Just when we accept the fact horses will be uncoupled in stakes races, and in some states, overnights, what happens?
There are allegations that trainer/driver Jimmy Takter raced his 102-1 shot on the outside to cause his version of Chris Christie's re-election campaign's traffic jam on the GWB, except his was in the running of the Del Miller Memorial Trot at the Meadowlands. For his efforts, it appears Takter will be meeting with the judges at the Meadowlands on Friday. While many are ready to convict Takter of deliberately attempting to mess the race up for others, it should be said there are those who feel Takter did nothing wrong. I will leave it to the judges to decide.
Assuming a penalty of any severity is handed down, those wishing for severe judgement should relax. If the judges hit Takter with a penalty of any signifigance, it will likely be appealed and dragged out until after the last major stakes race of the year when Takter will change his mind and accept the penalty and enjoy his winter in Florida while suspended.
This means it may be up to Jeff Gural to take care of discipline in a way he can. He has already indicated consideration of a new house rule which will forbid anyone who has an ownership interest in any other horse in a race from participating. It is a good start though as some have suggested, what is to keep him from instructing another driver to do the dirty deed for him? While not perfect, I suggest the Gural approach may be the best way to solve the problem. This way there are more bettering interests, something which will be more important as the number of horses available for racing will continue to decline.
So the debate continues, "To couple or not couple?", that is the question.