Jersey of the Meadowlands return to racing, has been presented to Governor Murphy as well as to the New Jersey Racing Commission and Douglas Fisher, the Secretary of Agriculture. Additionally, Jeff Gural from the Meadowlands and Dennis Drazin from Monmouth Park, have been appointed to the "Tourism Advisory Committee," in regard to the state's racing programs, giving us more important representation. Assemblyman Dancer also advised us that Governor Murphy said he would be making further announcements this week about the "restarting and recovery' of the New Jersey economy, and we are hopeful that there will be some indication of our future racing prospects. We appreciate the patience of our racing and breeding community in these most trying of times and we will continue to update you with any pertinent information. Courtney Stafford

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands reminds the harness racing connections of those horses made eligible to our stakes that the deadline for the final sustaining payment on a number of those races is (postmarked by) May 15 .   Yearling nominations on the foals of 2019 to race in 2022 Meadowlands Pace are also due by May 15.   Complete information on Meadowlands stakes payments and lists of eligibles may be found on the web.   The Meadowlands

Thoroughbred racing is currently occurring at only a handful of U.S. racetracks and, in each case, with no fans in attendance. But within two weeks, similar racing is scheduled to resume at West Virginia racetracks, at Santa Anita Park in California, and at Churchill Downs in Kentucky. And what about New Jersey? Operators of all three racetracks must await guidance from the administration of Gov. Phil Murphy, who, like New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has the COVID-19 pandemic as his top priority. The stakes are highest at the Meadowlands Racetrack, which in many respects is still the most iconic harness racing track in the world and the host of The Hambletonian — the sport’s biggest day — every summer. As it happens, there are no states with standardbred racing these days, Meadowlands track operator Jeff Gural told NJ Online Gambling. That means that his track, which had switched to a schedule of nearly year-round racing, could be the center of that sport’s universe if racing could be offered. “We have requested that the governor consider allowing us to resume racing without spectators,” Gural said. “We have worked out a set of procedures to keep it safe.” The only game in town? The potential windfall of an imminent reopening ahead of the rest of the industry was part of the proposal, Gural said. “But the administration wants to be cautious, and I don’t blame them,” Gural said, given that North Jersey and Bergen County in particular, where the track is located, have been decimated by the COVID-19 virus. While Gural appreciates the dilemma facing Murphy, he also hears dire reports from his colleagues in an industry that has suffered its own series of tragic losses from the virus. “The horsemen are starving, literally,” said Gural. “They’re desperate. They can’t work from home. The horses lead to the same expenses whether they are racing or not. “Another point we made is that the workers who would be at the track for racing already are working with the horses in their barns anyway,” Gural added. “We’re not bringing in people who otherwise would be sitting at home.” Holding races without warmups is not particularly appealing to Gural, a horse owner himself. But he said he and other horsemen “just want to race,” so compromises would be considered. New York state of mind Gural also owns Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs in upstate New York, so he is monitoring that state as well. Cuomo has suggested in recent days that he might allow some counties north of the state capital in Albany to stage limited reopenings of businesses as soon as May 15. That’s because more than 50 of the state’s 67 counties have had relatively small numbers of COVID-19 cases. “The problem there is that so much of the purse money comes from [slot machines],” said Gural, referring to hundreds of millions derived from transfer of a portion of the gambling revenue at each “racino” complex. “We’d have to work something out with the horsemen, but I’m a little optimistic in New York,” Gural said. Monmouth Park not the same as Meadowlands The schedule at Monmouth Park isn’t the only significant difference between the state’s two largest racetracks. That thoroughbred track, which had its opening date postponed initially from May 2 to May 23 and now until July 3, also houses a full “colony” of horses. The Meadowlands, meanwhile, ships in horses from other locations on the day of the horse’s race. Even with a longer time horizon, track operator Dennis Drazin told NJ Online Gambling that he is preparing for the possibility of racing without spectators. “We should be cautious, because people are dying from this virus,” Drazin said. While other thoroughbred tracks are scrambling to reopen as soon as possible, Drazin said his schedule could prove to be an advantage. Since Monmouth Park was closed all winter, Drazin said it takes “a few weeks” to get the track and site back in racing condition. A resurgent racing purse plan — boosted both by a $10 million subsidy from the state and now what would be a condensed racing schedule — led to 2,500 applications by horsemen for the track’s 1,600 stalls. The horses are scheduled to be shipped in starting June 1, and Drazin said he expects most of the horses to be on the premises soon thereafter. That also means the presence of thousands of seasonal workers who even at that point will likely be required to take “social distancing” precautions. Drazin added that after speaking with Gural this week, he has some hope that the annual handful of thoroughbred dates that happen at the Meadowlands each year perhaps could take place on the turf this year in June — if that track has reopened by then. Freehold also in limbo The scenario at Freehold Raceway is less complicated because the track’s early-season meet was to end on May 22 anyway, so that portion of the schedule already seems lost. The next racing date is not set until late August. “That will be the new target, and we will have to see what the parameters will be in terms of how we conduct our business,” said longtime Freehold Raceway executive Chris McErlean. As for the notion of “getting rich quick” from an early return, McErlean said it’s not likely to be quite that simple. “There have been some impressive numbers posted by the limited tracks that have been open for the past month or so,” McErlean said. “But some additional tracks are coming on the calendar, and since wagering is [off-track] right now, that means the market is somewhat finite. “It might just mean that the existing dollars get redistributed, and the potential handle upside is not as great,” he added. By John Brennan Reprinted with permission of NJ Online Gambling

