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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Time for That Annual Bit of Heaven on Earth

Those of you who are who are already aware of that bit of heaven on earth known as Goshen Historic Track have likely made their plans to attend this year's racing which takes place July 1-4.  Here you will see harness racing the way it was and the way it ought to be.  While there is no wagering at Historic Track, you will get to see some pretty good horses racing along with some top drivers at the "Cradle of Harness Racing".  Last year, Cassis gained some notice racing at Goshen in a NYSS event in an eye opening performance.  Who knows who will open eyes this year?

The schedule for Goshen this year is as follows:
  1. July 1 - The NY State Fair Sire Stakes for three year old pacers; The Catskill Amateur Drivers Pace; The Ladies Invitation for women drivers.
  2. July 2 - The Landmark Stakes for 2yo and 3yos of both sexes and gaits.
  3. July 3 - The NY State Fair Sire Stakes for three year old trotters; CKG Billings Amateur Drivers Series; Hall of Fame Trot (Invitational).  Guest appearance by Gallo Blue Chip.  Scheduled to drive in the Hall of Fame Trot is Jim Doherty, Herve Filion, Wally Hennessey, Mick Lachance, Cat Manzi, Bill O'Donnell, Dave Palone and Ray Remem.
  4. July 4 - New York County Fair Races for 2yo and 3yo pacers and trotters.
First post is 1pm each day.

Lest you think these races are like qualifying races, you would be mistaken.  The first three days of racing, there will be purses that exceed many racetracks, including some racinos.  Granted, on July 4, the racing will consist mainly of the not ready for prime time horses, but they will still be strutting their stuff as the purses at Goshen will be higher than most of the other county fairs in New York and being contested on one of the best fair tracks in the state.

When the day's races are over, stop by the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame to see the latest exhibits.  Admission is always free to the Harness Racing Museum.  The Museum is on the upper end of the homestretch.

So if you have no plans that weekend and are in the area, stop by.  If you are at Goshen on July 2, there is a special Saturday evening program at Monticello Raceway which features their annual fireworks show.

Monmouth Park Correction:  My sources had told me that Lou Raffetto Jr. was to take over duties at Monmouth Park.  Well, according to The Blood Horse, this is not true as Raffetto is to take over as President of the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC).  All I can say is they better pay Raffetto well as the TOC is committed to the increase in their takeout to raise purses.  They claim they realize they will be losing handle but they need to get higher purses.  Under this logic as handle finally drops to the point where it can't cover the purse increase what are they going to do?  Raise purses again?  The saddest thing is the TOC claims it may take 3-4 years to achieve their goal.  Not being a thoroughbred player I could care less, but in 3 to 4 years there may not be a thoroughbred industry to raise takeout on anymore..


Bonnie said...

From the Paulick Report....
For the past several months, Raffetto has worked closely as an advisor to Morris Bailey, who is taking over ownership of Monmouth Park. Bailey wanted to hand Raffetto full control of the operation, so Raffetto, who grew up at Monmouth, must have really liked the offer from the TOC.

Q: You had an offer to run Monmouth Park from Morris Bailey. What were you weighing, specifically, in making the decision that ultimately led you to the Thoroughbred Owners of California?

Raffetto: It was a very tough decision and a tough choice. I had been working with Morris the past two months, and I found him to be a very honorable person who has the best intentions at heart as it relates to racing. The horsemen in New Jersey should realize how lucky they are to have an operator who really cares about racing.

That being said, looking at what the opportunity was and weighing it against the challenges in California, I just decided that the TOC position was actually a greater personal challenge for me with the potential to actually accomplish more. While I’m a Jersey boy and started my career at Monmouth Park while I was in high school. I felt the move to California was the right one at this time.

PG- read between the lines- The TOC threw a lot of money at Raffetto at the midnight hour.

Bonnie said...

On your comment-
"Not being a thoroughbred player I could care less, but in 3 to 4 years there may not be a thoroughbred industry to raise takeout on anymore.."

Why do you continue to make inane predictions on the future of the "runners"? It makes yourself look small and foolish. Only a dope would say there may not be a thoroughbred industry in 3 to 4 years. Of course there will be.
BET ME. Your distaste for the runners is obvious. " I don't even watch the Kentucky Derby." We get it- you don't like the thoroughbreds.
The facts are interest in the trotters is diminishing at a faster rate than the runners.
Focus on commenting on the trotters. Your writing shows your passion for that industry. When you write about the Thoroughbreds, you come off as an ignorant housebound curmudgeon.

Pacingguy said...


I have no doubt that the TOC three a lot of money his way. Like most people, money talks.

Pacingguy said...


My comment about thoroubreds not being around in 3 to 4 years was referring exclusively to California; nowhere else. Hollywood Park is history once the real estate market recovers. Unless you consider Los Alamitos 2-2.5K thoroughbred claimers good racing, they are meaningless.

The fact is handle is dropping a lot due to boycotts by thoroughbred players outside of California on California racing. Those inside of California are limited to their options by state legislation. When this takeout increase decreases handle far enough that purses are impacted, what is TOC going to do? Raise takeout again?

You say I hate thoroughbreds. While I personally am not a thoroughbred gambler, I don't wish them any harm and yes, they are in much better shape than the trotters, and I will be the first to say this problem is harness racings' own doing.

My problem is when one breed tries to take the other one out. Whether it was the thoroughbred horsemen trying to take harness racing out in Iowa or harness horsemen working to takeout thoroughbred racing in Michigan. I would like to think both breeds can get along.

Yes, I have a preference for trotters but to call me anti-runners is not fair. I do talk 95% of the time about the trotters, but will talk about thoroughbred racing when I feel strong enough, when it impacts harness raicng or such as my comments regarding the KHRC hearing on John Veitch who is being scapegoated by the KHRC for a situation no one anticipated. If what happend to Life At Ten happened in a race at Turway Park, not in front of a TV crowd, no one would be saying squat. This happened in front of a national television audience and the KHRC needs to offer someone up as a sacrifice. That is wrong.

In summary, I will never call myself an expert on thoroughbred racing, but I reject your depiction of me. If you wish to continue this particular discussion offline, send me your email and I will be happy to discuss this further. By the way, keep on writing, I appreciate your comments.