In todays Harness Racing Update, Bob Mark's answered a week later the question of "Where Have All the Bettors Gone?' All I can say about Mark's comments are "Bravo". I have touched on similar topics in the past as well, but to read such remarks from a respected member of the Harness Racing fraternity, it should hit home. Should seasoned gamblers figure such activity takes place? Perhaps. But we don't tell the novices to racing about these things and that is how we get dumb money wagered. It is one thing when we get dumb money as a result of a person betting a horse that is a favorite for no real reason; it is one thing when we get dumb money from hiding the facts.
Obviously 'the facts' as Marks eloquently spells out are not the type of thing you would be proud about. I would suggest if you wouldn't tell such a fact to a future mother or father-in-law, we shouldn't be doing it. I am not saying horses should be gutted to win a race, but if a horse is not trying to win, he shouldn't be on the track. Figuring if a horse is trying or not, should not be part of the game for anyone.
I like The Raceway at Western Fair District, or more specifically Greg Blanchard and his staff. Blanchard would be the first one to admit the slots keep racetracks operating but it is his goal to make racing self-sufficient; at least at The Raceway. How can you not like a track operator who thinks this way. With their $300,000 handles in the afternoon (unheard of in Ontario with the exception of WEG), you can say Blanchard's hard work is paying off. They may still be relying on slots at present, but the efforts they are making at The Raceway, are steps in the right direction. It's nice to see track operators such as the ones at The Raceway, The Meadowlands, and WEG a re working towards this goal. Now if we could get a few more operators thinking this way.,...
Hit Them Where it Hurts Award: Out at Cal Expo, a driver is fined $200 for "carrying a horse out". Now, $200 may seem small, but at a track where most of the races go for $2,000, $200 is a significant amount of pocket change; that's just under what a driver would earn in the top class.
Slap on the Wrist Award: Goes to The Meadows where a driver is fined for $200 for "interference/causing another horse to break" which is less than the amount a winning driver would earn in the bottom class.
Which driver do you think will earn a lesson sooner?