While thoroughbred horse racing remains in business on a limited basis, fans of harness racing across the country are melancholy. Why? Currently in the 15 states where harness racing is conducted, there are no races being run. Cal Expo in Sacramento ended its live racing on April 1. The mecca of harness racing, The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey and Freehold Raceway down the Jersey Shore, had been operating with live races up until Monday, March 16 when the sport was shut down in the Garden State due to the coronavirus epidemic. This week will mark one month of no racing at all in the state. It also means no opportunities to wager in person on sports at the retail FanDuel or  PointsBet sportsbook at the Meadowlands. Last week, owner Jeff Gural announced his hope that they would resume live racing at The Meadowlands on Friday, May 1, with two New York harness tracks which he also owns, Tioga and Vernon Downs, preparing for their live racing seasons as soon as the casinos are cleared to open. All of that is contingent on the actions by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. “We are working to get the tracks open, but only when it’s safe,” Gural said in a press release. “I get that guys need to race, I’d like to race too. We must adhere to the guidelines set forth by Governors Murphy and Cuomo and we will follow their direction.” I spent a few minutes on the phone this past weekend with Meadowlands Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir to get his thoughts. “We are taking every precaution and following the guidelines set out by both federal and state governments,” he said. “In order to come back, it has to be safe and we have to do it safely, meaning without fans in grandstand. “Safety is of the utmost priority for everyone involved — employees, horsemen and the horses themselves. The cleanliness of the track has always been a top priority of mine, even before all of this happened. That hasn’t changed. We sanitized everything, from the back paddock, to the grandstand to the betting terminals and this will continue. “We are at the mercy of the virus and stressing safety is paramount for us but at the end of the day, we have to go by and will abide by what the CDC, federal and state governments say.” Two of the sport’s biggest races, The Meadowlands Pace (July 18) and Hambletonian (August 8), are currently scheduled as planned. Freehold Raceway’s current meet was going to end Saturday, May 23 during Memorial Day Weekend and would then be off for the majority of the summer. Its fall meet is scheduled to return on Friday, August 28, racing Friday and Saturday (also New Year’s Eve Day, Dec. 31) till the end of the year. Freehold also hopes to have a retail sportsbook on its property when it re-opens for business. “We’re taking things day by day and at this point it’s tough to put an estimate on when we may return to live racing and/or simulcasting,” said Freehold general manager Howard Bruno. “Ultimately, we will follow the direction of the Governor’s Office, health officials and the New Jersey Racing Commission for timing and any additional guidance. “We are moving through the licensing process for sports wagering and are hoping for a fall opening, but this is contingent on getting all the necessary approvals.” Until then, both tracks wait to see if or when they will open their doors. “This has been tragic and surreal and it really came over a 48-hour period with everything shutdown,” Settlemoir said. “We had to make decisions that were in the best interest to employees, patrons and our personnel. We will always like to err on the side of caution and that’s what we are doing. “I’m one of those guys that always stays positive and at the end of the day Mr. Gural has been fantastic with all of our employees throughout all three tracks and OTB locations. It’s a pandemic and we have to make sure we are doing everything to get back on track. Normal is not normal right now and we will get through it as a racing community.” What about the harness industry as a whole? Nobody is racing anywhere. The horses still need to be cared for. It’s a real dilemma. “We continue to discuss this on a daily basis not only here in New Jersey but with tracks around the country,” Settlemoir said. “At the end of the day, we want to re-tool and re-energize 110 percent as we always have to make this sport even better than what it was. We will make it through this like we always have.” By Lou Monaco Reprinted with permission of the Gaming Today

