Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Blog Rollin'

Harness racing a grassroots sport. Just like fans have embraced the Little Brown Jug in a small town in Ohio, the Gold Cup and Saucer in Eastern Canada, or the North America Cup in rural Campbellville, it is no surprise that we have seemed to embrace blogging and chatting via the Internet.

We already mentioned that Harnesslink has started a very fine blog over at They do a great job, and have some good participants.

Over at, commenter and industry watcher Andrew Cohen has started his own. This is good. Andrew speaks in common sense terms and has many ideas that bettors and fans have been echoing for years. The good thing is: He is well read by the industry and has some pull. We have been saying that the game massively needs direction and a leader with a budget; uniform rules, uniform drug rules, state by state uniformity in Internet betting; stakes race scheduling, slot slush funds..... on and on what a commissioner can do if given the power. I would say he has made this a discussion piece all by himself. It is well worth bookmarking if you are a racing fan.

A couple of blog posts that caught my eye:

An update from Duane Marfisi on Dali and On the Brink, two horses we are watching for our Road to the Cup.

A post on New Dice Please, a horse that blogger Phil has questioned, as have several other fans on chat sites. We have spoken that we'd love to see a Hong Kong type rule in harness racing, where performances are given notes in the program, or on an industry website about different performances from the connections themselves. The "harness racers are cheaters" mantra that fans seem to bellow must be addressed in some systematic way. Andrew might be able to get us some information, in his own way, by phoning people.

Last up, thanks for the link to my motion on takeouts. We think that making racing more affordable can bring us a whole new market of price-sensitive players; the more people link and comment, the better.

Like we have echoed in the post below on Calder raising rakes in the face of a declining handle, it seems that there is no way we can make racing change for the better. But I am an optimist, I think there is. Voices like Harnesslink and Cohen are bricks in building a better home for all of us.

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