I texted a friend who is a very seasoned player last week and asked a simple question I've asked a million times.
"Anything to look into at Mohawk?"
The response - "It's so hard to know who is trying."
Mohawk, like we've seen at several harness tracks in the new age of harness racing, has been one of the "wait until next week" tracks. Bad post, not an ideal scenario, we might be able to drop and be 1-5, we should just wait until next week.
This has happened a lot in the sport, even in the olden days (i.e. 10 or 15 years ago), when it comes to half mile track racing. Punishing a horse from the 8 who could win just wasn't done a whole lot, because in seven days the horse could get a good post and try for the win. But nowadays it has, in my view (and the view of many, like my friend above) changed to include even mile or 7/8's ovals.
Earlier this summer the Meadowlands, in their quest to combat this phenomenon, partnered with Insideharness.com, and track owner Jeff Gural asked participants to sign up, and share insight. There, 60 to 80 comments a night by trainers and/or drivers, give some details into the horse's intent. Even simple words like "bad post", or "missed time" tend to help guide customers through the murky morass we've seen in the sport. They can be helpful.
Over at Mohawk, which is on insideharness.com, there's been no such push. Trainers like Chantal Mitchell post in studious fashion, and a few others have from time to time, but it's pretty much a ghost town.
With the head scratching betdowns to 2-5, form reversals, and my friend who doesn't seem to have a clue who "might be trying tonight", Mohawk has been at times completely bizarre to wager the last year or so (I have stopped completely). If there's a track built for insideharness, it's probably the Campbellville oval. It'd be nice to see a Gurallian push there, as we've seen at the Meadowlands.
Parx has always been a bit odd, in my view. The slots-infused purse track was reticent to reduce usurious takeout in the past, and today announced a change to their menu. They don't have one jackpot pick 5 but two! It seems like a track that takes one step forward and two steps back. Or maybe even three.
We complain about races taken off the turf late, but in the NFL this happens, too. Nathan Peterman was supposed to start for the Bears on Sunday because the listed starter hurt his ribs in warm ups. The line moved a full 2 points, and I expect thousands of DFS teams were subbing. But out trotted Trevor Simean instead. What a miraculous healer. The big difference of course is that the NFL doesn't depend on gambling to survive like racing does. But I did find it a bit comical.
Rich Strike lost this weekend. I just thought you'd want to know. Poor Rich Strike.
Charles Simon is back on twitter again. I wondered if Elon Musk banned him for his view that Flightline was smart to retire from racing. Then I realized Elon is for free speech, even if it's for opinions as wrong and horrible as that was. So it must have been something else. Welcome back though Chuck!
Enjoy your Monday everyone.