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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Do Not Try This At Home

Someone last night decided to sprint around on the Maywood Park oval.  While for years people used to run on the racetracks as part of their training regimen, I am pretty sure that a) they ran on the track when it was closed to training and b) they ran around the track, not directly across the oval; especially as the horses were in the middle of their race.  As a result of this individual running directly across the track in front of horses, the favorite #5 Summer Party, went off-stride (who afterwards was declared a non-starter) and out of contention.. 

A word of advice, Do Not Try This at Home.

A minority owner of Vernon Downs is giving up his shares in the racetrack in protest of a deal which gives Turning Stone casino exclusive rights to table games in a ten county region.  How he does this being the shares in Mid-State Raceway has no value on the market is beyond me.  Anyway, it is his right but there is no way to sell the stock as it has no value since a bankruptcy back in 2004.  While I understand the minority owner's concerns, the fact is Vernon Downs would never compete against an Indian casino three miles away.

Buffalo Raceway now has an app available for iPad and Android users as part of the overall Erie County Fair Grounds app.  The application is pretty basic with respect to racing, more informational, but it does have entries and charts and some information which may be handy to have if you are visiting the area.  You can find the app by going to your usual app store and looking up Buffalo Raceway.  While not exactly rich in features, every track should be reaching out in whatever means possible to attract new customers or at least to keep their existing customer base informed.

The May edition of Trot magazine has arrived (always a delay in getting it in the States).  This issue is their annual State of the Industry edition and there are many great ideas for helping rebuild the industry.  Every stakeholder in the States should get a copy of this magazine.

Trot sent two people who have never been to the track to go and get their reaction.  The two tracks involved were Fraser Downs in British Columbia and Woodbine in Ontario.  The person who went to Fraser Downs had a good time while the one who went to Woodbine had a disastrous visit.  In some ways this doesn't surprise me.

Other topics in the magazine had to do with the possibility of turning over wagering and scheduling to a centralized authority such as PMU or ATG and let the tracks just put on a show with lower costs while another idea was to introduce the harness racing festival.  All great ideas, but unfortunately, short of a few people, no one in the industry has the courage to broach the subject.  What a shame because the ideas in this edition of Trot are spot on but I fear the industry is paralyzed with fear.


Harness fan said...

I really don't understand (other than giving money back to customers is taboo) why they allowed the results to stand? If the person got ran over, would they have then called the race "no contest"? Does a person have to have direct contact with a horse? Does a person have to die first? The person obviously had a death wish.

It looks obvious to me the third place finisher could have ran second if he didn't have to avoid the breaking favorite at the head of the stretch. How does this type of thing help harness racing?

Pacingguy said...

Harness Fan (I love your name!)

The logic will be mentioned it became racing luck that the third place finisher had to avoid the breaker and it was racing luck, albeit an external force.

This has happened before, external forces getting involved, be it deer, geese, rabbits and yes, a human interfering with the Kentucky Derby (thus the start of the guards lining the stretch). This happens both in harness and thoroughbred racing.

I am not saying it is right; it is the way the rules are written.