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Monday, June 18, 2012

Coming Out Party?

Could there be another pacer joining the conversation when it comes to discussing the top three year old pacers?  It may very well be the case as Heston Blue Chip made his case in a non-wagering event at Tioga Downs yesterday in a scorching 1:49.2.  You may say what is so special about a 1:49.2 finish on a 5/8th mile oval?  It was how he did it as the four horse race basically turned into a $27,844 official workout for the 3yo pacer, going through fractions of :26.3, :55.1, 1:22 before Tim Tetrick flipped a switch at the 3/4's and to come home in a :27.2 after showing a quick burst of speed to open up a little on the field before coming home in hand.  At the wire, it was clear Heston Blue Chip had plenty left in the tank.  This winner of now fourteen out of sixteen races will next race in one more NYSS race at Yonkers Raceway before stepping out against open company in the Meadowlands Pace eliminations.  Don't be surprised if you see this colt in the thick of things in New Jersey.   

I can't help but wonder what the North America Cup will look like in the future with the end of the Slots at Racetrack program this coming March.  I am pretty sure it will continue to be contested, but I imagine the $1.5 million purse may become history in the next year or two.  It will join the Meadowlands Pace as major races with the purse being reduced.  This year's Meadowlands Pace will go for $800,000, a $200,000 reduction.  However, if more money needs to be dedicated to overnights in order to fill racing cards at the Meadowlands, will next year's Pace go for less?  Time will tell.

A while back, I talked about introducing the Skewbald colored standardbred in the United States to add some 'color' to the sport.  Since then, I found out why this has not happened in North America when I talked to a friend in Australia, where the first attempts were made to reintroduce the Skewbald.  Sam says:

The Skewbald, didn't really take off over here.  There was a couple of stallions that stood at stud, but nothing really found there way to the race track, mate.  To be honest with you, they were a flop.

The main reason, was  the stallion, poor performers, low earnings and no time against their name. There were a couple racing in NSW and Queensland, one horse went ok, winning a couple of races but no superstar.

A Skewbald stood at stud here in Tasmania, the closet his foals got to the race track were as outriders.

They are nice horses, but you will not find any of then at Metro tracks, maybe the odd one at a country track.

Perhaps, the skewbald could be introduced back into the North American bloodlines, but it would take time to successfully get the right mix in order to get them up to racing speed, something the commercial breeder has no time and to be honest cash flow to work on.  Maybe there would be a market for the skewbald standardbred for non-racing purposes, but that market is too small to breed for.  So it appears the Skewbald Standardbred will remain a curiosity.

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