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Showing posts from November, 2008

The Death of a Horse

This fume will pass until the next one arrives and the sad tale is played out again; some will hit me harder than others, even though they all toll the same. I will find nonsense on which to vent my pique and will fend off the tidal wave of waste and cruelty that accompanies every breakdown.

..... here

How Good is This Horse?

As we blog types chat about here - "great" is thrown around way too much in our game. If a horse wins some races, even if he is under the stick, or beating sub par horses, he gets the moniker. It is truly one of the most overused adjectives in our sport.

When a horse does something special is when we get a bit stoked that we might be seeing something worth talking about. For example, when the Beach won last year in 49 (easily) and set a world record, those who follow the game knew that something was up.

Well last night it happened again with Muscle Hill.

As we mentioned below while handicapping, this group of trotters is immensely talented. Rumour has it that earlier in the year a portion of Federal Flex was sold pro-rated at $2M. Explosive Matter (my pick against Muscle Hill last night... blush) was 5 for 5 and a world record holder. Hell, the one horse was a world record holder and he was a longshot.

Muscle Hill made them look like they did not even belong on the same racetra…

The Crown: A Great Night of Racing

We'll go through the races in a later post, and have Herb's new Top Ten on Tuesday. But a quick note about the night - a night that was a fantastic one for harness racing.

The torch was passed tonight - one of the greatest horses to ever set foot on a track retired (to be determined if that is so), and another stepped up to the plate to make us wonder what the future holds.

Folks, Shadow Play is a world champion. He won the Jug by seven and has numerous accomplishments. Unfortunately he was born in 2005 and when he races against Beach, he just looks ordinary. 148.3 on a night like this is simply tremendous. The Meadowlands Pace, raced in July each year has only seen that speed once.

The story of the night is the one who receives the torch. Muscle Hill, to trot 153.3, on a night when the three year olds trotted 153.4 is something that is never done - it is like a 2yo colt going Kentucky Derby speed. We were not kidding when we spoke about the depth of this crop. A superstar emer…

Ten Minutes to the Crown

Well I was going to go to the track tonight, but balked. I wanted to live blog this card and mess around with a few folks, but at this late time and wanting to sit back and play a few races I thought I would not.

The Meadowlands has one of the lowest pick 4 takeouts in North America. Unfortunately they carded two of my least favorite races as part of the sweep. But we will take a stab tonight on it. Maybe we can hit something.

I am going to make it a pick 3. Doubling the cost of tickets by adding Shadow Play, or tripling it with Blue Ridge Western is not a worthwhile strategy; so here are my pick 3's/4's for tonight.

236891011-12567810-3-3 = $56
236810-158-12457-3 = $75

For a bomber ticket, should Beach be sick, or get hit by a piece of pizza at the half and go off stride, thrown by an unruly fan, let's try this:

236810-158-3-12 = $36

Good luck tonight and enjoy the races folks!

Breeders Crown: The Glamour Division

The last, and biggest Crown event, is the one for 3 year old colt pacers. In this edition we have one clear choice, one clear second choice and the rest.

Although he was not a super-horse by any stretch, this race does remind me a little bit of the Goalie Jeff Breeders Crown; in that the fair odds are so low on a standout. Jeff won easily, but there is one clear difference and that is Shadow Play. I would submit that this horse, in the absence of one of the best horses ever to set foot on the track, would be chalk in many of the previous Breeders Crown's for colt pacers. It is somewhat unfortunate really. I guess could be said about Affirmed and Alydar or two other great three year olds. If one of them were born in a different year, they would have had different places in history.

Anyway, here is our rather pointless fair odds look at this race:



Beach looks like there is little chance he will lose more times than 20 or 25 out of 100 in this situation, but his last tilt he was a bit …

Breeders Crown: 3 Year Old Colt Trot

Normally with a horse of the year candidate in a trotting field, one would expect a walk in the park. Not so this time. Not only does the division leader have a tough post, he had a throat issue that had to be taken care of. This is to me, the most interesting and anticipated race of the entire Crown.

I know what some are saying: 'He had a bad post at Mohawk and won easily!' Well at Mohawk in the CTC he got the lead in two jumps, had a long straight to do it on the 7/8 track; and then he got a two hole trip. The chances of him getting a trip like that are low at a track like Mohawk let alone the M, and I would be surprised if the colt will get his own way Saturday.

