Friday, February 07, 2014

Yonkers Showed Ron Pierce the Money

Racinos are back in the news, this time on the harness side. Following the lead of fellow drivers George Brennan and Brian Sears, Ron Pierce is making a move across the Hudson to Yonkers. Time will tell whether or not it's wise to leave The New Meadowlands. Below is the lead story in this week's edition of Harness Racing Update, published and edited by Bill Finley.

Veteran driver Ron Pierce said that his decision to switch allegiances from the Meadowlands to Yonkers boils down to the simple fact that he needs to make more money.

Pierce announced Sunday that he will drive at Yonkers on Friday and Saturday nights instead of the Meadowlands, at least until stakes season starts in East Rutherford. With the switch, he joins George Brennan and Brian Sears as drivers who have made the move across the Hudson to take advantage of the big purses at Yonkers.

For the next few months, Pierce will split his time between Yonkers and Dover Downs.

Anticipating that Meadowlands owner Jeff Gural would be upset with his defection, Pierce said that he hopes Gural understands that drivers can't ignore how much money can be made at Yonkers.
"Mr. Gural has to understand that I have a mortgage on my house, have car payments, insurance payments. I've got an ex-wife that I have to give a large chunk of alimony money to," Pierce said. "I have to do what's best for myself. I need the money. I think he should understand that I am in a predicament where I have to make as much money as I can."

With the Meadowlands closed last weekend for the Super Bowl Pierce drove at Yonkers and said being there was an eye-opener for him. He had a huge weekend, winning eight races.

"I have been considering going over to Yonkers now for several years," he said. "After I went over there the other night and did pretty well over the weekend, I had the race bike in the back of my truck driving home and a buddy of mine called me and said I should just stay there because I would make a lot more money. I knew that all along but it really hit me when he added up my purses and said I made $87,000 in two days at Yonkers.

Gural reiterated that he wants the top drivers like Pierce at his track.

"I'm disappointed because you would think that there would be some degree of loyalty and appreciation for the fact I spent $100 million to keep the Meadowlands open, which is probably one of the main reasons that we haven't seen a catastrophic collapse of the industry," he said.

"Having said that, Ron has had a distinguished career and I recognize that he's at the tail end of a distinguished career and I guess he's trying to make as much money as possible."

Read the entire story at

Written by Bill Finley of Harness Racing Update

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