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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Things I Don't Understand

The end of the year is always a time for lists so here is another list; this time a list of things I don't understand.

  1. Why do people who misrepresent themselves on a license application get licensed (albeit with a fine)?  - I understand people make mistakes which they rather not tell regulators for fear they will be denied a license.  A lot of times, racing commissions catch these omissions and what do they do most of the time?  They slap them with a small fine and license them.  My thinking is if they lie on their application what will they do once on the job?  I think it would be more appropriate to fine the applicants and deny them a license for a period of one year, telling them they can reapply then.
  2. What is the criteria used by the CHRB in licensing people who have had their licenses revoked or refused licensing elsewhere in the United States  More importantly, do they even check the records of applicants?  
  3. How do people who lose their license for abusing a horse manage to get back into the industry and then to no one's surprise gets into trouble again? 
  4. Does anyone wonder why someone licensed as a trainer in one state decides to get licensed as a groom in another?  After all, it is naive to think they will not be using their 'trainer' skills just because they are licensed as a groom.  If licensed as a trainer by the USTA, you should not be licensed by a racing commission for anything less.  I am sure a trainer can perform the duties as a groom if necessary.
  5. How does anyone think a $100 fine assessed to a driver who earns over $300,000 a year in fees will act as a deterrent?
  6. How do racing commissions feel allowing the transfer of horses from a trainer to a second trainer when the trainer gets suspended protects the wagering public?  Of course, this brings us to ask....
  7. Why don't racing commissions actually protect the wagering public as they are supposed to do?
  8. Why doesn't driver Shawn McDonough have his 'A' license?  I would love to know why the judge where he won the driving championship feels he isn't ready to become a full driver.
  9. Why do state legislators bend over for the casino industry yet manage to do very little for the racing industry?  Okay, I know the answer to this one.  It's called lobbying (i.e., campaign donations).
  10. Can someone explain to me how the online gaming legislation in NJ pass constitutional muster with regards to casino gambling being allowed only in Atlantic City?  It seems to me if you can deposit the funds at your home and decide how much to wager, you are playing outside of Atlantic City.  Even as puzzling is why no one seemed to challenge this law.
  11. Why the Governor of New Jersey, who claims to be supportive of horse racing, hasn't shown up yet to the Meadowlands, old or new to make a winners circle presentation for a big race?
  12. How do some people in the industry feel doing the same thing which has failed in the past will now work in reviving the industry? 
  13. How can tracks charge takeout rates of 25% or more and still wonder why they are loosing gamblers to casinos? 
  14. How come this industry doesn't encourage and promote woman drivers?  By not having women racing regularly, we are losing out roughly 1/2 the population.
  15. How come no harness track has a website in Spanish?  After all, the Spanish-speaking segment of the American population is growing the fastest and while there are some who have a problem with accommodating Spanish-speaking individuals, having Spanish websites and videos explaining harness racing will help attract those of that ethnic background. 
  16. How does this industry do so little when it comes to horse rescue?  For example, can you name the tracks which have a rule denying access to the entry box for any trainer or owner whose horse ends up at slaughter?  Let's make it easier, how many tracks have surrender stalls where horses can be dropped off without penalty and taken in by rescue groups instead of being sent to 'dealers' who directly or indirectly horses to the kill buyers?
  17. I know technology allows it but how does a track believe they can operate a race meet without any tellers at all?  Almost as surprising, how does a racing commission find this out by surprise?  I am not saying down the road the sport can't do without tellers, but when a good part of your wagering population is in its 60's and 70's, now is not the time.
  18. How can a racing commission which regulates racing not have an equal number of commissioners from each breed?

A friend of VFTRG reports on some of the more significant events which happened in Sweden in 2013.  Here is the list, unedited:

  1.  One of the Swedish most successful trotting trainer and driver in recent years, but also most controversial – Ake Svanstedt - ceasing his operations in Sweden in November to try his luck in the U.S.
  2. NHL Vancouver Canucks (Swedish) players and twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin win Swedish greatest trotting race – the Elitloppet 2013 – with their horse Nahar.
  3. Disagreements between trotting and thoroughbred on racetrack Jagersro can derail racing in the Southern of Sweden.
  4. The great horse Maharajahs comeback in the Final of Olympic Trot was amazing.
  5. The exotic midnight racing, either with the wager V75 at Boden racetrack or one of the real  midnight traditional in such as racetrack Skelleftea.
  6.  Ice racing on the lake of Are Ski resort.

Staying Put:  Remember when it was announced Vintage Master was moving to New Jersey?  Never mind.  The decision has been made to keep the stallion in Ontario.  Obviously, the response to the reported move was underwhelming.

Standards:  As you know, one thing I pride myself on with my blog is the fact the conversation always remains respectful.  It has been quite a while (February, 2010) since I stated my policy regarding standards for the blog, both for authors and responders, so I thought I'd provide a link for the standard for your reference.   I am not posting this for any specific reason; after three years, it is a good time to remind everyone of the policy.   

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