Horse breeders threaten to leave N.J. over racing plan

A proposal to consolidate horse racing in New Jersey is facing resistance.A report from the Hanson Commission says New Jersey cannot support two state-run tracks. The panel, created by Governor Chris Christie, recommends ending live racing at the Meadowlands Racetrack and moving its harness racing to Monmouth Park.Tom Luchento, president of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey, said Tuesday limiting harness racing to a 30-day meet would be a death knell for the industry.”I’ve already had a number of calls from the breeding farms and they’re getting ready to move their stallions to other states,” said Luchento. “People can’t survive that way. They just can’t. They can’t breed horses if there’s no racing in the state of New Jersey.”Anthony Perretti, the general manager of Perretti Farms in Cream Ridge, said if the proposal is enacted, he’ll move his horse-breeding business out of state.”Our sales were down 25 percent alone last week that we sold all our yearlings. With this devastation, our sales would be down 50 percent in value so we cannot survive in the state of New Jersey with that current business climate,” said Perretti.Senate President Steve Sweeney said he’d like to see the Meadowlands remain open.Sweeney said measures being considered by lawmakers would create new revenue sources to sustain the state’s racing industry. But he said it could take a few years for it to become self-sufficient.Senate President Steve Sweeney says he’d like to see both of the tracks remain open. He says lawmakers are considering measures that create new revenue sources to sustain the state’s horse racing industry. But he says it could take a couple of years for it to become self-sufficient.

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