I saw a recent post at Paceadvantage.com speaking of the minor injury sustained to thoroughbred Musket Man, who was a player in the Triple Crown. The poster (not meaning anything by it of course) said that the injury was unfortunate but that it would assure fans would get to see the horse race next year, instead of winning a race or two in the summer and be shuffled off to stud. What a sad commentary on the state of racing when an injury is looked at like that. It is like saying I hope Tiger Woods has a hamstring injury before each Major, because he will quit when he beats Jack's record, and it will assure we'll get to watch him golf for awhile.
In harness racing we had a year last year - one which thoroughbred racing needs. The presence of Somebeachsomewhere, as well as injuries, has given fans something to look forward to. Art Official, a talented horse, was hurt late last year and it assured that his stud career was placed on hold. Dali could not get a deal, other than a small one perhaps, because he could not win any big ones with the presence of Beach. Shadow Play had physical issues early, had to face Beach, and did not win enough to warrant a deal. Ditto Bettor Sweet, who recently set the track record at Mohawk in a stunning time. They are all four year olds, they are all racing in 2009, despite two of them setting world records, which any other year would have them off to some farm somewhere, playing with mares.
The breeding game has always been a game of three card monte with racing fans the marks. It is the last great insular fiefdom which has no one to answer to but horse buyers. It is unwilling to change, and unable to fix itself and most would say does nothing for the game of racing in the first place. Despite massive handle losses, despite lack of interest in racing, despite purses being down, despite yearling sales off, we know that nothing will change and it will be business as usual. As strange as it sounds, maybe a quarter crack or two might do more for the fan base and the sport of horse racing than any marketing program has ever done.
Wagering is getting killed. Don't say we didn't warn you. Cangamble explores that issue in his last piece.
We're tough on milkshaking here in Ontario. When I see someone get caught with it in California thoroughbred racing it seems they are asked nicely to promise to never do it again. When they do it again, they are asked again to promise never to do it again, but they tack on a $400 fine and a 13 day suspension, so they can enter their horses in two weeks.
I am half done my driver change study, which I have been working on in my spare time. So far all I can selfishly say to those who bet driver changes, is please keep doing it.
It seems another past posting incident might have occurred in thoroughbred racing today. I think I can improve my ROI if I bet horses after the race. I am adding it to the arsenal.
A New York Post writer says racing is finished. Why? "1. Modern racing has no stars. They're all in the breeding shed. No sport can prosper without stars to engage and excite the base. 2. The modern racing program is an endless stream of small fields and short-priced favorites. No competition, no excitement. 3. If a product is not selling, check the price. Casinos and sports betting take an average 5 percent off the top. Racing's minimum take is 16 percent, stretching up to 30 percent. It is priced out of the market." I am not sure if the patient is ready to star in CSI, but the writer sure has the symptoms down pat.