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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Letting the Sunshine in in Chi-Town

Starting Friday night, Chi-Town harness racing fans will be getting post-race interviews with drivers and trainers.  No big deal you say?  After all haven't we been getting post-race interviews for years now? 

Well, this is different.  Almost all post-race interviews have traditionally been with victorious connections but those types of interviews will be the exception at Balmoral and Maywood Parks.  Thanks to an IHHA initiative, interviews will primarily  be with losing connections as more transparency comes to racing in the Windy City.  As you can see in the sample interview below, losing connections will be getting interviewed to explain why certain things went wrong, be it a disqualification, a horse going off-stride, or a 2-5 favorite finishing up the track.

The IHHA are hoping these interviews will bring more transparency to the sport, helping to explain to horseplayers when things go wrong it isn't chicanery at work.  How many times have you bet on a horse and you wonder why a driver made what you feel was a bone-headed move?  Maybe there was a reason why a horse engaged in a suicidal speed duel which you aren't aware of.  Hopefully these interviews not only educate harness racing fans, but also help address some of the perceived integrity issues the sport gets unfairly painted with.

Congratulations to the IHHA for coming up with this idea and to Balmoral and Maywood Parks' management for deciding to incorporate these interviews into their racing telecasts.  More tracks need to adopt this practice to help educate horseplayers and instill more confidence in the game.  Hopefully interviews like this will be coming to your local racetrack soon.

1 comment:

JLB said...

This is a positive idea. However, an explanation such as given in the sample, will only be understood by an experienced handicapper. Terms like "running in", "choked down",and the like are meaningless to the novice fan.

Now what we really need is audio of the phone calls conducted by the judges with drivers when an inquiry or objection is posted. Followed by a clear explanation by the judge as to why action was or was not taken.