Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's Slow, Yet Interesting

It's a slow time for racing, but there have been a few happenings.

Bill Finley, not only a good writer (his book on synthetics I thought was awesome), but a horseplayer's friend who has been writing about customer issues for two decades, won an Eclipse Award today. His article on why horses do not start as much as they used to was a really nice piece. Congrats Bill!

Those of you who are HANA members who are reading won a nice award today too. The President's Award, given out by the USHWA and to be presented at this years Dan Patch Awards in Fort Lauderdale, was won by the Horseplayers Association. In addition, Yannick Gingras (I don't know about you guys, but to me he just keeps getting better and better as a driver) won it for his charity work. This might be somewhat surprising for a customer group to be honoured, however HANA has worked closely with harness racing on a few issues as they seem quite eager to change. There are some really good people in our sport who do not want to give up without a fight; I am not telling you anything you don't know.

I love stories like this: A rescued horse who was abused, finding a new life. Animals never cease to amaze me. I adopted a dog who was on the streets recently, and he simply forgets his past. After some care and help, it is like he has sat in front of a fireplace his whole life. I don't know horses very well, other than to give them a carrot (I remember alone leading one to the test barn once after he raced and I was scared out of my head he'd run away), but it seems they are the same way.

Instant racing passes in Kentucky. I have a feeling if Kentucky gets revenue from machines, they will actually implement it correctly. I know Keeneland will definitely work something out to lower juice, implement some customer friendly initiatives and build field size. CDI, I am not sure. But I hope something happens with it.

I have been emailed a few times "Why is Santa Anita handle down?" I have no idea. But players are not playing it for some reason. Today Tampa Bay Downs had a higher handle. And that is shocking no matter what kind of excuse you want to use. Seven or eight years ago Santa Anita could outhandle an entire Tampa card in one nice race - rain, shine or snow.

Dan Patch winners were announced. I see no surprises, do you?

Congrats to Brian Zipse. He moves from blogger to a big dude at Horse Racing Nation. He's a wonderful horse racing fan. If we had more like him we'd be in good shape.

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