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Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Race You Probably Missed This Week but Shouldn't Have

It is a shame those who will be attending the Hambletonian this year will not get an opportunity to see the final of the Hambletonian RUS late closer which was contested Friday night, for they will be missing out on quite a different type of race when compared to the 2013 edition which was clearly a developmental year.

Last night's event was exciting with plenty of movement in the race.  You had tight quarters, splitting foes, three-wide moves, and plenty of lead changes.  A real horse race.

See for yourself.

Congratulations to Michelle Crawford for her riding victory aboard A Penny Earned in 1:57.2

Last night RUS came of age in the United States.  Next year, barring interference from sources outside of harness racing, we will see parimutuel wagering on RUS, perhaps starting with the 2015 edition of this event.  The time has come for RUS to race for purse money; not to be at the mercy of donors to put up the purse.

In the meanwhile, congratulations need to go out to Helene Gregory and RUS America (Monte America)  for spearheading the current RUS movement in the United States as well as RUS Ontario, which has worked hard on making RUS a wagering reality north of the border.  In addition, thanks to the cooperation of those at the USTA and Standardbred Canada for championing the cause of these women who have sought to improve the visibility of the standardbred to the wagering and general public as well as those breeders who realize RUS has the potential to help standardbred racing's long term survival.  Of course, no list of thank yous would be complete without thanking those purse donors, trainers, and horse owners who are visionaries and/or at least, willing to give RUS a chance.  Those efforts are certainly paying off.

What would be great is if there could be a North American RUS Championship on one of the Breeders Crown championship nights where the top five American horses and riders competed against the top five Canadian representatives.

Post Script - Last night at Grand River Raceway, there was a parimutuel RUS event won by Callie Magoo in 2:04.3 over the half mile oval.  Wagering on the event was in line with most of the races on the card.  To see this race, go to the Grand River Raceway website and look for August 1st's 3rd race under 'streaming video'.

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