Why did Hazel Park jettison the trotters? In the last year of harness racing, the track lost $1 million. Last year, the loss was down to $150,000; an 85% improvement. Granted a loss is a loss but at least they can see a little daylight though it took the local HBPA to give the track a sweetheart deal to get their feet in the door.. Of course, continuing losses will sink the track eventually without help so they are looking for alternative ways to raise revenue to keep going which doesn't involve slots. That being said, one can understand why Hazel Park went the way they did.
You have to admire those at RUS Ontario. Next week starts their season (which comprises of at least 16 races) and if there is one thing these ladies know how to do is market their sport, going to equine events during the off-season, introducing the sport to those unaware of it and having demonstrations. In addition, they know how to take advantage of technology, including their website, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Take a look at this post.
Have an iPhone? No problem, download the Periscope application and you can have live streaming on your phone before the race and get interviews and look at the horses before wagering. If you have a question, you can even ask your question about RUS and get an answer.
Those who don't have an iPhone don't despair, when the streaming begins, RUS Ontario will tweet a link which will allow you to join in on your Android device or you home computer.
The season begins next Friday, May 15 at Western Fair District.
Before anyone compares RUS Ontario with the American efforts concerning racing under saddle, remember it is a whole different story. In Canada, it basically was an effort concentrated in one province. In the States, it is trying to get all the harness racing states on board; something which is extremely had to accomplish in the best of times and as we have seen, at least initially will be impossible. Also, there was only the CPMA involved in getting wagering approved in Canada whereas South of the border, it is a state by state effort.
There is something to be said about Federalism.
What comes around, goes around. Years ago the USTA got rid of the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau (TRPB) and decided to take care of integrity in-house. Well, guess what? The USTA has retained TRPB once again for their services.