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Thursday, May 25, 2017

A Case for Dual Breed Meets

I recently viewed the commercial being shown in Ontario movie theaters for harness racing and my first thought was why don't we have a similar commercial to be shown in American theaters?  Then I realized such an endeavor would be a waste of money.

Sure from the backstretch view, harness racing is an exciting business and if presented properly, it would be an exciting gaming sport.  But let's not kid ourselves.  Run down facilities, expensive concessions, excessive time between races does not make an entertaining experience.  Of course, if we can fix these short comings, it would be a different story.

Leaving run down facilities and expensive concessions for another day, let's look at cutting down the time between races.  To fix the time between races issue, it probably would require a heretical step, a dual breed race card.  Whether partnering with quarter horse or thoroughbred interests. alternating races where one breed races while the other preps for their race thus keeping the time between races to a minimum.  There could be cross-breed and same-breed exotics satisfying those looking for a night out as well as single breed aficionados.  In addition to cutting down the time between races for gamblers, it may also be a solution for the horse shortage as you would only need no more than six races of any one breed on a given race day.

Over at US Racing, Ray Cotolo provides his list of seven standardbreds to watch in 2017.  Not only is it informative, but with Cotolo's wit makes his column an entertaining read.

Kratom!  Sounds like the latest Marvel Super Hero getting a television show but if you thought this, you'd be wrong.  It is a drug which Michael Weiner has been cited by the NYSGC for allegedly giving four of his horses racing at Monticello.  The board has suspended Weiner pending a hearing before the board where he faces the possibility of a license revocation and $25,000 fine.

It wouldn't be a Molson Pace race card without Foiled Again racing and this year is no different, except he is racing on the under card in a local Invitational Handicap.  It will be interesting to see if he can defeat a field of B-track horses.

There is a great weekend on tap of racing starting with Western Fair District's Molson Pace on Friday followed by the Lismore and Art Rooney at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday.  On Sunday, attention turns to Harrah's Philadelphia for a trio of Invitationals, the Betsy Ross  (FM Pace), Maxie Lee Memorial (Open Trot), and Ben Stafford Jr Memorial (Open Pace).   If you live near any of this tracks, it may be worth a visit to your track..


Anonymous said...

There was talk of running dual breed cards at the Meadowlands a year or two ago, but it never materialized.

Anthony Downs in Kansas used to run dual breeds - alternating horse races with greyhound races.

Larry Karr said...

I read Ray Cotolo's column, and while I agree with him that Miso Fast is a horse to watch for 2017, he mistakenly repeatedly refers to the horse as being small last year. Miso Fast was a strong, good sized yearling and sold for $125,000. He was likewise a very good sized 2 year-old as can easily be seen in the video link next to the story Cotolo wrote about him in his article. So, am not sure what would cause Cotolo to refer to him as being small.

Larry Karr

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Miso Fast, the Rooney might have been one of Kakaley's worst drives ever - attempting to "soften" the beastly Downbytheseaside was doomed to fail, and that's not an opinion offered in hindsight (since no horse could have been "softened" any more than the winner was the week before, and it still didn't faze him). If Kakaley releases the winner more readily, Miso Fast almost certainly finishes 2nd; instead, his foolish drive resulted in the 2nd best horse going home with no check, and likely some hurt feelings (I happen to think Kakaley is an excellent driver, just not on this night)

JLB said...

Unsure I agree with Anonymous. It took awhile for Miso Fast to clear the long shot leaver. Once he did at the quarter, it appeared to me that Kakaley took a pretty good hold, rather than overtly trying to park the eventual winner. In any event, truly refreshing to see a race at Yonkers not assume a predictable lineup 100 yards after the start.