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Reporting from Ontario, Happy Friday!

Hello racing fans. I hope you are having a good morning this morning.

Did anyone watch the horse racing motion live on the floor of the Ontario legislature yesterday? If you missed it, I will summarize:

The Conservatives think the Liberals suck, and so do the NDP. That partnership didn't last long because the NDP also think the Conservatives suck, and with the Conservatives, the feeling is mutual towards the NDP. The Liberals sat around looking fairly smug, and it appears they don't like the other two parties either. All three parties have well dressed, presentable members, even the NDP, but they all act like they're 11 (some act 12 or 13) towards each other.

It was fun to watch democracy at work, and realize that these people are in charge of a $600B economy.

In the end, a motion was passed in favor of horse racing, which turns out means nothing, because it was a symbolic non-binding motion.

So, to sum up, the Legislature was in session, tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars were spent for the session, and nothing happened. For a replay of the event, no need to scour the interweb, just pop over to your friendly neighborhood Chuck E Cheese and throw a pizza on the floor.

Now, on to more serious issues. Darryl Kaplan tweeted it best yesterday regarding Ontario:


Darryl is right. That right there is the new paradigm: The growth of the customer, innovation in products and distribution, tourism and being part of the gaming sector with the rest of the gaming sector, all led by the "Alliance" which may end up being a defacto-commissioner's office.  The sooner we start working with those ideals and structure in mind - and purge the contentious relationship between horse racing factions from the system - the sooner the industry can get ahead. If you're part of the old guard who only understands the old way of doing things, you're going to be part of the problem, not the solution.

What a weekend of racing for the thoroughbreds. The Dubai World Cup, the Florida Derby, the Louisiana Derby. People often say horse racing is boring, and sure they have a point because animals can't talk like Tiger Woods can, but if you like the sport and don't like this weekend, you're from another planet.

HANA Harness announced a Grand Circuit handicapping challenge yesterday. If anyone is interested to see some handicapping and possible free PP's etc for harness racing's biggest races, that's the spot.

Allan reported 16% of Pennsylvania purses come from pari-mutuel handle. That is not sustainable in the least, obviously.  Drop rake, sink more money into the customer, do whatever you have to do to get that number up, because as Ontario showed, it can go away in less than an instant.

If horse racing had a commissioner would he not mandate any slots track to have Trakus and HD pictures? More cameras, more TV innovation? If I was, I would. There's no excuse for hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of millions to just go into a purse.

This might be a sad story. Long ago, growing up, Sid Fernando had a friend he played with. They'd pitch the ball, hit the malt shop, talk about girls, learn to drive, play sports, build snow forts and have sleepovers together. Then they grew apart. And Sid cannot find his pal. He has been relegated to aimlessly call for him on twitter, almost each day, like a bear cub calling for his mother. It's heartbreaking.

If you see Dave, please tell him to call Sid.

Have a great Friday everyone!


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