For this column, I am just going to voice some short opinions regarding a few things that have been going on or opinions which I haven't had a chance to say.
Eliminations - Gosh I hate talking about eliminations almost as much as seeing them raced. However, Daryl Kaplan of Standardbred Canada probably has the best solution I have seen if we insist on having them. Stop the nonsense of elimination winners drawing the inside or the post position they want for winning an elimination. Instead, take 10% of the total purse and offer it as a bonus to the elimination winner that wins the stakes final. If an elimination winner doesn't win the final, put the 10% back into the purse for distribution the usual way.
Drivers Not Claiming Objections - I had a conversation with a former driver who claims one of the main reasons drivers don't claim objections is judges ignore them; the feeling is if the judges didn't see it, it didn't happen. Anyone out there care to comment?
Is Harness Racing Building Up its Stars? - I hate to bring this up while Peelers is up at Cornell getting checked out, and after she lost two races (one by DQ). But an argument can be made for it. No doubt See You At Peelers has been a dominating horse over the last two years, but as discussed last week, many of her starts were against state breds. Don't get me wrong, it is quite an accomplishment to win twenty-two races in a row and she has been dominating, but it is made a lot easier when you race a lot of races against restricted company. By reading some of the press stories, you would have thought we had a reincarnation of Tarport Hap. Harness racing has been trying hard to get in the racing and mainstream media and it succeeded with See You At Peelers but is the legend bigger than the horse?
Proposal to Keep Horses On the Track Till Five - Adam Bowden from Diamond Creek Farm opines about Jeff Gural's proposal to keep horses racing through their four year old career. It may surprise you that a breeder agrees with the concept of keeping horses racing through the age of four; his problem is the injury exemption which will allow horses to enter stud at the age of four. His problem? In a nutshell, the number of questionable career ending injuries at three will rise like horses scratching from the eight hole on a half mile track. Bowden feels you shouldn't be able to enter stud duty until the age five if you want the foals to race in these stakes races plain and simple, even if it means eating grass in the field for a year or two if the stud is hurt. He's right; that's the way the rule should be. Unfortunately, most of racing's establishment would probably have a proverbial cow if the rule was so stringent.
Let Walter Drive - I am still amazed the most popular posting I have written has been about Walter Case Jr as people still post to it. For the most part, the gambling public wants Walter to drive again. Let's see if regulators do the right thing and let him back. I am not saying he shouldn't be put on a tight leash, but Walter belongs back in the sulky. He deserves the chance to show he has changed his way.
The Daggers Were a Flying - As amazed as I am about the outpouring of support for Walter Case Jr, I certainly didn't see the angry comments coming my way regarding my column on Monday. You didn't see the comments because they were sent to me in private. All I am going to say is, I wish the comments came to me in my blog. As long as they are respectful, they will get posted and stay posted. I never said I know everything and we may not agree on everything, but the comments you have to say may be interesting not only to me but those reading my blog.