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Showing posts from March, 2009

Runnin' Around

Busy day today. I have been working, playing racing, and had about 67 emails and 14 phone calls. Not bad at all. I think I earned my salary today.

Anyhow a few things on my mind.

I played Will Rogers Downs today for the HANA race betting day. Where is Will Rogers Downs? It's in Oklahoma. The racing is actually pretty good, and with my jcapper sheets and some free tools available it was not hard to make an opinion on the race. However, should I mention my opinion sucked? I lost.

I did play race 5 and caught that one though. My best bet of the year (best bet as in getting an edge) I think was in that race. I had supertote up and the three horse, who was fairly long, had almost 40% of the show pool. The 7-5 chalk had about 14%. I fired a show bet and the $4 winner paid $3.40 to show when the three horse ran out. Any bet is a good bet if you are getting a mathematical edge, and they come in many shapes and forms.

Overall the race in question (Race 6) had a darn good pool boost. About $50…

Monday Notes

Ken Middleton interviewed Norm Clements on the Pacing Machine, Cam Fella and wrote about it. I liked Norm's dream event:

1. Cam Fella (1:53.1 - $2,041,367)
2. Niatross (TT1:49.1 - $2,019,213)
3. Albatross (1:54.3 - $1,201,470)
4. Nihilator (1:49.3 - $3,225,653)
5. Somebeachsomewhere (1:46.4 - $3,328,755)
6. Bye Bye Byrd (TT1:56.1 - $554,272)
7. Dan Patch (1:55.1 - $1,000,00+)
8. Bret Hanover (TT1:53.3 - $922,616)
9. Adios Butler (TT1:54.3 - $509,875)
10. Cardigan Bay (1:57.2 - $1,000,837)

We know racing ain't much without betting, but I as a fan would pay to watch that race. I don't think you could sell enough tickets. The fair odds line would be a blast to make.

Bill Finley of ESPN interviewed HANA's Mike Mayo about the Will Rogers Downs race tomorrow that bettors everywhere are supposedly betting into. Bill is definitely a horseplayer first, and columnist second.

It is the betting dollar that drives the entire racing industry, which should make the horseplayer the most powerful …

When Bad Things Happen to Good Folks

Veteran Ontario pacer The Masters (pictured, courtesy Iron Horse Photo) passed away recently in his sleep, apparently of a heart attack. He was only 13, recently retired from racing, and he was a family pet of Stephanie Horner (pictured). He raced 263 times and compiled a 46-32-27 win, place show record in his long career. He made over $500,000.

I was in the paddock at Western Fair Raceway about a year ago. One of our horses was in and The Masters was in an adjacent stall. He had just finished his race and was getting a bath. I chatted with Stephanie, telling her how much I liked the old timer. She beamed at having him, and felt she was fortunate. She spoke about how he would never see a claimer, how she was riding him, and how he would have a long life at home when he faced mandatory retirement. In a day and age where horses are all too often treated like a commodity, I was happy there were people like her in the business. I wished them success, petted The Masters on the nose and move…

The Rules, For Each To Decide

Commenting on blogs, and stories has always been a hot topic, with no clear answer. At conferences, I follow what is said is good policy and bad policy, and I often read opinion on the topic. For example, just recently I read a fairly long and detailed paper on the subject which I agreed with. Essentially, the piece noted that anonymous comments are fine, if and only if they are on topic. I usually prescribe to this theory.

However, sometimes I find I am in a bit of a dilemma in rejecting or posting comments. If something is unverifiable, takes a bit of a liberty, or makes an attack comment on a topic that I am not well versed on, I tend to be on the fence. I particularly dislike drive-by comments. This happened just recently in a response to the 'racing media' story below. I like to able to verify is an opinion is valid, rather than just post them. Therein lies the dilemma.

Others have open posting, and don't make decisions, which is their own prerogative, of course. Someti…


Well the buzz on the thoroughbred boards is all about the great racing today, including the tilt in the Florida Derby between two solid racehorses. It was a joy to watch. However, might as well do what we do here and talk some harness.

