Rebecca commented below a point which we hear on harness backstretches virtually everywhere:
"Seeing as you have brought up the Mullins thing I want to throw out a theory. Does anyone think that the rise in handle on Harness racing at Woodbine can be slightly attributed to the fact that finally after so many years of the T-breds looking squeaky clean that now that their dirty laundry (i.e. Mullins, Dutrow etc)is getting out and looking really bad, maybe we look like the better option? At least we have a history of this crap and some semblance of real punishment. (Aka the Robinson ban from WEG.) Just a real far out thought but I have followed T-breds very loosely from a fan perspective for years and can never remember so many drug issues actually making the news."
It has long been said that harness racing is dirty as compared to thoroughbred racing. This, in my opinion, is totally false. There are bad people in each of the sports, but in harness we are in your face about it, as over the years we have had to be. Could you imagine in harness racing what would happen if someone was caught in Ontario with snake venom? Sayonara baby. You are done for ten years, or more. Anyhow, it has always stuck in my craw that harness gets a bad rap. It is unfair. We are just much tougher and more transparent.
Ray Paulick has a post on Mullins and his infractions here today. The comments are pretty vitriolic. And not just from bettors, from industry insiders and fellow horsemen.
Who writes a harness racing blog post containing social media, rock concerts, getting spat on, and placenta as the main themes? Kelly Spencer that's who. It is a strangely clever and interesting story. Grand River is lucky... I think :)