In the first leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series, See You At Peelers finished in a dead heat for first in her leg with a mile in 1:52.4. It wasn't pretty, but considering how last year ended, it must have brought smiles to her connections. She had to survive an inquiry for lugging in in the stretch. Clearly she was not 100%, but she completed her mile strongly and more importantly, she defeated some older horses.
As for my selections last night, I deserve the Bronx Cheer, getting only one winner on the top and it paid $2.50, that being Chancey Lady who finished in a dead heat with SYAP. In the fifth race where Androvette finished third but there was no show wagering, there were some great place prices. In particular Hula Z Tam, who finished second, paid $60.00 to place. We had a few close calls, but you don't get paid for close calls. I guess this is why I don't enter handicapping contests. Anyway, we will give it another whirl tonight in betting the George Morton Levy Memorial divisions.
The Meadowlands' Spring Survivor Pacing Series has been modified due to less nominations being made. Instead of eliminating horses the first week, all horses are eligible to return for the second week with the best horses in summary moving on to the semi-final. It would have been naive to think with the Meadowlands now being leased by Jeff Gural that horsemen who formerly left New Jersey for the glory of Pennsylvania would have remained this year to race at the Meadowlands. At least until the championship series, the Meadowlands will need to be creative in filling their race cards.
Speaking of Gural, he submitted a letter to the editor of Harness Racing Update and it corrected the misconception a reader had about how Gural made more money by racing fewer days at the Meadowlands. In reality, it is likely reducing the losses and keeps the purses at the levels they are. But perhaps the most interesting thing in the letter was Gural's hope to schedule some races using the old conventional sulky to see how the new sulkies have changed the speed and style of racing. It runs out you can't seem to find enough of those sulkies and necessary equipment in order to be used in races. If you happen to have an old race bike; keep it in good shape. You likely have a museum piece on your hands.
PTP posted yesterday a tongue in cheek pop quiz regarding racing which should appear to race fans, regardless of breed, I was laughing after completing the quiz which is sad despite the fact I scored a perfect eleven for eleven, because the answers don't paint racing of thoroughbred and standardbred racing in a good light.
The New York Times has a story on how thoroughbred and quarter horse racing has seen the number of deaths of horses increase as a result of racinos and the use of illegal drugs. There is no mention of standardbred racing, sadly because it is considered insignificant. Fortunately, harness racing's breakdowns on the track are far and few in between, but I am sure we have our own skeletons in the closet. One of them is some states allowing trainers who get caught to transfer their stables to assistant trainers, another issue is the fact fines and suspensions in some states are a joke. If you plan to view the video attached to the story, be warned it is somewhat graphic.