For photos from the Meadowlands contact

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cohen Fallout

There continues to be a big fallout from Andrew Cohen's decision not to be a regular columnist for Harness Racing Update  and let me tell you, the people are firmly in Cohen's corner.  I counted eleven articles supporting Cohen, one column opposing him and even that was a bit 'the cup is half-full' thinking so there is tacit agreement in that article that Cohen is right.  Now these are not angry gamblers writing, these are active or former participants in the sport as owners or horsemen writing in.

What is troubling is as of now none of the powers to be in the industry have written in.  Perhaps, it is the Thanksgiving Day weekend, perhaps it is not knowing how to respond.  No comment from the typically verbal Joe Faraldo of the SBOA of NY who rivals Senator Chuck Shummer in press-releases; no comments from the Harness Horsemens International, no comments from the USTA, no comments from any of the racing commissions.  You would think aftere the attack on Yonkers Raceway regarding their treatnent of Lou Pena, there would have been some statement from Yonkers Raceway; instead silence rules.  Not one person who can speak with some authority in the industry has come out to concur or disagree with Cohen's remarks.

Some people make comments about how Cohen was involved only five years in the sport as an active participant.  They forget about his fathers involvement with the sport in the days of Blue Bonnents.  One thing Cohen isn't is wet behind the ears.  If anything, his five active years in this sport may be the reason he doesn't accept business as ususal.  Did Cohen at times go overboard on any one issue?  Perhaps, but then don't we all at times go off?

The one thing this industry doesn't want to hear is what Cohen has to say.  While I have no proof, I suspect Cohen's departure from the Horsemen and Fair World had to do with his outspokeness there and the effect it may have had on the magazine due to its dependence on industry advertising.  I suspect his outspokeness impacted advertising revenue so someone had to go.  This time I feel Andrew Cohen, has just had enough, not seeing the sport ever taking the steps to clean itself up.

The fact that harness racing has lost its one muckraking journalist is a shame.  Many will be happy he is no longer writing a column with regularity.but in the long run, I suspect history will vindicate him on many points.

No comments: