As much as San Pail was the best and deserves all the accolades, one must wonder if Rapide Lebel and Commander Crowe arrived earlier than Thursday and had more time to acclimate, if the race would have had a different finish. However, with quarantine rules, the trainers of the two European superstars made the decision to arrive just two days ahead of time to race. Was it a good decision, or did the quarantine rules have a hand in the outcome? It really doesn't matter. You play the hand you were dealt and all three top finishers have nothing to be ashamed of.
This is the harness racing I had fallen in love with when I first started; not the watered down product we pass off as quality horses and racing. This is not to say we don't have great horses, but there are too few for the number of tracks racing at any given time. Dare I say many of the top horses that race at some tracks couldn't wipe the hooves of Nickawampus Leroy.
What a race like this shows us is several things:
- There is nothing like international racing. That being said, we need to have more than one big money race to make it worthwhile for the horses to come from Europe, Down Under, and even South America to race. Why can't some of our racinos set up a series as they are flush with money?
- The Breeders Crown needs to get more horses from abroad in our races; not just the older horses. How about some win and you are in slots for foreign horses that win big races abroad (win and you are in for North American races would not be a bad idea either, with the highest money earners eligible to the open slots)?
- Once again, it shows North America's preoccupation with two and three year old races is foolish. Breeders and horse owners may not like it, but cut the purses for two and three year old races and use that money for stakes races for older horses; they can still get the money they get from their sires stakes programs. Pull the Pocket can illustrate this with San Pail.
- I bet you if we had more races like this, there would be more people paying attention to harness racing; they are exciting, not like those single file dashes.
- People appreciate good trotting races. On the boards I visit, most of the conversation when it comes to specific races centers around our open trotters.