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Friday, January 3, 2014

Racing Bias Against the Girls

In today's Harness Racing Update (welcome back from vacation), Dean Hoffman explains why he voted for Captraintreacherous as Horse of the Year.  Truth be told, while I may be one who favored Bee A Magician (I don't get a vote),  I can't disagree with his choice, but I do have a problem with one argument he put up, the fact that the Captain made more money that Bee A Magician.

How can Bee A Magician even come close to Captaintreacherous in the money earned category when filly stakes are typically valued 50% or less than colt stakes?  It is the way of racing which values the potential of a stud who can cover multiple mares than the mare who can only have one foal which makes purse inequality what it is.  To use money when comparing horses of different sexes is in fact a form of sex discrimination, it slants the argument in favor of the male.

A personal observation of mine, as I am not suggesting Mr. Hoffman did this, when considering the competition between the fillies and the colts, one needs to recognize that colts tend to be faster and are tougher than fillies so if you look at competition, measuring the competition of the girls against the boys is like comparing apples and oranges.  You need to compare the level of competition within the ranks of each gender when deciding in voting.  The question should be how competitive was the filly division and the colt divisions, not which division had the overall best horses; let's face it with an industry bias towards the boys, they colt and stallion divisions get all the press.  

I am not suggesting Mr. Hoffman voted for the Captain because he is male, but just as it irks breeders when a gelding winning the Hambletonian or a classic race, there is a predisposition to want a stallion as the Horse of the Year for these titles mean more profit for breeding syndicates in a stallion barn.  A filly/more or a gelding winning these titles does nothing to enrich the investments of syndicates.

Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment's early closing series for 3yos have been announced and the Meadowlands Pace has been advertised with an estimated purse of $750,000.  The nominating fee has been cut in half in an effort to get more nominees plus the additional fees have been reduced so the additional payments have been cut so if you make all the payments to get to the gate for eliminations, it is $5,000 less.  Hopefully, horsemen will respond and support the race.


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