I am at simulcast centers sometimes, playing a few races on the massive rows of TV's. Some thoroughbred, some harness. It amazes me how I have to "switch my brain" between watching the little bitty horses on the televisions between the breeds, because of saddle pads. I don't know how many times I have bet the two horse at Mountaineer and cheer a white saddle pad - a victory; then at the same time I have bet the two horse at Mohawk and look up in time to see the white saddle pad jogging in victory there too. A double score!
Except that the white saddle pad belongs to the three horse at Mohawk.
Why are saddle pad colors different in harness and thoroughbreds? I have no idea.
I wonder how the first conversation went (let's say the thoroughbreds had their choice first, which I do not know for sure), when deciding in harness to pick saddle pad colours.
"OK, let's make the one horse red"
Bettor: "Same as the runners, correct, red"
"We should make the two blue. It rhymes."
Bettor: "Blue? The two horse in the runners is white and the three is blue. We have crossover fans, so why not make them the same? Why would we want to confuse our players?"
"I like blue. Blue for two."
Perhaps Dr. Seuss was the first harness racing commissioner.
It seems pretty simple. With simo-centers dotting the landscape, people watching both breeds on Twinspires TV, or on small windows media player screens one would think we would want to have coordinated saddle pads.
Someone should call for a commission. We could get it done in six or seven years, if we hurry.