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Sunday, August 16, 2009

There Ought to be a Rule

An unusual event occurred in the third race on Super Sunday at Chester Downs with the second place finish of That's the Plan in the second consolation of The Valley Forge. It turns out that That's the Plan raced the day before at Freehold in a New Jersey Sire Stakes race. While seeing a horse race two days in a row is highly unusual these days, what was even more unusual is it seems no one knew (other than the connections of That's the Plan) that the horse raced on Saturday until the last minute when it was decided to bar him from wagering and refund all the wagers literally at post time.

How could this happen? In the first race, Clear Vision had raced since the program was printed but track officials were able to inform the gamblers of the missing line from August 12; though they did not provide the complete line; just where he finished. Granted a horse racing the day before is highly unusual these days, but you would think there would be a process in place to ensure all racelines are accounted for in a program; we all have seen the infamous 'Line to be announced' comments in a program at one time or another (it was not in the Trackmaster program for Clear Vision in the first race, either). Fortunately the error was caught in time and the bettors were protected as the decision to bar That's the Plan from wagering was made but the fact remains it should never have happened in the first place.

In the case of Clear Vision, track officials did not provide as much information as they should have for Clear Vision as all anyone knew was he raced on April 12th and finished third; no idea as to where, what class or how fast the race went in.

To be considered a serious gambling sport there ought to be a rule indicating if a program is printed prior to the running of a race any horse entered is programmed to race in, a race line must be included in the past performance program for the horse and it must include as much information regarding that race as possible plus the designation of 'Line to be announced'. Furthermore, racetracks must be required to not only announce the complete missing racing line but they must provide the complete line on the television monitors along with the race changes. After all, we are not dealing just with people wagering at the track, we are dealing with people wagering via simulcasting and ADWs.

We are asking people to wager their hard earned dollars on our sport. Is providing them accurate information to much to ask for?

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