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The New York Times

A Ledford piece reached the New York Times, in an article written by Bill Finley.

Some comments that cut to the chase:

Eric Ledford made his return to the Meadowlands on Thursday night, about 21 months after being arrested and charged with race fixing, about 21 months after the New Jersey State Police said it had “dealt a crushing blow to illegal activity in the sport of harness racing.”

How painfully ironic is that statement, huh?

Horseplayer thoughts - not news to us of course - that show how far we have to go in this business to gaining trust.

“I think all these guys are involved with that stuff,” said one of the bettors, Dom Stone.

David Philossoph, another bettor, had a different opinion.

“After what he did and what they found with his horses, I can’t believe he’s back,” he said.


As we have asked below, how hard is it for a racing commission to draft a simple rule, promote it and publicize it: If you are convicted of a crime related to racing, you are banned for life from racing.

Does anyone disagree? Will we ever get our sport back?

Comments

Anonymous said…
Doping is just such a big issue in the sport. It's to the point where I just assume if a person races top racehorses, they must be doping. How else could they compete?
Anonymous said…
i worked as a groom for a few summers when i was a kid.....back in the 80's. it was a great game...names like ....hoffman, burns, kingshott, waples, stead....the list goes on...

about 8 yrs ago, i bought a thoroughbred, and i new nothing about the game, but did know, i didnt want any part of the harness game.

handicapping....didnt matter.post didnt matter.class didnt matter,the only thing that mattered was who was first off the claim. What i saw was a sport that was so dominated by the top 5 trainers that in my opinion the rest could not win. IF i couldnt bet $20 on one of the remaining trainers. How could i buy one with them.

i find i hard to believe that cassie coleman( i dont know her ) is a better and more knowledgeable trainer than " wallace, wellwood, robinson, burgess and any other claiming trainer(that i forgot).
Although, her results are amazing.

I'm not trying to start an argument here or anything but, i think its things like this that have hindered the harness racing game for the last 15 yrs.

does anyone else remember when 8-5 was a good bet?

just my two cents
Pull the Pocket said…
Hey Guys,

Yes, this game changed.... maybe around 1990. The thoroughbred game did too, of course, but in doing some research not as much. I was putting something together for handicapping a bit ago on that (off claim and barn change stuff), so I will share it when I am done. I think it is kind of interesting.

Thanks for the comments. I always look forward to reading them.
Anonymous said…
The Meadowlands says there hands are tied .Well they better change the rules. If your going to be the leader in this sport you have to set an example.When the Ledford case came down there was so much hope.You can throw that idea in the garbage. Meadowlands take notice your off the screen and out of my pocket till you can figure out how to keep race fixers off your property.
Anonymous said…
As a passionate player of some 30 years, I could never envision not playing and betting Harness Races.

Having made several trips, over the years, to Meadowlands racetrack, specifically for betting purposes, I was very excited when common pool wagering started for that track.

Last week, however, I deleted all my database records for that track, (and I had myriads of data) and have vowed to never bet that track again, all because of the Ledford and Rucker fiasco's.

When integrity sinks to the lowest possible level, I just can't continue. Clearly its quite irrelevant what I bet or don't bet, but multiply my decision by all the others that might feel this way, and that just might be relevant.

Your blog is a most interesting blog, and in a previous post you had some recommendations to improve Woodbine racing. To me the most significant of your observations was the lack of fines/penalties for Wodbine drivers who do not close the "hole" and allow drivers who belong to the "clique" to get to the rail. Your opinion that heavy fines should be levied on such drivers is right on, and would immediately and dramatically change Woodbine racing, to a competitive level never seen before. Hope the powers that be read your blog and maybe just maybe implement the idea. Otherwise Woodbine Harness will continue to die a slow death, and deservedly so.

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