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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wednesday Morning Briefs

The IRB has rightly repudiated Balmoral Park by voting 9-0 against the Chicago track's request to drop the Wednesday nights for 2014.  A decision to race on Wednesdays needs to be determined as a result of negotiations rather than by management fiat.  With this decision coming down, the IHHA and racetrack management should sit down and come to an agreement.

USTA Director John Brennan lashes out at the USTA and Saratoga Raceway and rightfully so.  In Brennan's piece, he wonders why the USTA rejects membership to horsemen who are properly licensed by state racing commissions yet takes no sanctions against tracks when called for, in particular Saratoga Raceway which refuses to carry the mandated amounts in medical coverage for drivers injured in races.

At first blush, it would seem Brennan's argument is sound.  However, I am being told by some individuals that there is more to the insurance situation than Saratoga refusing to provide the coverage.  I will withhold judgement until more information comes forward.

In New Jersey's Quixotic quest to get sports betting, the State and the NJTHA have filed their briefs with the US Supreme Court to have them overturn the law which bans sports wagering.  The main argument is by allowing Nevada the right to have sports gambling and deny other states the right, the government is discriminating against other states.  My guess is the Supreme Court will deny the petition and the argument especially since New Jersey had the opportunity to offer sports wagering but refused to approve it when given the chance.  But of course, it isn't over till the Fat Lady sings.

And finally, a harness racing story.  Did you know in Europe, trotting is king with thoroughbreds second string?  Thoroughbred Racing Commentary talks about the recently completed Prix d'Amerique and the reasons why it makes harness racing the top dog.  North American trotting can learn something from what they do in France and other countries and would be wise to take their best practices and adopt them here.

Remember the Regis The Horse craze?  How did he do since he was renamed to Regis?  The new name and  racing in Delaware has apparently agreed to with him as the son of Shadow Play has a record of 7-4-1-1 with earnings of $19,995 and a lifetime mark of 1:55.3 at Harrington Raceway with his last race a victory in NW4 company.  The now three year old has yet to return to the races which is not surprising.


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