Brian Sears will not be appealing his 15 day suspension handed down for his unsatisfactory drive in last Friday's TVG Mares Open Trot preliminary leg. The NJRC has determined Sears will serve his penalty in December.
So the question which needs to be asked is will his vacation be an all-expense paid vacation thanks to his drive this weekend? After all, a victory in the TVG Final for Open Trotting Mares will add $5,000 to his bank account. So bettors, who according to the NJRC saw their money burned last week supporting the Magician, will have the opportunity to potentially see Sears in the winners circle this weekend with a nice check for less than two minutes of work. This certainly will warm the hearts of those gamblers.
Now, I realize the rules often permit a driver to meet his driving obligations before beginning a suspension so it wouldn't have been surprising to see his suspension start this coming Sunday, but to wait until December to serve his suspension sounds like a round of 'Let's Make a Deal'. Of course, we are not naive to realize making deals in lieu of having to litigate a suspension is par for the course.
Still, there is something inherently wrong when a driver gets to drive a horse in a lucrative final the week after giving his mount an unsatisfactory drive. Realizing limited budgets of commissions, I recognize the need to make deals, but there needs to be a rule implemented where a driver cited for an unsatisfactory drive in a preliminary or elimination race is not allowed to race the said horse in the series or stakes final. This way, at least the horseplayer gets a little satisfaction for their loss.