In a special to ESPN.com, Jeremy Plonk points out the need for contraction in racing, a need that is already being fulfilled to some degree with a drop from 74,000 races in 1989 to 49,000 last year. Monmouth Park has contracted its dates and along with it, the Meadowlands is no longer running a Thoroughbred meet. Retama Park will reduce its dates from 30 to 16. Turfway Park has canceled the Kentucky Cup Day of Champions. And Hollywood Park shortened its race week only to have to cancel several cards due to lack of entries.
Plonk acknowledges the immediate pain of the situation but also believes we will come out stronger in the future. “No matter which definition first comes to mind for you when you hear the word 'contraction,' chances are there will be some pain involved. But when the pain subsides, you've given birth to something that you can embrace for years to come.
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