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East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands is announcing that a previously unscheduled leg will be added to the Graduate Series for harness racing pacers to be raced on Saturday, May 15 in response to the cancellation of the Confederation Cup for 2021.   Horses that are fully paid up and eligible for the Graduate will be eligible to race in the added leg and it will be considered for points toward the final just as the the scheduled legs.   This added leg will make a total of four $75,000 ($50,000 div) preliminary legs for the pacers and three for the trotters heading into the $250,000e finals.   There will not be a leg added for the trotters as it would conflict with existing stakes.   "We scheduled the Graduate around the Confederation Cup to provide the 4-year-olds the best chance to race in stakes against their own age before moving into the open stakes," said Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural. "Without the Confederation Cup, which provided an elimination and final for them, there's a month between stakes. We'll add a Graduate leg same day as Cutler Memorial to give them a race and make a nice card on that night."   Graduate Series Schedule (at The Meadowlands unless otherwise indicated)   PACE: Saturday, May 1 Saturday, May 15 Saturday, June 5 (Woodbine at Mohawk) Saturday, June 26 Final on Saturday, July 10   TROT: Saturday, May 22 Saturday, June 5 (Woodbine at Mohawk) Saturday, June 26 Final on Saturday, July 10   From The Meadowlands    

Vernon, NY-- In conjunction with the Food Bank of the Southern Tier and the Food Bank of Central New York, both Vernon Downs Casino Hotel and Tioga Downs Casino Resort recently hosted events to provide the community with free, nutritious meals during this difficult time when many are struggling. Vernon Downs hosted a Nourish New York Food Distribution event on March 27, supplying 825 households with various locally sourced fresh produce and dairy items via a drive-thru in addition to a $50,000 donation to the Food Bank of Central New York on February 26. Tioga Downs provided 5,000 Easter dinners in addition to a $100,000 gift to the Food Bank of the Southern Tier and additional meals distributed to 62 various agencies. Jeff Gural, Chairman/CEO of American Racing and Entertainment has long been committed to addressing food insecurity by supporting the Food Bank of the Southern Tier through its annual holiday turkey drive. Since 2009, Vernon Downs Casino Hotel and Gural have contributed more than $630,000 to the Food Bank of Central New York resulting in more than 1.9 million meals for the community. Both Tioga and Vernon Downs are acclaimed for state-of-the-art harness racing facilities located in scenic Upstate New York locations. Open from April to November, Vernon Downs is home to some of harness racing's premier stakes events including the Empire Breeders Classic, Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial Trot, and several New York Sire Stakes Races. Opening day for harness racing this year is April 17 and the highly anticipated Empire Breeders Classic will take place June 18. Tioga Downs, which originated as a quarter horse race track, was revived and refurbished as a harness racetrack in 2006. Now, Tioga Downs is home to the Roll With Joe Open Pace sponsored by Blue Chip Farm, Tompkins Geers Grand Circuit Stakes, the Empire Breeders Classic and the New York Sire Stakes. Opening day for harness racing at Tioga Downs is May 1 and the Empire Breeders Classic finals, a race fan favorite, takes place on August 29. ABOUT VERNON DOWNS: In addition to its video lottery terminals, Vernon Downs offers live harness racing, concerts and other entertainment. Jeff Gural owns Vernon Downs in Vernon, N.Y. and Tioga Downs in Nichols, N.Y. In the last decade, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs have created more than 1,000 family-sustaining jobs. For more information on Vernon Downs, please visit ABOUT TIOGA DOWNS CASINO RESORT: Tioga Downs, which opened in 2006, and expanded to Tioga Downs Casino Resort in December 2016, offers live harness racing, casino gaming, sports betting, dining, golf, indoor and outdoor live entertainment, and more. Jeff Gural owns Tioga Downs as well as Vernon Downs in Vernon, New York. Since opening the new resort in December 2016, Tioga Downs has expanded its gaming offerings to include over 890 slot machines, 28 table games, a 6-table poker room, and a FanDuelSportsbook. The Tioga Downs Casino Resort Hotel spans six stories and boasts 160 rooms, an events center, a full-service AgeLess SPA, an indoor saltwater pool and Jacuzzi hot tub, an arcade, and a fitness room, as well as many other exciting amenities in season such as, an outdoor saltwater pool and Jacuzzi complete with Cabanas and a private Cabana bar (for hotel guests), an outdoor waterslide and plunge pool, and the 18-hole Tioga Golf Course located just minutes down the road. The resort also offers a wide variety of food outlets including their famous County Fair Buffet, Virgil's Real BBQ, and P.J. Clarke's, among others. Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs have created more than 1,000 family-sustaining jobs and donated millions to nonprofit organizations. For more information on Tioga Downs Casino Resort, please visit by Nick Salvi, for Vernon & Tioga Downs

