Exodus of Perretti Farms Stallions Creates Challenge for New Jersey’s Horse Racing Future


MANALAPAN,  NJ – November 30, 2012 — The loss of New Jersey stallions to slots-enriched  programs in other states is now a reality.

Perretti  Farms in Cream Ridge, NJ has announced that it has moved two of the harness  racing industry’s premier stallions to Pennsylvania for the 2013 breeding  season.

Muscles  Yankee and Rocknroll Hanover will be relocated from Perretti’s 1,000 acres of  prime farmland in Upper Freehold Township across the state line to Newtown, PA  to take advantage of the casino-enriched purses in Pennsylvania, especially the  Pennsylvania Sire Stakes program.

The  New Jersey Sire Stakes program, which for three decades was the model for other  states and provinces, is now one of the weakest because of the paucity of purse  money.

New  Jersey is no longer competitive, putting more than 170,000 acres of equine  farmland in jeopardy,” said Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association  President Tom Luchento.  “Without a healthy breeding program, the stallions  and broodmares will move – have moved — to adjoining states where they are  flushed with the cash from casinos and racinos [racetracks with casino-style  wagering].

“Not  only is the preservation of farmland at stake, but also more than 10,000 jobs  currently filled by tax-paying residents who are ill-equipped to change careers  and will end up on welfare rolls,” Luchento added.

Trenton  continues to focus on ways to improve Atlantic City and other businesses which  provide fewer jobs, while the horseracing industry gets pushed aside,” Luchento  said.  “They have tried to Band-Aid the problem with a few short term  solutions.  Meanwhile, the wound continues to grow, and the decision by  Perretti Farms is a pure product of that injury.

“Anthony  Perretti and his father, Bill, do not want to move their stallions from New  Jersey,” Luchento explained.  “But they have no choice but to protect the  value of their stallions.  The yearlings they sold this fall dropped in  value in large part because the New Jersey Sire Stakes program and the purse  structure at the Meadowlands have been eviscerated.  Meanwhile, the  surrounding states value their horse racing industry and offer great  purses.  New Jersey simply cannot compete unless things in this state begin  to change,”

Breeding  a race horse is a three-year process and decisions made now have an impact in  the years ahead.

These  are not decisions that can be ‘kicked down the road,’” Luchento said.  “Our  leadership in Trenton needs to start supporting horse racing before the horses  all leave the state.  Coupling horse racing with casinos has been a winning  combination in states like Pennsylvania and New York.  Gaming helps  supplement the purses in those states, making them a magnet for breeding stock  and racehorses.  The loser in this contest has been New  Jersey.

Our  state needs to take on a similar model in order to save the horse racing  industry and help us reinvigorate this great sport,” he added.  “New Jersey  needs to offer better purses in order to attract the best horses, trainers and  drivers.  For more than 30 years, the position of New Jersey as the No. 1  harness racing state was unquestioned.  That is why people like the  Perrettis invested in New Jersey real estate and played an important role in the  preservation of farmland.  Now they are being chased from this state  because of purse-money inequity.

In  a time when jobs need to be saved, not scrapped, the powers-that-be in Trenton  need to help us to help ourselves with nothing more than what neighboring states  have provided their horse racing industries,” Luchento added.  “This is a  valuable industry in this state for people who work the land and  livestock.  Not everyone is meant to be a city or suburban dweller with a  job, sitting behind a desk.  These are people who work with the horses in  all weather, making a 24/7 commitment to the well-being of the horses in their  care.  This is a way of life that is in jeopardy.

“We  know from polls and surveys that New Jersey citizens treasure their Green Acres  and support the racing industry,” Luchento said.  “All we ask for is that  the governor and the legislature take the necessary steps to protect our farms  and tracks by bringing slots to the Meadowlands.  That in turn would  reverse the exodus out of New Jersey and return such farms as Perretti’s to  preeminence.”

Posted: November 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Atlantic City, Casinos, Horse Racing Industry, Meadowlands, Monmouth Park, Racinos | Tags: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

7 Comments on “Exodus of Perretti Farms Stallions Creates Challenge for New Jersey’s Horse Racing Future”

  1. Bob English said at 12:07 am on December 1st, 2012:

    Neighboring states (New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware) offering slot machines or video lottery terminals (VLT’s) at horse racing venues continue to attract tourism and gaming dollars away from New Jersey. This trend erodes expansion of the racing industry and could have disastrous consequences for the state’s economy. The Garden State stands to lose one of its premier agribusiness which generates $780 million of economic impact annually, 7,000 jobs, $110 million in federal, state and local taxes, and 57,000 acres of working agricultural landscape and open space if racing-related training and breeding farms leave New Jersey. These figures do not include the non-racing segment of the horse industry.——- From The Rutgers Equine Science Center independent in-depth report of the impact of slot machines or video lottery terminals on the horse racing and breeding industry, and agriculture and open space.

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  2. Bob who???? said at 1:01 pm on December 1st, 2012:

    Wow—a sensible comment from a Lib—-i wonder who wrote it for him????

  3. Jordan Rickards said at 3:13 pm on December 1st, 2012:

    The problem with the NJ breeding program is not just the paucity of available purse money, but also the paucity of NJ bred exclusive races. This is especially problematic because NJ bred horses generally have difficulty against horses bred in other states, especially KY and FL, so running them in open company is generally pointless.

  4. Art Gallagher said at 3:23 pm on December 1st, 2012:

    Good point Jordan. Scarcity too.

  5. speedkillsu said at 4:18 pm on December 1st, 2012:

    What’s the old saying you can lead a horse to water ……well it looks like the horses are finally doing what the new jersey taxpayers have been doing for years ….leaving NJ

  6. speedkillsu said at 4:18 pm on December 1st, 2012:

    What’s the old saying you can lead a horse to water ……well it looks like the horses are finally doing what the new jersey taxpayers have been doing for years ….leaving NJ ,for greener pastures

  7. Bob English said at 8:07 pm on December 1st, 2012:

    While other states have expanded casino gambling at their horsetracks and used a small portion fo the revenue to supplement purses (which give them an unfair advantage against NJ horsetracks), NJ pols are asleep at the switch…looks like going all in on The Revel is another disaster about to happen.