Our industry encapsulates just about everyone on the age, economic, and gender spectrum's.
On Friday at Woodstock, a trotter, Rubaiyat, appeared to break stride before the wire, and was placed from 2nd to 3rd. This is something that happens almost each day in harness racing, and judges have to make a bang-bang decision at times, making their job difficult.
Not long after the replay, the trainer of the horse in question and others watching the replay thought it was a bad call, and the walk to the judges to ask for an appeal was done by the trainer.
This time it was not your average everyday trainer who has been around for years; the horse was trained (and owned) by seventeen year old Hannah Beckett.
According to her dad (to be clear, I do not have both sides of the story), this didn't go overly well: "She was apparently deemed to be somewhat unimportant by the judge to whom she spoke."
If that's how it went down, I don't think anyone would be overly surprised. Our industry is very tight-knit and if you are a known driver or trainer, you are likely an old acquaintance who has been through the war many times. A seventeen year old girl can be, and probably sometimes is, treated differently.
She shouldn't be, of course.
I know Hannah and she's a pretty nice kid. She's very smart, she volunteers, she cares about her horses and she likely has a good career ahead of her, regardless of her choice. She is as important as anyone who holds a license to train a horse. She takes the rules very seriously and treats working in this industry as a privilege, not a right.
Her right is to appeal, which is what she did (it's her first one). It may have not gone well to begin for her, but the Ontario Racing Commission tends to do a good job in these matters at the highest levels - and they don't much care if you're seventeen or seventy. I'll let you know how the appeal goes.
Notes for a Monday:
In what is probably the last Des Smith Classic with this kind of purse, Betterthancheddar beat the game Foiled Again by a whisker.
I saw Mark MacDonald answering questions on the twitter about his drive in the Pace on Bolt the Duer. It was nice to see him answer to his strategy, and it was nice to see twitter peeps showing some respect in asking the questions. As you all know, the interwebs can really degenerate.
It may be the last Prince of Wales stakes at he Fort too, and Gene was there with pictures.
High praise I see for the Meadowlands Pace crowd size and energy on Saturday. The promo folks did a good job. The betting numbers were low (off about $500k from last year). In my opinion, it was a function of the card itself.
I'll make a prediction that the Hambo numbers will be up across the board this year.
Saratoga and Del Mar open this weekend. As players seem to gravitate more and more to the big meets, with bigger pools, I suspect they'll both have solid meets.
Vegas news via Goatzapper.com : Vegas attendance up, betting down
Enjoy your Monday everyone.