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands is announcing a tiered purse increase ranging from $500 to $2500 across the board, boosting Big M purses to the highest in the Northeast for virtually all of the money condition harness racing classes along with very competitive purses for the claimers. The increases are included in the purses on the upcoming condition sheet for April 2 & 3. Capitalizing upon the influx of 3 year-olds as they prepare for their regional stakes, the purses for the NW X Races types have been bumped to a substantially higher level banking on the idea that those horses will have an increased presence in the entry box over the next six weeks and give our horse playing audience some inviting fresh faces to handicap. There are several components that have helped to build The Meadowlands brand to the level at which it currently stands. The sport's best colony of drivers hang their tack at The Meadowlands where the finest track surface on the continent, meticulously groomed to ensure that racing will go on safely even under adverse conditions, and the constant vigil to exclude cheating trainers and provide a level playing field have provided our customers the best product possible upon which to wager. The resulting robust handle on the product thus far this season, along with over $1 million in purse revenue from sports betting added by Jeff Gural, the generosity of our many sponsors whose contributions help to defray the considerable cost of the stakes program and the grant of $4.5 million directed to overnight racing from the state of New Jersey have combined to fuel this purse increase. It is our hope that despite increased competition from the reopening of other tracks in the region, the purse increase will aid in attracting enough horses to allow The Meadowlands to continue to offer the same number of races with large fields that have resulted in the increased handle. The new condition sheet reflecting the purse bump is available on The Meadowlands website. From The Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - It was just 10 years ago that The Meadowlands was teetering on the brink of extinction. The State of New Jersey no longer wanted to be in the harness racing business and the possibility of the track shutting down was genuine. That's when Jeff Gural and his investors stepped in to save the flagship venue of Standardbred racing. "I thought that if The Meadowlands closed," said Gural, the chairman and chief executive officer of the mile oval. "That would be the end of harness racing. But harness racing is my passion. I own horses and two breeding farms. Literally, it was 48 hours to closing. Gov. Chris Christie, he was going to close it, no question in my mind. Truthfully, I was shocked, I thought he was bluffing. So I took a shot." The fact is, The Big M was still clinging to its claim as the top track in the game in March of 2011, but things were anything but grand. Business was poor, maybe not by industry standards at the time, but clearly - as compared to now - betting was anything but bustling. In 2011, average handle during January was $2,149,062. During February, that number was $2,077,952. During 2021, those numbers were $3,398,125 and $3,430,923, respectively, to represent an increase of $2.6 million per weekend. Gural opened New Meadowlands Racetrack in 2013 opposite the longtime facility with a structure that had a fresh new look built to more comfortably accommodate the betting public. Five years later, in 2018, sports betting came to the mile oval in the form of the FanDuel Sportsbook, and that facility became the most prolific of its kind in the country, including the properties in Las Vegas. "Sports betting has saved the day," said Gural. "Without it, we might be closed. As far as business goes, nobody ever dreamed we would be as dominant as we are. Choosing to partner up with FanDuel was obviously the right decision. Our sportsbook is the biggest in the world, nobody does as much business as we do and it's very rewarding to see that." Another factor in The Big M's resurgence came during 2019, when Gov. Phil Murphy and The New Jersey State Legislature provided economic stimulus to New Jersey's racing industry. By raising purses, Meadowlands management was able to offer a highly competitive purse structure as its battle with nearby states who have purse accounts bloated by slot machine revenues continues. The increased purses have enabled The Big M's race office to offer full fields and 13 races when racing takes place every Friday and Saturday night. "We got a subsidy from the state, so purses are OK," said Gural. "We take over a million dollars a year from sports betting for purses. We have sponsors. Compared to any other track in the country, when you look at the money we spend on stakes, it's staggering." Gural still has hopes for casino gaming in the Garden State, which could be a game-changer. "I think the best hope for The Meadowlands is to get a casino. Once downstate New York gets them, hopefully we would then get them, which would create a lot of revenue. I do think, long term, that we will get a casino." "The year 2020 is over," said Jason Settlemoir, the track's chief operating officer and general manager. "And looking back, it was a testament to how resilient The Meadowlands and the State of New Jersey are. "One year after COVID-19 shut the country down, and 10 years after The Big M appeared to be finished, the hard work of Jeff Gural, Gov. Murphy and the State Legislators has seen The Meadowlands increase handle 61 percent from 2011 to 2021. The Big M, the flagship track of Standardbred racing, continues to be the most popular nighttime signal of any breed in North America. When you think of excellence in Standardbred racing, you think of The Meadowlands Racetrack. Together, Mr. Gural and the state have created an incredibly valuable asset for New Jersey." "It's great to see how everybody is betting our product," said Gural of The Big M, which has seen wagering of over $3 million on all 12 Saturday night programs during 2021. "What's helped us is our driver colony. Andy McCarthy