Christie Skeptical Deal Can Be Completed

Published: April 13, 2011 03:59 pm EDT

This Friday is the deadline for Jeff Gural and the unions representing Meadowlands Racetrack workers to come to an agreement. If a deal doesn't get done, Gural will not be taking over operations of the track. If New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is optimistic a deal will get done, he sure isn't reflecting that in his words to the press


According to a report today on, when asked about the chance of a deal being in place by the Friday, April 15 drop-dead deadline, Christie was quoted as saying, “We might (have a deal in place by the deadline). I’m not anticipating that we will. We’re still working.”

The article also explains that of all the unions which represent workers at the 'Mecca of Harness Racing,' the largest union (Local 137), which represents the tellers, is expected to vote on concessions this Thursday (April 14). If a deal is not struck between Gural and Local 137, the landscape of the immediate future of the Meadowlands will change in a heartbeat.

If Local 137 votes 'yes' to Gural's offer, the real estate executive and New York racino owner will be able to set his vision for North America's top standardbred racetrack in motion. If a 'no' vote is returned, the 'Big M's days will be numbered and it will only play host to live action around Hambletonian time for the foreseeable future.

The Friday, April 15 is the second deadline Gural has had to make things a 'go' with the fabled racetrack which many say is the cornerstone facility to the North American harness racing industry.

“I don’t want to drag this out, and the racing people need to know where they’re going to race,” Gural was quoted as saying in the report. “Deadlines are good.”

(With files from

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Just like knocking the first domino down....if the "Mecca" or the face of harness racing can be taken down, how much longer will the states & provinces support it? A precedent could be set here. What's really amazing is how little support the horseman have "really" shown through all this!

I totally agree with you Brad. The Meadowlands IS harness racing. Without it every other harness track in the world can close down as far as I am concerned. As you so correctly point out, best racing style, best on air commentary, best everything.

Without knowing all the details of what's invovled I must admit I would find it terribly confusing if the union members vote no to the offer. Is being unemployed somehow a better option or am I missing something here?

Incredible, If it's not horseman putting a nail in their own coffin, it's a union. With no meadowlands... this industry is done. Meadowlands is the only track that offers a premium product, from the racing style to the on air commentary to the announcer, it is second to none. What a shame.