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Sunday, October 18, 2015

A Subdued Return

With the long struggle against cancer now over and the initial mourning period complete, my return to the blogosphere has begun.  It may take me a few days to catch up with the comings and goings of harness racing, but you should see me blogging with regular frequency in no time.

I found it ironic that the end of Harness Racing Update and my mother came on the same day.  Both were great in their own way and will be sorely missed by those who loved/appreciated them.  You could say cancer was the cause for both's demise. 

Cancer ended HRU?  The cancer which kills those who report on the good and bad news regarding harness racing.  There are those who want nothing better than sweep the warts harness racing has under the rug.  I totally understand why Standardbred Canada and the USTA report only on the good; after all they are the trade organizations for the standardbred industry.  But when an independent newsletter arrives on the scene and reports the good, bad, and downright ugly, what happens?  Advertising support from all but a few organizations disappears, reduced to a point where it makes no sense to continue the efforts necessary to produce the magazine.  The net result, the death of a publication which reports all the news the industry needs to hear instead of what it needs to hear.

So the industry goes on living its Pollyanna lifestyle, living on slot generated funds while the same old problems continue, waiting for the slot machine merry go round to come to an end as the decoupling movement heads towards harness racing centers from the South and the West.

Harness racing has many great things going for it but it also has its problems.  Without addressing its problems, it is a sport which may very well run of the rails.

Cal Expo opens up it's 2015 fall-winter meets on October 24, Breeders Crown night, concluding on December 20, 2015.  It is reported that Richard Silverman will be making the move to the West Coast for this meet.  

What's the latest regarding Exchange Wagering?  The NJRC had approved rules regarding Exchange Wagering back in April and as of the September meeting, indicated its staff is currently reviewing applications for exchange wagering, so albeit slowly, it appears the new wagering type will be coming to the Garden State.  Who is seeking licensing is unknown at this time.  Hopefully, the promises exchange wagering is supposed to offer will in fact materialize.

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