This race can go many ways: In Focus has plenty of speed and should get the front. The big horse will probably float out but he'll have a target on his back from Messrs Tetrick, Campbell and Sears. Each of those drivers want to be in one place - on his back. If Dewey decides to fire out really hard, I can not se…

Breeders Crown: 2YOCP & 2YOCT Fair Odds

Well, we went through two of the two year old races and they were pretty cool betting affairs. But now we take it to a whole new level. The colt pace and colt trot for two year olds are as good a races, with as good a two year old stock you will see in this series. Last year the field for the trotters was sub par and the colt pace was not at all deep with the absence of Somebeachsomewhere.

First up, the colt trot. Question: What is the easiest thing to do at the top levels in harness racing? Answer: Go undefeated as a two year old colt trotter. Virtually every year there is a trotter who runs the table. The reason is pretty obvious - if you have some talent and stay flat you can win because trotting depth is horrible. If we look at history and the history of the BC we see this time and again. Dewey: Wins last years BC in 157.1 with a back half of 100.1. Cantab Hall: Perhaps the most bizarre trotter of the year voting winner ever, won his BC by daylight in 56.4. No one was even in the …

Breeders Crown: 2YOFT & 2YOFP Fair Odds

Let's do some handicapping. This years Breeders Crown races are a superlative betting affair. The 2 year old races are especially interesting because the fields are either evenly matched, or there are two or three potential good ones knocking heads.

First up: the 2 year old filly trot, which is race 2 on Saturday. "No Snow White"




This tilt comes down to two questions, I believe: Who shows up and who gets the best trip. Despite the record of Honorable Daughter (5-2 fair), she does not stand out, although if she races back to a couple of her running lines she deserves favorite status. She has tactical speed, has shown a maturity that usually wins 2YO trot races and has good connections. Last week makes us wonder if it was the wind or what, and that might juice up the price.

Yursa Hanover (4-1 fair) has some go, and shows tenacity. She deserves to be second choice. There are a host of others who show 27-28 quarters and decent 156 speed. This is a puzzle. I will be looking at …

Breeders Crown Free PP's & Resources

To get ready for the Crown, I think the following are some good resources.

Breeders Crown at the USTA.

Free past performances are out now. (opens into a pdf)

Standardbred Canada should have some news on Canadian horses like Beach and it should be updated regularly. Ditto the Harness Edge. Each of those should have real time video of the races.

I am 50/50 on live blogging this weekend, with allowable live comments from whomever is on the blog. It is the best harness event to chat about and handicap. The action is fast and furious and the two big events - Beach and Dewey make it more special this year.

Dewey a No Go?

Looks like $3M winner Deweycheatumnhowe might have trouble making the starting gate on Saturday. According to the Breeders Crown website, Ray Schnittker told the BC's Moira Fanning that the colt did not feel like himself this morning in training.

Edit: Thanks to Alan a new link. Looks like things should be ok. This is an interesting race with the post positions so it is great for fans that he is a go.

Breeders Crown Time

It is BC week here in harness-land. We'll be handicapping all the races here, so feel free to contribute your thoughts, but first a look at some history.

ESPN covered this series for several years. In one of the earliest tilts we had the "Super Horse" Nihilator featured, who demolished a Woodrow Wilson field of freshman pacers off cover, with a brush rarely seen in racing just a month or so before the BC. It was a World Record that would stand for some time.

That year the late season honours seemed like a formality. I remember as a kid thinking it would be a walk in the park for the son of Niatross. He had a solid trainer, the best driver and was destined to march into the record books, perhaps this time setting a world record on a five-eighths mile track too.

But a funny thing happened. In the elimination, a colt by the name of Dragon's Lair, trained and driven by a not-so-well known Pennsylvanian horseman came to play and gave the big horse all he could handle, succum…

Harness Herb's Tuesday Top Ten

Our reporter Greg spoke with Herb this week and got the lowdown on his poll.

PTP: Greg, how was Herb this week?
Cub reporter Greg: He was alright. He enjoyed the races on Saturday and changed a few opinions. He has been down though, ever since his broker told him to go long the Dow.

PTP: Did you agree with the Master?
Cub reporter Greg: I always agree with him. If I don't he yells at me and calls me names. He's surly.

PTP: What did he do this week?
Cub reporter Greg: He moved Muscle Hill in. He is annoyed with himself for not having Muscle Hill in earlier. He is still saying "who's your daddy" every time Native Bride wins. He moved her up again.

