Wednesday, September 10, 2008

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.

2 comments:

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.

PTP