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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Some Saturday Morning Thoughts

I had a feeling once it was announced that Sebastian K had a leg injury that we had seen the last of the son of Korean.  Well, yesterday it was announced that the Swedish import has been retired due to a ligament injury in his hind leg.  For those of us in North America, it was a short run in seeing this trotting genius do what he does best.  Too short to be sure, but just enough to see a glimpse of his greatness.

Where he stands stud remains to be seen.  All I hope is he is supported in the stallion shed unlike Revenue who went back to Sweden after not being supported in the States.  Of course, once Revenue left the American scene, standardbred racing saw what his off-spring could do.

Besides the great stakes program at the Meadowlands tonight and the Lawrence B Sheppard at Yonkers Raceway, there is a racing under saddle event at Georgian Downs in tonight's third race.  Why mention this race?  For one, it is the first time this season a full field of eight trotters will be doing battle in the tilt.  In addition, Danish rider Karoline Nielson has come to Canada to make her North American debut on top of Audrey Pearl   Current plans are for Nielson to make two starts in North America before returning home.  You can get the program page for the race at Georgian Downs's website.

SOA President Joe Faraldo brought up a valid comment regarding the call for horsemen to donate 1% of their purses to a marketing campaign to be developed by the USTA or an outside marketing firm. Where is the track operator's contribution to marketing he asks?  In New York, the was a proposal to allow a certain amount of marketing funds from the lottery to be redirected to harness racing which was pulled because of the lack of support from at least one track operator.  Yes, the big money comes from alternate gaming, and horsemen have benefited greatly from purse supplements, but the operators of racetracks have profited greatly as well,  Marketing of harness racing is the responsibility of all, not just one group.

With the horse shortage the industry is suffering from, why do tracks insist on racing more than ten cards a night.  Wouldn't it make sense to reduce the number of races to ten a day instead and have full fields?  Yes, I know horsemen contracts typically determine the number of races to be contested each day, but in instances like this, it seems like horsemen should agree to a race reduction; after all, it's all about what's best for the customer.

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