Mr. Feelgood downs Auckland Reactor in the Interdominian. The Jug champ was on.

Ramegade Bruiser won the first leg of the Spring Championship. It was shocking to see Secrets Nephew pulled up, however it looks like he is fine.

Nice to put a name to the face at Standardbred Canada. Jeff Porchak is the web-man there, and is bringing the organization into the 10's with some solid work. Way to go Jeff.

It was a fun night at the track today/tonight. We got there early for t-bred action and the stretch drive of the Florida Derby was electric. The harness racing was not too bad either last night, with a good many competitive races. Nice to have my Newfoundland stable-partner in town. We watch the horses race, have a beer or two, and make fun of each other when …

Bloggers, New and Old

Recently I wrote a post about the media and racing, making a case that the media is too close to the business to be critical and give it the push it needs often times. One of the respondents wrote a rebuttal that was quite good and made me think. However, one part I do disagree with:

Traditional journalism has also been replaced by bloggers or, as one person now calls them, sloggers. In the absence of a name or a face, they are people who sit by computers and criticize.

There are some sharp people out there, who are accountable (their posts are archived) and that argue, debate and put forth alternative points of view with passion and a point. Whether you are heaping praise or being critical, you have to do so with a point. It does not matter if you have a journalism degree or not, and it certainly does not matter if your name is Bill, or Sue or Chalk Eating Weasel.

For example, one new blogger wrote a response to Ray Paulick's comment below where Ray stated he was “guilty as charged …

Hamilton on Sky Art

We spoke earlier this month about the loss of Sky Art. Mike Hamilton is a mentor to a new owners group that had been having some luck with the young guy, when he was injured in a race. Mike reflects on the sad experience on the Woodbine blog. Every horse owner should read this piece (in my humble opinion).

But after hearing the quiver in the surgeon’s voice as she described the nature of Art’s condition and the odds of his survival and recovery, not to mention the muffled sobs of several owners who were on the other end of the phone, I knew in my heart there was only one option.


When Racing was Racing

Beach Towel, the Remmen trained pacer from the early 1990's passed on this week. For those who weren't around the Toronto area back then, this was a great time for the sport. The North America Cup was in its 5th or 6th edition and because simulcasting was still in its infancy the on-track buzz was exciting for big races. In that edition, the US's best, Beach Towel, was against Canada's best, Apache's Fame.

Apache's Fame was trained by Bud Fritz. If Rick Zeron is married to a microphone Bud Fritz can be described as someone who was divorced from one. Bud was an old-time horseman. He wanted to show up, race, and then go home to bed. Ray Remmen was similar - a trainer driver - but he did a better interview.

Their horses were near co-chalk and the battle was sure to be good, but a funny thing happened. Beach Towel made a break just before the quarter. Apaches Fame set-sail and the rest was history. I remember the stunned crowd at Greenwood that night, me included.



Being fortunate enough to know Bill from the Horseplayers Association, I marvel sometimes at just how sharp he is. When constructing the HANA track ratings he wrote several times (he is an engineer, so I guess this is built-in) warning that doing anything to rate tracks in a qualitative way was a hornets nest that should be steered clear of. So he stuck with things like takeout and field size when looking at tracks. I thought about this today reading Brooklyn Backstretch's review of her trip to Gulfstream (check it out, some nice photos). The reaction to her post shows just how far apart horseplayers and fans are in this game. I have read reaction to Gulfstream many times on the net and I am continually amazed at times how one faction considers it a place which is fun and pretty, and another likens to experience to swallowing barbed wire. Opinion is one thing, but it is wild to see the divergence of opinion. (Pocket note - I have never been there, but it looks nice enough to me i…

Million Dollar Horse, No Driver? And Share the Delight

The soap opera downunder continues. Auckland Reactor, who is the focus of a driver suspension, won last time easily for new driver Tony Herlihy. The $1.2M final of the series goes this week, so one would expect him to drive him in the final, especially since he said so earlier in the week.

But apparently not. He will drive his previous mount after all.

