Y'know when you go to form an opine on something and then get hit right between the eyes? This happened to me today. Last evening I was reading about the NTRA Survey on thoroughbred racing, and was struck by this metric:
Among core fans, 70% said they don’t believe there is “widespread cheating” in Thoroughbred racing—but that means three in 10 aren’t convinced.
I was about to write a post that this was too high, and the reasons why. I got busy doing a little pre-Monday work and did not get to it. Then I wake this morning to see this:
According to a report, a harness racing owner has been banned from the sport for 13 years after it was determined that he was found guilty of manipulating a race.
An article by the Herald-Sun states that Queensland harness racing stewards down under have banned the owner, Lucas Sullivan, and also disqualified drivers Jay Bellamy and David Turner for four years for not letting their horses run on their merits.
It seems these fellas were making some scores on off form horses. Nothing new there, but I would submit this is rare. With purses so high there is no reason for this any longer. But I guess to bury our heads in the sand would not be wise. Regardless, just when I was gonna write about something..... boom.
Next up: The R2 Collective had a post up today about a company which offers "tweets" from some celeb's about your product and service. Yep, for a few hundred bucks singer Leanne Rimes can tweet to her followers that your really awesome new broom kicks some major ass around the kitchen.
I wondered about this for racing; so let's talk harness. Who would be good celebs to promote harness racing via online mediums?
George Steinbrenner owned harness horses, including the very good Incredible Finale. He would be a good candidate. It would be funny to hear what he thought about the quality of drives his horses receive.
Also, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman has harness ties. His dad ran Castelton Farms in Lexington for many years (among other things racing related).
Eddie Olczyk, the former NHL coach and player apparently bets some harness racing.
Former Leafs centre Mats Sundin is known for more than being traded for Wendel Clark. He owns Rotation, the really good trotter, and I think still owns horses.
Those are off the top of my head and I am sure there are many more, so add to those in the comments section if you guys and gals can think of some.
Speaking of R2, the very talented writer and journalist Claire Novak wrote a blog post about the project today on NTRA.com. "Racetrack executives should take notice and bookmark this site; advertising and marketing managers should add it to their RSS feeds or a daily click-through part of the morning news routine. As various forms of social media develop, it will serve the industry well to remain up on the times – and R2 Collective will lead the way." It is darn nice to hear such positive things about the project. Thanks very much Claire!