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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Gold Cup and Saucer - The Way Harness Racing Ought to Be

The 50th Anniversary of the Gold Cup & Saucer is now in the books. All the Weapons shocked the field at 27-1, just holding off Silent Swing in 1:53 over the Charlottetown oval.

Watch the replay of the race. Are the Gold Cup & Saucer girls a bit hokey? Perhaps. But after you watch the race once go back and watch it again. A full grandstand. The apron is packed with people from the track all the way back to the grandstand. People surrounding the entire race track. This for a race which occured after midnight.

Other than the Little Brown Jug, is there any race in America where you get a crowd like this? Attendance figures for last night are not available, but when you consider the population being drawn upon, it makes the 25,000 people that showed up for the Hambletonian embarrassing.

What does the Jug and Gold Cup & Saucer have in common? They are events. Something excluding the Jug we no longer have in harness racing in the United States. Last night at Chalottetown Driving Park is the way harness racing should be. While it is highly unlikely we can ever replicate the Gold Cup & Saucer experience on a mass scale in the States, there are lessons to be learned from CDP. The question is if we are willing to learn.

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