Skip to main content

Information II

In our last post on Inside Information, we discussed that racing could and should let people know when and if a horse was sick or lame or had his air shut off or didn't like a racing surface, and how he is tonight. These bits of information are huge. With 20% takeouts, the game is hard enough trying to beat it off form, let alone factors we do not know. Hong Kong does this already, and with the internet a laser-fast medium, it is doable in some form.

We got to see this Monday. Brent MacGrath, trainer of Beach has a Standardbred Canada Blog. We all watched the Simcoe on Saturday and it was clear that something was not quite right. But what? It turns out that the Beach scoped sick and his blood was done and his white count was high. A virus. This is great news to handicappers, and to fans of the sport. Usually we only hear such things as backstretch whispers.

Interestingly, a bit of harness racing fact comes out in this. On chat boards and in a few other areas, this is looked at as an excuse; and there are some out there who do not believe MacGrath that the horse scoped sick. We tend to eat our young in racing, for some bizarre reason. I guess the good side is, when you are getting kicked in the ass by people, it is because you are in front of them.

For the record, one of our trainers, the young feller, was there for the scoping. He said it was pretty ugly and he was amazed the horse could have actually won with that much mucous.

Regardless, despite the rumblings of a few people who might not believe them, prodding trainers to say 'why bother', I hope that this trend of letting us know what happened in a race in terms of a horses fitness is only the beginning. Football would not be bet without an injury report, or having to guess if players are in the line-up this week, and harness racing is not much different. People need to know these things to encourage them to bet. And not to mention hearing "the horses air was shut off and that was the reason for the 19 length loss" is much needed ammo to those who think 'the horse was stiffed'. I believe things like the MacGrath blog help racing in myriad ways, so I hope it continues. And I sincerely hope a few people who want to try and ruin it for the rest of us who want to know these things are taken for what they are, and ignored.


Anonymous said…
Ok you can take it at face value if you want. Just say there was nothing wrong and couldn't run better than a 29 last quarter .What would he say ? Was AO scoped sick after close finish in the Cane ? Why do you think American Ideal was retired a bruise you buy that or do you think it was a little white lie ?
Pull the Pocket said…
Hi A,

"Just say there was nothing wrong and couldn't run better than a 29 last quarter"

I think that answers the question itself. The Beach has had what 80 quarters in races in his career? he has a 30 second quarter, once. Last week. It is impossible for a horse to have nothing wrong with him and come home in 30. The point of my post is that I am personally happy we got to hear the reason why.

Art Official I thought did not have the same pop he usually has (altho he raced well). I would love to know if he scoped him after.

American Ideal? I have no idea other than what was said at that time. He clearly was not right, for whatever reason. In his first start of the year he paced 49 with a 25 last quarter and went downhill hard from there, so it must have been something.

I hope we get more of this information for all horses. After all, in the 1970's when teh Dow was trading 20M shares a day you had to pay an arm and a leg for a research report. Now we get those at a click of a mouse. It sure didnt hurt trading volumes.


Popular posts from this blog

Sword Dancer Shenanigans Proves the Public's Point

Ask any random person who has not watched a horse race, or maybe have seen one or three : "Is horse racing fixed?"

They'll probably say, sure it is; common knowledge.

At that point, racing folks get excited to defend their sport. 99% of the races are clean, there is too much money involved to fix races, etc etc. 

Then we have yesterday's Sword Dancer, where not one of us can blame anyone for thinking like they do about the sport.

It's probably bad enough that a "rabbit" was entered for an old-time form of race fixing, but that the horse was ridden like a quarterhorse made the optics look terrible. That another horse - Roman Approval - had to be physically restrained due to the cowboy style race riding of the horse sent to destroy him, is probably just as bad optically.

But that was just the beginning. The real story had just begun.

At the head of the lane, this rank, spent, heart-ripped out rabbit, needed to do even more work for the 1-9 shot. He had t…

If #harnessracing is Afraid of the Answer......

There's a saying, apparently, from the legal community - never ask a question if you don't know the answer.

Today at the USTA meeting Jason Settlemoir put forth a motion that the USTA ask its membership the feelings on a question regarding slots and marketing. In a nutshell, it asked if a percentage of slot money should go into a slush fund to be spent on marketing and ancillary items to promote and grow the sport.

When the 54 director votes were tallied, the score was 47 to 7..... against.

Yes, the leadership of an organization voted down, in a landslide, asking the grassroots membership a question. 

Sure this seems super-silly, but why they did it, I think, is an easy one. They knew that if they asked the question the answer would be a resounding "yes". Then all hell would break loose. They'd have to try and get that done.

If harness racing is afraid of the answers to questions, they don't ask them. That seems to be the mantra of the sport. And it's p…

PTP's Bathing Index ® Derby Handicapping Angles - This is Much Better than Dosage

Good day racing fans!

It's one week until the Derby, where drunk people, rich people, sororities at almost every University, and others get together to watch, wager, take molly, drink juleps, wear hats, have parking issues, and partake in the annual Kentucky horse racing tradition.

I have scanned the big websites, read almost all social media and was very surprised that there are not a lot of people giving their thoughts on this year's Run for the Roses. It's like no one has an opinion! So in my never ending search for traffic, I decided to pop up a handicapping post. I think this post will help both new fans and old salty handicappers land on a winner.

As most know, physicality is important for handicapping (Leadbetter, et al). A lesser known angle is watching how a horse reacts while getting soapy water thrown on him. As long time handicapper Jessica notes, it can be a key to unlocking Derby betting fortune.


Let's begin with our control group, Kentucky Derby …