Monday, February 10, 2014

Stepping Up to the Plate & Sydney Seelster Updates

For those of you following along on social media (or if you read my blog piece; thanks for the shares everyone), there seems to be a nice final chapter brewing for Sydney Weaver.

Social media reported the current trainer will be selling back the Camluck mare to Sydney on Wednesday at Flamboro Downs.

That does not diminish what we saw last evening. People whom I have never even conversed with messaged me to know more. Messages like this:

Joe Bellino, of the Bellino family who owns Jug winner, tremendous racehorse and new sire, Rock n' Roll Heaven, offered out this:

Rock n' Roll Heaven - as he should've - had a good first crop year at the sales. This isn't pinching pennies, folks.

That's only a smattering of the reaction.

Some people don't seem to understand that reaction, and that's okay, because the way small time harness racing works is not the cold, hard calculated way racing works as a whole. It's built into the culture that you don't kick anyone when they're down, you help others who are having a tough time, and you band together. Sydney Seelster (who was being moved up in class this Wednesday) is one of those cases. Just like you don't claim a family horse who has been having a tough time financially, or dealing with an issue like a sickness, you don't claim this horse. This is why people are so perplexed.

To watch the video of Sydney, please check my last blog post for a link.

We'll keep y'all updated when updates come. It would be great if Flamboro, or the Weaver family take and post some pictures or video when she is reunited with her horse. I think that would make everyone smile.


Sid Fernando popped a link on twitter today from the New York Times, which argued that twitter is losing its luster. I have always used twitter for what it's made for - finding and following good people for links, along with social interaction. The social interaction part for me is important, because I, like so many, work in a home office for a large part of the month. I often feel bad for not following back more people - people I do like and interact with at times. It is nothing personal, it's just that when I add more than several followers, my timeline loses its luster and I get into overload. Going through a thousand tweets is really hard.

We live in amazing times. Twitter is the new chat board, or email string, or usenet group. Perhaps things will come full circle, good people will leave twitter (or facebook) and we'll go back to one of those as critical mass falls to dangerous levels. Or, more likely, in ten years there will be something new.

Like most things on the web - or philosophically in the bigger picture - I think you get out of them what you put into them. Twitter, in my opinion, is not "bad" or "a waste of time" or "useless" or "the best thing ever" or anything else. It depends on what you want from it and use it for.

One fellow on twitter, that Sid wrote a "gif" for on his tumblr page, is Inside the Pylons. ITP is brash, sometimes loud, and doesn't mince words or pull punches. I must admit, at times, I love watching him chat with industry types, especially when they dismiss what he says as "wrong". Despite his  bravado, he is a very sharp professional horseplayer, owner and knows the gambling side of business as well as anyone I have met. He's also a pretty decent fella. If he says something, it might be said in less than warm and fuzzy terms, but dismiss it at your own peril.

California racing trumpeted their handle increase in January, which I found comical.  California - who raised takeout in 2010 on several bets - is up this month primarily due to a large increase in handle for the pick 5 (which they added at 14% takeout to stop the bleeding of the takeout increase in spring of 2010), the races that make up the pick 5 (yes horse industry, there is a spin off with this bet) and pick 6 carryovers which are (this industry is slowly figuring this out) a takeout decrease. The state that said 'takeout doesnt matter' is having success with lower takeout and writing press releases about it. You can't make this stuff up.

Enjoy your day everyone.

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