The report states that Gotta Go Cullen's owner, Ian Dobson, was not impressed by Herlihy's initial decision to abandon Gotta Go Cullen and had called his lawyer in Christchurch with the intention of charging New Zealand's top reinsman with collusion.

You figure it had to be something like that. At Betfair, Gotta Go Cullen is 200-1. The Reactor is 6-5. This is not a hard decision on paper.

Today the story took another turn. We have yet another new driver.

In other news, our old friend here on the blog Andrew Cohen has a nice colt, Share the Delight. He had some bad luck last year and seemed to be always just a little s…

Cam Fella

The Cam Fella final was this past weekend at Woodbine and it got me thinking about the Pacing Machine. 100 years from now they will be talking about him, not only for his racing career, but for his stud career. He has sired something like 16 millionaires, sires colts and fillies that can both go like the wind, and his mares and studs produce as well. The consummate professional racehorse and the Northern Dancer of the hoppled-gaiters. He left us too soon quite frankly.

I remember as a kid in the early 80's going to see him race - he was by far my favorite horse, as he was most Canadian harness watchers. In fact, I still have my "Cam Fella the Pacing Machine" button that they gave away at one of his races. Cam took on everyone, everywhere, and rarely would you see him throw a bad race. Nowadays where a 12 or 14 start season is considered pushing it, Cam would have a laugh at that. He won 61 out of 80, his last 28 races of his career were 28 straight victories. And not fl…

Is the Racing Media Too Close to be Critical?

In the UK racing scene (hat tip to Scott), a senior writer at the Racing Post recently blasted the paper in his resignation letter for being beholden to its advertisers, which in his opinion is not healthy; "Almost all the racing media is now under the effective editorial control of the bookmakers either because bookmaker advertising is essential to their survival, or because other racing correspondents have been made aware of, er, the side on which their bread is buttered."

"The agenda of Britain's only racing/sports newspaper is now being dictated entirely by its main advertisers," he said.

I often feel the same way over here, across the pond. I read some articles, on both websites and in print, where the racing writers appear to be reticent to be critical. It seems to me, at times, it is an old boys club, where advertisers rule the editorial roost. After all, can we blame them? If you anger a breeder, or an ADW who advertises with you, you are not going to rep…

Saturday Shockers

Darlins Delight tried this week (unlike last week), and unsurprisingly jogged.

There is some chatter lately about the Kentucky Oaks being on Bravo. Ray Paulick explores this tonight. I have no idea what to think about that, other than the simple fact is the sports channels are ditching this sport, so it being on any channel is better than the alternative. Heck for some tracks I can not even get streaming video.

A little bit of news from Woodbine today regarding their participation on Sirius Radio's Down the Stretch. I would surmise they spent some cash as a sponsor or something. They do similar to get the product on the Score for both harness and the runners.

Further, they have changed their simo-screen a little bit. The camera work is better and uncluttering the screen allowing for less noise is a good thing. In my next wacky thought, I would like to see some innovation using TrackUs and ADW. One day, and I think it is not far off, I believe that we will be able to tag a horse in ou…

High School and the Beav

Cute post over at Green But Game picking a Derby winner. I never had hair like that in high school, but in some strange way I wish I did. I could have went as Rick from Magnum PI for Halloween every year without even getting dressed up.

For another Derby opine, Jay over at HANA is compiling a list. He is a super-sharp player and worth following. He's been on the Friesan Fire bandwagon for quite awhile now, and he maintains him at number one.

The Animal Planet show Jockey's has been renewed. One line in the story strikes a chord for me, "The project also represented an admirable risk for Animal Planet, since some of the network's viewers object to horse racing in general." Sometimes we forget this. Thankfully people like Peter have their pulse on Aunt Maude, and he is 100% correct. The way we sell the sport to Aunt Maude needs a sea-change before it can ever become 2009-mainstream. h/t to Railbird.

Saturday starts the Trackmaster challenge for harness players who are…

Purdon Appeals & Plonk's Big Win

Driver Mark Purdon has appealed his rather harsh suspension and should be able to drive his star pacer. In this case the appeals process seems to have worked. The commission lets drivers know that not trying hard with a chalk is a no no, and Purdon can still drive his horse. Not a bad outcome.

