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Friday, December 16, 2011

FIrst Defection Gives Notice; Case Interview X'd

In HRU, Brian Sears gives notice that there is a good chance he will not be at the Meadowlands once Yonkers Raceway reopens for 2012 on January 13.  Part of me can't blame him; part of me can.

Everyone was afraid of the Meadowlands closing and fearful about what would happen and now that it is saved, Sears is ready to bolt.  I understand the money is better at Yonkers, but if all the name drivers bolted, the chance for the Meadowlands to claw its way back to prominence becomes much harder.

I can understand Sears has reached the point where he is comfortable and can be selective.  He indicated wintering at Pompano is a possibility in the future, I can understand his not wanting to drive anything less than a $10,000 claimer for fear of injury; many drivers after enough spills will swear of trotters.  I can understand a driver who wants to race for the money.  But when they are quoted as saying,

I want to say how much I appreciate what Jeff Gural has done for this business and I want him to be successful.

and then bails out, I would say, to be polite, the person is being less than sincere.  All I can say is I hope Gural is keeping track of who is supporting the Meadowlands and who isn't.  After all, payback is a, well you know what I mean.

[Section on Walter Case has been removed.  My analysis was wrong.  See new story].

A new harness racing blog, called Opening Quarter has been started.  This blog features primarily Australian harness racing but on occasion will discuss foreign racing news.   The most recent entry has a link to the Victorian Cup video feed where you can watch the entire racing program starting at 1:45am EST on Saturday morning.  Welcome to the blogosphere Jimmy, there are not enough harness racing blogs so there is always room for another one.   


JLB said...

Brian Sears is an independent contractor in one of the most dangerous professions. He certainly has the right to drive where he wishes, to maximize his ability to earn his 5 %. I would say, though, that commenting that it cost him alot of money to move to this area is somewhat churlish given what his income has been over the last decade. And I would wonder how safe those 10 claimers are going around four sharp turns at Yonkers.

Finally, I think you meant to say that some veteran reinsmen swear off pacers, not trotters, since it is the pacer's hobbles that make it more likely for the pacer to fall in the event of an accident (of course, now that so many trotters wear hobbles, I may have to re-evaluate my comment!).

Pacingguy said...

JLB - good catch, usually it is pacers, but some drivers want to avoid trotters due to their greater tendancy to go off stride. I guess it depends on the individual driver's experiences; which cause him the most injuries.

You are absolutely right, Sears is an independent contractor and has the right to take his services where he wants to. Still, there is a thing called loyalty.

JLB said...

One additional comment:Yannick Gingras was quoted as saying that he will stick to the Meadowlands, as that is where the rising stars are developed, and he would like to continue to have access to up-and-coming two- and three-year olds. He said that factor was more important to him than racing in slots-fueled overnights at Yonkers.

I seriously doubt that Sears will lose his access to top horses when the Grand Circuit comes along, but, if he is truly concerned about which track presents more dangerous driving situations, I think he should stay at the Big M.