I must confess. While I have had my suspicions with certain trainers, the Burke stable has never been one of them. Yes, they win a lot of races, but then they have a lot of horses to race so there is seldom a race at the Meadowlands where the Burke stable is not present so you will naturally see more of his horses in the winners circle. Through last night at the Meadowlands, the Burke Stable has 16 more winners than any other stable there, but those 28 wins comes from 133 starters, meaning the stable has a 21% win rate. However, when you look at win percentage, the Burke Stable is 9th at the Meadowlands (the statistics coming courtesy of Statsmaster):
|Scott Di Domenico||23||6||26%|
The only thing the Burke Stable can be accused of with certainty is being too big an operation, almost corporate-like something we usually don't see in harness racing. You can argue whether stables this big are good for harness racing (I don't think they are) or not, but having a stable as big as the Burke stable doesn't mean someone is cheating.
I had mentioned in an earlier column that TVG will take over operation of 4NJBets.com starting March 1. While details are yet to be officially sent to account holders, I did have an exchange with representatives of TVG who in addition to confirming their taking over of 4NJBets.com, has confirmed existing account holders will not be assessed any fees per wager or video. While this is welcome news, there are some questions which remain. For example, under the current system one can go to the track and make deposits to and withdrawals from your account; you can wager using your account while at the track. TVG has a rewards program, will NJ customers be able to participate in the player rewards program? Instead of speculating, these questions and others will be answered in an upcoming communication which existing account holders will be receiving from TVG.
Personally, I think on the whole the move to TVG will be beneficial for existing 4NJBets.com account holders. Also, the move to TVG will make it easier for New Jersey to implement exchange wagering when it finally gets the go-ahead in the Garden State.
California racing is known for raising their takeouts when it comes to thoroughbred racing; takeout rates in California harness racing are a bargain when compared to their running cousins. But on the plus side, the California Horse Racing Board is perhaps the most open when it comes to the public being kept informed as to what is going on. Take a look at their website and see the information which is made available to you, the general public. Other states should be as open as California when it comes to the regulation of the sport.