For photos from the Meadowlands contact

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Dream Race

It's Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands. This is the day people have been waiting for the last three months since the race was announced. Over 40,000 people are in attendance at the track to see this matchup. This race is so highly anticipated that the regular media has been talking about this race for several weeks now and NBC has extended their Hambletonian broadcast an extra hour in order to cover this race. On ESPN and TVG they are talking about this race like it was Rachel Alexandra versus Zenyatta.

No, it is not the Hambletonian. It is a field of FFA Pacers which has grabbed the fancy of sports editors and the racing media. Not the U.S. Pacing Championship, a race which does not allow supplemental entries; that race was contested a week earlier than scheduled and has been used to help determine the field for this dream race. Auckland Reactor has lived up to his advanced billing since he arrived on our shores and has been able to defeat some of the best FFAllers in North America with regularity. However, there are old nemeses to deal with; horses not nominated to any of the big races. These nemeses have been racing in the Opens at the Meadowlands and Woodbine, taking care not to meet each other until the big race.

In a brilliant marketing move and good luck, North American racing interests have been able to lure Blacks A Fake and Monkey King to American shores to compete against Auckland Reactor and six of the best FFAllers North America has to offer in the newly minted World Pacing Championship. With the race occurring in the afternoon, the WPC is being simulcasted overseas to New Zealand and Australia. For the past couple of months, all has been well in the standardbred world with the build up to the big race being covered by ESPN, TVG and other racing outlets. There has even been regular coverage in the New York Times and Sports Illustrated. Having downsized their workforce due to decreased interest, the NJSEA had to bus employees from Monmouth Park and Freehold Raceway in order to handle the anticipated crowd.

The crowd is a buzz with anticipation. The television camera pans and sees wall to wall people along the length of the entire stretch watching the race. The race begins, with a cheer from the crowd. As the field passes the three quarters marker in 1:19.3 and reaches mid-stretch, it is Auckland Reactor, Blacks A Fake, Monkey King, and Won the West four across the track with less than a length between them and the crowd reaches a deafening crescendo

Then I wake up. It was only a dream.

But what if it wasn't?

As a side note, I came accross a segement on accupuncture on Post Time.  I must confess, while I have heard about horses being treated by chiropractors, this is the first time I have heard of a horse being treated by accupuncture.  You may find this segment interesting.  


JLB said...

Noticed your new picture headlining the blog. BUT, I think it is anything but new: do I spot, at Monticello, Ed Lohmeyer in front, Del Insko parked, Norman Dauplaise on the third rail horse, and POSSIBLY Mickey McNichol towards the back?

Keep up the great work!

Pocket Up said...

The sport could use some hype Pacingguy. I love your idea and the name of the race. Harness racing fans around the world would watch if possible. Getter done.

I feel much better after watching your acupuncture video, thanks.

Pacingguy said...

It is not as old as you think. This photo is from June 22, 2003 when Monticello Raceway held a NY Legends day celebrating the early 1970's at Yonkers and Roosevelt.

The drivers who participated in the day were Carmine Abbatiello, Buddy Gilmour, Del Insko, Real Cormier, Benny Webster, Merritt Dokey, Eddie Lohmeyer, Frank Popfinger, Ken McNutt, Bill Popfinger, Benny Steall and Norman Dauplaise.