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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Sebastian K Horse of the Year? No Way

I don't know the motivation but I am amazed that some scribes are saying Sebastian K can get back into the running for Horse of the Year with a victory in tonight's TVG Trot.  Now remember, I am probably one of the biggest cheerleaders there is for Sebastian K in North America, I was touting this horse before he made his first start at the Meadowlands. When he is right, he is the best trotter in North America but with his tailing off in the fall, and miscue in the International Preview at Yonkers, he lost my vote for HOY.  Yes, some of those defeats came on off tracks, but the victors of those races had to race on the same surface.  That excuse only holds water so long.  Maybe it was the North American style of racing week-in week-out during prime time stakes season which caused him to lose his 'A' game; perhaps the recent layoff is what is needed for him to romp tonight in the TVG Trot, but short of a dominating win tonight matching or beating his seasonal mark, my vote would go to JK She'salady.

Once again, a brilliant television commerical for the Elitlopp and here it is.

Have to wonder how a commercial like this would work in the States...

Congratulations to Yannick Gingras on being selected as the Dan Patch Driver of the Year.  I am sure there are some detractors who will comment how easy it is to win this award when you are the driver of choice for the Burke and Takter stables, but it took a lot of hard work and dedication to become a good enough driver to become the primo driver for these stables.  No, detractors it won't work.  Clearly Gingras is the best driver in the nation and it will be interesting if it continues in 2015 or someone else seizes the prize.

Since we are speaking of year end awards, one must ask the question why are we still racing this time of year?  Yes, I know the accounting answer to this question; there is money to be won but quite honestly, if you are a gambler aren't you getting a little fatigued at this point of the year?  With the horse shortage we have which will only get worse as time goes on, wouldn't we be better if our limited population of racing standardbreds be turned out to recover so when spring comes, we have almost all of our horses ready to go, allowing us to maximize our racing stock during the part of the calendar which really matters?  Other than Cal-Expo and Pompano Park which tend shut down or greatly reduce their racing calendar during the summer, tracks should be closed by November and rarin' to reopen come March 1,

Our thoroughbred brethren would be wise to do the same thing, unless we are talking about the tracks in California, Louisiana, and Florida, as for the most part trainers are digging out near cripples racing for slot revenue in the frozen tundra.  Face it, not the type of racing which will embrace existing fans or endear us to the general, public..

Dover Downs is in deep trouble as it is doing its own version of Atlantic City with declining revenue and problems in raising cash; a problem in an industry with high cash demands.  Unless the state cuts them some slack, this could be the first racino to go belly under, a sign of too many casinos for the market.  The problem isn't only limited to the mid-Atlantic.  At Foxwoods, plans are underway to close up some of their casino space in favor of night clubs and other attractions.  There aren't enough gamblers to go around, so Foxwoods is attempting to become known as a resort with less emphasis on gaming; in effect rebranding themselves.

Speaking of casinos, December 17 is the date New York is expected to announce who the winners and losers are in the Great New York Casino License Contest; where four groups will be the victors and others will be losers.  It is not only who the winners will be but where they will be located.  A profitable license won by Monticello's subsidiary could be a big plus to the company, depending on if and where a casino is to be built in Orange County.  Of course, the denial of a license at Monticello would mean the likely end of racing in two years while a loss by Tioga Downs could mean a bleak future to Tioga Downs and Vermon Down which is supported by Tioga.   New York horsemen will be learning if their Christmas stockings will be full of green or coal on December 17.

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