Allow this Yank to interject his two cents into Canadian Politics, more specifically Ontario politics. As expected, the minority Liberal Party's budget for Ontario was approved 52-35 which allows for the OLG to continue with their termination of the Slots at Racetracks program. Good decision or bad, the government had the right to do what they are doing. For their vote, come the next election they will have to answer to the voters for this vote amongst others.
What I have a problem with is the New Democratic Party (NDP) abstaining from the vote, trying to have it both ways. A vote by the NDP against the budget would have resulted in its defeat and an election which no one wanted, while a vote by the NDP to support the budget would have put its members on record of approving the budget so the party abstained from voting so they can have it both ways. For any party, abstaining en masse from a critical vote which will impact so many people, not just within the racing and equine-related industry as the government's budget calls for the privatization of many governmental function is unconscionable and quite frankly juvenile. I personally have more respect for a person who votes against my interest than the coward who abstains. These MPPs were elected to represent their constituents and it is done by vote 'aye' or 'nay' when the time comes. From my perch south of the border, Canadian voters would be well-served to consider the NDP's abstention from the budget vote as an 'aye' vote and to remember their cowardice.
Pennsylvania harness racing fans who like longshots were in seventh heaven yesterday. At The Meadows, the seventh race was won by Susquehanna Belle (#9, Mark Wilder) who paid $149.40 only to be followed in the 11th race by Blueridge Dagon who lit up the board paying $177.20 (#8, Richard Stillings). As lucrative as those two races may have been, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs had top honors yesterday for it's fifteenth and final race where Celebrity Scandal (#6, Mark Simons) paid a whopping $373.20 to win as well as a $181.60 place dividend. Betting $2 WPS on Celebrity Scandal would have returned a generous $569.80 for the $6 investment.
Racing Under Saddle returns to the Meadowlands on Hambletonian Day, August 4, as the field of trotters will be racing for a purse of $15,000 in an exhibition race. Based on the hard work these riders and their charges have been undergoing, this race should be far more competititve than previous attempts. For those heading to Goshen Historic Track for their four day race meet, you will be able to get a preview as there will be a race contested there. For those Facebook users who are interested in racing under saddle, make sure to check out RUS America.
Hambletonian winner, Vivid Photo, is being officially retired Saturday at Pocono Downs. This year, the now ten year old gelding has clearly shown that he has long passed the prime of his racing career and his owners Roger Hammer and Todd Schadel made the appropriate decision to stop with the horse and permit him to enjoy a life of leisure. After all, if winning his owners $3.2 million doesn't entitle you to a life of leisure, nothing does.