The push is on to keep horses racing past age three in harness, courtesy the Older Horse Committee:
“We believe the industry is crying out for someone to take the initiative to at least make an effort to reverse the long steady decline in interest by the general public in our sport. We also believe that if horse owners know their horse will have to race at the age of four, it might encourage and promote the breeding of sounder horses, which would be a benefit to everyone. This rule would also have some provision to allow horses that physically could not race at age four to be excluded from this prohibition.”
In the "this is only a brick in the wall" of this post, here is a very good post from Steve Crist, long ago. He (rightfully, imo) states that the mellifluous thought that somehow the sports stars racing can turn back the clock and make the game better again is misguided, and wrong. There is a ton wrong with the game, and a few good horses not retiring will not fix it. Thanks to Jessica at Railbird for the link.
Instead of thinking like 21st century business operators competing for market share, racing prefers to imagine that some old-style publicity, perhaps an extra daily paragraph of coverage buried in the sports section of the local newspaper, will suddenly make it become 1957 again.