The announcement comes on the heels of a financially successful Meadowlands meet, though at least one harness racing publication reported that an amazing number of swift miles had led to speculation that horses’ performances may have been enhanced. The East Rutherford track this year stepped up security measures.The task force has the blessing of Meadowlands, Garden State Park, and Freehold Raceway, where several drivers were accused of race-fixing in a celebrated case a couple of years ago.
New Jersey, home to Meadowlands, arguably has the best Standardbred racing and breeding program in the country, but that hasn’t stopped the chairman of the state racing commission from creating a task force that will review drug-testing, licensing, and integrity issues.Commission chairman Noel Love Gross has tabbed commission executive director Frank Zanzuccki to head the eight-member task force. Four members are racing commissioners, and the other four are members of the commission staff.“As the regulatory body, we have an obligation to enhance racing integrity,” Gross said. “We have an obligation to maintain and foster public confidence in the sport of harness racing.”