Skip to main content

Wednesday Racing Notes

Good morning racing and betting people.

There was another barn fire in harness racing, this time in South Florida, claiming 12 horses. Thankfully about half the barn's inhabitants ended up escaping the carnage. There's a gofundme link at the end of that story.

Trainer Peter Moody has been cleared of the serious cobalt charge that he knowingly jacked the horses. I don't know about you, but that was never in doubt. A successful stable like that, with all that money flowing through it, is not conducive to such things. He will no doubt serve time, as he should for this infraction, but many years it will not be.

We have spoken before about the strange stakes schedule in harness racing, primarily with three year old colts. It's just odd. DZ shares just how odd in the DRF today. Harness racing is one sport that is badly, badly in need of a commissioner of some sort. So many riches, so much purse money, so much potential.

Northfield will have a big pick 4 pool tonight with that carryover. Details here.

An NFL evangelist. It'd be great if racing had people like that pushing it on the Interweb.

If you are doing any in-running betting in this political season you've probably noticed how difficult it is on the republican side. Using county results, by demographics, has been an exercise in futility, thanks to The Donald. I've been playing it early instead. The D side is much more formful in-running.

Passing lane is introduced at Hoosier Park:

“We are committed to making Hoosier Park harness racing one of the most competitive racetracks in the country,” said Jim Brown, Centaur Gaming president and COO. “This enhancement will not only stand as the longest passing lane in North America, but will be sure to bring even more excitement, amplify the driving strategy involved, and ultimately make for an even greater racing product that our fans are sure to enjoy.”

It surprises me how in harness racing - and racing in general - such proclamations from above are not felt from below, at the customer level. Harness racing is plagued by two main complaints, which hurts its business - no flow or action and low priced winners. Passing lanes only exacerbate those two issues.

I was always a huge fan of Uncle Mo, as a racehorse. I thought his distance limitations are and were overblown, and he had tremendous talent and athleticism. I have loved the way he seems to stamp his foals. But, the number of colts who retire early in Thoroughbred racing, where they never get to show what they can or cannot do are many, and Uncle Mo commanded quite the fee for a horse with the Juvy on the resume.

In harness it is not like that, and never has been like that. If your horse can't make it through the grind at three, he will not command a big fee. More likely, an abbreviated campaign at three, for whatever reason, will result in a campaign at four, to get your syndication value up. Artsplace, who might've been the best two year old the sport has seen, would've never commanded a big fee after that season, and had to race at four to be considered.

It makes me wonder: How many great sires have been overlooked in harness racing who were well-bred and super fast, who never got a shot after retiring early? I bet there's been quite a few.

The Big M is offering high definition streaming broadcasts of its product, the first such track to do so in harness. There is some complaint they are folding their free non-HD stream on their website, but in this day and age I don't think it's a big issue.

Have a very nice day folks.

Comments

Pacingguy said…
Regarding the Meadowlands and the HD streaming product. Quite honestly, most bettors have access to live race and replays thru their ADW and the fee they are charging is a token. Of course, the problem is when you have to pay $5 a month for Meadowlands, $5 for Yonkers, $5 for Woodbine, etc. though their have almost all harness tracks available for $25 per month, which in effect caps the fee.

Quite honestly, I don't the the Meadowlands is really trying to monetize their signal; it is probably more an issue of the expense involved in offering the races for free (rights, hardware, etc.) and not being a slot track. Hence, by offering a better product at a reasonable cost, they shed an expense at the same time.
Tinky said…
On what basis do you believe that Uncle Mo's "distance limitations are and were overblown"?
PTP said…
Hi Tink,

I thought his Juvy was awesome, and he was not the least bit tired. I think he went 1:49 on the gallop out, after some quick splits.

His Wood was pointed to as a bad effort and the peanut gallery were after him that he "couldn't get" that last 1/8th, but he showed a 100 on his GGt after that race and his blood was screwed up. I throw out that race. Secretariat would've been tired with that messed up profile.

I think he showed me enough that, at his best, he runs a solid figure for 10f.

All speculation, of course.

Tinky said…
I agree that neither the Wood nor his final performance were fair tests, but:

a) as you undoubtedly know, getting 9f. (which he didn't even confirm) is never a good indicator of the likelihood of a horse staying 10f.

b) as I pointed out on the PR, his sire, grandsire, great-grandsire, great-great-grandsire, great-great-great grandsire, etc. were ALL essentially miler influences
Pull the Pocket said…
Understood on the pedigree. Although I remember chatting with Mike Maloney one time and he was convinced IC would get a Derby winner, who knows if he'd have been right or wrong. We will never know.

I am talking more about Uncle Mo as an individual. He had a nice cruising speed and held it, and never to my eye, looked like a horse who would hit a wall. I had the same feeling about AP when people were questioning his credentials at 10f (even after the Derby where he was tired the last sixteenth). If or when Nyquist shows he's a sprinter for good, it won't surprise me. He looks like one. It won't change my opinion of Mo.

Was he going to be great at 10f? I doubt that. But with his talent could he run a 108 Beyer and win the Derby? I think, if he wasn't sick, he would've. I would make a bet with anyone that he sires a Derby winner in the coming years. Maybe more than one.

My 2 cents.
Tinky said…
There is, of course, no way to know whether he would have stayed 10f. But as I repeatedly point out on PR, this is a game of percentages, so it wouldn't have mattered at all in a broader and much more meaningful context whether Indian Charlie had gotten a Derby winner. Almost every miler influence will get the odd anomaly that stays 10f.

The same basic point holds true for UM as a young sire. Yes, it is possible that he will be the first of many top-line generations in his family to be something of a stamina influence, but it is very unlikely. There is however, every reason to expect that he, too, will sire the odd runner that truly stays 10f. It wion't be Nyquist, in my view, and I agree with you that UM had more going for him in that comparison.

Finally, when I say that a horse won't stay 10f., I don't mean that they will necessarily stop to crawl in the final furlong. I mean that it is beyond their optimum distance, and I doubt very much that it wouldn't have been the case with UM.
Pull the Pocket said…
*Finally, when I say that a horse won't stay 10f., I don't mean that they will necessarily stop to crawl in the final furlong. I mean that it is beyond their optimum distance, and I doubt very much that it wouldn't have been the case with UM.*

We agree completely and I should've been clearer.

The public doesn't tend to think like your paragraph above. A lot do think a horse stops in his tracks, can't run a lick on turf etc, if they don't have perfect breeding, or fail in one try (they're the folks who missed out on Animal Kingdom in the Derby, and others who have hit the ticket). And they said that vociferously with Mo, while using a point of data that I think was suspect (the Wood).

That's kind of what I meant by my line "overblown".

I am a Mo fan. I wish he had a chance to show what he could do. Unlike sprinters, or many milers like Goldencents, he had a real ability to relax, and lope along with those wonderful strides. Despite his breeding, I think he could've run some good numbers if they tried him at more than a mile with regularity. He was a talented, athletic dude.

Thanks for the discussion. Always interesting.