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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Educating the Public and Sobering Up

Many people will recognize Sam Landy as the owner of Congress Hill Farm and the father of rising star Harry Landy.  He can now add lobbyist to his title as he is promoting the Open Space Pace on September 29 at Freehold Raceway.  Recently, he went to a Freehold Borough Council meeting to explain what is being planned for September 29.  His goal?  It's two-fold; to get 5,000 people to the races that day and more importantly, get people in Monmouth County ro realize the importance of horse racing is in their county and how it contributes to open space by means of the farms.

The day will start with a horse parade down one of the major streets in Freehold and will then continue a the raceway where people will learn how much fun a day at the races will be.  Of course, other people outside of Monmouth County are welcome to attend.  I congratulate Landy on this effort.  The days of opening the gates and having people just come to the track are over.  You need to bring the racing to the people.  Let them know it is not just a gambling location, it is an engine in the local economy.  Best of luck to Sam Landy and his committee in organizing this event.

PTP talks about the budget cuts in New Brunswick and Ontario and their impact on racing.  It is a much read.    However, two statements in the Ontairo budget speech stick out.  The government remains committed to supporting horseracing through its reduction to the Province’s pari-mutuel tax. This leaves wagering revenues with the industry for programming support.  That's sounds good.  Unfortunately, it is like a drug addict getting high all the time who is abusing (not physically) all those around him.  One day the addict gets sober and realizes everyone has left them and says "OMG, what have I done?".

Well it appears at least in Canada, racing's dealer is cutting them off and when racing sobers up, it isn't going to be pretty.

Harness Racing Victoria brings us a video helmet cam view of a Monté race from Tabcorp Melton.  I won't say it is the most compelling under saddle race as the field is not as big as it is in France, but it is something we don't get to see in North America.  However, with the USTA willing to license riders for racing under saddle, expect to see some resurgence of exhibition races, especially in the Metropolitan New York area. 

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