stayed here for the winter, and he brought his brother Todd over [from Australia]. Scott Zeron stayed here rather than go to Florida. Tim Tetrick is back and David Miller is expected next week. We really have the best drivers in the world driving here - no track comes close - and I think that makes for a great product." And, hopefully, an even better next 10 years to come. THIS ANNIVERSARY'S A GEM: On the "modern list", a 10-year anniversary is referred to as the diamond jewelry anniversary, and thanks to the efforts of Chris Schick, the co-owner of Cal-Expo in California, a gambling revolution kicked off a decade ago, when the United States Trotting Association partnered with member tracks to form the initiative known as Strategic Wagering. To create more interest in the game, Strategic Wagering has offered free program pages to players, as well as guaranteed pools, which is helping to increase the sport's popularity. Pools that are part of the initiative at The Meadowlands have exploded. Lowering takeout has also been a key factor as to why these wagers have flourished. "On behalf of horseplayers everywhere," said Settlemoir. "A heartfelt thank you to Mr. Schick and Strategic Wagering. Let's have another 10 great years." Free program pages for Strategic Wagering are always available at the USTA's website, THE SCHEDULE: Live racing takes place this Friday and Saturday night and has a post time of 6:20 p.m. The Big M TV's live simulcast presentation of its "Racing from the Meadowlands" pre-game show kicks off at 5:47 p.m. every live racing night. TETRICK "IN THE SULKY": Tim Tetrick will be Dave Little's guest Saturday night during the pre-game show on "In the Sulky". Tetrick, who returned to regular driving at The Big M last week, will talk about his career and some of the horses he is looking forward to driving during 2021. "In the Sulky" will begin at 5:50 p.m. and can be seen on The Meadowlands' live simulcast signal. SO, YOU WANT MORE ACTION? The Meadowlands' top-flight menu of simulcast tracks will be highlighted this Saturday (March 27) by the card that will take place at Florida's Gulfstream Park, which will play host to the Florida Derby, one of the final major preps for the May 1 Kentucky Derby. Players can expect a huge pool as the track will offer a mandatory payout of its Rainbow 6. The 14-race card at Gulfstream has a post time of 11:30 a.m. The Florida Derby - which is race 14 on the program - will go at 6:40 p.m. That evening, Woodbine at Mohawk Park - the preeminent harness track in Canada - will have a mandatory payout of its High-5, which takes place shortly after the conclusion of The Meadowlands' live card. FREE PPs: "Need a program? The Big M has you covered," said Settlemoir. "We offer free programs every night." The free past performances are available to anyone who goes to the track's website, GET SOCIAL: You can always check in with the team at The Meadowlands on Twitter. For early changes, racing information and staff selections, go to @themeadowlands or #playbigm. On race nights, stay in touch with the Big M's Dave Brower (@eedoogie), Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover), Andrew Demsky (@shadesonracing) and Jessica Otten (@JessicaOtten1). A HALF-DOZEN CHANCES: The Big M offers players six chances every night to make a score, betting on the track's popular wagers that offer a low 15 percent takeout. They are: Race 1: 20-cent Pick-5 Race 3: 20-cent Survivor Pick-7 Race 6: 50-cent Pick-4 Race 8: 20-cent Pick-6 Race 10: 50-cent Pick-4 Race 13: 10-cent Hi-5/Pentafecta $100,000 GUARANTEED: Every night, The Meadowlands guarantees big green on both editions of its signature wager, as each 50-cent Pick-4 sports a $50,000 guaranteed pool. CHECK OUT THE PICKS: For those who need to get a leg up on the action, go to to see track oddsmaker and analyst Brower's selections and commentary. Click on the "handicapping" tab and go to "race reviews". Brower's input is generally available 48 hours before every card. THE MAYHEM CONTINUES: College basketball's stranglehold on the sports world for the month of March continues as the original field of 68 teams for the NCAA Tournament has now been whittled down to 16 with eight games this weekend. The action kicks off with four games Saturday (March 27), the first of which begins at 2:40 p.m. with the last of the quartet tipping off at 9:55 p.m. The marquee game pits the Villanova Wildcats against the Baylor Bears (-7½) at 5:15 p.m. On Sunday (March 28), the featured game is the first of the foursome, as tournament favorite, the undefeated Gonzaga Bulldogs (-13), take on the Creighton Bluejays. Tipoff is at 2:10 p.m. The last game will start at 9:45 p.m. To watch and wager on all the games, come to The Big M's FanDuel Sportsbook. In addition to the college hoops, action will be available on professional golf's WGC Dell Matchplay, as well as a plethora of other sports, including the NBA, NHL, Premier and Champions League soccer, professional tennis and more. The sportsbook is open Sunday-Friday from 10 a.m.-midnight and Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 a.m. The cash counter is open from 10 a.m.-11 p.m. From the Meadowlands

