My friend and part time weather man tells me we are in for some nasty weather here in the northeast. Good I guess, since I am able to kill some time this morning looking at the news.
I see someone from Cangamble dropped by. Us Canadian racing fans have to stick together I guess (and thanks for the plug!). Seeing that, I noticed Cangamble has updated his blog. This week he has an interesting link on Casino size. I was floored to find out that two of the top ten casinos in terms of surface area are in Canada. Go figure.
Cangamble has a link up to this Bloodhorse story on a vet getting suspended for possessing lidocaine. This is interesting. The story sounds ominous. In harness racing, Mickey Burke had a horse test positive for the drug way back last December and to my knowledge it has not been settled. Hold it, while waiting for that one, he had another one in April of 2007. In other news: Mickey Burke is the leading trainer in harness racing in 2007. What's wrong with this picture?
Last night's pick 7 at WEG went unsolved. I am pleased to announce that out of my last two pick 7's I got 3 winners. 3 out of 14. I recently read a book called "Your Marketing Sucks". I am planning to write a book called "My Handicapping Sucks".
On the software for harness front, I have always been fairly amazed at the lack of it. I know the game is different than thoroughbreds, but most players of the runners use software, or proprietary figures for contender selection. In harness we do not seem to. There is a poll at paceadvantage.com currently asking "how do you handicap harness races?" and "right off the program" is running away with the win. I think I may write something on this in the future. I have a sneaky feeling thoroughbred software increases handles. I wonder if harness software would too? Any feelings on that out there in cyberland?
Last year, watching the yearling sales it dawned on me that everything looks so rosy in that area of the business. People are spending $200K+ on first crop sires. Broodmares were up. There seemed to be an exuberance at the sales. I said to myself "why so much glee? Aren't things, with slots down in some jurisdictions and handle hurting all over, poor, and why are these people spending money so freely?" Well, in what I think may be a harbinger Monticello cuts stakes. That is about $1.7M less to race for in 2008. I can not see some of the other tracks following suit somewhere down the line. Handles are too anemic, in my opinion, to sustain several of these races.
Is it just me, or do Woodbine's harness races seem very watered down in terms of talent and depth? I know they are having some trouble filling Sunday night cards and to combat that they have added cheap claimers to the condition sheets. It feels like these races are working to card fuller fields, and fill the box, but I am having a tough time with them. Overall I feel the field quality has really taken a hit at the flagship Canadian harness track. I found last nights pick 7 to be almost unhandicappable.
Anyway, good luck to everyone playing this weekend. We might place another pick 7 ticket up today. Maybe even invite a few friends to place theirs up. I can't do any worse.