For photos from the Meadowlands contact

Sunday, November 10, 2013

How About An Answer Racing Commissions (and Track Operators)?

In response to my last posting, came the following response:

Bee A Magician will get HOY. As good as the Captain has been, he can't match a perfect record.

Did you catch the additional rule breaking by Tim Tetrick? Easy to see in the video close ups. Not only does Tetrick boot Captaintreacherous and I Luv The Nitelife, he also stuck the whip where it doesn't belong. More difficult to see, but it appears Yannick Gingras was doing the same. What's next, hooking up an electric charge to a horse's genitals?

Does any sport other than racing regularly ignore the rules or make the penalties so light that it pays to cheat? Fines clearly aren't a deterrent.

Suspensions of drivers seem to be the only way to deal with this problem. Losing three, five or ten days of income will put a stop to what $50 and $100 fines can't. Racing commissions where are you?

To answer the writer's question, at Balmoral the judges are probably looking for work come January 1.

All kidding aside, regardless of who did or didn't last night (personally, I didn't see Captaintreacherous getting the boot), it goes without saying the use of the whip where it doesn't belong and booting (kicking) occurs and is a violation of the rules.  At this point, the judges don't seem ready to do anything serious about it, after all many judges are former horsemen.  Unless racing commissions get serious about stopping this behavior don't expect judges to crack down unless the offenses are egregious and even then, they will be slaps on the hand.  It seems to me until anti-racing groups start making a big deal about this type of behavior the status quo will be acceptable. 

But the fault doesn't like alone with the racing commissions.  Tracks have track rules and it can be made known at the annual drivers meeting at the start of the meet the use of the whip and/or the foot where it is not supposed to be used is not going to be tolerated and management will ask the judges to enforce the relevant rules with no leeway in enforcement and penalties.  Even then it may not be enough to get drivers to change their tune.  If that is the case, it may be necessary for a track to label a driver unwelcome before the others get the message the track takes this type of action serious.  Of course it remains to be seen if any track is willing to be the first one to crack down and will others fall in line.


Anonymous said...

Answer: Who cares, we got the slots!!!!!

Melodie Barth said...

Maybe you need to go back and watch Captaintreacherous race in the American National again. Not once did Tim Tetrick remove his feet from the stirrups to boot/kick as you accused him of doing. Has he in the past? Yes. Did he this race? No.

Its sad that all one can focus on is not watching this great specimen while he's still here to entertain us, but notpicking him about what happens during his races. He doesnt race on a half. He wont go heat races (here's a clue, very very few people/horses do anymore). Tim kicked him. Tim whipped him wrong. He gets an easy half. He never set a world record. Its tiresome to listen, and quite truthfully puts a damper on such a great animal.

Im not ignoring the fact that there are issues needing to be addressed. But it has gone beyond that in regards to the Captain. It appears to me that certain people, be it drivers/trainers/owners, handicappers, casual fans, etc just need a reason to hate on this horse. Or maybe they just need a reason to cry in general because they cynical and life would not be the same if they could not whine about it.

The NHL, MLB, NBA, and other sporting organizations have committee's set up which review rules regularly. Harness racing needs something like this. What they DONT need to do is change every single thing disgruntled people, be it trainers, drivers, owners or gamblers/fans suggest.

Pacingguy said...


Let me be perfectly clear to everyone who is reading this post. No where in this post am I saying Tetrick kicked Captaintreacherous in his Balmoral race. The quote is of someone else.

What did I say about it in this post?

"All kidding aside, regardless of who did or didn't last night..."

I don't hate the horse, though I admit I don't like how every horse these days is managed like a prize fighter. I miss the days of Cam Fella and others who took on all comers wherever a stakes race took place. I understand the standanrdbred of recent don't have the ability to race as much as the past but it does irk me how certain horses are kept of the half mile oval (forget about the Jug, I can see the concern of multi-heats). At least Somebeachsomewhere raced at Yonkers, one of the worst half milers around.

As for kicking and putting the whip where it doesn't belong, it is not a question of changing every single thing. The rules prohibit kicking. The rules prohibit whipping between a horses legs. Is asking the judges to enforce the rules too much to ask for? Look at the weekly fines and suspension list and you can clearly see fines (at least at the levels they levy) are worthless. Maybe some days off (more than three) may curb the violations of EXISTING rules.