PTP: Thanks Greg
Cub reporter Greg: See ya PTP

Harness Herb's Exclusive (not seen anywhere despite having an attempted hacking of PTP's Hard drive every Monday night when the encoded Herb poll comes in) Tuesday Top Ten

1. Somebeachsomewhere (1)

2. Shadow Play (2)

3. Deweycheatumnhowe (3)

4. Native Bride (7)

5. Nebupanezza…

Woodbine Racing 7/8's Dashes

In a press release dated today, Woodbine announced that their standardbred product will race 7/8 of a mile, or 7f for you thoroughbred players,each Monday night. It is to begin as an experiment next week.

"This distance is being introduced in an effort to try and improve flow of the races during the second and third quarters," said Bruce Murray, WEG's Vice-President of Standardbred Racing. "Although Woodbine has always been a front-end favouring track, it is readily apparent to customers and horse people that since the Fall Meet opened, it is more prevalent than ever. The drivers we've spoken to are in favour of trying it."

At the 7/8ths mile distance, the start of the race will be moved up the stretch to where the finish line is, creating a shorter distance to the first turn. It is hoped that this will lead to more action throughout the race.

For those that do not watch Woodbine, it is a 7/8's mile track. This means that the finish line is about an 1/8th …

OK, This is Getting Ridiculous

Well I am reading around the web thing and I find a few stories on racing. We don't have any money. Money bet on racing per capita by country has the US a waffer-thin swedge ahead of the booming racing hotbed of Turkey. Ohio is in trouble. Handles are down. Horseman and tracks are fighting.

Then I decide to take a break from it and look at the World and what they do. It is kind of amazing what happens when the ol monopoly does not exist and racing actually has to compete.

First I check the advertisements. Betfair is advertising on TV. Nothing earth shattering, but not bad for a racing company.



But it gets better. The world is not a "home market area" and there are no such things as "source market fees" in the gambling world. So we have this.



That's the Bulgarian commercial. I think that's called 'reach'.

Don't worry it gets even better. How about the World's Largest Billboard? Somewhere in the fields of Austria an ADW is advertising.....



Bett…

Well the Field for the Breeders Crown is Set

Shadow Play, as anticipated (heck Herb has him #2 in his poll!) easily won his elim for the Breeders Crown this weekend. He gets post two, and Somebeachsomewhere draws the three. Referring to this new rivalry (remember the last one with Art Official?) I caught this post out there in blogland, and it is very true. We are extremely lucky to see harness horses race week in and week out. I was alive when Cam Fella won 28 in a row, and raced 33 times in a year. Talk about cool, considering half the horses I enjoy in thoroughbred racing race about five times it seems.

The harness industry has proven this year that good things happen when you run good horses FREQUENTLY. Both Somebeachsomewhere and Deweycheatumnhowe have interesting stories, interesting connections and they run all the time at a variety of tracks. Maybe it's because of the blogs, but I don't previously remember so much coverage of the sulky folks. Anyway, it's been fun watching their individual rivalries, which we …

Bizarre Night at the Meadowlands for the BC Elims

I was all set to write a quick synopsis about the Breeders Crown eliminations at the Meadowlands. But then I remembered my golden rule of betting the Meadowlands on weird days - don't read a thing into it.

The wind was whipping and it was cold. Bob Heyden had a touque on that looked about ripe for a Northern Quebec ice fishing trip.

The full writeup at Standardbred Canada is quite good and summarizes things well.

As for comments from this bettor? I think I am just going to save it for next week. This cold that is gripping the northeast deserves a fireplace, the heat up, maybe a snack, but no handicapping.

Hopefully it is a bit nicer tomorrow for the rest of the show.

Actions Have Consequences

Infighting. Over the years it has become a synonym for "racing". And this infighting has consequences.

Ohio has announced a massive decrease in racedates for 2009. The business that can't get along with each other is teetering as a business that may cease to exist.

The Ohio State Racing Commission on Friday approved a 2009 schedule that includes no live Thoroughbred racing dates at River Downs and 60 days of Thoroughbred racing at Beulah Park.

..... “The handle has been going down by 10% to 12% a year for the last five years,” said John Izzo, the Ohio State Racing Commission’s deputy director. “This is just something else we’re going to have to overcome if we want to keep going forward.”

..... Izzo said the limited racing schedule could prevent Beulah Park and River Downs from offering simulcasting in 2010. Unless horsemen approve a further reduction in racing days, Ohio tracks are required to run 83% of the days they ran in 1991 in order to offer simulcasting the following…

Walter Case: The Enemy is Us versus Another Chance

I have not explored the recent decision regarding Plainridge Racecourse allowing harness driver Walter Case - who recently was released from prison - a spot to drive horses. Why haven't I? Because I don't really know what to think.

