Friday, June 29, 2012
Sunday afternoon, this year's monté season opens with two divisions for open trotters competing at Historic Track in Goshen, New York. There are a few notable in both divisions as the 3rd race, as both Casis and Grain of Truth are making their maiden starts under the saddle while Ray Schnittker makes his (race) riding debut aboard Grain of Truth. In the second division, carded as race ten, Lemon Pepper and Dream Kid make their maiden debuts under the saddle. Being these races are not conditioned, I am not sure if the horses match up but hopefully these races successfully kick off the 2012 monté season as the effort is made to eventually offer these races for pari-mutuel wagering.
From a Red Mile press-release, it appears the Lexington, KY oval is beginning to embrace the untapped overseas market by scheduling their race cards to accommodate foreign wagering. Week one has Thursday-Saturday racing at 1pm to tap into the Australian and New Zealand markets. Sunday afternoons have a 1pm first post to allow fans in Scandinavia to wager on trotting event through their wagering systems.
With Googoo Gaagaa not being eligible to the Hambletonian, an invitation to the Nat-Ray has been promised providing the horse continuing to perform at the level he has been. At the same time, people are starting to talk about the need for the Hambletonian to accept supplemental entries. I for one, think accepting supplemental entries in the Hambletonian would be a big mistake. It is a question of fairness. Why should people who pay the nomination and sustaining payments of $2,775 only to fall to the wayside, not even going in the Hambletonian, when someone can just show up a few days before the race if they know they have a world beater and pay their way at the last moment. Harness racing is a gambling sport, there is no reason why owners/trainers should be able to be able to traipse into a race like the Hambletonian while countless others make their payments and fall by the wayside. If you want to get into the big races, prepare to play the game like everyone else.
Kudos to the PHHA for making a significant contribution towards the purchase of state of the art equipment for the University of Pennsylvania so they may continue the campaign against the use of illegal drugs. Perhaps the most important decision made is to support one lab to detect those drugs not yet identified. It may not be a politically popular decision as typically each state tries to support their own state's testing labs, but the fact is if you want to make a dent into the use of illegal drugs, you need to support one lab to achieve the biggest bang for the dollar; especially when the financial resources are limited.