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands Racetrack has created a task force focused on perception of practices while on the racetrack. This committee will be comprised of various industry participants including customers, horseplayers, media, racetrack management, drivers, and trainers. The committee will be asked to observe the horses from the time they enter the track until they exit while paying particular attention to the appearance of the post parades, drivers speaking while scoring, first turn courtesy tucks, half in and half out racing style and coming off the pylons at the top of the stretch essentially creating a passing lane where one does not exist along with any other topics that they feel need to be addressed. This initiative will begin on the weekend of April 9th. The committee will take notes on the races and communicate their thoughts and observations to Meadowlands Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason M. Settlemoir on Monday mornings.  Each Wednesday, the committee will meet by conference call to hear and discuss the weekend's observations. If necessary, the notes may be forwarded to the tracks Presiding Judge. The committee will meet through the end of May, with the last conference call slated for Wednesday, June 2 at which time a decision will be made regarding the continuation of the initiative.  Committee Chairman Jason M. Settlemoir had this to say, “We are appreciative of these individuals who have committed their time and effort to this taskforce. Jeff (Gural) and I are constantly getting feedback from customers, trainers and drivers by e-mail or by phone calls along with social media. We feel it is important to point things out that everyone sees when we race to all trainers, drivers, and our judges.  "Customers, whether making big or small wagers, want real answers when they bet their hard earned money on our races. They want to know why a driver provides a "courtesy" (a term better suited to the Maître d at a fine restaurant and not used in any sport other than horse racing) tuck, why a driver would sit in the middle of the track waiting for cover to develop, why are horses consistently drifting off the pylons at the top of the stretch and letting others go up the inside when there is no passing lane at any of the Gural properties.  "A couple of my pet peeves are talking on the track, and post parades, so we will address those too. Let’s face it, the product we put out is seen by almost everyone on TV not sitting live at the track. Customers see these things when the cameras happens to move past them or position on them. Talking on the track is a perception issue in my opinion and while most of the times our post parades are pretty good as they are led by design by our starter around the track. "I look forward to hearing what the customers say and the trainers and drivers as well. I believe this is an important step to continue to improve our product.” From The Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - With the Harness Racing Integrity Act still in development, Jeff Gural, the president of The Meadowlands, has retained the services of Five Stones Intelligence, Inc. to help maintain the integrity of the sport at all Gural properties including Vernon and Tioga Downs. "Our goal is to maintain a level playing field," said Gural. "Trainers using drugs may be welcome to race at other tracks, but not at my properties." The Meadowlands is taking a "no excuses" approach and is currently working with the FBI and the US Attorney's office to uncover the use of illegal medications. Jeff Gural offers thanks to The Jockey Club, The Red Mile and the Standardbred Owners and Breeders Association of New Jersey for their partnership and funding. Any tracks interested in joining the effort may e-mail Jason Settlemoir at By Shades Demsky, for the Meadowlands 

An urgent interview with Meadowland's owner, Jeff Gural is on this week's Harness Racing Alumni Show.   In the candid discussion, Jeff tells Freddie, Trade and Bob the details behind his decision to exclude any owners and horses from racing at his Meadowlands, Vernon and Tioga tracks who have indicted trainer Rene Allard training horses for them.   Gural then explains his continued efforts to clean up the drug use in our racing and he disclosed that he has rehired Five Stones Investigations, to pursue and further their investigation of our sport. Don't miss this exciting & informative broadcast.   From the Harness Racing Alumni Show      

The following statement is from Doug Lieb, harness racing trainer Rene Allard's Attorney on the Gural - Allard situation. Dear Mr. Gural: This firm is civil counsel to Rene Allard. Last week, you further escalated your long-running campaign to blacklist Mr. Allard from his chosen profession. Mr. Allard has every right to make a living. He has every right to continue training horses, which is his passion and his life’s work. All of his current professional activities are specifically permitted by court order. We demand that you cease and desist from your tortious interference with—and your efforts to organize a group boycott of—Mr. Allard’s business. Your actions are not just unlawful, but wrong. You began your campaign against Mr. Allard in 2013 by excluding him from your racetracks. You then employed a private investigative firm that harassed and threatened others in the harness racing industry unless they provided negative information about Mr. Allard. You then caused unreliable information generated by those investigators to be turned over to the United States Government, leading to Mr. Allard’s arrest. As a result of your actions, Mr. Allard is the subject of a pending criminal prosecution in which he fully intends to clear his name. In the latest escalation, you have now demanded that all horse owners who do business with Mr. Allard stop doing so as a condition of doing business with you. On March 6, 2021, the Meadowlands media relations department issued a statement (the “March 6 Statement”) [1] that the three racetracks you control—The Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs, which account for a significant portion of harness racing opportunities in the Northeast and include harness racing’s flagship track—will “exclude any horse being trained or that has been trained” by Mr. Allard in Florida. The