Today it was announced that Trackmaster, the Daily Racing From, and the USTA have a new deal to allow Harness Eye and the Daily Harness Racing Program, staples of the metropolitan New York area to be offered through the DRF website and a few selected sites. Quite honestly, being the two publishing companies are owned by the same company, any losses by one will be gained by the other. For those outside of the greater New York Metropolitan area, harness players will get a chance to uses the same handicapping tools that have been available since the Yonkers-Roosevelt circuit was intact.
As much as I applaud this agreement, they still miss the boat. The agreement does not allow for American harness tracks to offer free programs on their website as is allowed in Canada. I am not saying they need to contain the proprietary handicapping information of Trackmaster or the Harness Eye, but individual tracks should be able to offer the bare bones basic program you got at the track before Trackmaster took over as the controller of the past performance information.
Trackmaster or Harness Eye, serious handicappers are going to want to and will be willing to pay for their proprietary information, but for the person just starting out, that basic program online is likely all they want; anything more is going to confuse the novices. The key is to get the program in their hands or on their screen. Making them pay for it is a discouragement.
Best Wishes for a Speedy Recovery to Billy Parker Jr at Monticello Raceway who had prostate surgery and will be sidelined until March. I always liked Zeke and personally think he has not been given the recognition in the sport he deserves. Yes, he's a journeyman toiling it out in one of the smaller racing markets but if you knew what he went through, you would appreciate him more for turning his life around.