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Monday, December 6, 2010

When is Timing Too Much Timing?

Back for another year is a proposed USTA rule change to change the timing of horses to hundreths of a second.  Ignoring the cost for fair tracks to recalibrate their timing devices, does it really matter that a horse be timed in a mile of 1:52.35?  As it stands.this proposed rule change will go down to defeat.  For one thing, just because we have the technical ability to time in hundredths of a second, does it make sense to do so?  After all, for all practical purposes what really is the difference between a horse that finishes in 1:52.34 and one that finishes between 1:52.36?

A more logical proposal would be to change the timing of our races from fifths of a second to tenths of a second.  Why?  Outside of North America, races are timed to the tenth of a second and it makes sense that North America joins the countries which time in tenths of a second as a matter of standardization.  Hopefully the USTA rules committee will consider this and modify and approve the proposed will when voted upon.

 Today is the last day for public comment regarding the introduction of the fair start rule in the state of New Jersey.  It is unknown how quick a decision will be made; after all finalizing the 2011 racing dates in New Jersey are the first priority.  It would be nice if the rule could be approved for the start of the 2011 racing season but it seems to be unlikely.

Frank Chick's Standardbred Sale will be held tomorrow at the Delaware State Fairgrounds.  This sale is no Lexington, or Harrisburg and the sale has no minimum bid requirement.    A horse like #130 Art Maker, an eleven year old who is a winner of  $974,322 is probably secure, though you may wonder why he isn't being retired instead of being sold again, but some of these other horses have little likelihood of a successful racing career may be at risk.  No, this is not a grade horse sale but there should be a rule that all standardbred horse sales need to have a minimum to discourage killers from looking to pick up a bargain.  For a list of all horses up for sale tomorrow at Chick's, you may check the list here.   

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