March 6 Statement also notes that for owners who “currently have or have had horses in Mr. Allard’s stable this winter,” “all horses owned wholly or in part by them will be excluded” from these three tracks and “deemed ineligible . . . for any/all administered stake races . . . for a minimum of three years.” Owners who have done business with Mr. Allard must also divest their interest from any horses not trained by Mr. Allard in which they are minority owners by March 15 in order for those horses to race at your tracks. [2] The ban would likely affect dozens of owners and hundreds of horses that have never been trained by Mr. Allard. Thus, in addition to banning horses trained by Mr. Allard, the March 6 Statement effectively provides that any owners who have any business relationship with Mr. Allard must agree to cease doing business with him as a condition of doing unrelated business with your tracks. The pressure on owners is severe. Owners who agree to the policy announced in your March 6 Statement would need to immediately sell their ownership interest in horses that are not trained by Mr. Allard, which would likely mean selling those horses at a loss. Owners who do not agree to the policy would presumably lose the stakes money they have already paid to race at the Meadowlands this year and any purses they may have won from racing there. It is difficult to envision a clearer example of tortious interference with business relations. You are engaged in “deliberate interference” with Mr. Allard’s existing contractual relationships with owners in an effort to induce owners to breach their contracts with Mr. Allard. NBT Bancorp Inc. v. Fleet/Norstar Fin. Grp., Inc., 87 N.Y.2d 614, 621 (1996). You are also making statements that “impugn[] the basic integrity” of Mr. Allard’s business. Amaranth LLC v. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., 71 A.D.3d 40, 48 (1st Dep’t 2009) (“[Plaintiff] has adequately pleaded the elements of tortious interference with prospective economic advantage. It is well settled that where a statement impugns the basic integrity . . . of a business, an action lies and injury is conclusively presumed.”). And you are exerting severe economic pressure on owners by threatening to freeze them out of the most important opportunities in their field if they have any economic relations with Mr. Allard in the future. See, e.g., Carvel Corp. v. Noonan, 3 N.Y.3d 182, 193-94 (2004) (severe economic pressure on third parties who do business with plaintiff may constitute tortious interference with plaintiff’s prospective economic relations). You are also, in potential violation of the Sherman Act, attempting to orchestrate a group boycott of Mr. Allard in plain sight. A group boycott is an agreement among participants in the relevant market not to deal, or only to deal on discriminatory terms, with a competitor. See, e.g., NYNEX Corp. v. Discon, Inc., 525 U.S. 128, 134 (1998). Such boycotts are per se unlawful—meaning that they are illegal irrespective of whether they actually have an anticompetitive effect or a legitimate business rationale—where they involve horizontal agreements among competitors. See, e.g., Fashion Originators’ Guild of Am., Inc. v. FTC, 312 U.S. 457 (1941). You are both an owner of racetracks and an owner of horses. Should you succeed in your efforts to induce other horse owners to agree not to do business with Mr. Allard as a condition of doing business with you, you would be entering into such horizontal agreements. The improper purpose of the March 6 Statement is further confirmed by your history of targeting Mr. Allard—and others in your industry who defy your edicts. In 2013, after Mr. Allard won several significant races at your tracks and was having an excellent season (including a training UDRS of .367), you excluded him from racing at any of your tracks without explanation. [3] As you have acknowledged, banning trainers—especially winning ones—from the Meadowlands can help your bottom line. [4] That is so in part because you and your close associates sometimes have stakes in horses competing in those same races. A trainer has previously testified under oath that you banned him from your racetrack because he was winning races. [5] After another trainer spoke out publicly against that ban, you banned him too. [6] When a trainer worked to defeat legislation that would have expressly authorized the practice of allowing horses you own to race on your tracks, you banned him—and then banned other horsemen who were merely members of the association that opposed the proposed bill. [7] Even after you banned Mr. Allard from your racetracks, Mr. Allard continued his long track record of success. You, in turn, continued taking measures that would harm his career. You engaged a private investigative firm, 5 Stones Intelligence, to investigate Mr. Allard. 5 Stones used aggressive, unlawful tactics in an attempt to coerce witnesses into incriminating others in the industry. When witnesses refused to participate and told 5 Stones that they were not aware of any wrongdoing, 5 Stones threatened their careers in the industry. You then gave the Government the information that 5 Stones collected through these questionable means. As you noted in the March 6 Statement: “We, along with the Thoroughbred Jockey Club, spent much time and money employing the Five Stones investigators to prepare a case to get the Feds interested which led to all of those indictments,” referring to the indictment against Mr. Allard and others. Your own words suggest that your purpose in retaining 5 Stones was not to uncover the truth. It was to produce information, whether true or false, that would “get the Feds interested” and lead the Government to indict Mr. Allard. In other words, you worked with 5 Stones to “lead the FBI in the right direction.”