Freehold, NJ --- Freehold Raceway announced today the cancellation of the 2020 Dexter Cup Trot and the Lady Suffolk Trot due to the continued closure of live harness racing and shelter in place orders from Governor Phil Murphy due to COVID 19. The finals for both races were scheduled for Saturday, May 2. All nominating and sustaining payment refunds will be handled by the Hambletonian Society in accordance with published race conditions. "We looked at possible alternate dates, but with an already crowded fall stakes season and other tracks looking to move signature races to the fall, cancelling the races became the best option for this year," said Howard Bruno, Freehold Raceway General Manager.   Freehold Raceway

Meadowlands Racetrack operator Jeff Gural is an extremely successful — and wealthy — real estate mogul who, now in his late 70s, is very comfortable with revealing his state of mind. And when it comes to horse racing, Gural on numerous occasions has been quite straightforward about the daunting challenges ahead as his track struggles to survive. It’s no easy task, when competing with racetracks in New York and Pennsylvania that receive hundreds of millions of dollars in annual subsidies from slot machine revenues from those tracks. So when Gural told on Wednesday his very optimistic sentiments about the recent horse racing doping scandal, it’s particularly worth noting. More than two dozen industry figures were swept up in indictments March 9 after a federal investigation uncovered evidence of the alleged scheme that crossed both the standardbred and thoroughbred industries. For the past decade, Gural has been banning trainers that he had come to believe were cheating, often taking public criticism from those horsemen and also others interested in the industry over his “playing sheriff” without incontrovertible proof. Now Gural says he feels “100%” vindicated, particularly given that some of the trainers he had banned were named in the indictment. Wire taps worked “We cannot just rely on drug testing, as we have been doing, because it doesn’t work,” Gural said. “Having a federal investigation, with the use of wire taps — that’s the way to go to catch them. I really believe that from now on, no one will be using these illegal drugs because it’s too risky. “We accomplished something by getting rid of the bad guys. It will be interesting, once we get back to racing, if certain trainers are still racing — and how they perform,” Gural added. The fact of the investigation did not surprise Gural, because he and The Jockey Club for the past four years have paid the 5 Stones investigative firm to look into such allegations. “We were very much aware of the FBI investigating, but I didn’t personally know who they were investigating. I had to read the names when the indictments came out,” Gural said. “I feel like we really accomplished something, and I understand there could be more arrests coming. And some might find it in their interest to cooperate.” The timing of the March 9 indictments was unusual. The COVID-19 pandemic already had begun to dominate the news cycle, and two days later the NBA suspended its regular season after a player tested positive for the virus. That swept the doping scandal off the front pages and virtual front pages in the U.S. and in numerous countries where horse racing remains quite popular. Mixed feelings on indictments timing “Part of me is glad that the sport didn’t get as much of a black eye,” Gural said. “But if not for all this about the virus, people would be demanding we make changes right away. “My concern is that this all shows we must turn oversight over to the federal government. It’s not fair that I should have to pay for this [initial investigation]. “We can’t have 30 different states trying to catch these trainers — we need a law passed in Congress,” Gural added. The Jockey Club, as well as Gural, supports the Horseracing Integrity Act pending in Congress, which calls for a single anti-doping authority to oversee rules of testing of medications that might give particular trainers and their horses an unfair advantage — an edge that could even prove fatal for those horses at times. Monmouth Park operator Dennis Drazin, whose track’s seven-time defending champion trainer was swept up in the indictments, has called for even more sweeping reforms in light of the indictments. Meadowlands — back to business? The worldwide pandemic has shuttered the Meadowlands Racetrack, a mecca for harness racing since it opened in 1976, for more than three weeks. Gural said his employees have had to be furloughed, although he said he is still paying for their health insurance. “Maybe hurting the most are the trainers and grooms, who have no income,” Gural said. “And nobody knows what to do with their horses. Maybe we can get back to racing soon, even if it’s without any customers.” Aqueduct Raceway in Queens tried the latter approach last month, only to shut down after a backstretch worker who lives at Belmont Park and worked at Aqueduct tested positive for the virus. Gural said that the Meadowlands is helped by the fact that horses have not stabled at his East Rutherford track for a number of years. “We have a plan for how to practice social distancing of employees, we can check the temperature of everyone who comes in, and so forth,” Gural said. Asked if that could mean a return to live racing in mere weeks, not months, Gural said, “I hope so. People are definitely looking for something to bet on.” By John Brennan Reprinted with permission of New Jersey Online Gambling

