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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Harness Racing Briefs

First of, thanks to Daryl, for handicapping Saturday night's Northfield Park.  He certainly did better than i would have as Northfield has been one of those tracks that mock me.  Daryl had a few chalky winners, an exacta and a couple of trifectas (box). 

I see this past week Bob Macintosh received a warning letter from the KHRC for a minor medication issue.  This letter of warning came after repeated attempts to contact the trainer by phone and and mail, Mr. Macintosh did not appear in front of the judges.  Have to wonder if the judges would be as understanding if a non-grand circuit trainer ran afoul of the same situation.

One thing that never fails to amaze me is seeing people getting fined for lying on their license applications regarding arrest records.  In horse racing they get fined but typically keep their license.  In any other business, odds are they are shown the door.  Would someone explain this to me?

The NYSRWB has ordered the various OTBs to pay harness tracks additional payments and maintenance of effort fees to the various harness tracks in NY by October, 2010.  Want to bet how much of this money is actually paid out?  Just another reason while the whole NYS OTB system is destined for collapse. 

No news yet on the Fair Start proposal in New Jersey.  Being the mess NJ harness racing has been in the past month, it doesn't surprise me that it has not yet been voted on.  Hopefully, it will be voted upon at the next racing commission meeting.

Some people don't learn.  On another board a person complains about the purse distribution from handle, claiming the problem is from the laws on purse distribution being from 1970 and not 2010.  That's the answer, redistribute a shrinking handle instead of worrying about the customers and building the handle.  I understand horsemen feeling they supply the horses to put on the show, but until a horseman's group can put on a harness meet without declaring bankruptcy or are willing to take on all the risk, I suggest the current split is fine.

Ask a trainer off the record what percentage of their fellow trainers compete 100% clean and you will get sick.  Race fixing is not the biggest problem; cheating is.

Tomorrow starts perhaps the final chapter in Illinois harness racing as the Illinois legislature considers slots at the racetracks.  The vote is said to be very close.  If no slot machines are approved and the casinos keep their supplement money locked up, will Balmoral and Maywood be equal to Thunder Ridge Raceway in quality, if racing at all.

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