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Sunday, November 23, 2014

On to the Appeals Court; A Champion is Crowned

I should have been a lawyer.  As I surmised when New Jersey first attempted to change the law regarding sports gambling to comply with the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Shipp ruled NJ's latest attempt to skirt around PASPA was for naught.  As you recall, NJ repealed the laws banning sports gaming only for racetracks and casinos in an attempt to meet the 3rd Circuit's original ruling.  Judge Shipp indicated to meet the standard the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal set, NJ would have had to repeal the law prohibiting sports gaming for everyone, including Joe the corner bookie; it is a case of everyone gets banned or everyone get the right to offer sports gaming.  Failure to do all or none, is in effect, state regulation.

Of course NJ will appeal this ruling to the Appeals court where they may find the same response from the three judge panel before the obligatory appeal to the US Supreme Court which will refuse to hear the case once again.  To get the US Supreme Court to take the case, it will require a ruling by the 3rd Circuit in favor of New Jersey, something unlikely to happen at this time.

Now on to what most of you want to read.....

Last nights' Breeders Crown events has paved the path to HOY for 2yo pacing filly JK She'salady who took her tilt in 1:50.2 on a cold night.  At the top of the stretch, it looked like the filly may have been going down to defeat to Sassa Hanover, but like the champion, JK She'salady came back and opened up to win comfortably.  With Takter's horses taking turns beating each other in the 3yo trotting male division and the seemingly invincible Sebastian K becoming beatable, it opened up the path for the filly, especially as those who need to win to stay in the conversation went down to defeat.

There was no storybook cold weather return to form by Foiled Again in the Open Pace last night as victory went to Thinking Out Loud who nailed Sweet Lou at the wire in 1:48.3.  In some ways this was the most entertaining race as horses were challenging the whole mile, not just riding the rail or being out one wide.  This was an all out battle with the eventual race winner coming from 7th place by exploding late in the deep stretch.

It will be interesting to see if Foiled Again returns or heads to the paddock full time in 2015.  My vote (which means nothing in this respect) is to allow him a lifetime of happiness in the field.

In a win most rather not have seen, Traceur Hanover was victorious in the 2yo colt and gelding pace, winning in 1:51 with the Orange Crush Andy Miller in the bike for embattled trainer Corey Johnson.

Earlier in the year, many assumed an European trotter would be standing in the winner's circle for the Breeders Crown for aged trotters but most would have picked Sebastian K to be the victor.   Of course, we know what happened but it still was a European Trotter as Commander Crowe was the victor in a speedy1:51 mile which showed the Commander driven aggressively in the race early, getting to the top before the :54.4 half.  Maven made a valiant attempt to get to Commander Crowe in the stretch but a late blast from the French trotter opened up just enough of a lead to hold off the talented mare.

It turns out we may have seen the last start of Le Grand Blonde because his owners are considering retiring their 11 year old champion.  There is reportedly a slight chance he may return to the races next yet but I believe common sense will dictate year is the finale.

One has to wonder how we can give the Breeders Crown a more international flavor as it is clear the appearance of Commander Crowe spiced up the Open Trot.  Granted there are only trotters in Europe so unless the Australians were to send pacers here, half  the card would be a North American affair.  Perhaps expanding the conditions for more foreign horses to be invited would be helpful.

In addition, with the win by Traceur Hanover, it is clear the Breeders Crown needs a condition dealing with horses trained by those under suspension so we never have a situation like last night repeat itself.  The Breeders Cup has taken care of this issue, there's no reason why we can't borrow their restriction.

Another interesting note is out of the 81 horses declared into the Breeders Crown on Friday night, 33 horses were trained by Ron Burke and Jimmy Takter; almost 41% of the starters.  Something to think about.

Business at the windows was good with a total handle of $4,088,391 (all sources) passed through the windows Saturday night  with Friday night's handle, roughly $7 million was wagered for the two cards combined.

I can't help but wonder if the Breeders Crown would have done better at the windows if it was raced earlier in the month.  Let's face it, the weekend before Thanksgiving is not the time to get the interest of the public.

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