Case's history is well publicized. After receiving thousands in fines for kicking horses, and having a terrible drug problem, he attacked his former wife with a steak knife in 2004. He was released October 22nd.

From a frequent contributor to this blog, Greg, we see the passion of one side of the argument:

We Have Seen The Enemy, And It Is Us

Harness racing can't seem to help itself sometimes; it has to do things that no other sporting institution in the world would do. The latest chapter in that ongoing saga is the fact that Walter Case, Jr., who is still on parole for stabbing, yes stabbing, his wife will be allowed to drive multiple horses on Friday at Plainridge Racecourse in Massachusetts.

This decision by Plainridge and the Massachusetts…

Respect People in Pajamas

The newspaper industry is having a tough time. Layoffs, decreased readership, a lack of trust by readers. Recently, media mogul Rupert Murdoch held a lecture series about media and what went wrong. His thoughts are covered by one of the best tech writers out there at CNET.

"My summary of the way some of the established media has responded to the internet is this: it's not newspapers that might become obsolete. It's some of the editors, reporters, and proprietors who are forgetting a newspaper's most precious asset: the bond with its readers,"

and

“The complacency stems from having enjoyed a monopoly--and now finding they have to compete for an audience they once took for granted. The condescension that many show their readers is an even bigger problem. It takes no special genius to point out that if you are contemptuous of your customers, you are going to have a hard time getting them to buy your product. Newspapers are no exception."

In 2008, customers have be…

Harness Herb's Tuesday Top Ten

Our weekly look at the top ten horses in racing. Herb was unavailable for a full interview this week as he was getting a pedicure. But he did relay that he thinks this weeks match-ups should be good ones at the Breeders Crown and this list could move in the coming weeks.

Herb mentioned that he was back being impressed with Nebupannezzar as last weeks loss looked like an aberration. He thinks Native Bride, supplementing to the BC will a boon for her 3YO filly of the year status.

Harness Herbs Tuesday Top Ten

1. Somebeachsomewhere (1)

2. Shadow Play (2)

3. Deweycheatumnhowe (3)

4. Nebupanezzar (5)

5. Enough Talk (4)

6. Mister Big (6)

7. Native Bride (7)

8. Crazed (8)

9. Federal Flex (NR)

10. Hawaiian Drink (NR)

Somebeachsomewhere #1..... Finally!

He's the richest horse in training. He has four world records. Hall of Famer Ron Waples compares him to Niatross. He draws tens of thousands of fans to racetracks to see him go. He draws onlookers with flashing cameras to watch him train. He has had more column inches of any harness horse in major newspapers this millenium. He has more google searches done on him than any harness horse alive or dead. And finally, after all year not being ranked the top horse this year in the Weekly Harness Racing Poll, he gets his due.

Rank/Name/1stPl Votes Age/Gait/Sex '08 Record '08 Earnings Pts LW
--------------------- ------------ ---------- ------------ --- --
1. Somebeachsomewhere (19) 3pc 14-13-1-0 $2,198,003 331 2
2. Deweycheatumnhowe (16) 3tc 14-12-1-1 $2,158,987 327 1

The press should be commended. We can finally promote this horse to people as one of the best ever without having to answer "if he is the best ever, why don't you guy…

Career Over? Call the Commissioner

Two intertwined stories this morning are out. One, the Canadian Press is reporting the following headline on its Somebeachsomewhere story: "Somebeachsomewhere Ends Career With Win at Sires Stakes" & two, there is a report out that the tracks have set up a task force to look at ways to pump stakes money to events for horses sired by horses five years of age or older.

The first story by the CP does say the following in the text:

Somebeachsomewhere ended his Canadian pacing career in style Saturday night, cruising to victory in the $300,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final for three-year-old colt pacers.

But is the damage done with this headline? For a sport that gets so little fanfare we need people to know that he is racing this weekend don't you think? And that his career is not over. This is a job for a commissioner office. In other sports the office would be on the phone immediately and correcting something like this I imagine. I can pretty much guarantee that the NF…

Beach Says Bye to Canada - And the Field

Somebeachsomewhere raced for his final time in Canada this year. It was freezing here and I did not make the trip, but the mile was pretty electric considering the horrid conditions. He won by 11 and three quarters in 150.3. Doing some quick math, looking at a homemade track variant, that is par 147.2 - easily the fastest mile in Canadian history, and more than likely the quickest November race in racing history. He is a sharp as ever.

