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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Florida Report

Pompano Park's GiGi Diaz interviews drivers Wally Hennessey and Joe Pavia Jr. about their feelings regarding the UFO sulky.  It is interesting to hear their takes on whether the sulky does or doesn't make the horse.

This past Friday, the Florida Supreme Court let stand a lower court ruling which basically means slot machines can be installed at any parimutuel facility in the state of Florida provided the legislature approves it; no state-wide referendum is required.  How big an impact this will have on racing at Pompano Park remains to be seen.  However, it may cause trouble with Calder and Gulfstream Park as this will allow Hialeah Racetrack, the track at the core of the decided court case to offer big purses and since a quarter horse track in Florida is legally allowed to offer some thoroughbred races, it may draw horses and wagering away from the two Southeast Florida tracks.

Speaking about Hialeah, track operator John Brunetti has dropped his case against the NJSEA for awarding the right to operate Monmouth Park to the NJTHA.  As part of the settlement, the NJTHA has agreed to discuss forming a circuit between Monmouth Park and Hialeah Park which  means if Gulfstream and Calder attempt to strong arm their horsemen and jockeys from racing at Hialeah, there would be no shortage of horses available to race at Hialeah.

Funny thing about the New York Times current series on horse racing abuse is the fact people are upset about the Times coming out with their latest story during Derby week with some people complaining that it merely is a means to sell newspapers.  Of course the NYT is running this expose in an effort to sell newspapers; this is what happens in a capitalistic society, but the fact is everyone complaining about when the article ran or attacking the paper for its reporting are misdirecting their anger.  Instead of attacking the New York Times, these people should be looking within for without the wrongdoing, there would be nothing for them to report.  Society has changed its attitude with regards to animals and what used to be ignored in the past with race horses is no longer accepted; this is one of the reasons why the use of a whip in harness racing is going to become a big issue to the general public before long.

Another day, another story regarding the possibility of race horses going to slaughter in Ontario if the Slots at Tracks program isn't restored or replaced with a new funding mechanism for racing.  I have no doubt there will be culling of stables if some of the B tracks close, but with horse shortages south of the border , I suspect the potential blood letting is being overstated.  On thing for sure, should such a wholesale slaughter of horses occur in Ontario, anti-racing operatives in Canada and the United States will be watching.  It may be the slaughter of surplus racehorses putting the nail in horse racing altogether in Canada, not the loss of slot revenue.  

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