PTP talks about the Olympic badminton scandal and how it was dealt with quickly and easily. Why isn't it that easy for horse racing? A must read column if ever there was one.
We often talk about how things go wrong in harness racing, but once in a while something goes right, so let's give credit where credit is deserved.
On July 21, a world record for 5/8ths of mile was set at Hazel Park. In the evening's fifth race, Armbro Dane
got to the half in :55 and paced his last 1/8th of a mile in 10 seconds
flat. A reader of VFTRG noted you can't get a quarter horse to race an 1/8 of a mile under 10 seconds so unless the horse was Pegasus, something wasn't definitely wrong.
Rather than sit and letting what was perceived a mistake alone, this reader contacted the judges at Hazel Park and let them know of his concerns. Did they ignore him as he wasn't an owner or trainer? No, they did what should be doing, they checked into his suspicions. The net result? They re-timed the alleged 1:05 mile and determined the race actually went in 1:09.4 and ordered the time corrected.
Not only did the judges order the time of the race changed, but this past Saturday night at Hazel Park, when Armbro Dane raced once again, being the program was already printed with the erroneous time, the judges made sure it was announced multiple times the correct time should have been 1:09.4 instead.
No the judges weren't annoyed that John Q Public contacted them, they didn't dismiss what he said, they took a look at his complaint and when it was found his observations were correct, the judges acted to make things right. As a result, the public was protected and for now, Jebswesternsnake is once again the record holder of 1:08.1. While the judges did what they should have, kudos go out to the judges in the Hazel Park stand for investigating the observations of the public and doing what was right.
Hambletonian Stories: There are some great stories to be told this year regarding the horses racing in the various stakes on the Hambletonian Day card. One of those stories is how Uncle Peter was named; a great human interest story. I hope the people at CBS Sports Network, the channel broadcasting this year's Hambletonian is doing a story on the naming of Uncle Peter as the general public loves stories like this. As much as a story about Check Me Out and Maven's rivalry would be of interest to those reading this blog and others, quite honestly we don't get enough mainstream coverage to discuss it at any length; the public wouldn't be invested in it. Any horse racing broadcast needs to be focused on those who are less invested in the gambling part of the sport, for those who are interested in things like world records and racing-specific topics, we have channels like TVG to watch.