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Monday, March 2, 2015

Spring is Coming. Really (It is).

For those of us in the Northeast, circle the period of March 10-12 on your calendars for the meteorologists are saying the weather patterns should change and we will finally see signs of warmer weather and less snow.  Of course, for some tracks that will mean the annual cancellation of racing days as tracks will be thawing out and become unsafe.  Will there be more cancellations than usual due to the extreme cold and the snow we have had?  Unfortunately, Sam Champion and Jim Cantore at the Weather Channel are unable to provide us with those answers.

The fact is spring is coming.  With the approaching spring, the conversation turns to the  Blue Chip Matchmaker late closing series which begin on the first day of spring on March 20 while the George Morton Levy begins the following day.  The nominations closed yesterday so we should hear who will be taking their shots at the first big money event of the season anytime now.

With Spring comes the annual HANA Harness Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge where a group of handicappers will be matching wits against each other in an effort to win funds for standardbred horse rescues.  So far, $2,000 in prize funds have been committed by the Hambletonian Society, Meadowlands Gaming and Entertainment, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs.  Sponsorship opportunities remain so if you are connected to harness racing, you may wish to check out this post.

Shipping Fido or even a horse like Nuncio to Europe?   If so, you will be happy to know they are building a new animal handling facility at JFK Airport in New York to eliminate as much of the stress possible.  Check out this article to read about the new facility and what is involved in sending an animal to and from abroad.

Derick Giwner from the DRF discusses what he considers a questionable DQ at Yonkers Raceway in Saturday night's 10th race.  In the race in question, Kiwi Ideal N was taken down for allegedly slowing down the pace and causing confusion.   My take on the race, while it needs to be said I didn't have access to anything but the track feed is it looked like Kiwi Ideal N may have been slowing down as he took the lead and as such when he got to the rim, there was very little room between him and the horse he took the lead from.  If Kiwi Ideal raced those fractions and left a little more daylight between him and the former leader when he made it to the rim, there would not have been a disqualification.  One thing is for certain, races like this once again make the case for having the judges explain any decisions as to whether or not a placing is taking place after an inquiry on the track's live feed.

Have a great Monday.

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