Someone who was there had this to say about the race (from harnessdriver.com):

That mile was just incredible. All the fans cleared out to watch it in the outside bleachers, even in the pouring rain. It was an amazing site to see and hear all the people cheering and whistling for him the entire mile. What I noticed in particular were 3 elderly ladies in tears as he crossed the line.

People can talk about Dewey, or whomever they want. This is the single greatest horse to come along in the last decade. He has done more for the sport then any new rules, any n…

The Beach is Back & Losing Streaks

Tomorrow evening the most famous horse in harness racing is slated to go in the OSS Super-Final at Woodbine. This will be his last race in Canada. He will have two more starts at the Meadowlands then he calls it a career so he can go breed more horses in a sport with way too many already (sorry, I can't help myself ;)).

He has been picking up some mentions in the mainstream press though. The Toronto Star had a story this week on his final race, and his preparations. For those who figure they might try and beat a potential bridge-jumper tomorrow night in the show pools (I have not got a program downloaded yet, but the entries say that show betting is permitted), well take heed of this:

"He just seems to be getting stronger and better and enjoying the cooler weather. We trained him Sunday and just let him come a final half (mile) in 53 (seconds) and a piece and he did it just easily. Like always."

Back when I was a kid I remember a horse named Farmsteads Fame came up North fo…

When Two Tribes Go to War

Seth Godin is a marketing writer, and a good one. What makes him stand out (what makes him a “Purple Cow” to use a Godinism) is that he is a ‘new’ economy business and marketing guy. He has been promoting his new book, Tribes, and does so via the blogs and so on. The interweb stuff. Originally posted on 26th story, a new media blog (and linked first via raceday360) was this question and Seth’s answer:

What's the most important lesson the book publishing industry can learn from the music industry?

The market doesn't care a whit about maintaining your industry. The lesson from Napster and iTunes is that there's even MORE music than there was before. What got hurt was Tower and the guys in the suits and the unlimited budgets for groupies and drugs. The music will keep coming. Same thing is true with books. So you can decide to hassle your readers (oh, I mean your customers) and you can decide that a book on a Kindle [note - internet reading page] SHOULD cost $15 because it repl…

Some Posts Are Da Bomb

I was chatting via email with Jessica who does some of her work with Raceday360. I notice that she (or someone there) makes "editors picks" which are decent posts from the blogosphere. Some posts (like this one) just don't cut it. Others that make it are the ones that make a good point, are well written and contain a good idea. Well today, I read one of them. Cangamble has written an awesome piece on takeouts, and the history of betting this game.

In a very good point regarding drugs in racing and the PETA types, that I have not read:

Drugs, potential cheating, lack of proper disclosure, fatal injuries, etc. are just secondary problems when it comes to growth. In fact, if racing were to increase their fan/bettor base by competing for more players, the other problems would go away because integrity would actually matter as the game would be taken seriously again, by the masses, and the masses would demand it.

On how racing once cared if you won, and wanted you to keep grindi…

Handicapping: Betting Without Validation

In the 1840's Austrian physicist Ignaz Semmelweis did a study he thought would change the way that babies were delivered. The infant mortality rate was very high at a hospital he studied, but the good doctor found out that if nurses and doctors simply washed their hands, this rate could be severely reduced. He brought his findings to the hospitals. They asked “why does your data show this?” Semmelweis could not say why, he just told them that it did. The hospitals would not succumb to his wishes and change their washing policy - in fact they fiercely resisted. If he could not tell them why his data showed this, they wanted nothing to do with it.

At the time no one knew it, but this was one of the very first studies into germs and the harm that they can do. If they had implemented his policies, lives could have been saved.

This use of statistics and data (including the above story) was explored in the New York Times bestseller, “Super Crunchers”. The author deduces that when we use d…

Harness Herb's Tuesday Top Ten

Harness Herb was hard at work coming up with his Harness Top Ten when our cub reporter Greg got a hold of him via satellite phone. Greg forwarded his phone call verbatim here, and this is unedited.

*Exclusive to Pull the Pocket*

Greg: Hi Herb
Herb: Hello my Pennsylvanian friend

Greg: So Herb where are you this week, still in Tibet?
Herb: I’m back in France. The weather is cool but Herb has to train. Some of the early year cycling races are just around the corner. Just like a racehorse, Herb needs training to keep in shape and stay cut.

Greg: Ok.... what about the top ten. I notice you dropped Nebupanezzar this week, is that off his flat showing in the Gold Final?
Herb: Of course, Sherlock. He was disappointing and not the same horse that has been winning. To be on this list you have to dominate. This is not a list for sissies. He's still the best two year old colt in racing though.

