For photos from the Meadowlands contact

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Challenge to the Industry

We see all the harness tracks promoting the Belmont Stakes and the possible Triple Crown by California Chrome and while it pains me  that we promote the runners, I realize the majority of horse players prefer betting on thoroughbreds and the goal is to get money through the machines.  Still, why can't harness tracks promote at least one harness race on a national level annually to get people interested in?  No, I don't expect the thoroughbred tracks to promote any trotting races, but the industry can't get behind, the Hambletonian, Meadowlands Pace, Little Brown Jug, or any other race?

I challenge the industry to select a race, any harness race, and make a conscious decision to market it at every harness track.

Is it just me or would it be a great publicity event and promotion to get the two Sydneys (Weaver and Seelster) to race down at the Meadowlands for one night?  Not only would it be a great story for racing, but it would allow Americans to meet Sydney (Weaver) and see a physical handicap does not need to keep someone down.  Her story, with Pinky winning or losing, would be an inspirational one; one the general media would pick up in a moment..

Twenty-two horses will go to the gate for the North America Cup elims this Saturday night at Mohawk.  Instead of two great betting races of 11 horses in each race, we get three ho-hum eliminations with two races of seven horses and one eight horse field.  I know, everyone deserves to have their noses on the gate.  Personally, I rather they give byes to two horses to get in the final and have two ten-horse eliminations instead.  If unwilling to do that, I rather they run these eliminations as non-wagering events and let the overnight horses who are getting bumped off the condition sheet due to these stakes race.  This way, the owners get their horses on the gait and the customers get bettable races; everyone wins.

RUS New York is looking for sponsors of its racing under saddle series.  Not a bad way for someone or some industry-related company to get some inexpensive marketing done.  Read this article for further information.

Congratulations to driver Jim Morand on his 9,000th victory.  Just because it doesn't happen on a
 major circuit doesn't mean it isn't worth mentioning.  Only fifteen drivers have reached this milestone.

Derick Giwner reviews "Standardbred Old Friends" at DRF Harness and I am not here to dispute the contents of the book or the purpose intended of it.  However, one can't wonder if racing spend one tenth of the time used on celebrating these lucky 43 horses to promote and help those horses in crisis, the sport would be a little bit better off.

Unlike the runners, there is no industry-wide effort attempting to save horses from an unfortunate demise once their racing careers are over.  Yes, there are some great rescues out there, and they may get some support from local horsemen but there is no massive amount of attention being spent on getting as many of our old horses to rescues via financial aide to allow the rescues to do the necessary work without bankrupting them.

Does this mean we can save all the horses?  Probably not, but we can do better and we should strive to do so.

Enjoy the day.

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