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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Those Ho-Hum Stakes Races

No doubt you have seen many races this year where there have been multiple entries from the Alagna, Burke, and Takter stables (and to a lessor degree other stables).  Now let me make it perfectly clear, these stables have done nothing wrong in acquiring patrons or dropping these horses into the various stakes races; it is just a factor of not enough owners willing to take ownership of horses individually or in partnership with another individual.  Instead, the big players in the industry are treating these horses as stock (as it were) and applying the rule of diversification to an extreme and the majority owners seem to head to the same trainers.  Of course, these trainers would be foolish to turn away these high quality horses.

While I appreciate watching good horses racing (especially trotters), I must confess seeing the same trainers (and owners)  appearing to win everything in sight, there are times my interest in these stakes races has been ho-hum.  Ho-hum to the point where as far as I am concerned, those races should be carded as non-wagering events and the tracks should race good old fashioned diversified overnights in their stead.

While my opinion is a minority one as a bettor, if I feel this way, I am sure those who may be able to put their toes (read money) into the waters of high-class yearlings are feeling a lot like me.  It may not matter if I feel this way but it certainly matters with regards to potential owners who are saying 'Thank you very much but oh no, not me', staying on the sidelines, meaning this problem grows.

What the industry can or should do to get horse ownership and training diversified is beyond me but I know this problem hurts the industry starting with breeders as these partnerships are keeping sales prices down, forcing breeders out of business and decreasing future fall crops.  All I know is I hope the industry comes up with a solution before the only ones attending these national awards ceremonies are connected to the big three stables.

Meanwhile, elsewhere....

Some harness racing royalty visits Yonkers Raceway on Friday night as both Bee A Magician and Arch Madness do battle on the half mile oval.  The two of them will face a field of six others in the Hilltop's Open  Handicap Trot.

Freehold Raceway says 'Good Bye' to classified racing as they return to conditioned racing this upcoming meet.  While there was some success with classified racing, the seasonal fluctuations in the supply of horses available made the system impractical.  Since Freehold is partially owned by Penn National, the track will open their meet using the automated morning line system developed by Trackmaster.

Only eight horses dropped in the box for the Cane Pace to be contested at Tioga Downs on September 1.  I am no fan of elimination races but the fact it took the addition of three horses via the supplemental entry path make you wonder why there weren't more horses entering via the traditional route is sad.  After all, the Cane is not contested at a half mile oval; the fear of outside posts is not any worse than on a mile oval.

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