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MEADOWS ANNOUNCES MAJOR RACING CHANGE -- OPEN STRETCH RACING -- REMOVAL OF HUB RAIL

 MEADOWS ANNOUNCES MAJOR RACING CHANGE -- OPEN STRETCH RACING --
 REMOVAL OF HUB RAIL
 MEADOW LANDS, Pa., May 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Ladbroke at The Meadows today announced plans to implement one of the biggest changes in the history of the race track just after Memorial Day.
 Track officials said they would introduce "Open Stretch" Racing to the wagering public on Thursday night, May 28, which among other things will result in the removal of the hub rail in the stretch.
 The much celebrated "Open Stretch" Racing will result in an inside passing lane being constructed which a driver may use in the stretch. The concept behind the inside passing lane is that such a lane will prevent many horses from getting boxed-in at the rail during the final stretch drive to the winner's circle. With the additional avenue -- horses will easily be able to pass on the inside -- something that rarely happens now.
 The Meadows will be the second five-eighths mile track to introduce the Inside Passing Lane concept. Scioto Downs in Columbus, Ohio, is introducing the "Open Stretch" concept this month.
 Meadows officials said preliminary work on "Open Stretch" is currently under way. When completed after Memorial Day, the hub rail in the stretch will be removed.
 The introduction of "Open Stretch" Racing by all accounts is one of the biggest fundamental changes in the harness racing sport in recent years. It will also involve dramatic strategy changes for a driver in a race as well. Track officials also contend that it is a change that fans very much want.
 A recent track survey indicated that a large majority of Meadows patrons gave "Open Stretch" Racing positive reviews. Those positive reviews can be traced to the fact that fans generally feel that when their horse gets beat in a race it is more times than enough due to the fact that they were locked in behind other horses ... unable to find a free and open lane.
 Tracks such as Maywood, Freehold, Yonkers and Northfield have already switched to the "Open Stretch" concept and it now seems to be a trend which is sweeping through the industry.
 -0- 5/14/92
 /CONTACT: Bob Sabot of Ladbroke at The Meadows, 412-225-9300/ CO: Ladbroke at The Meadows ST: Pennsylvania IN: CNO SU:


JS-MK -- PG008 -- 0230 05/14/92 12:16 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 14, 1992
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