Jeremy Plonk at ESPN looks at Derby horses who have had a blowout victory and that this usually signals a good shot at the Run for the Roses. About 40 years ago Tom Ainslie wrote his take on the "big win". Loosely this stated similar to what Mr. Plonk asserts - big wins are horses that repeat. The logic is pretty infallible, and it works in harness racing too. Namely, a horse who wins easy is doing it on his own, and has much left in reserve. If he is making solid horses look ordinary, one can expect him to become a good horse.

Long ago in racing this was not as big a deal as today. In harness, horses like Albatross, Cam Fella and many others did not have the "big win". They we…

Suspension: 6 weeks for a Driving Error

Driver of Auckland Reactor Mark Purdon was suspended six weeks for his drive of the pacer last week.

Chairman of stewards Martin Knibbs said Purdon was charged under rule 149.1, which states : "a driver shall take all reasonable and permissible measures. . . to ensure that the horse is given full opportunity to win or obtain the best possible placing in the field".

In our piece below we looked at how chalk is driven here from time to time, and I think we should open the lines of communication between drivers, judges and the public. And I would like to see it done only when the driver makes no effort to win. However, six weeks for this is way too excessive. This driver at least got his horse to the outside, was probably outdriven in a new land (he says so himself), and he succumbed to the vagaries of harness racing. On any given night in North America and elsewhere you can see a horse driven like this as a favourite, mistake or not.

What do you think?

Details on the hearing itse…

Software, Horses & Other Things

Ian wants to bet harness racing, but he is asking for software. Not much out there, huh? I know it is a game of watching replays, charting and knowing a little about many things, but knowing who is the fastest horse is not just good for the runners.

When at the Gamblers Book Shop in Vegas a couple of weeks ago, my horse stable partner chatted with Mr. Schwartz who runs the joint. He is asking for harness racing material. He says he gets bettors in there all the time asking for harness material.

Speaking of software and data, it seems a few heavy hitters have gotten together to create a new company hoping to be able to assimilate and gather huge piles of data. One of them "Christophe Bisciglia, 28, arrived at Google after raising and selling horses online during his high school years." Hey Chris, pay $20k for some harness racing data and write a cool program for me, huh? That'd be cool.

Phil mentioned Oscar Oscar in the comments section and his stunning 150 maiden win. I re…

Direct Line from Judges to the Public

I am not the first to note, nor will I be the last, the difference between us and the rest of the world when we look at judges inquiries. In Australia recently, the driver of top 4 year old Auckland Reactor drove him in a way that made the public say, what? The judges are on this, and they will be reporting back. When you drive a favourite without purpose, it is looked into.

In Hong Kong this is taken to another extreme - the rulings and or questions on rides are placed in the newspaper. On their website they have full, almost real time, judges decisions. Watching the racing in the thoroughbreds in Australia I was flabbergasted to see a (real time) judge and jockey meeting on the feed for a suspect ride, where the public sees that the judges are responding to their hard-earned dollars at laser-speed.

In North America? Nah, not so much.

Friday night at the Meadowlands, 2.6 million dollar winner Darlins Delight was making her second start of the year in the Overbid. In her first start, fr…

Outside the Box

Use Trackus for more than it is currently is.

This one idea could change how the claiming game is played. That's thinking. Think of what we can do with this for handicapping?

H/t to Gathering Man.

Do we have outside the box mobile internet plans in racing, in a niche or unique way? Mobile use for accessing news and information more than doubled the last year, according to comScore.

Whipping Debate: Readers Weigh In

Long time blog reader Peter has a neat question and answer post on whipping. He is a horseman, bettor and fan, and has been for many years.

(1) Who should decide what is appropriate whipping?

The answer is, Aunt Maude should decide. Everyone knows an Aunt Maude. She is not a stakeholder. She is not an animal activist. She is not a vegan or a tree hugger. She is a normal person, might have a cat, and could live in a backwater or a big city. She is practical and ordinary and like most ordinary people, she recoils from slashing and pounding on a beautiful animal. Auntie doesn't have to think about it. Her approval or disapproval is immediate and there is no second chance.