[8] That the Government charged Mr. Allard on the basis of information provided at least in part by yourself and 5 Stones—after your years-long campaign against Mr. Allard, and after 5 Stones’ repeated harassment of witnesses—raises serious doubt about the criminal charges that Mr. Allard now faces. Despite Mr. Allard’s arrest, owners have continued to employ him to train their young, non-racing horses because they are confident in his integrity and future success. As you are surely aware, Mr. Allard has been permitted by prosecutors and the Court to continue making a living by engaging in this work while the criminal case is pending. [9] You, however, have continued your efforts to put Mr. Allard out of business entirely. Even before the March 6 Statement, you contacted owners directly to pressure them to end their business with Mr. Allard. Those private communications were consistent with your thinly veiled public comments that “anyone who used these people who were indicted cannot be sleeping well” [10] and that “some might find it in their interest to cooperate.” [11]           *          * We hereby demand that you formally retract the March 6 Statement. We further demand that you state in writing that will not seek to require owners to stop doing business with Mr. Allard as a condition of entering horses into races at tracks you control. You, your corporate entities, your affiliates, your employees and agents, and others acting at your direction, including but not limited to 5 Stones Intelligence, must also preserve all documents and correspondence concerning the investigation of Mr. Allard; your direct and indirect communications with others in the industry about Mr. Allard’s business and/or conduct; and/or the March 6 Statement. This letter is not an exhaustive recitation of Mr. Allard’s legal claims, rights, or remedies, all of which we expressly reserve. Sincerely yours, Douglas E. Lieb   cc.        Brice Cote (by email -   [1]                 Gural Statement on Allard Training Stable, United States Trotting Ass’n, http://ustrottingnews .com/gural-statement-on-allard-training-center. [2]                The March 15 deadline is a key entry point when horse owners must pay fees in order to race in the upcoming season. Many of the dozens of owners potentially subject to the ban have already paid their February stake payment installment. [3]                Steve Wolf, Allard’s Exclusion Includes Three Racetracks, HarnessLink, May 18, 2013, [4]                Dave Briggs, Why American Racetrack Owner Jeff Gural Is Taking a Stand on Integrity, Thoroughbred Racing Commentary, Apr. 8, 2015, (“[Banning trainers] has helped us at the Meadowlands. Look at some of our competitors where people we’ve banned are racing. Look at their handle . . . There are other factors, but from what I’ve seen, our handle dwarfs our competitors where the drug guys are allowed to race. One would think it does help, obviously.” (alterations in original)). [5]                Pena v. New Meadowlands Racetrack LLC, Civ. No. 12-2, 2012 WL 95344, at *1 (D.N.J. Jan. 10, 2012) (“Indeed, Plaintiff avers that Mr. Gural ‘has made public statements that he does not want Pena racing at the Meadowlands, for no apparent reason other than that Pena is winning so many races.”). [6]                Meadowlands Bans Driver George Brennan, Allegedly for Comments Made in NY Times, Paulick Report, June 4, 2012, [7]                Lifetime Ban – Now Retribution By Gural, HarnessLink, June 23, 2016, http://www.harnesslink .com/News/Re--Gural-ban-Memo-in-Word. [8]                Bob Ehalt, Surveillance Firm Played Role in Federal Indictments, BloodHorse, Mar. 21, 2020, [9]                See ECF No. 12, United States v. Grasso, 20-CR-163 (S.D.N.Y.), ECF No. 12 (describing “Additional Conditions,” including “Def[endant] not to train horses entered into any races” (emphasis added)). [10]               Ehalt, supra note 8. [11]               John Brennan, Meadowlands Racetrack Owner Sees Doping Scandal as a Long-Term Boost for Horse Racing, Online Gambling, Apr. 9, 2020, -- Doug Lieb Kaufman Lieb Lebowitz & Frick LLP 212.660.2332 10 E. 40th St., Suite 3307 New York, NY 10016

East Rutherford, NJ - Meadowlands management has become aware that Rene Allard is training a stable of horses in South Florida. As a result, The Meadowlands, Tioga & Vernon Downs will exclude any horse being trained or that has been trained in that stable in any stake and is actively investigating who owns the horses that are or have been in his stable this winter.   Those owners who currently have or have had horses in Allard's stable this winter are advised that all horses owned wholly or in part by them will be excluded from participation in all Meadowlands, Tioga & Vernon Downs races and that all of horses owned wholly or in part by them will be deemed ineligible to for any/all Meadowlands, Tioga & Vernon Downs administered stakes races for a minimum of three years. If owners affected by the above are a minority partner on horses with owners that are not affected by the above and are being trained by accepted trainers, they must legitimately divest their interest in those horses, which will be required to be done and demonstrated to the satisfaction of The Meadowlands before the March 15 stakes payments will be accepted on those horses. The affected owners should notify their partners on the horses that fall into the above category immediately. "This news is particularly disturbing after the indictments of March and a later superseding charge in December of last year," said Meadowlands President Jeff Gural. "We, along with the Thoroughbred Jockey Club, spent much time and money employing the