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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Dash for the Cash; :Licensing Horses?

So the entry box was opened this morning and eleven 3yo trotters had dropped into the 89th Hambletonian (post positions will be drawn at a press conference at 4pm this afternoon).  With only eleven horses dropping in, the Hambletonian, and Hambletonian Oaks both turn into a Dash for the Cash.

Readers of my blog know I love the tradition of heat racing, but on the other hand, racing as a single dash eliminates one of my pet peeves which is the winners get to choose their post position while everyone else goes into a draw.  Now, it is the luck of the draw which will determine if a horse draws post position 1, 4, 10 or 11.  Yes, there will be those who will complain about paying in and not starting on the gate but especially in a field of 11, is it that much of a problem or is it everyone psyche themselves out.  If more than one horse drew into the second tier you must start from the assigned post but if you are the lone horse in the back, you basically start from whichever position you wish in the back row, conceivably allowing you to line up behind the perceived speed and get a decent starting position.

For those fans of guaranteed pools, the lack of eliminations give them extra time to make their selections for these races.  On the 15 race card, there are several such pools.  The first race kicks off with a $50,000 guarantee the Pick-5 with a 50 cent base price; third race kicks of a fifty thousand guarantee for the 50 cent early Pick-4; the 9th race features a 50 cent Pick-5 with a $75,000 guarantee and finally, the 12th race has a $100,000 for the final Pick-4.

Meanwhile, the RCI has announced consideration of a rule where not only people involved in racing would require licensing, but horses would also require to be licensed.  The proposal for licensing individual horses would be predicated  upon authorizing commissions' access to licensed horses and give the racing commission access to perform treatment audits and/or or out-of-competition testing as desired.  With such a rule, the racing commissions would finally have the ability to suspend or ban horses that are treated as part of an attempt to cheat. The adoption of such rules could conceivably be what is necessary to stop those stables who train using the vet too much.and benefit those who race by the rules.

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