East Rutherford, NJ - Given the current situation The Meadowlands and Tioga and Vernon Downs are doing whatever can be done to look after our employees and be a good harness racing neighbor in the community.   We also realize the plight of the horsemen that race at our tracks and the anxiety of not knowing what the near future might hold.   It is in this spirit that we try to shed a little light on what may be possible.   It is our hope that we may be able to resume live racing at The Meadowlands on May 1, 2020. That is of course contingent on many things, most of which we do not control.   Tioga and Vernon Downs will set to preparing for live racing as soon as the casinos are cleared to open.   Fortunately, our stakes at The Meadowlands would have barely begun on the original calendar. The only casualty thus far is the new 4-year-old NJSS Maturity stakes that were scheduled for March and April. We'll look to race those later in the season.   The first open stake scheduled is Leg #1 of the Graduate Series for pacers on May 2. If we get open, we would likely delay that race for a bit to give those horses a chance to get a start while looking for a logical spot to race it. The NJSS for 3-year-olds were to begin on May 15 and we might move them back a few weeks.   These ideas are contingent upon whether stakes at other tracks are raced when originally scheduled.   We are cautiously optimistic that as a result of the delay to the opening of their live meet that Monmouth Park will race a turf only meet at The Meadowlands in 2020 and not convert the main track. This potential development may give us some flexibility so far as making up live race dates in October and November.   "We are working to get the tracks open, but only when it's safe," said Meadowlands President Jeff Gural. "I get that guys need to race, I'd like to race too. We must adhere to the guidelines set forth by Governors Murphy and Cuomo and we will follow their direction." The Meadowlands and Tioga and Vernon Downs

East Rutherford, NJ - With the COVID-19 pandemic hitting Bergen County extremely hard the Meadowlands Racetrack wanted to help the community in any way possible. After learning the Meadowlands YMCA was working with Table to Table to distribute meals to families in need, the Meadowlands Racetrack and its restaurant partner Ark Meadowlands pitched in to help feed the local community. The racetrack donated over 500 meals along with fresh vegetables, cases of water, gatorade and soda to the Meadowlands YMCA. Employees volunteered their time to help pack up the meal boxes and bag the vegetables. "When we learned that our community was in need, we knew we could help immediately," said Jason Settlemoir, COO & GM of the Meadowlands Racetrack. "I'd like to thank Jennifer Jordan for organizing this food drive for us and Marianne Rotella, Marcello Esposito, Lisa Smoter, Rachel Ryan and Raul Perez for working so hard on getting this done." "We are looking forward to our return to racing when it is safe to do so," continued Settlemoir. "We encourage everyone to remain at home and stay healthy and we look forward to seeing everyone back at the track." For updates on the Meadowlands Racetrack visit . For ways to help the Meadowlands YMCA visit  

MANALAPAN, NJ - April 3, 2020 - Takter harness racing farm is in need of experienced general maintenance help: Mechanically inclined, operate tractors and other farm equipment, grass mowing, upkeep of different types of farm machinery and overall farm facilities. Salary depending on skills and experience. Contact Christina Takter by phone 609-636-3747 or by email Courtney Stafford

East Rutherford, NJ - Be advised that any horse that was being trained by a harness racing trainer named in the recent Federal indictments at the time those indictments were handed down will not be accepted to race at The Meadowlands, Tioga or Vernon Downs in overnights or stakes for 60 days from the date that the tracks reopen for live racing.    

