Gural Has Money Lined Up For Meadowlands

Published: March 25, 2011 09:51 pm EDT

"Finding $100 million dollars in this day and age to build a racetrack without gambling, slots or some other form [of gaming] is almost impossible but we've been

able to do it.".

In an interview before Friday night's card of harness racing at the Meadowlands, Jeff Gural states that he has the money lined up to lease the track.

"We've convinced people that we can get people back to the track if we have a new building, I think the OTWs will help, I've got a partner in Cantor Gaming - Lee Amaitis, who's a genius. He lives in Nevada and knows more about gambling than anybody. We're going to try different bets, we're going to go after the rebate shops, we're going to change this game upside-down.

"We're not just going to spend $100,000 and hope that by some miracle of a sudden people get interested in harness racing. Our plan is to completely change the model. Obviously it will take us a while until that new building is up but we can certainly introduce new forms of wagering - over the Internet, on the phone - and we can get Bayonne [OTB] open.

While understanding that the duration of the meet might not be ideal for the horsemen, Gural thinks that the 81 days discussed in the proposal could work.

"I have some other ideas we've tried in Tioga and been very successful up there. Whether it would work in an cosmopolitan area like this, who knows, but I think if you make it fun, if it's fun for people to come here - especially in the warm weather, while it's not ideal for the horsemen reducing it to 81 days is a big plus for us especially when the summer meet is a championship meet, 45 days, I think we can really make that a good meet."

The major obstacle standing in Gural's way right now, according to him, is the unions.

"I think that if we can work things out with the unions, I think we'll be in pretty good shape but that's a big 'if' obviously."

Gural's interview with Sam McKee is available below.



Jeff as an owner I thank you for what you have accomplished to date. I only hope the unions see that if the Meadowlands goes down they are not only suffering loss of jobs but thousands of other jobs in the industry will be gone also. We as horsemen must step up and support the entry box at the Meadowlands to ensure full fields and provide competitive honest racing to create fan interest and attendance or building a new grandstand will be a waste of money. Without slots purses will be lower until we get this great sport back on its feet but without the Meadowlands our sport will be set back and die a slow death. I am looking forward to racing Big Jim in May at the Meadowlands and welcome all kids to attend the winners circle and to get their picture taken if we win. I am sure I can strike a deal with the photographer to ensure these families go home with a souvinier and return to the track as a fan in the future for life. Again Jeff thanks again and if I can help in any way please do not hesitate to contact.

it's good to see someone think outside the box in horse racing. BUT he can't do it Himself. It's time for all the track operators to look at their business and bring it into the 21st century...

Jeff Gural is one of only a few people thru out the industry that actually gets it and understands the many problems facing the race game and the importance of the race game starting to compete with other forms of gambling. The big m is the single most important track in the harness game and i wish him well. As the previous poster pointed out about the 5 horse field, this is going to be a major problem for Mr.Gural. With the big m not having slots how does he get the purses to a level where he can compete for the quality horses to fill the cards when the purses are so large at yonkers and other tracks that have slots.

He can build a new building or offer new wagers but it's the game that needs to change.Have a look at that vid,a 5 horse field with a two horse entry at 2/5!!!One can bet 20 bucks and try and win 4 dollars,or they can sit and wait 30 minutes till the next race.

Yippee.Dad,dad,how much did we win?40 cents son.