For photos from the Meadowlands contact

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Cobertura de trotones en español?

I noticed something new at the Meadowlands.  For the first time ever, the Meadowlands is promoteing on their Facebook page the Little Brown Jug, inviting people to come to  the track on Thursday for the simulcast program.

 This is a welcome change.  In the past, I've never seen the Meadowlands promote a harness program which wasn't their own.  Yes, I know the bulk of simulcasting revenue comes from the runners but does it hurt anyone to remind them you are a harness track?  With all the promotion of thoroughbred events, it is nice to see harness racing get their moment in the Meadowlands' social media.

Speaking of social media, I hope we see Cobertura de trotones en español.  To this blogger, it is my observation that harness racing remains exclusively the domain of the English (or French) speaking audience which isn't surprising because with the exception of Pompano Park who has GiGi Diaz as their on track personality, I am not aware of any out reach to the Spanish-speaking horseplayer.

With the Spanish-speaking segment of the American population growing the fastest, no sport is going to survive or experience growth without marketing to the Latin American population and harness racing is no different, especially since thoroughbred racing is likely the only experience in horse racing those from Latin America have been exposed to.  While tracks are increasing their presence in social media, it would serve them well to reach out to the Latin American segment of our population.  Let's post some videos explaining harness racing and how to handicap in Spanish as well as social media specialist posting in Spanish, to answer questions and make the Spanish speaking Americans feel comfortable about harness racing.  Perhaps we can gain some new blood for the sport. 

According to Harness Racing Update, exchange wagering is anticipated to be available on Cal Expo races on or around January 1, 2014.  Exchange wagering will be limited to the standardbreds as the thoroughbred horsemen are still refusing to believe the volume in exchange wagering will give horsemen a sufficient increase in purses.   Exchange wagering will offer in-race wagering.

At the present time, even though legal in New Jersey, exchange wagering will be limited to Californians as New Jersey has yet to promulgate rules, likely waiting to see how the California 'experiment' works out for Cal Expo and horsemen.  If it turns out to be successful, don't be surprised if New Jersey quickly establishes rules and offers it.

As the article points out, being exchange wagering will be limited to California residents, the amount of liquidity is of some concern, especially since California harness racing is not exactly top shelf.  However, being there will be in-race wagering, there will be an attraction to those who seek constant action, which may attract the younger generation as well as those who play online poker.  Regardless, it will be an exciting time once exchange wagering makes its debut in California and the whole entire racing industry will be watching with interest, even those naysayers from the California thoroughbred industry.

Mark October 10 on your calendar.  That is the day by which the hearing officer in Pennsylvania must make her recommendation regarding the licensing of Walter Case Jr.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, it is time to give Case a second chance.  I understand the concern the commission may have regarding Case, but they have an option to grant him a probationary license which will keep him on a tight leash in the event he returns to his old ways as unlikely as I expect it to be.

Speaking of Case, Zeke Parker has now passed Walter in career wins to be the sixth winningest driver of all time.  Granted, Case piled up those wins in a much shorter time but I have to wonder how long will the Hall of Fame refuse to recognize Parker's accomplishments?

While we are talking about hearing officers, unless I missed something, when is New York going to rule formally on the appeal of Lou Pena's license suspension?  The suspension was lifted by a court because the state hasn't acted promptly enough, but in theory the state could act on the appeal and attempt to re-suspend him.  Perhaps the question should be is New York ever going to issue the appeal?

Hard to believe it, but it is time for the Delaware County fair to start Jug week.  The week starts tomorrow, but unless you are going to the track, don't bother looking at Sunday's card.  Simulcasting from Delaware begins on Tuesday and runs through Jug Day on Thursday.


Anonymous said...


No! No! No! Keep Walter Case out of racing.

You and others talk of giving him a second chance. He had a second chance and a third chance and maybe a tenth chance years ago.

Case didn't pay thousands in fines and didn't serve many months of suspensions for all the rules violations. He kept racing, breaking the rules, racked up the fines, appealed everything and eventually gave up his license or had it revoked by the states where he raced.

To those who say he's paid his debt, I say check again.

Pacingguy said...


This may sound strange but if he had not been incarcerated, become 'born again', and got married, I would agree he should not be allowed back in racing.

From what I have been told, he has completely changed his life around, something I never heard of before. I say give him a chance, but keep him on a tight rope. Don't give him a full license; give him a provisional license with conditions to make it easy to yank the license if he returns to his old form.

Anonymous said...


A chance based on turning his life around should include a provisional groom or training license at the most.

When would I consider letting Case drive again? When he's served the suspensions and paid the fines he avoided by getting out of racing.
That would show a true change of character.