Many a serious racing fan was excited by the prospect of Exchange Wagering making it to North American shores this year. After all, California had approved exchange wagering as did the New Jersey legislature in authorizing the NJRC to adopt rules for Exchange wagering. While thoroughbred horsemen have been looking at exchange wagering with a skeptical eye, horsemen at Cal Expo are anxiously awaiting its arrival and with New Jersey racing seemingly looking for anything which increases wagering on racing, it was a matter of time until it got approved.
Well, hold your horses it seems to be. In New Jersey, whereas the Meadowlands would seem interested in exchange wagering, it seems the Meadowlands is not looking to be out in front in this endeavor and want to see how it is received at Cal-Expo where Monmouth Park fears the loss of traditional wagering handle which has a higher return to the tracks though the benefit of exchange wagering is the lower commission is multiplied by volume, potentially returning more to the tracks than they would get in regular simulcast wagering. This doesn't even consider the fact exchange wagering would likely be of interest to a younger untapped market.
So it seems it is California first. In California, the CHRB submitted rules to the state's OAL and they rejected the rules. After a meeting with CHRBR staff and OAL staff, the CHRB submitted a new set of rules to the state OAL which it awaits approval. If approved, the earliest Exchange Wagering be approved would be in October. Of course, the state's thoroughbred horsemen haven't given their approval to exchange wagering so at this time, it appears it would be limited to Cal-Expo. Whether or not Cal-Expo would be a large enough 'test' for New Jersey interests remains to be seen but it appears the path for exchange wagering goes through Sacramento.
There are those who think those in horse racing do it just as a business and for sure there are those that think this way. However, for a lot of stables, especially the smaller ones, it is a lifestyle as well and the horses are treated like family members. So while there may be those who can just shake off a loss of an animal due to catastrophic injury or illness, there are those who consider the horse as part of the family.
Such is the story of Greg White who lost his filly Hay Beautiful in a freak accident on the way to the Meadowlands last weekend to race. The horse had to be euthanized after breaking her back when one of the chains which held the trailer to the pickup snapped while driving down a highway causing the driver to lose control of the trailer. We send our condolences to the connections of Hay Beautiful.
A field of fourteen have entered the Hambletonian Oaks requiring two elimination to be contested this weekend. As for the boys, the Hambletonian will be raced in heats so it remains to see how many will be dropping into the box for the biggest event on the trotting calendar. The eliminations will go as races two and five. Here are the fields for the eliminations including preliminary driving assignments.
2nd Trot - $35,000; Hambletonian Oaks - 3yo Fillies (1st Elimination)
1 Bee A Magician Ron Pierce
2 Fashion Athena John Campbell
3 Miss Steele Andy Miller
4 Ma Chere Hall Corey Callahan
5 Frau Blucher Jim Morrill Jr.
6 Hanover Belle Mike Lachance
7 Deja Vu Too Corey Callahan
5th Trot - $35,000; Hambletonian Oaks - 3yo Fillies (2nd Elimination)
1 Time To Kill Simon Allard
2 Southwind Cocoa Tim Tetrick
3 Raring To Go S Pat Berry
4 To Dream On Yannick Gingras
5 Coffeecake Hanover Yannick Gingras
6 Mistery Woman David Miller
7 Classic Martine Ron Pierce
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