Another Grand Circuit meet at The Red Mile has concluded and what a meet it was. In particular, the second week featured quite a few long price winners and large place and show payoffs. Granted the pools may not have been large but those wagering on the card were treated to opportunities to hit some nice payoffs instead of the usual small payoffs which are typical at other tracks.
And the racing action was great, including closing day. If you watched the Red Mile at Lexington or from the comfort of your own home you were treated with Always B Miki setting a world record 1;46, the fastest mile ever from a standardbred and with Marion Marauder winning the trotting triple crown. Racing was never better at Lexington, Despite the publicity surrounding Pepsi North America Cup Day and Hambletonian Day, nothing beats the Red Mile in October as Kentucky Futurity Day is the best harness program of the year. Of course, right now for most harness racing fans it is one of America's best kept secrets.
If we could only have more days like this, harness racing would be in far better shape.
Jail time, the time horses must stay in state when a horses is claimed at a racetrack is facing a legal challenge by a horse owner in a US District Court as well a possible hearing in a different case by the SCOTUS under the argument it violates the Interstate Commerce provision of the Constitution. Should this rule be declared unconstitutional the shortage of horses at non-slot tracks will be even worse.
Racing Under Saddle is undergoing a revival in the United Kingdom and RUS UK has been formed as a fundraising group to fund RUS purses so it may be highlighted at different race meets throughout the country. If you happen to be reading this article in the UK, why not check out their Facebook page?
Speaking of RUS, RUS America has issued a position paper on the proposed rule changes impacting RUS being considered at the 2016-2017 USTA District Meetings and the Annual Meeting in 2017. It may have been a smart move to issue this paper as many in the industry are not tuned-in to RUS and the unique requirements it requires. So being there are over 30 items up for discussion, having the ability to read this paper before the meeting, USTA members will have the ability to cover all the proposals quicker.
Lastly, congratulations to Ron Pierce who has announced his formal retirement from harness racing. While it has been a while since he last raced, there has been hope by some he would return to the bike but it is not meant to be. While it would have been nice to see Ronnie return, I for one am glad he was able to get out on his terms, not forced out due to a race-related disability.