Musings on some things on this gloomy Tuesday. Sometimes Tuesday is Bluesday.
I went to Woodbine last night and tried out their new betting machines. My review is pretty simple: They are great. For those who do not know, the old machines were a bit cumbersome and had deficiencies. Sometimes your card would not swipe, you could not get into one without a card by logging into your account, the interface was somewhat clunky, some screens were not very sensitive.
What you do is either enter your account number and pin, or simply tap your card by the reader. Then the interface comes up. It is user friendly. Also at many of the 13 inch (I think they are 13 inch) personal flat screens strewn about Woodbine, you can see live video. Oft times in the past when placing a bet I would forget which horse was which when taking exotics, pick 4's especially found yourself looking back and forth from your program/form. Not any longer: Names are right on your screen.
There are numerous other handy features as well. I wish I could show you some pictures of the machines, or a demo, but I went through WEG's website and can not find a thing on them. Argh.
Thumbs up for the most part.
Eric Ledford got a drive Thursday.
The NJSEA issued a statement on Ledford. Thumbs up for addressing fan concern; thumbs down for not telling us they are working on changing rules to make sure when people are convicted of something in racing, that they can never return. Although they are in, and/or have put themselves in, a spot (whichever way your point of view slants) we need to hear more from our regulators and racetracks on how they will be - or are - addressing fans concerns. Let's open the lines of communication, and improve this game.
I encourage and welcome anyone in racetrack management, racing commissions, or pari-mutuel agencies to respond, or email me with communication on some of our posts here. Communication is important, so let's get to it! A link to my email is under "view my complete profile"
Keystone Waylon breaks maiden at Woodbine. He was 0 for 46, now he is 1 for 47. Often times we hear fans (mostly unfairly) say trainers and drivers "milk" non-winner classes and that is bad for the game. We can not say that about this guy. I bet in his 47 starts he tried like the dickens in about 40 of them. He just could never get there first. But last night he did!
A jock in Britain recently misjudged the number of laps in a race and was suspended 14 days. You know from previous posts on the blog that we like it when interference; or mistakes that are made by drivers are taken seriously. But this time I give it a pass. The embarrassment was punishment enough. Last year when Standardbred Canada ran its Extreme Racing Day at Georgian which experimented at different distances, a local driver raised his whip in victory with one lap remaining. It was hilarious. I am glad they did not fine him. If he had a dollar for every other driver comment that day, I'm sure he'd be a rich man.
Of note: From the 'lil guys who ride on horses backs side of the business, Jennifer Morrison, who most people know, linked to our Woodbine 2010 post and reprinted it on her blog here. I believe those of us who are interested in racing, no matter what breed, should stick together when we have ideas that might help the business. Jennifer (and Cangamble) are two thoroughbred people who are passionate about racing.