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Fall Four and Other Notes

Tonight at Woodbine, the elims for the Fall Four continue. Last night the Goldsmith Maid elims were contested and Crys Dream, by far the best filly trotter in racing, won easily. This evening the racing continues with elims for the Governor's Cup and Valley Victory are slated to go. If you have not signed up to harnessracing.com's weekend preview, you can, and get the dowloadable trackmaster pp's for these races and more.

One thing that slots have brought us are lotsa stakes races. It seems the stakes scene (not unlike in the runners) is very watered down. I don't know if it is simulcasting or what, but it seems we can see the same horses race for big money week in and week out nowadays. With the two year olds especially it takes both a unique horse and a unique trainer to keep them going with all this big money available. Two year olds are asked for wicked speed now and they are not lasting. Horses like Rock n Roll Heaven and before him Somebeachsomewhere are true freaks, capable of withstanding this speed. 90% of the others have zero shot to. Have a look at the PP's this evening for these races, as well as the fillies who will contest the Three Diamonds. Most of them are a shadow of themselves. It will take a commissioner to fix this, in my opinion, because letting the free market rule with slots money and trainers and owners looking for purse checks with alacrity is a recipe for a dwindling stakes horse population.

Conversely, we can have a look-see at what a true stakes race can do for a sport. And what a horse who lasts more than six starts or so can do for it as well. No, I fully realize that bettors will save this sport, or make it grow, and I know that a superstar or a big stakes race is a blip on the radar, however this ESPN ad is pretty telling.



 We have to find out a way to do more of the above in both sports. But we surely can do better in harness. Giving away a couple of million dollars with a minor handle-bump like we see in harness (and in less promoted thoroughbred races) is not using your money wisely.

Good luck this weekend to blog reader (and defending national handicapping champ, and all around nice guy) Roy Sproxton, who tries to defend his title at Georgian. With $25k up for grabs, it is not a small pot. When you are watching the races this evening and see a longshot come in, let it be known that someone at Georgian is smiling.

This past week I got my Breeders Cup tickets in the mail, and I was quite impressed at the package, and the events surrounding the two days. It is truly 'the place to be'. Unfortunately I can not go now, so I had to give them to a friend. To everyone in the blogorama, twinkierama and everywhere else in the sport where I have conversed with you who I had hoped to have a beer with and share some handicapping, I am quite bummed about that. Have a great time.

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