What appears to have happened is pretty simple - horse gets treated for an allergy, horse gets drugs for allergy, drug given were too close to post time, so instead of risking a positive test the horse is scratched.
It has not stopped some speculation though, and if you read the chat boards today at Betfair, the conspiracy folks are in full force.
Speaking of Betfair, Binocular traded all the way up to 7.4 yesterday. Betfair closed the market early and I am sure will be looking at the trades. This is another reason why this sport, world wide, should be embracing exchange wagering.
This is the second year in a row something funky has happened with this horse. Last year there was some question if he would run, or not run.
"Binocular drifted to the maximum price on Betfair when Nicky Henderson ruled him out of the Champion three weeks ago.... a colossal £881 has been matched at 100.0 or bigger on the one-time favourite. In addition, he has also been matched at 980.0, 880.0 and at all rates down from 720.0 on the exchange. There are six lucky Betfair backers at 1000.0, with £10 being the biggest individual bet struck. Binocular is currently trading at 28.0 on Betfair."
Of course, Binocular won.
Norm F, Charlie Sheen? Not quite yet
The big news last week was that Charlie Sheen joined twitter and he gained 1 million followers within 24 hours. I, and two other harness peeps on twitter, took it upon ourselves to get Norm more followers than the zero he had twenty four hours ago and set our target to a lofty "10". I am sad to report Norm now has seven. If we were Hollywood publicists, we'd be fired.
Norm is arguably harness racings number one fan. While most husbands and wives take trips to the beach, or Europe or a weekend in NYC for vacations, Norm and his wife hop in the car and drive to racetracks. I saw him at Industry Day a couple of years ago at Grand River and he was just getting back from some obscure fair track in Indiana that I had never heard of. He told me there was no betting there, which made my head spin. But that's Norm.
If you want to follow Harness Racings Number One Fan, please do here.
For a look at Norm's extensive Flickr page, with shots from both thoroughbred and harness tracks around North America, check it out here.