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Thursday Notes

Good Thursday morning everyone.

First, Casino-ville:

Alan reports Yonkers revenues are down in terms of win per machine since the casino opened at the Big A. Does this mean harness purses are on their way down too? Time will tell.

In Massachusetts, the casino bill was signed, after an amendment that cut racings revenues from it, in half.

Life was simpler when we depended only on handle, no?

With apologies to Tom LaMarra at the Bloodhorse, something made me go hmmmm this morning:

Franco Harris was let go by the Meadows (fired) for comments in support of Penn State coach Paterno.

Richard Dutrow was given a stay, allowing him to train while he appeals his 10 year ban. Appeals in these cases, according to the DRF can last a year.

In Mr. Harris's case we have a private business firing someone for an opinion - not a popular one - which is their right. The thing is, the man who he is supporting has not even had one day of due process. As the Wall Street Journal reports, Grand Juries in Pennsylvania are a little bit different - they allow for something called "presentment".

"They're one-sided and unfair, and in some instances can be inquisitorial," said Bennett Gershman, a law professor at Pace University and a former prosecutor.

So, it's fine to fire a guy who supports a fellow who has not even had his say yet - in court or otherwise - via a one-sided presentment.

But, Mr. Dutrow, who was banned for 10 years on facts already in evidence and ruled upon, happily earns a living while he gets his say.

Racing is a sport, and a club, where training and owning is a privilege not a right, and exclusions can and do happen, just like they do in the NBA or NHL. Free speech, right or wrong free speech, about someone who has not even had his day in court is a basic human right.

Flame me if you must (and reading the web I am sure you will because opinions on the Penn State stuff usually do resort to it), but the fact that Franco Harris is looking for a new job, while Mr. Dutrow has his old one, seems intellectually odd.

Agreement reached between rival groups in California.  Do we have a show of hands? How many people think this is good for customers? This simply looks like more cooks stirring the broth to me.

Horse's slip through the cracks, but there is usually someone there to help. The story of Jug winner Nicks Fantasy. 

Sometimes they slip through the cracks via nefarious means, and it's pretty sad. The Truth about the Shergar horse kidnapping.

Silly season is upon us. Horse retirements to stud abound. Seriously, do we really, really, really need Daylon Magician retired to stud? The sport is broken.

Hong Kong does not like Australia thinking outside the box on sectional time, or beaten length bets. Is it just me. or when a monopoly like Hong Kong preaches to a non-monopoly like Aussie racing trying to compete does it rub you the wrong way too?

There's a double-carry at Aqueduct today. Yesterday a 1-2 and 2-5 winner both won, but only 5 of 6 did the job. I keyed three winners - and walked away with zip. I couldn't find the others with a magnifying glass.

The first "Santa kicked out story" of the season. That's it, I am going to the track dressed as Santa. When they kick me out they'll be saving me money.

Someone gave a vote to Check Me Out over San Pail in the Hambo Top Ten this week. Last week Check Me Out won the Matron after a break. The thing is, although visually impressive, it really wasn't. She came home in 57.1 and came her back three quarters in what she is capable in. The field was a 158 trotting field. If Usain Bolt fell on his face against high schoolers at the start, got up and still won the race in 13.45, we would not be super-impressed. There was no need to change the San Pail vote, in my opinion.

Have a great day everyone.

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