I scanned Equidaily.com today and noticed a link to an article where Jack Van Berg, Hall of Fame trainer and winner of more races and stakes races than any other living trainer, let's fly on the state of the game.
Hall of Fame horseman Jack Van Berg doesn't need a Mitchell Report to know that drugs are a scourge on the "sport of kings."
..... a new breed of so-called "super trainers" has been winning at percentages unheard of in the past.
Van Berg, from the old school, has seen enough. He finally decided to speak out against the rampant abuse of drugs. He says drugs ranging from legal medications like steroids and clenbuterol to prohibited substances like erythropoietin (EPO) are a blight on the game, punishing the owners who pay the bills, the bettors who play the races, and most of all, the horses themselves.
It is often said that racing likes to keep this out of the limelight. I don't know how true that is, but I for one applaud those who stand up and be counted. There is more:
"Just open your eyes and look around. You know how many trainers would still be winning races if they couldn't use medication? Some of them would starve to death.
"I think we should be racing with absolutely no medication whatsoever. Zero. Stop it all. If the horse ain't right, turn him out instead of running (him) until he breaks his leg off."
Then Jack gives his props to (gasp), the punters. For those of us who see a trainer winning at 10 or 12%, then overnight winning at 25%, we certainly can relate to what he has to say.
Walk down through the grandstand and listen to people. They know what's going on. You'll see a trainer going 90 miles an hour, win a lot of races, and then you find out he's had a couple of bad tests and (that's why he) hasn't done any good for two months.
I have always thought that the culture of racing will change from within. You can't get more inside that Jack Van Berg.
The article is lengthy and very well worth the read.
.... there was some kind of wicked speed at Woodbine last night. The temperature was minus 5C, the snow was flying. Well, Camifications won the Willowdale in 1:50, and the Free For All was won by Little Amos in 149.4. Several other races went super-fast, as well. I don't know why, but I simply do not believe the teletimer of last night's races....
.... Cangamble placed up some good thoughts on Hugh Mitchell's story in the Globe. Check it out....
..... Mr. Child, the poster from Australia below who mentioned zero rake Pick 4's downunder spurred my interest. I scanned the web and found out that not only do they have 0 rake pick 4's at times, they also have sales on perfecta's and daily double's. The 0 rake pick 4's at one track have had pick 4 pools reach $2 million. My trainer mentioned to me that he spoke with an insider a couple days ago. He told this person that "gamblers are screaming for lower takeouts", to which the insider replied "it won't make a difference." If I may, I respectfully suggest this insider do one of two things: read the paragraph above and educate himself to allow him to be part of the solution; or find a new job because frankly sir, you are killing us .....
For some information about how to web market a new bet, or a reduction of rake on a bet, try this: It is the Aussie ad for zero-rake pick 4's.
Last but not least: We'll pop up a post tomorrow about who I think may be the world's greatest horse gambler - Alan Woods. He passed away yesterday at the age of 62. I have read much about him over the years. He was an amazing gambler.