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Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday Briefs

The problems at Rodney Farms continue.  The farm continues to deteriorate and according to Barbara Galbraith, they need to reduce their stock by roughly thirty horses as she hopes to keep the breeding farm going, perhaps at a new location.  Quite honestly, I suspect the damage to the farm through their misfortunes makes any chance of becoming a viable breeding operation daunting. 

In the meanwhile, private citizens have been trying to help by providing hay to keep the horses somewhat fed.. A new social media attempt to raise funds for Rodney Farms has begun in an effort to keep the horses fed and avoid the euthanizing of their horses.  Their goal is to raise $5,000 over the next forty-four days; an effort which apparently just begun.  Some may be asking what the USTA is doing about this problem?  The USTA is willing to provide funds via ths SOS program to help feed the horses but they are unable to release funds until the Humane Society takes action which for unknown reasons they have not. 

Something I admit I don't understand is the attempt by horsemen in Ontario to open a new track, Lakeshore Raceway near the old Windsor Raceway.  Yes, they initially are looking for a ten day race meet but in a province where racing dates are being slashed, does it really make sense to start up a new track, even if it replaces a track which closed down?  Maybe down the road it makes sense to start up a new track but when the industry is attempting to stabilize, does it really make sense to build up a new track?  I think not.

Elsewhere, there has been criticism about the Meadowlands racing two late closing finals as the first two races of the card on Saturday, avoiding the popular Pick-4 wager.  Quite honestly, this is a comment a 'horse racing as a hobby' person would make.  Coming from that mindset, even I realize it is the handle which matters.  Carding these two races as the first races on the card made sense in the new world, the one where the economics of racing matters.  Forget about the Pick-4; get the two non-bettable races out of the way when people are still walking in or wrapping up dinner.  Moving the two races early was the right move as once again the Meadowlands put up great numbers at the window  We all love big races but the fact is we see at Balmoral that full fields of cheap competitive horses will earn more than a short field of top horses. 

Why do people buy race horses?  Some people buy them for the chance ot make money, others do it for other reasons, such as uniting a family.  Harness writer talks about what horse ownership has done for his family in Barrons.   Somethings can't be measured in dollars and cents.

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