Friday, December 21, 2007

32 Fat-Cat Republicans and Other Things.

I have to go Christmas shopping. I have a few client calls. But the news catching my eye today in harness deserves a post. So the Playstation I have to buy and the rest can wait.

First, Art Modell owner of the Cleveland Browns (well, then he was) said the NFL owners were "32 fat cat republicans that vote socialist". What he was referring to was the NFL's policy of revenue sharing. This of course helped build the NFL into what it is today and allowed teams like the Green Bay Packers who reside in a town of about 50,000 people, to compete with the New York Giants, who reside in a town of many million.

How did it come about? How did the NFL kick the butt of every sports league known to man? Leadership, that's how.

It's not a new idea, but this sport sorely needs a commissioner. If I was commissioner (boy I think I would be hated) the first rule I may implement is that horses can not go to stud until they are 5 years old. We spoke about the disconnect in harness racing in a post below. Handles down, yet 200K+ yearlings and crazy stud happenings abound. Reading this morning on the Harness Edge I see that a share of Donato Hanover sold for $110,000. The owners seem positively giddy.

One person I had read once said, we used to breed to race, then we raced to breed. Now we breed to breed. I want our commissioner to stop the practice of retiring sound horses early. And I know I am not alone. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.

11 trainers were cleared in Ontario for the Aminorex positives earlier this year. In a first for me, I have no opinion. I don't know what to think. I feel I have no facts to go on.

OHHA and Woodbine agree to a new contract. I know I could not stand another strike as a horse owner, so that is good news. In an interesting twist, hitching fees, or paying people for coming 6th thru 10th are now part of the deal. It's slots money for the most part I guess, so we can distribute it any way we want. I also completely understand the politics behind the move. We'll analyze field size and betting patterns in a few months to see just what this proposal did.

Tim Tetrick wins the rising star award. Hmm, am I the only one out there who finds this weird? In 2005 and 2006 the man averaged about 3400 drives, and made over $4M on average. I think he has over 21,000 lifetime drives and has been a professional catch-driver for many years. When I think of a rising star I think of a young guy who is just starting out and shows wins and promise. I would have picked a Ty Buter, who at a tender age and almost no experience will crack $2M in purse earnings this year. Or maybe a Cory Callahan, who will crack $3M in purses this year, after not long ago acquiring his license.

Anyhow, time to run. I have to spend $400 on a Playstation (heck that is $20 to win on a 20-1 shot!). Now I know how my folks felt when they splurged for my Atari.

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