Muscle Hill drew post nine in his Trotting Classic elimination at Mohawk. The elim highlights a very good card with many stars out for their respective Simcoe and Nassagawaya Stakes. The card has 13 races, and with the Meadowlands closed, you don't see a better collection of harness races anywhere.
Trainer Greg Peck in his Trot Radio interview today spoke about Brian Sears leaving last week to drive in Canada, how it came that Peck himself was first going to drive the horse, the fact he will be sent to stud this year and more here.
The fact that he is going to stud is not a surprise - they all do nowadays. But I do wonder if we even try. For example, the purse for the Canadian Pacing Derby used to be $850,000; it is now about 200k less. Meanwhile the purse for the Jug is going up, the Metro for 2YO's, the NA Cup and Meadowlands Pace are all stout. Seasoned race watchers in the thoroughbred game have really given a kick in the ass to that sport for their poor scheduling of events, and the lack of meaning in grade one races. Often times you can watch twenty stakes in one weekend. In our sport this is equally frustrating. Almost every week there is a huge signature event for a track and it is watered down as much as the entire sport is. With some foresight and scheduling, along with the massive amounts of slot money out there, there is no reason we should not get together and try to have three one million dollar races for aged horses - one at Chester, one at Mohawk and one at Yonkers. If we add the Haughton and the Breeders Crown there might be more than enough cash for the aged horses to stick around for awhile.
The BC Lotto is going to run online casino games. Want to play poker, blackjack and more? No longer will you have to go to one of the overseas sites.
B.C.'s plan to introduce the new games online is unprecedented in North America, according to one gambling expert, who noted the U.S. government has outlawed casino-style gambling on the internet.
"It's not new, but in terms of being legal and authorized by a government in North America it will be brand new," Bill Thompson, a professor of public administration at the University of Nevada, told CBC News.
This is another nail in the coffin for horse wagering. This will proliferate over the web and will take more and more customers. We, like in the US, have technically a monopoly on onshore legal wagering. We have not done a heck of a lot with it. Too much infighting and too much to get done. I wonder what would have happened in 2000 if when Betfair came to us, we built a plan for Canada together. We help them get licensed, we offer all our tracks to Canadians, and we share in the revenues if and when sports wagering online was passed. Would not have we and racing in general been in better shape to compete with the BC lottery, when this inevitably happens?
The second edition of the Harness Edge online edition is up and running here.
A look at the University of Louisville study at HANA where it showed that to raise handle and interest in the sport, takeout is the #1 issue. Purses come in at 0.06 elasticity - which means if purses were doubled we would only see a 6% increase in handle. Why do we constantly hear that if we increase purses all will be good with handles then? The opinion piece explores that.
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