Amy and Stacy Butewicz have been around horses for nearly their entire lives. Amy began riding at the age of 4 and Stacy followed in her older sister's footsteps. Several years ago, they were introduced to harness racing and fell in love with the Standardbred, the sport, and the people. When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closing of New Jersey's racetracks earlier this month, Amy and Stacy knew there would be people in the harness racing industry in need of assistance because of the loss of income. Last week, with cooperation from the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey, they announced a food assistance program for those in the industry in the state. The program allows an individual or family to obtain a food assistance bag, every other week. The bags will include non-perishables, canned goods, household products and more. As of Tuesday morning, 13 individuals/families were enrolled in the program. "We expect that number to grow as people find out about the program and we will continue to accept anyone in need from the industry within New Jersey," Amy said. "Just in the days that we've rolled out this program, it's really been a tremendous help. We're going to have our first deliveries go out this week and we will keep it going every other week until live racing resumes." Amy and Stacy, who work together at Butewicz Equestrian Lifestyle Real Estate - Keller Williams Princeton, have received support from others in harness racing, including trainers and veterinarians, in the form of donations or supermarket gift cards. The sisters are no strangers to helping others. Among their philanthropic endeavors, they volunteer at a food pantry in central New Jersey. "I think our experience definitely made us feel more capable in taking this on, but Amy and I are always looking for ways to help people," Stacy said. "The opportunity to be able to help people one-on-one is what we love the most. Once we realized what was going on with the industry and how many people could be affected, we realized some of those people would be struggling. We thought of those people and jumped into it." Stacy and Amy hope the program reduces the financial impact on people, who must feed not only themselves and their families, but their horses. "The horse people we know care so much about those animals that they're willing to give up a meal for themselves," Stacy said. "We are thinking about the horses, too, and wanted to do whatever we could to lighten the burden on what is coming out of people's pockets in their personal situation." To register for the program, please use either following method, and include your name, address and training center/stable location. Requests will be kept confidential. TEXT "ASSIST" to 732.887.5649. EMAIL "ASSIST" to Items will be delivered directly to individuals/families or placed in a secure location for pick up. Arrangements also can be made for anyone wanting to donate dry goods or supermarket gift cards by contacting the above number or email address. "Both of us in the past three or four years have absolutely grown to love the Standardbred as a horse," Amy said. "Horses have always been in our blood. We got into this fairly late in our equestrian careers, but we absolutely love it. "The other thing we have seen is this is an industry that is so much like a family. One person really and truly cares about another; one stable is friendly with another. With what is going on right now, we've seen people really uniting and working together. It's been great." Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association

