In light of the Meadowlands Racetrack's unionized pari-mutuel tellers not ratifying Jeff Gural's offer to them last night, Gural released a statement on the issue this afternoon
Today (Friday, April 15) is the drop-dead date for a deal to be struck between Gural and the tellers, who are represented by Local 137. The Meadowlands' foreseeable future hinges on both sides being able to come to an agreement. If no such agreement can be achieved, there is scheduled to be a very small mini-meet around the Hambletonian, but anything beyond that would be speculative.
The contents of Gural's statement appear below.
Obviously, I am very disappointed with the vote yesterday by the tellers not to ratify the proposal we gave them to extend their contract three years at the expiration of the existing contract next February.
This is extremely disappointing considering I have actually raised the money which I thought was the hard part. I believe we are very close to an agreement with the state with only two or three open points remaining.
At this point, I think we have to assume that the Meadowlands will not reopen for racing on May 7 unless the tellers reconsider.
I am looking into the possibility of relocating the Graduate and the Cutler Memorial stakes races which were originally scheduled to be raced at the Meadowlands on May 7 with a final on May 14 to the other tracks that I own.
I would recommend making the payments for those two races that are due today and the money will be refunded if the race is cancelled. I am actually on my way to Vernon for opening night. I will discuss this with the horsemen at both Tioga and Vernon to see if we can come up with something as I think it would be unfair at this late date to cancel those two races.
Hopefully the tellers will have a change of heart but in the meantime I think it would be prudent to assume that the facility will not reopen for racing on May 7.
I would like to thank the many horsemen who contributed to this effort financially as we raised close to $1,000,000 to cover the costs associated with trying to keep the Meadowlands open. I am very sorry that this effort did not end the way we had all hoped but it is not for lack of effort.
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