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Thursday, October 6, 2016

And Yogurtgate Continues....

According to the Columbus Dispatch, the three trainers who objected to Betting Line being able to race in the Little Brown Jug have lawyered up, hiring a Columbus, Ohio law firm to produce a seven page document detailing the infractions allegedly committed by trainer Casie Coleman which has been presented to the Ohio State Racing Commission.  The contention of this group is Betting Line should never have been allowed to race and should be disqualified.

Columnist Michael Arace, who has been doing an excellent job in reporting on this incident, in today's commentary talks about the irony, being the three trainers involved in the objection have had their own incidents which have questioned their own integrity (his words, not mine).  

For newcomers who are following the Little Brown Jug controversy and have come upon this blog, "Welcome to the world of harness racing".  However, this particular incident is unusual, usually no one complains about alleged cheating, as there is an unspoken code of silence.  Why, I don't know as trainers and owners are getting screwed when another trainer cheats.  In this incident, the somewhat cryptic messages and the purse and prestige of winning the Little Brown Jug apparently was too much for these trainers to handle.  

Whether this legal assault pays off remains to be seen.  The true gold standard is the post-race testing which is currently taking place.  Whether the labs used by the OSRC is sophisticated enough remains to be seen.  Considering the scandal, if permitted by their own rules, the OSRC should be sending the blood to Hong Kong whose testing labs are acknowledged to be the best when it comes to post-race testing.

Outside of the Breeders Crown, arguably the most important four days of harness racing in North America takes place starting this afternoon at The Red Mile as the second week of the Grand Circuit meet takes place, with the Bluegrass series being contested all week, culminating in the Allerage Pace/Trot and Kentucky Futurity on Sunday.  Racing in week two starts at 1:00pm.

Unfortunately, the Allerage will see some defections, Wiggle It Jiggleit being the most prominent to date as rather than race in the Allerage Pace and return six days for the $250,000 Yonkers Raceway invitational, his team will be bypassing the Allerage and head straight to Yonkers.  Yonkers has added these high-priced invitationals to supplement the $1 million Yonkers International.  

One could question the wisdom of holding $250,000 invitationals for its business sense (there is none), but you could question why Yonkers decided to schedule relatively late these mega-races this close to the Allerage.  Some say it shows once again Yonkers disregard for others, deciding to do what they want.  My take is the people at Yonkers thought being six days after the Allerage, there is no reason why a horse couldn't race in both events.  They are right, if we were back in the 1990's, but most people do not race their stakes caliber horses as hard as this anymore.  Sure, a week or two in a row is possible, but after that, extended time between races is the norm.    

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