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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Good and the Bad

Good news is last night Rosecroft Raceway debuted on TVG's broadcast channel.  While racetracks do best with people at the track, anything which gives a racetrack exposure on a racing channel is a plus.  This is one thing I can't understand with Tioga and Vernon Downs.  Being both are operated by Jeff Gural and they see what TVG does for their handle at the Meadowlands and other tracks, one would think they would have tried bringing those upstate New York tracks' signal to TVG as well, even if only an experiment.

Perhaps they would have to pay for the races to be shown and there needs to be a gap on the TVG channel to get the races on.  You may not be able to get all the races on TVG live, but whatever races you can get in is a benefit.

Bad news is a decision by Monticello Casino and Racing's to no longer permit those under 18 from attending the races as an effort to cut underage gaming.  This decision, which takes effect on October 10, alters the policy of allowing minors in certain non-gaming areas of the track.  Yes, you have to be 18 to wager on horses in New York State but how many of us began our love of horse racing before we turned 18?  Here at VFTRG we don't support underage gambling but enforcing the age 18 limit, while it will avoid underage gaming, may keep a generation from being exposed to racing.

Thoroughbred racing officials in Victoria, Australia are upset by a billboard rented by anti-racing groups regarding their Racing Carnival.  I won't show the billboard here but if you want to see it, you can go here, but it asks if the "Party is Worth It?"  and shows a picture of a dead horse.  Needless to say, Racing Victoria is very upset, as they claim there is no better taken care of a domestic animal than a race horse.  So who's right?

Well, if you look at the horses when they are racing, the racing industry is correct but if you are talking about the horses who either don't make it to the track or retire, I fear the anti-racing groups are correct for there is no real safety net for of the track horses and many meet their demise at the abbattoir.

Fortunately, with the program the thoroughbred industry has adopted in the United States, there is less of a chance of their horses ending up in jeopardy.  Unfortunately, the standardbred industry has not undertaken a similar program thus a similar campaign could take place here and  the standardbred industry really has no response as to 'Why?'.

The issue of race day medication remains in the news with the use of furosemide perhaps causing the most passionate debate.  The one question no one can seemingly answer is how can the rest of the world do without the use of this anti-bleeding medication, yet North American racing can't?

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