Monday, September 29, 2008

Quite Comical

This weeks Hambo Poll is out, signifying who is the best horse in Harness racing.

I said to myself last night "I wonder if finally Beach will take over as number one." Seeing that he just paced the fastest race in history, and lost his only career race in the second fastest race in history one would think so.

Nope, he is still number two.

It can only be described as comical. I stand by my original thought on this: I am sure that many voters simply do not watch the races.

Another thing that flies into the comical file is the fact that this horse will be retired in about two months. We have made our case here about lowering takeout and sending people home winners will help racing from the gambling end. We hear a lot of people with opinions on how to grow the game with 'fans'. Well how about that Beach news. He brings people out to the track; hell he brings people out to watch him train. He has had more mentions on the blogosphere and press than any other horse I remember. But he is gone.

Think about that for a moment. Mohawk went to great lengths this summer to bring new fans out on the days this horse raced. There were many people and families who had never really watched racing - and they found themselves applauding a horse, not in the winners circle, but when he passed by the grandstand in the post parade! In 2009 the people who flooded Mohawk will call the track wondering when they can see the Beach. The answer will be "you can't anymore." There response will of course be "ok, then I will find something else to do." We can market what we want, but we find ourselves marketing in a vacuum in this sport when horses like this go to stud. We should remember that the next time we head to a state house, or government for more money to save the sport. It is tough to save a sport that seemingly does nothing to save itself.

7 comments:

Alex M said...

Unbelievable actually, not one vote change.
It actually eliminates any credibility the poll might have had, and i feel sorry for the ten people that voted for the Beach, their common sense is obviously being wasted. And what about the one vote for Mister Big every week, the just screams "personal agenda".
Do you think the the results are an indication of some voters holding a grudge against the Beach's decision to bypass the Jug ?
If that's the case then they are abusing their vote to fill a CHIP ON THEIR SHOULDER.
Attention: An old boys club has spoken, do not cross us.

Allan said...

Until they sell SBSW to an American interest, he will remain #2 unless Dewey starts losing. It is as simple as that. How many Canadians vote in the top 10 poll (assuming there are some)?

You should know money rules this sport. As the owner of SBSW said, there is too much risk in racing him as a four year old. Until we change the economics of the sport to a more European model where the stakes favor the older horses, this will continue to happen.

Pull the Pocket said...

Alex,

Could not agree more, altho there is still a salient point that some of them simply do not follow the sport. Rainbow Blue was behind Windsongs Legacy too for quite awhile. That was pretty wild too. I mean she was spoken about as the best mare ever during that time, yet she was #2? Both horses were American.

Allan,

Well I suggest our American friends better get their act together. People up here voted for US based Donato ahead of Canadian based Tell All last year for one simple reason: He deserved it.

I can not fathom how this weekends racing can have anyone vote for Dewy. He was under heavy stick to go 52.2 against horses that have trouble going 155. He was all out and even then he was 2 seconds behind any record. Beach goes out and paces the fastest mile ever all on his own.

Define the World is heading there this weekend and if he beats Dewy I still think that he will remain number one. There is too much bias in this poll.

We want to promote this sport and get it to grow. If the people in it can not even recognize greatness, how in heavens name are we supposed to promote the game to others?

PTP

Alex M said...

I thought on saturday in the post race interview that your early retirement concerns were voiced. All be it in a politically correct manner, the stage was taken advantage of and the point was made.

Pull the Pocket said...

Yah Alex. I watched that. Macgrath was politically correct about that.

It is why I finally mentioned it on the blog. I had held out hope that this group might do something different and pull a Cam Fella. Could you imagine if this horse toured North America next year? Got even better perhaps? I think there would be 50,000 people in Charlottetown if he went to the Gold Cup and Saucer. Races like the 4YO and up Breeders Crown would be pretty spicy.

But alas, no dice. We shoot ourselves in the foot again.

Our sport is on life-support and we need drastic action, imo. Keeping these horses around should be of utmost importance. Fans do not want to hear "we can't" from this business any longer. If we can put a man on the moon we can set policies in place that keep horses racing at 4.

PTP

Alex M said...

The two being interviewed, I believe, would love nothing more than a reason to race next year, they don't want this ride to end in two months time.
But only the industry can make that an option, only the industry can create that pause for thought.
Just asking "please" to one owner, of one horse, and one time . . . that does nothing for the future.

norm said...

But the big difference between Cam Fella and The Beach is this...Cam was barely an ordinary 2 yr old and in jis 9 starts, gave no clue as to how great he would become.
As a 3 year old Cam was very good but was beaten a few times as well, Los Alamitos, failed to qualify for the Meadowlands pace and even knocked off by Icarus Lobell in the Simcoe, Yes Simcoe Final..After his 3 yr old season, he was still the best 3 yr old of 82, but still couldnt be listed among the greatest horse up to that time. After race # 6 of his 4 yr old campain, the rest is history, But had he not come back @ 4.He would still go down as one of the best sires ever, but we wouldnt be talking about his racing career.
The Beach is the exact opposite...He was flawless @ 2 and only one mistake as a 3 yr old.And there are only 3 or 4 races tops for aged horses that offer a reasonable purse and that includes None for a million...Unfortuately for the us, the connections have everything to lose and absolutely nothing to gain by racing him as a 4 yr old