(2) Who should not decide what is appropriate whipping?

Pretty much everyone who has been successful in the horse business has a vested interest in business as usual. It's the same in every sport or business. No one puts away the corked bat until they have to. No one stops making gas guzzlers until it's already …

Woodbine Says Yes to New Whipping Rules

Woodbine Entertainment has come out with further support for the banning of one-handed whipping.

.......during its summer meet Mohawk Racetrack receives complaints from customers who are outraged at the sight and sound of horses being whipped one-handed though the stretch by drivers. With strict enforcement of a rule requiring one line in each hand, drivers will quickly adapt and this will serve as one of the initiatives going forward to improve the public perception of harness racing in Ontario.

It's going to happen. Not an if but a when.

It's Tweeteriffic

For my real job I tend to follow things in the web world. The rise of Twitter has been really interesting the past year and a half or so. For awhile, like most new things in the web world, growth was for new adopters and some techno-geeks. Then as with most growth curves (you can mirror the above curve with Facebook traffic or youtube traffic), you tend to reach a mass where the thing snowballs. You are seeing it with this company right before your eyes. Right now someone is signing up who has never heard of it before, and that someone is not a tech-geek, he/she is someone like you.

Harness racing is starting to be embraced. has started on Twitter, among others in the game. I would not be surprised if this years Standardbred Wagering Conference is on twitter, so folks can keep tabs in real time.

Like we spoke about during the Arizona Symposium on the blog, there is most certainly some way to use this better, and intertwine it with other avenues for racing. I am a big b…

Change From Within

"This business model does not need tweaking, it needs to be revamped." Driver John Campbell here.

More change. Long time blogger Jessica C has changed her Railbird blog around to focus on tech and the changing world, and its regard to racing (among other things). If you like the talks here about new marketing and so on, it will be worth a bookmark.

Online music is changing from within, well not really, according to some who say "How Not To 'Save' The Music Industry: Ask The Folks Who Benefited From Old Inefficiencies." Draw your own conclusions regarding parallels to racing.

Change Refunds and Up Satisfaction

In times past, insider gambling on horses (when purses were equivalent to a Happy Meal) was something to be concerned with. When you can hit a tri by doing some funny business and cashing $2000, it was big money compared to the purse. Racings response to this was to regulate several things, including stuck in gates, breaking horses, and declaring a race official regardless of myriad issues that may happen during, or before a race. This was not a terrible policy of course. If a horse did not look to have a good break from the gate and a driver knew he had money down he could break the horse and get a refund. And with racing being the only game in town, tracks keeping the money and not having to refund it was not something they were going to change. They liked money from people who had no other place to gamble. They could not shop at another store and racing knew it.

But in 2009 times have changed.

If a football game does not start, or something strange happens, even your neighbourhood bo…

Good For Them

Part of last years Wagering Action Plan, authored and tailored by Standardbred Canada, was working on new initiatives to try and bring racing to the masses. They today announced "Adrenaline", a festival of racing, this year to be held in Sarnia Ontario. This type of thing is desperately needed and I applaud them for it, with both hands.


I was just doing my late night scan of the UK horse betting blogs. They are always interesting and I can usually find something that catches my eye. This time it was the Cheltenham Festival. Virtually everyone is speaking of it, and markets on Betfair are reeling (I saw a couple with over $15M US matched). Quite the buzz.

But buzz doesn't just happen, it is created. Virtually all the news of the Festival is put out by betting sites and the festival itself, with a web presence of targeted social media marketing.

It strikes me as odd that me as a harness racing blogger was contacted by several firms and bloggers speaking of the Festival in the UK (which I know absolutely nothing about), but racing here across the pond has never said boo to me in a calculated buzzmarketing way when they have an event.

It's a different world out there.

Bettors: Now is Your Chance

Standardbred Canada is looking for participants for their 2nd Annual Wagering Conference. Do you have to be a trainer, or an executive, or have a fancy resume? No. You just need to be a bettor.

