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Suffolk, Chicken Dancing, Doug Squared & Pet Racing Issues

Good morning racing fans.

Here are a few things I found interesting this morning.

 Paulick gives the skinny on Doug O'Neill here. Mitchell in the Bloodhorse talks about it as well.

Another Doug (McPherson), even though I can't relate to him much since he's younger than me, writes a good blog and looks at some Keeneland numbers and handicapping stuff.

"How Suffolk Missed the Chance to Cultivate new fans".  It ain't Suffolk's fault. The industry that sells 1980's rock concerts and chicken dance contests tends to be surprised when people show up to the track for 1980's rock concerts and chicken dance contests. Then they hear from those folks that 'there's too much time between the races and that the racing form is too complicated'. Then the industry says "there's too much time between races and racing is too complicated, so we have to fix it." The problem as I see it, is fairly obvious, and a good start to rectifying some issues : Racing shouldn't be making policy decisions to do with gambling based on the advice of people who come to the track for chicken dance contests. 

More on Suffolk Downs. Sure they're gone (I still think that they will race next season, but could be wrong), but they did a lot of good work protecting the horse. If only all tracks were this good.

What we expect from Graham Motion - professionalism. He talks about US racing and surfaces here.

Red Mile Sunday was pretty huge. Nuncio beat Father Patrick. Creatine beat Sebastian. State Treasurer beat Sweet Lou. In harness racing it's hard - especially for trotters - to stay sound through so many tough miles, if you are dealing with quality stock in behind you. If it was two months ago, none of those horses probably get picked up. Speed takes its toll.

A four year old won the open trot, four year olds swept the top three positions in the filly open trot. Four year olds, just like through harness history, can win open events if they are faster than the horses they are racing that day.

The ol amateur driving race. The third place finisher got set back for whipping with one hand. It's probably best if you are planning to drive in one of these to know the rules of racing. I would think.

Jerry Brown on the lasix issue. I disagree with the premise that my betting will change when horses go off lasix. Over time - a short period probably - normalcy will return. And, as we all know, Lasix doesn't prevent bleeding, even in the majority of cases. Horses race and bleed every day.

Everyone has a pet issue in racing. And the argument is usually mixed with "this will kill the sport". However, racing will move forward when the fiefdom's in the sport move forward by backing reality, science, numbers and good sound policy. There's probably a place for lasix in racing, there's a place for higher rake bets, there's a place for synthetic surfaces, there's a place for a lot of the headline issues that people hard line against or for. My way or the highway just assures more of the same - stagnation.

Have a super good Tuesday everyone.

Comments

Ron said…
A 17% drop in field size and a muddy opening day and handle only down 5% isn't too bad. The spring meet had poly and all numbers were still down
Anonymous said…
Hi Ron,

Field size will be key. Pre-poly, dirt field size in the fall was below nine. After poly it was above 9, even as foal crops have fallen.

If the weather stays good, where there are no days off turf, I suspect they will do okay this meet. I think handle will be down, but okay.

Early on, speed chalk on dirt is a concern from a betting standpoint. Chalk is 8 for 12. Overall ROI for all starts in dirt sprints is only 53 cents on the dollar. No horseplayer can beat that. That's worse than Parx.

PTP
Ron said…
I'm guessing handle will be down especially if there's any rainy days. Even the spring Meet's handle was off 7%. So maybe that's a Kentucky trend. I do believe it was a great long term move to trash the poly. Only time will tell.