Surveillance Firm Played Role in Federal Indictments The Jockey Club, Meadowlands employ 5 Stones intelligence. During the past four years, The Jockey Club and Meadowlands Racetrack have retained the services of a leading international investigative company, and that association might have paid a dividend in the recent federal indictments of Thoroughbred trainers Jason Servis and Jorge Navarro as well as several harness racing trainers in a doping scheme. Through the recommendation of officials from the United States Anti-Doping Agency and the World Anti-Doping Agency, The Jockey Club turned to 5 Stones intelligence in 2016 to provide confidential investigative services.  "It is vitally important to the sport that it is regulated competently and by authorities that are independent," said James Gagliano, the president and chief operating officer for The Jockey Club. "That is a hallmark of the Horseracing Integrity Act, and it has never been more important to the sport, given the events of this week." Meadowlands owner Jeff Gural, who operates a harness racing meet at the New Jersey racetrack, said he also employed 5 Stones and that information from 5 Stones played a role in the federal indictments of 29 people that were announced March 9-11 by the United States District Attorney, Southern District of New York. "We participated with The Jockey Club in retaining (5 Stones) to help lead the FBI in the right direction," Gural said. Gagliano said The Jockey Club is continuing its engagement with 5 Stones. He added that the indictments illustrate horse racing's urgent need to support passage of the Horseracing Integrity Act, which calls for a single non-governmental, anti-doping authority to oversee medication rules and testing. "This crisis has to be a rallying point for the sport," Gagliano said. "In my view, passage of the Horseracing Integrity Act will lay the foundation for a once-in-a-century system change that puts welfare and integrity as the guiding principles of how the sport is regulated." Gural echoed the call for passage of the HIA, saying racetracks have been turning a blind eye to cheaters for far too long. "All the racetrack owners in the country who said they cared about this didn't care. They had to know the only way to catch these guys was through undercover and surveillance companies. Without them, you were just giving lip service that you cared," Gural said. "There's no gray area when it comes to honesty. Everyone knew the system was broken, but no one cared about it. There's no way we can tell people in politics that we care if we don't let the USADA take over. The funny thing is that when I would talk to people who oppose the government taking over, the next thing I would ask is if the current system is working, and 100% would say no. I don't understand that. They knew the system wasn't working, and they were happy with it.  "If we don't bring in the USADA now and get behind the (HIA), we should shut down the sport. It would say we really don't care." According to the company website, "5 Stones intelligence is a leading intelligence and investigative company based in Miami, with offices throughout the world. 5Si possesses the world's largest private HUMINT intelligence network and supports intelligence collection and analysis, global investigations, and operations support for Governments and corporations." Servis, who trains recent Saudi Cup winner Maximum Security, who was disqualified from first to 17th in last year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1), and Navarro, the seven-time leading trainer at Monmouth Park, are scheduled to be arraigned March 23 on charges of a misbranding conspiracy.  BloodHorse reported March 14 that Servis and Navarro could appear before the New York federal court for arraignment and initial conference either in person or by telephone conference in a concession to travel difficulties because of COVID-19. The indictment charged that Servis had performance-enhancing drugs administered to "virtually all of the racehorses under his care" and that Navarro orchestrated "a widespread scheme of covertly obtaining and administering various adulterated and misbranded PEDs to horses under his control." Navarro is facing two counts of the misbranding charge, each carrying a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Servis was charged with one count and could be imprisoned for up to five years if found guilty. Among the harness trainers indicted are Rene Allard, who was third in North American earnings last year, Richard Banca, Nick Surick, Chris Oakes, Chris Marino, Rick Dane Jr., and assistant trainer Conor Flynn. Allard, Banca, Oakes and Marino were barred by Gural from racing at Meadowlands prior to the indictments. Banca and Allard are the runaway leaders at the current Yonkers Raceway meet, combining for 367 wins in 2020 before racing was suspended due to COVID-19 after the March 9 card. Gural believes there will be more indictments in the weeks and months to come. "People will (provide information to authorities)," Gural said. "Anyone who used these people who were indicted cannot be sleeping well." By Bob Ehalt Reprinted with permission of

