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Tetrick, Captain Connections, Get Slapped on Social Media

At the Red Mile yesterday we got to see a pretty good horse race. Captaintreacherous beat Vegas Vacation by a long neck in the Tattersals Pace. One might think we'd see some reveling and chatter about the race itself. But on social media it was somewhat different.

There, folks wanted to talk about the kicking of the Captain by driver Tim Tetrick. The first from Garnet Barnsdale, writer for the Harness section of Horseplayer Monthly.




I could go on for another 30+ tweets. Immediately after the race there were 11 tweets about the race on my feed. Two were about the race itself, nine were about the kicking.

I wanted to check the chat boards not long after to see what people thought about the race. What I got was the same.

On one chat board, where Tim has his own kicking thread from a few months ago titled "Tetrick Boots" there were a few posts about this incident. The first from an Ontario owner and breeder.
  •  Tetrick's got quite the act going with the blatant kicking and whipping on Captaintreacherous at the Red Mile today!  Why do they let this crap go on?  Marvin Katz and Tony Alagna should be ashamed of themselves for subjecting this wonderful horse to this behaviour--- or any horse for that matter.
and
  •  I find it interesting that it seems that small time breeders and owners, and horseplayers and gamblers, on this board and another board are talking about kicking hocks....it will only stop when the "royalty" speaks out , but big time owners and trainers will say nothing, only offering  banal remarks such as "we are looking out for the best interests of the horse"....when the rich and famous oligarchy like Takkter, Burke, Alanga Erv miller, Katz Goldband, Campbell, Gerwertz , Myron bell, etc etc don't say anything, nothing will change.....
And a bit of levity....
  •  Takes a lot of talent and practice to be able to do this so well and with either leg, who says drivers aren't athletes.
Posts or topics about the race itself on this board? None.

On another board, driver Brian Sears did not go unscathed. There was a thread titled "Tetrick and Sears" that is four pages long. It's not about the race either, per se, but the booting by both of those drivers (I admit, at first glance I missed Sears doing it; he like David Miller on Pet Rock in his WR do it with the left foot mostly).

A couple of them ....
  • $100 Fine, plz relax, happens every night at every racetrack
  • And Tim wonders why he has a bad hip
  • Their [sic] feet slipped 17 times in the stretch
  • Maybe they should start DQ'ing horses for illegal drives. 
  •  At least a couple of people on here understand harness racing a little bit. Tetrick does this religiously with his right foot. He drops it down so the heal of his foot hits the hock as it is coming back towards him. The horse gets scared out of its mind. It thinks that a predator is nipping at it's hind legs and runs faster and longer then it normally would to try to out run it.
Topics about the race itself? None.

Amazingly, in all those posts we did not see the often-trod out, obfuscatory insider meme of "it's not hurting the horse it's scaring them" that we saw in the 1990's into the 2000's on this, more than two or three times. That excuse (that I don't have to tell you completely misses the point and is probably totally wrong anyway) is even being filed away.

At Lexington yesterday industry insiders and the turf press were all smiles, wanting to talk about a horse race. In the grandstands, on social media and elsewhere, the proletariat (aka, the little people, many of whom pay everyone's salary) wanted to talk about the above. This disconnect is a chasm that has long existed in the sport, and from what I see, there is little chance it's being bridged.


Comments

Anonymous said…
Cheer for the Meadowlands to get slots, where everyone has to race there to make any money. Gural is the only one in the sport who will stand up to it. He'd make it a purse money disqualification, and that would get Alagna's and Bell's attention, and a $5,000 fine and suspension to get the drivers attention. It would be a think of the past.

The only thing people in the sport understand is money. When it's their money and not just a "black eye on the sport" they'll listen.
Anonymous said…
Tetrick (and others) is/are bad with the whip too. That horse must have sore balls.

Harness racing is like some sport in the 10th century.

RR
Anonymous said…
What happened? They went after Walter Case Jr. for the same thing back in his day and now, nothing but a slap on the wrist?

PG