I saw a recap of the Racing Secretary meeting and saw the proposal that racing secretaries are going to consider changing the mandatory purse withholding of 5% trainers and 5% drivers to a new formula; 7% trainers and 3% drivers.
At first I wasn't going to mention this as I said this proposal is about to go nowhere for if this proposal was to go through, a lot of trainers are going to be driving their own horses for drivers will in all likelihood be going on a little 'vacation' (a boycott would be illegal).
I would love to know who the rocket scientist was to come up with this proposal? Clearly a racing secretary who must have been a trainer in his former life. What logic did they use?
First of all, trainers get paid so much a day for training their horses? Isn't that part of their compensation package? Sure part of that goes to pay for stabling and feed as well as the groom, but somehow I think after those bills are paid, there's something extra in it for their own trouble. I don't know, maybe some of these trainers need a little more money to hold them over when they are serving their suspensions?
What makes them think drivers should have their pay cut? They have to pay to get to the track. Sure, if they race at one track it's one thing but what about the driver who races at Harrah's or Dover in the afternoon and then heads to the Meadowlands or Yonkers at night only to then to go home in Central Jersey after the day is done? What about their insurance expenses? Yes, there are some drivers who are well paid, but then there are just as many racing at the minor tracks just getting by.
Well, if we are going to adjust withholding for the benefit of the underpaid employees, why not do a 3%-5%-2% split? That's 3 percent for the trainer, 5 percent for the driver, and 2% for the groom to be paid in addition to their normal salary? After all, a trainer can always increase their daily fee where there is no daily fee for drivers. Plus if anyone needs a raise, it it the groom for they are the the first ones to go if a horse gets claimed away from a stable or an owner pulls horses away from the trainer.
UPDATE: Talking to a source after this article was run, it is now reported only one person brought the item up and there was no agreement from others towards this proposal.