1. Muscle Hill
2. Lucky Jim
3. Well Said
4. Not Enough
While I would have put Lucky Jim on top of Muscle Hill, being the 3yo division is the glamour division I can understand why Muscle Hill got the top spot. As I suspected, with Not Enough's efforts in the Mistletoe Shalee at the Meadowlands, voters all of a sudden discovered her and she jumped to the number four position. To which I say....
Hello? Voters, where were you?
Let's look at Not Enough's recent efforts before her Mistletoe Shalee:
- 5-22 and 5-26 at Western Fair, winner of an elimination and final of the Ontario Sire Stakes.
- 6-6 and 6-13 at Yonkers Raceway, winner of an elimination and the $293,970 final of the Lismore; the final in 1;53.4.
- 6-20 and 6-27 at Mohawk, winner of an elimination and the $591,600(c) Fan Hanover final with the final in 1:50.
- 7-17 and 7-25 at Mohawk, winner of an elimination and final of the Canadian Breeder Stakes also winning the final in 1:50.
After her wins in the Lismore and the Fan Hanover, Not Enough was ranked only number nine in the poll on July 7; number eight on July 13. This is when she was 7 for 7 and had earnings of over $552,000; a better record and money earnings than most of the horses in front of her. At this point I was saying Not Enough should have been ranked much higher than she was. So the question needs to be asked why was she ranked so low up to now?
Racing in Canada is not good for a horse's standing in the poll. Sure, races like the Maple Leaf Trot and North American Cup being marquee events matter with regards to a horses standings. Unfortunately, after those few races, you may as well be racing in Siberia; other Canadian races don't matter to the pollsters. It plagued Somebeachsomewhere last year; it took Deweycheatemnhowe to falter for SBSW to get to the number one spot at the end of last year. Ontairo Sire Stakes races? They don't count, yet for Muscle Hill, his NJSS races entitled him the number one position earlier this season. Confederation Cup, Canadian Pacing Derby? They are discounted unless you loose.
Last I looked, Canadian horses, especially those from Ontario, are raced and sold in the United States. The border is pretty porous for horses. American horses head north to race in Canada and Canadian horses ship south to race. For all practical purposes, we are one market. I would suggest we treat Canadian races with equal weighting as American races. Also, make sure we have significant representation from Canada to vote in the poll. If we want to have the Hambletonian Poll represent efforts in the United States, then let's disregard any starts in Canada for any horse; judge them only on their American efforts.
Do you know who votes on the Hambletonian Poll? Probably not. At least once a year the voters who participate in this poll should be named. It is good to know who is voting; it promotes the poll's legitimacy. Maybe one day the Hambletonian Society and the Breeders Crown organizations will name the voters.