So according to Harnessracing.com, the 'Ohio Three', (Yannick Gingras, Brett Miller, and David Miller) have dropped their appeals of the suspensions handed down by the ORC for infractions during Jug Week which would have resulted in them missing days at The Red Mile.
Who didn't see that coming? Of course, now that there is some down time in the season, the drivers have decided to do their time. The ORC should hand them a few additional days off for a frivolous appeal.
Horsemen have the right to appeal suspensions when they feel they have been wrongly 'convicted' of a racing wrongdoing; they don't have a right to game the system to take their suspension when they feel like it and use the appeal process to accomplish this. Racing commissions have the responsibility to protect the integrity of their rulings by penalizing horsemen for frivolous appeals as done in Ontario. If the Ohio commission has the ability to penalize them for these appeals, they should hand them additional days. If they lack the ability, they and other commissions need to adopt rules granting them the power to add additional days in these situations. Nor should drivers and trainers have a say as to when they will take the suspension because allowing them to do so removes what deterrence effect a suspension has.
Interesting to note absent from the Meadowlands' 2014-2015 Winter Late Closing program is the absence of the Presidential Series for FFA Pacers. Of course, this is hardly unexpected being last year's edition was cancelled due to lack of entries and a good part of those nominated came from the Burke stable. While one shouldn't read into this any further than has been stated, it is sad that the Presidential, a race begun in 1976 with the opening of the Meadowlands may have seen its last running.