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Sunday, July 3, 2011

When is the Luck Going to Run Out?

In the first elimination of the Summertime Stake at Mohawk last night, Jack Moiseyev ended up in the hospital as a result of a serious accident where his mount, No Flash in Pan collided with a fallen Visible Gold. While Jackie Mo was lucky and broke only his fibular, No Flash in Pan died as a result of injuries sustained in the accident. Mark MacDonald earlier ended up in an accident when a horse fell in front of him. John Campbell, is now considering retirement after getting involved in an accident earlier this year at Chester Downs when the horse in front of him fell.

I've said it before and I will say it again, we are pushing our horses past their natural ability when it comes to speed. Where as most horses used to be able to handle the speed we asked them to go, our horses these days are being asked to go such speeds that they are unable to cleanly handle the speeds and as a result we have horses falling and the trailing horses have no time to react, resulting in the spat of accidents we have been seeing the last couple of years.

Make no mistake, harness racing has always been a dangerous sport with the periodic accident.but the periodic accident has developed a more frequent occurrence and our drivers are becoming injured with greater frequency. Speed has always been a part of the sport, but the industry needs to put the brakes on the speed our horses are going or we need to develop a type of racing where the horses are not racing as close together to leave drivers more time to react should a horse go down.

Racing is exciting as is, but we don't need to send our drivers to the hospital as frequently as we have been doing to keep that excitement. It's been awhile since we have had the winner's circle tributes to a fallen driver; let's keep it that way.

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