Five Stones investigators to prepare a case to get the Feds interested which led to all of those indictments. We will continue to partner with the Jockey Club to fund the continuing investigation by Five Stones. We could use support in this initiative and welcome anyone who would like to aid in the funding of this necessary and important endeavor. "To learn that people actually give this guy horses to train after what was discovered by the Federal investigation boggles the mind. The only reason to do this, that I do this, is to clean up racing so we might have a future and to protect the guys that do try to follow the rules. "Horsemen seem to have this absurd unspoken bond that they protect each other. Well let me be perfectly clear, trainers that break the rules and use Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) are stealing from you, not me. They are beating your horse with a PED enhanced horse then, they are buying or claiming your horse and them beating you with your own horse. I just don't get it." Meadowlands investigator Brice Cote will respond to questions at From the Meadowlands Racetrack          

In this edition of harness racing's  The Horseman's Voice: Jeff Gural - 1st generation horseperson, he shares his love of the sport from his humble beginnings going to Roosevelt Raceway with his friends and playing competitive sports with them whilst growing up in New York City.   After attending college and travelling to all major racetracks across the country during that time; he reminisces about convincing his wife to get a bungalow near Monticello Raceway and the rest until the current history.   In the late 1980's he buys his own farm and expanded to buy another farm in another state altogether to expand and enhance his breeding operation. He then delves into his business model as a breeder and how he 'buys' back pieces (small %ages) of horses with trainers he has solid relationships.   A great listen and a savior/visionary of sorts of the entire Standardbred Industry; it's more of a 'getting to know' the humble 'nice guy' behind the name everyone knows - Jeff Gural.     The next edition of The Horseman's Voice is set for next Monday, February 1, 2021, so hold onto your lines - due to the timeliness of what's happening in our nation's capital we'll be doing a little 'consulting' with an old strategic partner from 'back in day,' who truly is an expert who knows his stuff!   The International Source for Harness Racing - Looking forward to meeting local children who dream of writing, taking photographs and making art for their local communities and being afforded the   Facebook App: YouTube Channel:   Eric Poders The Horseman's Voice

On this week's Harness Racing Alumni Show broadcast, Meadowlands owner Jeff Gural lays it all on the line. The message that we are sending to the rest of the world is that the harness racing industry wishes to turn its back on the integrity act and keep things just the way that they have become through the past years....., Drugs, drugs, drugs...., it's no longer horse racing, it's become chemical warfare.   This weeks show brought to you by Century 21's Joe Ricco and Billy Haughton Equine Insurance   To hear this week's show, click here.     From the Harness Racing Alumni Show      

Columbus, OH – “It’s a disaster for the harness racing industry and would be catastrophic, no two ways about it. It would cost thousands of jobs and be devastating for breeders,” said Meadowlands Owner Jeff Gural regarding the announcement that NJ Governor Phil Murphy’s revised budget proposal includes that elimination of the $20 million purse subsidy for horse racing. Gural emphasized that it’s critical that NJ horse racing stakeholders contact their legislators before the budget is approved. “Everyone in our industry needs to reach out to their local legislators,” urged Gural. “The budget won’t be finalized until the end of September.  We have a month to convince the governor and legislators not to eliminate the subsidy.” To contact your local NJ legislators, click here, enter your municipality and send an email to each one. To call your representatives in the NJ Senate and Assembly, click here and select your district for phone numbers. In Wednesday’s (Aug. 26) story, John Brennan reported that among NJ Governor Phil Murphy’s revised budget proposal cuts to try to counteract the loss of revenue due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic “is a $20 million cut from an annual horse racing purse subsidy that was signed into law in February 2019. That money was to be split each year equally between the Thoroughbred horsemen at Monmouth Park and the harness racing communities of Meadowlands Racetrack and Freehold Raceway. “The subsidy is a mere fraction of the hundreds of millions in slot machine revenue subsidies allocated to racetracks in New York and Pennsylvania, but it has helped the bottom line of all three tracks in both 2019 and 2020,” wrote Brennan. In addition, AJ Sabath, President/CEO of the Advocacy & Management Group, which serves as a government affairs advisor to the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey, issued the following statement: “Yesterday (Aug. 25), the Governor proposed what he wanted the budget to look like from his vantage point. I want to reassure you that this is only the beginning of the budget process. The budget is now in the hands of the Legislature. Between now and the September 30th budget deadline, the Legislature will be negotiating their own budget with the Governor. Legislative leaders have their own budget priorities with the power to add and remove what is in the final budget. “This is not the time to be discouraged that the $20 million for purse appropriation was not in the proposed budget. We need to keep advocating for our industry. The foundation of our years of advocacy has made it clear to policy makers that our industry is part of the fabric of what makes New Jersey the state it is in the Union.” To read the complete story, click here. from the USTA Communications Department