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - The Preferred Pace at the Meadowlands Saturday night may have lacked quantity, but it did not lack for quality - or a thrilling finish - as None Bettor A recorded a narrow harness racing victory over Trump Nation in 1:50.4. After Endeavor scratched, the $30,000 event was down to a field of five, and in the early going 4-5 favorite Trump Nation, who was in search of a fifth straight Big M score, put even-money second choice None Bettor A in the pocket. There wasn't much action to the half, which was clocked in :56.1, but with three-eighths of a mile to go, Andy McCarthy edged None Bettor A to the outside as Yannick Gingras and Trump Nation braced for the challenge. Then, the action went from pedestrian to pulse-pounding. Trump Nation dug in through the length of the stretch as the Andrew Harris-trained None Bettor A relentlessly continued to inch closer, and at the wire, it took the photo-finish camera to determine that None Bettor A, making his seasonal debut, had nosed out Trump Nation. Both recorded final quarters of :26.1. Rodeo Rock was explosive late after racing last to the top of the stretch to finish third. Harambe Deo and Franco Totem N cashed the final two checks. "I've trained Trump Nation [in the past]," said Harris. "And I know how quick his turn of foot is. But I won't lie. When I saw those fractions, I was not sure what to think. But this being None Bettor's first start, and against top horses, I'm very pleased. He's tuned up and ready for stakes season. "He will skip next week most likely. Then on to the [March 14] Borgata Series [at Yonkers]. And he's staked up pretty good, so we will play it by ear as we go and he will tell us what he's ready for and when." None Bettor A returned $4.20 to win as the second choice in the wagering. The 7-year-old gelded son of Bettor's Delight-Limerick Star, who is owned by Joe P Racing and Oldford Racing, now has 29 wins in 77 lifetime starts and earnings of $459,445. POWERFUL PICK-6 POOL: The 20-cent Pick-6, which had a carryover of $11,270 from Friday, saw $77,512 in "new money" for a total pool of $88,782. A formful sequence saw four favorites, one even-money second choice and one 5-1 shot combine to create a payoff of $288.98. WILD WAGERING WEEKEND: For a second straight night, betting was less than $30,000 away from the magic $3-million mark, but was more than enough to complete the biggest weekend of betting at the Big M in 2020. After $2,973,673 was pushed through the windows Saturday, the third best single night of the year, the weekend total reached $5,944,408. A LITTLE MORE: When Jeff Dauplaise, 58, moved Soho Chelsea A along the inside to win the 11th race, it gave the veteran driver his first win at the Meadowlands since Dec. 5th of 2015. Lifetime, he's won 228 races. ... Dexter Dunn led the driver colony with four wins on the card. ... Gingras had a driving double, lifting his February win total to a track-best 23. ... Racing resumes Friday at 6:55 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Yannick Gingras was the star of the night at the Meadowlands Friday, guiding five winners on the harness racing card, including Dayson, who won the featured high-end conditioned trot in 1:52.3. The 7-year-old gelded son of Conway Hall-Nervey's Taurus emerged from a first-turn scrum in perfect position, racing in the pocket behind the speedy Nows The Moment, who was on the point to the head of the stretch despite being pressed around the far turn by Kenziesky Hanover. Through the lane, Nows The Moment weakened, and as he did he bore out, creating more than enough room for Dayson to cruise under the wire first racing along the inside. It was a half-length back to 8-5 favorite Eye Ofa Tiger As. Elysium Lindy, who won this race a week ago, was trip compromised when pushed wide around turn one and raced from the back of the field before charging home to get third. Nows The Moment was fourth. "He raced great," said Gingras of Dayson. "He's such a game horse and tries hard." Dayson, who returned $8.20 to his backers as the second choice in the wagering, races out of the Ron Burke barn and is owned by Burke Racing Stable & Weaver Bruscemi, J&T Silva-Purnel&Libby and L. Karr. He now has 38 victories from 89 lifetime outings, good for earnings of $1,181,127. Burke had a huge night, winning four races. He hooked up three times with his go-to pilot Gingras. PICK-6 REPORT: A total of $76,682 in "new money" was added to the carryover of $14,376 in the 20-cent Pick-6, meaning that players were betting into a rare "player's advantage" pool. A total of $79,555 was paid out, almost $3,000 more than was pushed through the windows. There were many winning tickets in the Pick-6, as the payoff of $238.98 was the result of a sequence that saw winner's odds of 7-2, 1-1, 5-2, 5-2, 6-5 and 6-5. The action was big in all four of the Big M's multi-leg wagers, as a total of $290,158 was wagered in the 20-cent Pick-5, 20-cent Pick-6 and two 50-cent Pick-4 pools. The Late Pick-4 took in $75,592, by far its best showing in five tries since debuting earlier this month. A LITTLE MORE: The Nancy Takter-trained JK American Beauty - who now has lifetime earnings of $422,790 - made her 4-year-old debut a winning one, taking the fifth race high-end conditioned pace for fillies and mares in a lifetime-best 1:50.2 with Gingras driving. ... All-source handle totaled $2,689,916 on the 13-race program, the best Friday night thus far in 2020 and third-best overall. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 6:55 p.m.   By Dave Little Meadowlands Media Relations

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