Click here and fill out the required information if you want to be a part of it. It is a good experience.

Late to the Party

I often read Seth Godin and link him here as you know. He seems to emote common sense business in the new economy. A couple of days ago he spoke of today's emergencies and how the writing was on the wall for some time, yet no one seems to do anything. He wrote a section about media:

Six years ago, I gave a mildly controversial talk to the newspaper publishers at an annual convention. I explained in detail why they were just a few years from bankruptcy and how they could use the momentum and assets they had to build up a hyperlocal internet presence and permission asset now, because it would be too late when the emergency hit. Of course, my talk wasn't an emergency, they had other priorities, and so the dire prediction comes true.

Sure we will speak about racing like this as well. But is racing the only business who has not looked forward with the writing on the wall? No. I remember four or five years ago having dinner with a friend who runs a fund. He got rid of his mortgage and…

Muscle Hill Getting Ready

Greg Peck gives an update on world champ Muscle Hill.

“He won’t start until Memorial Day or after,” Peck said. “I don’t have the schedule in front of me, but that’s usually when the New Jersey Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts starts, that Monday (the first round is Memorial Day, May 25). It will be then or after, might be the second round or something like that.

This is the first year since maybe Mack Lobell that I have looked more forward to the male trotters, rather than the pacers. I sincerely hope that this guy comes back good because I think we are in for a special year. He is one of those rare horses who makes other very nice horses look ordinary.

Aaron Merriman

Woodbine regular Jody Jamieson is looking to do some double or triple duty by driving on the big circuit as well as at Georgian Downs and Flamboro Downs. His thoughts are pretty level headed, “The opportunity is there for guys like me to drive, and I want to be known as a driver that did it when I had the chance.” He is absolutely right. In a time where people are getting laid off, governments are spending money like drunken sailors, the Dow is tanking, it is a great time to be a harness driver. You can make millions in a sport that is slowly fading away, if you want to go for it.

Beginning about six or seven years ago, slots money was proliferating, and tracks needed racedates, lots of them. The opportunity to drive many, many races was there for those who wanted to work at it. One that did was Tim Tetrick. In 2007 he hopped around like no man has ever been able to before. He drove in a mind-boggling 4728 races, something that 25 years ago would have taken a Doug Brown or Steve Condr…

Interesting Note on the Domestication of Horses

A new study shows that horses were domesticated about 5000 years ago. Dogs it says, were domesticated about 15,000 years ago.

Compared to dogs, domesticated as long as 15,000 years ago, and such food animals as sheep, goats and pigs, horses are relatively late arrivals in the human relationship.

This struck me as odd. If I was a dude and saw a dog and a horse 15,000 years ago I think I would want to chat with the horse, rather than a snarling dog. Not to mention I would think a dog could be less useful in carrying something for me, like a stick or whatever the heck was used at that time.

Then again, it is 2009 and I am typing this on the interweb thing, with a laptop wirelessly connected to billions of people. So my relationship to domesticating a horse in 3000 BC is not exactly like feet to socks.

Nice Pool and Good for Kentucky

Big pick 4 pool at the M tonight:

$1 Pick 4 (Pool $227,949) (4-6-4-2) $6,870.00

Not a bad payoff as well with a $4.80 winner kicking off the sequence.

Not too long ago we were griping about sure you can raise a takeout on a pool, and sure you can just go through the motions. However, when you brand yourself with a pool, your track can win. The Meadowlands clearly (with the 15% take) has branded their pick 4. If you want to play a pick 4, you play it at the Meadowlands. Whether it is true or not is irrelevant. People think so, thus it is.

If an exec at the M ever wanted to raise their branded pick 4 to 25% (like some track we know did not long ago) they should be canned immediately. It is their bet for North American harness racing and they have taken this and ran with it by sticking with it. Ask a Madison Ave exec and he will throw a "6 in 60" at you. It costs $60 million and takes sixty months to brand something. It does not happen overnight.

