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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Fools

Jeff Gural informed HRU that he’s seen the light and will embrace a new policy of inclusion at all his tracks. Gural said he’s been suffering from pains of conscience over his policy of excluding numerous trainers and drivers from The Meadowlands, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs. Lou Pena, Rene Allard, Josh Green and others have been invited to join Jeff in a heartfelt rendition of Kumbaya in The Meadowlands winners circle.

Pacingguy railed against RUS in today’s blog entry. He said, among other things, that it’s tedious, unwatchable and impossible to bet on. Other than that, he’s a big fan.

Pull The Pocket, who has been crying out for takeout relief for bettors for the longest time, has apparently gone over to the other side. He has taken a position with Churchill Downs Communications, and will serve as the point man in their new campaign to convince fans that racing cannot survive and thrive without higher takeout rates. Pocket has abandoned the cold and snowy North for steamy Boca Raton.

The Hambletonian Society has decided to move their preeminent product, the Hambletonian, to Yonkers Raceway when their current contract with The Meadowlands expires. They’ve decided to follow the money. When asked how they will address the inevitable bellyaching from horsemen over the tight turns, spokesperson Moira Fanning said, “They better suck it up and deal with it.”

Joe Faraldo announced that the SBOANY will donate $100,000 to the USTA social media outreach effort. And, beyond that, Faraldo is urging his members to tithe 2% of their earnings to the fund for televising stakes races promoted by Jeff Gural and Jack Darling.

Hanover Shoe Farms will embrace a marketing technique that has worked well for retailers: the two for one sale. Buy one Hanover yearling at November’s sale in Harrisburg and you’ll receive a second yearling of their choosing, free of charge.

Adam Bowden of Diamond Creek Farm has urged the Hambletonian Society and the WEG tracks to reconsider their about face on the Gural Rule, limiting the rights of any top tier colt that is retired for breeding purposes after that one’s sophomore season. Bowden said he’s tickled pink to have Father Patrick standing in New Jersey this year so as to facilitate his training regimen with Jimmy Takter.

The Foiled Again fan club has announced that they’ll be refocusing their energy on a younger hero. They released a statement thanking the eleven-year-old for his exemplary racing career, but they can’t deal with all the losing.

After Maven registered her first win in 2015 over a field of mares at Solvalla Saturday, owner Herb Liverman declared the $750,000 he spent to acquire Glidemaster’s only notable offspring to be the best money he ever spent.

Tristan Sjoberg has announced that his $240,000 Art Major colt, White Bliss, will stand at Blue Chip Farms in 2016. He’ll be sending trotting mares to the white stallion but pacing mares will also be accepted. Colorful surprises are expected for fans of both gaits.

Ron Pierce announced that during the several week recovery period after this week’s neck and back surgery he expects to make an effort to break the Guinness record for tweets sent in a one month period. The loquacious driver has 25 tweets to his credit in the ten months since he opened his account. He expects to markedly improve on that.

The horsemen at Plainridge Raceway penned an open letter to Ron Burke, Rene Allard and several other high volume trainers urging them to ship contingents to the revitalized Massachusetts track for the upcoming meet. Improving the quality of racing and sharing the newfound slots dollars are both causes close to their hearts.

Joe FitzGerald

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