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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sunday Miscellanery

Cane Pace/Shady Daisy Selections - Monday afternoon, Tioga Downs hosts the Cane Pace and the Shady Daisy stakes races with a first post of 1:30pm.  My selections for the Shady Daisy (Race 8) are:  4 - Bettor B Lucky (3-1), 2 - Major Look (5-2),  3- Blackjack Princess (8-1).   My selections for the Cane Pace (Race 9) are: 1A - A Rocknroll Dance (8-5), 5 - State Treasurer (15-1), 7 - Heston Blue Chip (2-1), 6 - Steelhead Hanover (10-1).  Also on the card are two RUS exhibitions, one occuring after the third race with the other following the fourth race.    

You Got to Be Kidding Me Part I - A group of horsemen want to bring an extended pari-mutuel meet to Leamington Raceway in Ontario.  This fair track, which held one day of racing this year during the local fair is the subject of a group looking to bring ten days of racing to the fairgrounds in 2013.  A business plan would need to be established and of course, they would need to obtain some of that transitional funding from the provincial government to make a go of it.    Whomever is part of this group must be related to Rip Van Winkle or it is clear they have no grasp of what is going on in racing these days.  I understand they want to keep harness racing in the Windsor area but really, is this the time?

You Got to Be Kidding Me Part II - The NYSRWB has given permission for Oswego Racing to incorporate, allowing them to compete for the eigth and final standardbred permit to conduct harness racing in New York State.  Oswego Racing intends to build a dirt track which would be used for auto racing as well as harness racing in Hastings, New York.  Of course, while they are not the only group trying to get the final license, they are the only ones who are willing to operate without a racino though being the last track authorized to conduct racing, there is nothing to stop them from applying for a casino down the road.  Let's make the assumption (more likely a naive leap of faith) that they truly are looking to make a go of horse racing without a casino.  Does New York need an eighth harness track?  More importanly does New York need another racetrack a mere thirty miles from Vernon Downs?  After all, even if they raced only four months a year, I am sure there would be simulcasting all year long.  But let's ignore the simulcasting issue for a moment and assume they would race their four months before and after the Vernon Downs meet without casino revenue,does New York need a track where the average daily purse distribution would be around $10,000?

In Testing We Trust? -  Bill Finley in Harness Racing Update has been covering the three day NYSRWB hearing of Lou Pena.  As Pena's attorney Andrew Turro asked in the second day of the hearing, how come Pena didn't come up positive for Robaxin and Robinul, two drugs New York State has effective tests for?  Some people will say Mr. Pena figured out away to give a dose within 24 hours and not get detected.  Poppycock I would say.  Ever get blood work done for yourself and noticed your results vary?  Horses, like people have good days and bad days which means a certain level of a drug may not be detected one time but the same level would show up another time.  You can't tell me Pena had the luck of not getting detected every single time.  This tells me if you believe Mr. Pena was cheating, it shows drug testing is seriously flawed. 

Pull the Pocket last week talked about the possibility of doing blood profiling of horses, whereas you don't test for specific drugs but the presence of an abnormal blood test (outside of a certain variance) would be sufficient to prove doping.  Sounds to me like a more practical way to police drug abuse.

Say What?  - NYSRWB Attorney Rick Goodell asked the hearing officer Clem Parenti to rule that Pena's refusal to testify was an adverse inference, claiming in refusing to testify, Pena must be guilty.  I can't believe the hearing officer is taking this position under advisement.  I realize this is not a court hearing, but when did not testifying become grounds for a finding of guilt?

Tell Me This is Not a Witch Hunt -  Well, this is the third and final bullet point regarding Mr. Pena's situation.  Pena will be found guilty by the NYSRWB and with electronic filing, the appeal to the New York Court System will be on its way as soon as Mr. Goodell hits the 'enter' key on his smartphone before he leaves the hearing room when the decision is announced.    I'm all for getting drug cheats out of the sport, but I have a real problem with witch hunts.  No one can tell me this tell me this was not a witch hunt to get Pena.  After all, can you name me a trainer in New York (or New Jersey) for fact which has been cited for a violation as a result of medical records since this case has occured?    

Ending On A Good Note - Congratulations to Foiled Again for becoming the richest ever pacer (at least in the Western Hemisphere) by winning the Canadian Pacing Derby last night at Mohawk Racetrack in 1:48.3, bringing his lifetime earnings to $4,356,511.  Here is the replay of his record breaking victory:

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