East Rutherford, NJ - The number of horses entered this morning for the weekend harness racing draw at The Meadowlands was a staggering 777.   With the purse account under duress from compromised revenue streams this year, the number of races will remain at 13 for each day which leaves more than 500 horses with no place to race. There is simply not the revenue in The Meadowlands purse account to fund the addition of more racing days.   Recognizing that the hardship continues to increase for owners and trainers as more time passes time passes without an answer on how to get horses raced and when the various sires stakes will get underway, Jeff Gural has a thought to try and give more horses a chance to race.   Pending NJ Commission and state approval, The Meadowlands would consider leasing the track to horsemen's associations to add a race card beginning next week for a few weeks as necessary until more tracks open, provided they could fund the purses from their purse or sires stake account.   Nick Salvi

Nichols, NY - In light of the recent announcement that the New York regions containing both Tioga and Vernon Downs will be among the first to make a gradual return to business, Jeff Gural is working toward opening those tracks for live harness racing, hopefully by the end of May.   Negotiations with the Horsemen's organizations regarding details on just how to accomplish that in a fashion that would give racing the best chance to be conducted safely are underway.   "Although it's not in my best business interests to open for racing before the casinos get back going as originally planned, being a horseman I sympathize with the guys that race with us and the situation they have found themselves in through no fault of their own," said Jeff Gural, owner/operator of Tioga and Vernon Downs.   "Another key issue is the status of the NY Sires Stakes (NYSS) program. There are a lot of unknowns about the other tracks, when they will be able to open and what the landscape will look like when they do. I understand that Buffalo has chosen not to host NYSS races, so if we're able to get open we'll include that leg with those raced at Tioga and Vernon and get the program started."   "The picture should become much clearer over the next few days. We are busy working out the details of what will be expected of us to race and just how we'll get that done. Horsemen will need to be involved and diligent in policing themselves because we can not afford a single mistake."   Further details will be announced as they become known.   Nick Salvi        

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

LEXINGTON, KY--Trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt darted Six Pack to the lead moving to the final turn and raced the clock to a 1:49.2 world-record harness racing victory in the $145,000 Cantab Hall Allerage Farms Open Trot--sponsored by Jeff & Paula Gural--on Saturday, Oct. 5 at The Red Mile. Following two recalls caused by equipment issues with Trolley the starting gate sent the field to race. Eurobond left for the lead from post 4 and took the field past a :27 first quarter while Lindy The Great raced second and Crystal Fashion sat third. Svanstedt sent Six Pack from fourth nearing a :54.2 and dashed to the front rounding the final turn, opening his lead towards three-quarters in 1:21.3. Through the stretch Svanstedt urged Six Pack as the four-year-old Muscle Mass colt won by open lengths over Lindy The Great with Mission Accepted finishing third. "He had been sick for about a month but [his] last race was good--he came home fast," Svanstedt said after the race of his return to the races in the Caesars Trotting Classic. The 1:49.2 mile bests the previous record for a four-year-old trotting stallion of 1:50.1 set by Chapter Seven in 2012 and equaled by Eurobond and Southwind Chrome. "Today I thought we were going to break the record [but] he needed a little bit of help," Svanstedt also said. "It was a little bit slow but he came home good. He's a little lazy when he's on the front [but] I tried." Co-owned by Svanstedt with Little E LLC, Knutsson Trotting, Stall Kalmar and Lawrence Berg, Six Pack won his 18th race from 33 starts, earning $1,658,105. "It was a little nerve-racking with the recalls to tell you the truth," said Jeff Gural, who co-owns Six Pack through Little E LLC. "I've actually dreamed of giving myself a trophy because I've never done it. I've given the Hambletonian trophy the last five, six years and the trophy for this race so it's a real thrill. This horse has had a lot of bad posts and he's cut most of the miles where he got beat--he got beat at the wire. He did all the work but then somebody else gets a record. So I was really happy for him today." Six Pack paid $5.00 to win. Grand Circuit action concludes at The Red Mile on Sunday, Oct. 6 with the 127th renewal of the Kentucky Futurity, which goes as a single heat with a field of 12 for $450,000. The 54th Kentucky Filly Futurity also goes as a single dash with an 11-horse draw for $267,000. Two divisions of the $540,000 Tattersalls Pace, the $69,500 Allerage Farms Fillies and Mares Trot and $87,000 Allerage Farms Fillies and Mares Pace will also go on the eight-race card. Racing gets underway for the season finale with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). For full results and entries, click here.  By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

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