Prime Time in harness racing has arrived. I have seen the first article about my favorite driver/trainer/breeder, Riina Rekila. While Riina is better known in Canada as she is based there, I always look for her horses when they race in the United States. Not only is she a very attractive woman, she has amazing statistics in racing. Last year, out of eighty driving starts she had a UDR of .438 and so far this year, she has a UDR of .667. For the record, her worst year of driving was in 2007 when her UDR was only .399. As for training, Rekila's worst year was last year with a UTR of .392, out of 104 starts; probably because she has relied on others to drive for her when her horses were not racing where she was. Prior to last year, her UTR has been between .440 and .453 each year. Granted she races only her own horses, but you can't argue with success like that. It would be interesting to see how she would do with driving overnight horses that she and her husband didn't own. Mr. Gural, do us all a favor and invite her to this year's driver championship at Tioga Downs. It would be interesting racing.
Only one problem with Rekila and that is from a betting angle. She's too well respected in Canada and often her horses go off as favorites. Fortunately, she is not as known in the United States and you can still get a price on her horses. How good is she? She is the only person I make sure to put all her horses in my Trackmaster virtual stable as I want to know when she is racing; she is in many ways a relic in harness racing; the complete horseperson. Oh, did I mention she was a vet in her native Finland?
Thanks to Tom Luchento's letter and the fact the future of the Meadowlands is now known, the horse shortage at the Meadowlands appears to have come to an end. Friday night has 111 horses entered which is 46 more horses than the week before. Where last Friday, they were lucky to get a horrible ten race card together, there will be twelve races this Friday.
Feels Like A Fool impressed me big time yesterday at Tioga Downs in the Simpson Memorial (if you go to the Tioga Downs website and look f or video replays, it is race 6) . Based on his first start of the year, this is a horse to watch out for as he basically played with the Simpson field. I am not sure as to what is on his dance card, but don't hand the three year old pacer of the year award to Big Jim that quickly.