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Friday, November 22, 2013

The Blame Game and Enablers

In Friday's HRU, the lead article is the track at Harrah's Philadelphia is alleged to be unsafe according to many of the drivers that race there.  The article also goes into how management allegedly failed  to address the issues and made promises that it supposedly doesn't keep; something Harrah's denies.  Some drivers speculate the track condition is what contributed to the accident which resulted in Anthony Coletta being hospitalized.

So the question must be asked, if the track is so unsafe why are they racing there?  Why hasn't the PHRC gotten involved and investigated the track condition?  Is it the track is safe or is it the PHRC has no teeth or could care less?

Let's take the PHRC out of the equation for a moment.  If the track is so unsafe, why are drivers racing there willingly?  Don't they value their lives, afraid what happened to Coletta could happen to them?  Is it they take the mentality if they don't race there someone else will take their place or is it they find the money is too good to let something like an alleged unsafe track stop them?  If it is the latter, they need to rethink their priorities.

What about the trainers?  Why are you risking your horses on a track that is allegedly unsafe?  Don't you have the responsibility to the owners and the horses to keep them from racing on unsafe surfaces, or again is the money too much to let go?

The fact is, if the horsemen felt Harrah's racetrack was that unsafe, they could have 'unofficially' boycotted the entry box keeping Harrah's from racing.  Drivers could have said they are going to race in Delaware or decide not to race doubleheaders anymore.  Such actions would have forced the PHRC to get involved and then if the complaints were true, Harrah's would have been forced to fix the track.

I'm not naive, horse racing is not a safe business to be in.  Drivers know the risk.  My problem lies in the fact while some people are trying to blame Harrah's for the accident which involved Coletta (which has not been proven), they share the blame.  What did they do to solve the problem?  If the track was indeed unsafe may I suggest they were enablers by continuing to race there?

I guess when money is involved, people aren't that worried until something bad happens.


Anonymous said...


I have all the same questions. If the track truly has problems identified by several drivers, as a group through their horsemen's association they should refuse to get on the track.

That would stop racing. Without racing, Harrah's can't operate the casino. Quick fix for sure.

Could Harrah's management really have promised for two years to eliminate dangerous conditions, and the Pennsylvania commission was aware of the concerns and also did nothing?

Harrah's, the government and the drivers need to get together right away to resolve the complaint.

edge1124 said...

I can't say for sure but just based on watching hundreds of races a week from different tracks I would have to agree there is something wrong with the surface at Harrah's. For example if you compare just Dover, The Meadows and Harrah's....I have never seen so many horses break going into that 2nd turn just before the 1/4 at Harrah's compared to those other 2 tracks. I know Goo Goo Gaga had his troubles last year but he really disliked that turn at Harrah's.

It sucks when the people with the money in their pockets would rather keep it their pockets rather than sacrifice a little of it for the safety of human lives and horses. That goes for both the owners/executives etc. and the horsemen. They should have boycotted!!