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Monday, December 26, 2011

What I Would Like to See in 2012

By now, you know me when it comes to writing these lists.  I can't wait to get these lists published, so forgive me if you see it ahead of New Years Eve.  I deliberately avoided looking at last year's list because I don't want to know what I asked for for 2011 which didn't come true, so you may find some replication, or a lot of changes; we will just see where we go with it.  There is no specific order to those listed.

What I Would Like to See in 2012
  1. A Fair Start Rule in New Jersey (at least), if not the entire country.
  2. Replace race numbers with post times and stick to them as off times.
  3. If we are going to stick to race numbers, make post time mean something accurate.
  4. .More harness racing on TVG besides Monday and Tuesday evening.  Live would be even better.
  5. A racetrack profitable without slots.
  6. Horsemen acting like they realize slots will not always be there and act like they care.
  7. The development of America One, a simulcast channel which will show harness racing from 10:00am to 12:00am showing races from different tracks lined up, so there will be a different track every three hours.
  8. Expansion of the Strategic Wagering Initiative to include wagers that some of the smaller players may play like Daily Doubles, Exactas and Trifectas,
  9. Racetracks who are lowering their takeout on Pick-4s and Superfectas to start lowering their takeout on win, place, and show wagers.  After all, does it cost more to process those wagers?
  10. Jeff Gural being serious about kicking the cheats out of the Meadowlands.  Maybe then I can start playing the Meadowlands again.  Truth be told, I boycotted the Meadowlands when it came to wagering due to the presence of certain trainers (more than one there).  The same applies to Freehold Raceway.
  11. A year of success for my favorite trainer Anouk Busch. 2011 was not a good year for her due to injuries and when you are a small stable that can kill you.  May the racing gods be kinder to her in 2012.
  12. Closing the wagering windows when the starter calls the field.  The whales will learn when wagering will end and learn to adjust (yeah, I know the chances of it happening, but you can wish).
  13. Late closing series have at least three eliminations races, this way less luck is involved in who gets to advance.
  14. A new gig for for Gary Siebel.
  15. Yonkers Raceway resume the International Trot.  You have been talking about it for years; why not follow through?
  16. Some new exotic wagers that small time players can play.  Does everything need a large bankroll?
  17. Full fields at the Meadowlands.
  18. No racetracks closing.
  19. Do we really need year round racing at some tracks?  Meets with 238 racing days?  We don't have enough horses to fill all the races the way it is.  I would like to see us give the gambler a little time off to play other tracks or recharge their batteries and bankroll).
  20. Speaking of the Meadowlands, if another irrigation source can be found, fill in the lake in the infield of the track.  The Meadowlands would be a good place to hold a country music festival like Countryfest which used to be held at Saratoga Raceway.  If you filled in New Jersey, the infield would be an excellent location for music festivals, exposing young people to the track, hopefully getting them to come back.  Temporary fencing won't work.  Based on observation at Country Fest, after four hours in the hot sun they will be swimming in the lake.
  21. Riina Rekila racing more often in the United States.  Sorry Canada, that Trot magazine story has me endeared to her (after my wife).
  22. More women given the opportunity to drive at the major raceways.  That Australian method of being able to claim a concession for a junior driver seems to make sense).
  23. Exchange wagering coming to New Jersey as well as California.
  24. Creative promotions at the Meadowlands.
  25. Another year of the simulcast of the Gold Cup and Saucer at the Meadowlands.  This past year it was added at the last minute and it did pretty well, handling more that second tier thoroughbred tracks in certain metrics.  Could you imagine the wagering if it was promoted?  Other tracks should pick it up.
  26. The LBJ future wager at the Meadowlands.
  27. Double headers at the Meadowlands via simulcasting.  Have Meadowlands and Tioga races alternating so there will be more action and perhaps have a few bets involving both tracks.  It can only help both tracks.
  28. The end of the Gural-Faraldo feud.  Yes, I realize it is more likely that peace will come to the Middle East, but you can hope.
  29. Stop complaining about the second tier.  Hard to believe it, but you are there for the fans.
  30. A referendum to allow slots at the Meadowlands.
  31. Legalize slots in Illinois (Come on Governor Quinn).
  32. Plainridge Raceway win either a casino resort or slot parlor license in Massachussets.
  33. Slots in New Hampshire; I want to see the trotters back at Rockingham Park.
  34. Increased handle at Running Aces Horse Park.  It seems these people are really trying.
  35. A casino approved for Rosecroft Raceway so racing will continue past 2012 there.
  36. Seats at Ocean Downs so your loyal fans will actually have a place to sit.
  37. A new operator is found for Cal Expo, allowing racing to continue there or elsewhere in the state.
  38. Remove those discriminatory rules in California which makes it hard for the standardbreds to be profitable.
  39. Horses to actually race in Yonkers big money events.
  40. The successful return of See You At Peelers.
  41. A gelding win the Hambletonian and/or the Meadowlands Pace (it drives breeders crazy when that happens).
  42. Judges citing drivers for slow quarters and for driving half-in and out..
  43. A driver claiming a foul at the Meadowlands or any track in an overnight event.. 
  44. A resolution to the alleged race fixing scandal in Michigan.  We have been talking about this since 2010 and we have not seen a single indictment handed down in Michigan.
  45. A program to ensure the humane treatment of retired race horses.  They deserve better than a slaughterhouse.
  46. Larry Lederman doing better and returning to the announcers booth at Freehold.
  47. Someone to commit to a standardbred track in Georgia.  After working for parimutuels in Georgia,  I would hate to see the standarbreds get left out in the cold.
  48. An American winner in the Elitlopp and the Prix d' Amerique.  I'm not being greedy am I?
  49. Speaking of those races and others, development of a universal past performance program so we can have simulcasting of races from Europe and Australasia.
  50. Start getting rid of elimination races.  If minor stakes, race them in divisions; if major stakes limit the field to the highest money earners.  Elimination races are a fraud for the wagering public.
  51. Harness Eye programs available on the web.
  52. A year of serious exhibition monté racing prior to introducing wagering on it as part of a circuit in 2013.
  53. Ban the whips starting with 2yo races in 2013, 3yo races sin 2014, all races in 2015.
  54. An announcement that the Breeders Crown is returning to the United States in 2013.
  55. Heather Moffett gets the opportunity to be seen outside of  the Pennsylvania and Delmarava markets.  She is a talent that the industry has not fully utilized.
  56. Ending the year on the plus side in my betting.

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