Greg: Crazed made a move in. How come Herb?
Herb: He is in because he won his Dover stake easily, and Dewey w…

Racing Should Cut Prices Right Now

At a time when racing raises prices on its customers and is shutting down signals, (customers have a tough time winning in the first place, and finding an ADW to bet all tracks has even gotten worse), the real business world marches on. McDonald's sales are up, big. Why? Value meals and a price break.

Same-store sales rose 5.3 percent in the United States, helped by new menu items, including the Southern Style Chicken sandwich, and continued demand for breakfast items. The company's popular Dollar Menu and its annual Monopoly promotion also drew in value-hungry consumers.

"McDonald's strong October sales show that we are delivering what customers count on from McDonald's -- choice, variety and high-quality food and beverages at affordable prices," Chief Executive Jim Skinner said in a statement.

If racing had a commissioner that man or woman would be wise to take heed in that report. If we could flip a switch, like McDonald's can, and offer an immediate pric…

The Weekend is Done

Well almost done. It's the third quarter of the Eagles game. We're getting there.

HANA issued a press release tonight. They have injected themselves into the ADW fight in the US and their President Jeff Platt has been trying to find common ground.

I can not believe racing, sometimes. Customers pay for virtually everything, yet the fight is between horseman, tracks and ADW companies. Where is the player represented? I would hope they begin to listen. ADW companies put a lot of dough into marketing and innovation and of course players use the medium. It is the ONLY growth area in racing. It can not be short-circuited in some kind of archiac purse fight, in my opinion, so someone has to stand up with common sense and be heard.

The Progress Pace was today. I can not believe the odds on the two chalks, Badlands Nitro and Dali. There is no way they should have been that low. I could not find the winner though.

I bet 27 races today, and I got 11 second place finishes. Oh ya, and I only…

Wow, Now That's a Betting Site!

The UK, and its 60 million or so people bet quite a bit on racing. In fact they bet more than the 350 million people in North America (we should hang our heads in shame!). One reason why, is that they do things a whole lot better there, than we do here for their customers.

When I was at a wagering conference I thought about an idea I thought might work to help drag our sorry butts into this century and quench the thirst of bettors who are serious about harness racing. It involved placing some money into a full-blown singular website for harness racing only. On that site we would have all the video, news, programs, pretty much everything to do with harness racing, as well as a handy-dandy link to your betting service to place a bet. If you were a part of the betting website, of course it would have tons of bet tracking, stats and all the rest to keep you stoked and make you a better player. We'd also have access to a database where all racelines were stored (databases for football …

Suffolk is Serious & Notes

Ray Paulick wrote an interesting piece on horse slaughter and Suffolk Downs. We wrote earlier that the owner of Suffolk has instituted policies in which horse slaughter is not tolerated. Paulick's piece reads like a mystery and is top-notch.

Mike Hamilton is at it again. The Woodbine Blo... Columnist has a post up filled with numbers, thoughts and a general hodge podge of data. It is interesting though. One thing I am not sure of is, he mentioned the Paceadvantage post that I wrote here about. That was on the 4th, and he wrote his post on the 5th. If he stole it I am going to sue him for like, well, one of those really good second floor Woodbine roast beef sandwiches. Anyhow, drop by and say Howdy to Mike.

Horseplayer Association president Jeff Platt was on Bloodhorse this week. There is a post up about it. I can't believe that such a high percentage of betting in North America goes to purses (around 6%) compared to the rest of the world (around 2%), yet we are the ones who cons…

Plonk Joins Kaplan & Y'know What is Neat?

What is neat is sometimes you go and write a blog post, then get sidetracked, click around for a second and find that someone wrote half of what you were going to speak about. Well today that's about right. Cangamble has a good post up on some of the wild stuff happening in racing. Check it out, he writes better than I do anyway.

HANA (the Horseplayer Association) has a good post on a story written by Jeremy Plonk today at ESPN, with a full link to the article. Jeremy really let fly today. Some choice quotes regarding the fighting in the US over signals and money in this falling sport:

Wake up and smell the monopoly.

Tracks are losing. Horsemen are losing. Worse yet, horseplayers are losing patience and interest.

Racing organizations had better realize this: I'm not a crack addict.

I've sat in conference rooms and been on conference calls where racetrack executives and horsemen's representatives act as though the bettor is a complete degenerate who simply will do cartwheel…