I challenge other tracks to do the…

Busting Some Myths

"Jocks (or drivers) that stay around for a late mount mean the horse is a good bet"

Below we spoke about statistics and how they can be backfitted, and/or used improperly. The use of databases are a relatively new thing, because computers are super-fast now, and more and more people are using commercial database software. I remember as a kid hearing the above quote almost each race day. If someone stuck around, or showed up with only two drives, one of them late in the card, that last one was like printing money.

Dan on the HTR Software board ran those numbers for the runners. I would suspect a lot of money was burned on this angle throughout the years. Databases can be Mythbusters.

In a nutshell:

Win percentage for all the top riders chosen: 18%
Win percentage last race of the day (top riders): 17%
Win percentage last ride of the day (they 'stuck around'): 18%

Impact value for benchmark: 1.49
Impact value for "stick around races": 1.49

It is hard to fin…

Woodbine Accident - "Like the First Episode of Lost; Bodies Everywhere"

The Toronto Star has a story on the nasty Woodbine spill with quotes from the trenches. It is a story which shows the horror that went on at the track, that you and I watch on a tiny screen. It seems like Roger, Mario and Robert will be out a long while. But again, it could have been a hell of a lot worse.

Cangamble has a link to Youtube video if any of you are interested in watching, and the Star has a link as well.

Photo courtesy WEG

As I typed this, or not soon after we see a big pile up at Aqueduct. I am not sure I have seen back to back accidents like that in a long time, if ever in the two sports.

I'll Take 5 Days Please

In Bermuda, after a few horses tested positive recently the President of the racing club talked about strengthening rules to make sure it does not happen again. But the racers had a vote and are now asking not for tougher rules, but for easier ones.

However, members are now pushing for reforms that some claim are "far more lenient" than the exisiting regulations, such as reducing the fine from $1,000 to $250 and a one-year ban to just five racing days for first time offenders.

They also want to be able to use a pain killer on race day.

Wow, no wonder they don't let the industry police themselves.

h/t to Standardbred Canada.

We Are Not the Only Ones

We are tough on racings clinging to the status quo here. Many are. But sometimes we forget we are not the only ones.


I am not a member of the Author's Guild.

Please don't blame me for their ludicrous positions. They have spoken out against public libraries, against used book stores online and now, against the Kindle reading books aloud.


I used to have a record label, but I never joined the RIAA. You know, the guys that under Hilary Rosen made the multi-billion dollar mistake of trying to maintain the status quo by suing their users as a way of stopping file sharing. It's hard to overestimate how damaging relying on this single action was to an entire industry.

They all share one thing in common - they try to protect their slice no matter how detrimental a policy may be to their long-term health.

Bill Finley writes an article on changing things up via lowering prices to bettors on ESPN this week. Not too long ago racing would reply scathingly to this analysis, and t…

That Was Some Nasty Accident

I am not sure if anyone was watching Woodbine last night for the 5th, the Ontario Boys Final, but that was a nasty an accident that you will see. I am sure it will be on Youtube, but honestly I am not for posting this kind of video evidence on the blog, so I will leave that to you to find if you want.

It looks like potential broken bones for three of the drivers. Miraculously, the horses appear to have escaped with no more than some cuts.

Safety in harness racing (touch wood) is something that is damn good. These things happen very rarely. But when they do, with inside out close quarters racing, there can be a pile up. Last night was one of those times.

Monday Notes

I went to Woodbine Saturday night. The upstairs was pretty dead, but the slot machines were busy. I hung around down there for awhile. It must be maddening for Woodbine at times. I heard about five times from a bartender "no you must finish your beer before ordering another one" to people. Not to mention when a husband comes up to the bar to order a beer and a drink for him and his wife he can't, because the other person has to be with him. The Ontario government loves slot money. But they don't want anyone to know they are in the gambling business, so they create these little rules. I guess it makes them feel better, and that they are above nasty gambling. For gosh sakes, those machines can suck the life out of some people. Let them triple fist Corona's and wash them down with a shooter if they want to.

Ramegade Bruiser was beaten by Secret's Nephew in the Open pace. I don't think the Bruiser will beat Secret's again this meet, all things being equal…