Yesterday's Cane Pace was a pretty interesting affair, that might've provided us with more questions than answers.
The first jewel of the Triple Crown (really it is) was a hard fought race with the season leader Captain Treacherous coming out on top in 149.2. The last three quarters of 1:23 and last quarter of 28 seconds, might provide us with a few clues. Are these horses a little bit tweaked? How could no one get a win in that slowing pace, from off it? Is this crop any good at all?
It seemed, while watching, Vegas Vacation had a ton of pace, but other than him the result was pretty surprising. We're used to seeing bigger speed and fractions, so something must have been up.
We'll have to wait until Lexington more than likely, to see these horses meet again, and that should provide more evidence.
Harness racing, as most know, is a sport without a leader. And a sport without a leader lets things go, when they should've been taken care of long ago. There is a picture released of the Cane Pace winner that is everywhere on the web, with his hocks being kicked by a leading driver - a driver that does it in about every close race with a close finish, with any horse, so it's not like it's new. Hock kicking apologists say "it's just scaring the horse and no big deal". Others see it as cruelty that should not be in the forefront, and since it's against the rules, those rules should be enforced. To add insult to injury, the driver's whip is in the genitalia area, which is also an offense; and is another trick used to this day by many drivers with impunity, as well.
The sport has chosen, out of not caring, because no one has any balls, or because "it's harness racing" to let this go on. It's almost like they hope no one notices. Now the picture has surfaced on chat boards, last evening on twitter and just about everywhere else with people wondering if anyone is minding, or even has a care about the sport.
It's ironic that in thoroughbred racing there is a big brouhaha about buzzers being used by jockey's to scare a horse into performing, and if they're caught, the sport lowers the boom; sometimes kicking the participant out for months. Meanwhile in harness racing, a leading driver boots them to hell, and no one says a word.
Ladies and gentlemen, in case you didn't know: Harness racing is one frigged up sport.
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