RUS is getting ready for its grand debut in North America as a parimutuel sport on July 13 at Clinton Raceway with a 'dress rehearsal' on Canada Day (July 1) at Mohawk Raceway where a non-wagering event will be held as a benefit for the Canadian Cancer Society; a dress rehearsal of sorts.
As a new sport in North America, RUS Ontario is proceeding wisely. Having the first wagering event at a smaller venue is probably a wise thing as it will allow by the time they arrive at Mohawk Racetrack for their wagering events on August 29 and September 13, a track record for the gambling public. In a clever marketing move, there will be a couple of international events which will draw attention to the races and give people a chance to see what this sport will develop into.
In the States, things move a little bit slower with it once again being a season of non-wagering events. At 2015's annual meeting, the USTA's guidelines for RUS racing are expected to become formal rules, allowing the various states to have guidelines to incorporate into their regulations. Perhaps then, we will see the debut of RUS as a parimutuel sport in the United States.
Interesting to note that Arapahoe Park in Aurora, CO, is offering a $1,000 bonus per win to trainers start a horse in a race forgoing the use of race day medication which means no furomeside, phenylbutazone, flunixin, and ketoprofen. It will be interesting to see how many trainers choose to give up treating their horses with these permitted drugs and more importantly, how do their horses do? You also have to wonder, given the chance, how many standardbred trainers would all of a sudden be racing at least some of their horses without race day medication?
In case you are wondering, earlier this month the legislative session ended in Illinois with, you know it, no legislation to expand casinos to racetracks even getting voted on. How much longer can Illinois horsemen and tracks, hold on?
Meanwhile in NJ, both houses of the legislature have approved a reivsed sports betting bill which exempts racetracks and casinos from New Jersey's ban on sports wagering. This means tracks and casinos will be able to set their own rules for accepting sports bets including being allowed to take wagers on NJ college games and sporting events in New Jersey. Once the bill gets to Governor Christie, he has 45 days to approve the legislation or let it become law without his signature.
Besides the fact this law is bad law because it allows tracks and casinos to set their own rules and has no government oversight, there are other reasons why you shouldn't get ready to place your wagers yet. Several legal experts indicate for this bill to have success, New Jersey would have to repeal the prohibition on sports betting for all, including Bookmaker Louie. By carving out an exemption for just the racetracks and casinos, these experts feel the law will not pass muster as this carve out is de facto government sponsoring of sports betting. One thing for sure, if the Governor signs this bill, it will be back to the courts . The question will be if a temporary injunction is issued this time around.
As for the windfall for New Jersey, if anything it will be short lived. If New Jersey is successful in their end around the prohibition of sports gaming, how long do you think it will take other states to follow the New Jersey model and introduced sports wagering in their states. It will be another case of gambling becoming a commodity.
Saturday is Super Stakes night at Pocono Downs. For those who wish to do battle with the high takeout rates for these stakes races plus the two Invitational race, here are my selections in brief:
Race 7 - $100,000 Pace - USTA Invitational - #4 Beach Memories (20-1), #3 Meirs Hanover (4-1), #6 Thinking Out Loud (9-2) , #8 Dancin Yankee (8-1)
Race 8 - $100,000 Trot - Sun Invitational - #7 Sebastian K (2-1), #6 Modern Family (3-1), #2 Sevruga (5-1), #3 Market Share (7-2)
Race 9 - $300,000 Pace - James M Lynch Memorial - #1 Uffizi Hanover (5-2), #5 Southwind Silence (10-1), #7 Galliebythebeach (12-1), #6 Cinamony (6-1)
Race 10 - $500,000 Pace - Max C Hempt Memorial - #4 Sometimes Said (4-1), #3 McWicked (5-2), #8 All Bets Off (3-1), #1 Cammikey (6-1)
Race 11 - $500,000 Pace - Ben Franklin FFA - #4 Sweet Lou (5-2), #6 Bolt The Duer (5-1), #8 Captaintreacherous (3-1), #9 Sunshine Beach (6-1)
Race 12 - $500,000 Trot - Earl Beal Jr. Memorial - #2 Nuncio (3-1), #3 Harper Blue Chip (5-1), #8 Father Patrick (5-2), #7 Datsyuk (6-1)