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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wednesday Bits

It's about time; a prominent American standardbred stallion will be doing double duty in 2015.  Father Patrick will be standing stud as well as racing next year which will allow his off-spring to be eligible to stake races which requires their sires to have raced at the age of four.  If Father Patrick is successful, perhaps this will become a more common practice.

Yonkers begins its simulcasting to France this Sunday and to make it work, the first five races are trotting events at the distance of 1 1/4 miles.   The first two events have twelve horse fields while the next three races will have ten horses competing in each tilt.  The last seven contest will be traditional; pacers competing at a mile with only eight horses in each field.

Realizing racing odd-distance races with overflow fields at 11:10AM is not going to attract a flock of horseplayers, Yonkers has wisely altered their wagering menu in order to have decent pools for those wagers being offered; so some races will be contested without triples, superfectas, and Pick-3s and 4s.  It will be interesting not only to see how the French receive the Yonkers simulcasts, but how much North American horseplayers are receptive to this 'European' style of racing. 

Not wanting to go into national politics, I shall briefly touch on it.  With the GOP taking control of the Senate, a little light shines on the possibility of repealing PASPA as Harry Reid, the Senator from Nevada will lose his position as Majority Leader thus no longer able to control what legislation reaches the Senate floor.  As the Senator from Nevada Reid, has it in his state's interest to keep their monopoly in sports gambling.  As a result, the path to sports gaming in New Jersey (and face it, other states), may have opened up.

Rest easy harness horsemen in Massachusetts, the attempt to repeal casino gambling in the Bay State failed 40% to 60%..  Hence harness racing will continue at Plainridge Racetrack while the state of thoroughbred racing remains in flux with the supporters of Suffolk Downs suing the Massachusetts Gaming Commission over their awarding of the casino license in the Boston area.   

Meanwhile, being ignored is the future of harness racing at Tioga Downs which may suffer the same fate Suffolk Downs currently does if the casino license in the Southern Tier is award to a competitor.  Perhaps people feel it is in the bag, but remember the awarding of a license is just as much as political as based on hard factors.  Rest assured those who have the ability will be voicing their opinions for and against the various candidates.  

While most horsemen are focused on Harrisburg, many of the sport's best 2yos and 3yos will be going through their final preparations in the Matron Stakes at Dover Downs Thursday afternoon.  Superfecta players may be disappointed as there is no Superpfecta wagering on the Matron races as well as place and show wagering being cancelled.

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