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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Another Proponent for Walter Case Jr.

As I argued back in January and have mentioned several times since, Bill Finley in Harness Racing Update calls for racetracks to allow Walter Case Jr. to return to the sulky.  Finley does admit Walter is a flawed individual but none of his off the racetrack activities should be used to disqualify him from  returning.  Finley does talk about Case's previous problems regarding kicking horses, but that indicates he was trying to win, something which can't always be claimed by drivers.  He has never been cited for an unsatisfactory drive, or any type of race fixing, whereas at some tracks, drivers who bet against themselves, did not give their fullest efforts, or otherwise committed nefarious acts have been welcomed back; albeit usually having to move on to another track.  Hence, not dismissing his kicking issue, he has done nothing wrong other than trying to win, how do you ban him?

I have heard of a couple tracks that have asked him to race there and I personally know of one that would welcome him gladly provided he can get a license from their state's racing commission, so it's just a matter of the first commission to license him (even conditionally) before we see him back.  At which point, we will be able to say 'Welcome Back Walter, Come Back and Prosper'.  The day that happens, it will be a little good news which we can use.

Heard on the Web:  Ever hate it when a horse goes to the outside and just sits there?  Some clever individual has made the following remark based on current events:

U.S.T.A announces drivers who come first up and do not clear to be pepper sprayed.

Well of course, the USTA has not made any such proclamation, however it would be nice if judges would crack down on drivers who just sit on the outside,  It would make for more competitive and exciting racing.

Meadowlands is Back:  We are about a month away from opening the 2013 harness meet at the Meadowlands.  It is nice to see the advertisement for the winter-early spring late closers at the Meadowlands and yes indeed, some of the nomination fees are lower for certain series.   But there they are, sixteen late closing events to cover the winter-early spring meet.  My only complaint is the late closing series have only two preliminary legs; three legs would be more representative of the horse's ability and allow another chance for horses  who engage bad trips.  While the Meadowlands has the Presidential series, the best winter series in the county by far is the George Morton Levy Memorial with its multi-leg qualifying format.  What would be nice is if some type of cooperation between the Meadowlands and Yonkers could be found so qualifying legs could be alternated between the two tracks even if the final was always held at Yonkers.  It would guarantee the best horses remain in the New York area and would be an even greater tribute to George Morton Levy who made harness racing the big nighttime sport it became.  In the meanwhile, qualifiers are scheduled for December 28 and 29, 2011.

As a sign of the changing way of promoting harness racing at the Meadowlands, all year on Fridays, race fans get free admission and free programs; perhaps a little reward for the rush of coming from work, to the home, and the track.  But let's not kid ourselves, it is going to take a lot more than free admission and free programs to get people out from behind their computer screens and to the track

Of course, with the change in ownership, there will be a few changes to the faces people will see at the Meadowlands.  Dave Brower, the former morning line and track handicapper has left but is being replaced by Darin Zoccali so when considering the morning line this year, it will take time to evaluate the accuracy of the morning line compared to other years.

Here is a story about the 'truth' regarding the resumption of horse slaughter in the United States.  According to this article, things may not be as gloomy as they are made out to be.  Time will tell

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