Off We Go on a Tuesday

The 25th is almost here and not much is happening in racing, but I found a few stories relating to the spirit of the season that I thought I'd share.

Penelope over at the NTRA wrote a wonderful tome about finding a horse, claiming him, and giving him a nice spot to live. Great stuff.

West Point Thoroughbreds write about their horse retirement thoughts today too. Nice work.

One horse who will not be having his birthday in a couple of weeks (it would've been his 38th) is Gamblon Horton. He passed away this year at the home of our friend Keith Gamble. When I wrote this story last year on him, I had hoped he would make it one more year. From the piece, you could see Keith's pride in the old boy:
  • "He still does a half ass gallop when he gets excited and he is a little harder to feed now with few teeth left but I soak his hay cubes all day so they are like a thick soup and his grain I mix with apples, corn oil and hot water and turn it into a porridge. I keep my fingers crossed that Horton goes before Sam so he will always have a buddy in the field, because he likes company where Sam couldn't care less."
To read about Keith and his retired horses, you can here.  We need more of the three farms and people like the above. We're all sorry for Keith's loss.

I got a ping about a takeout story regarding New York racing this morning via the New York Times:
  • "The only way to bring in more revenue to both government and racing," Crist said, "is to increase the parimutuel handle wagered by the public, whose bets provide every last nickel of funding for these industries."

    His key proposal would lower the tax on bets in order to return more to the bettor, who would presumably promptly put it back into the system in new bets. When the parimutuel system began in New York in 1940, the takeout was 10 percent, with 90 percent returned to the bettor. The tax today ranges from 17 percent for straight bets to 25 percent for more exotic bets, and the state's six regional OTB corporations impose an additional surcharge of up to 6 percent on winning bets.
 Don't get too excited; it's from 1993.

I got a note from a dog rescue Sunday that seven hunting dogs were found with no home (I assume they couldn't hunt and were discarded, but I am not sure) asking for help. I pinged the contact and asked if she needed some help fostering one or two for awhile. She said "they are all spoken for now!"

All I can say to that is "awesome!"

Gunner says "woof"
Speaking of the rescue, we fostered "Gunner" last fall for a couple of months while he was awaiting a new home (and I got a nice set of bruised ribs chasing him - those hurt). We found a nice family who would take him and help him work through some of his issues (this was his fifth home, and he's only three).

"This will be his last home" they told me.

It appears it will be. I am so happy for the little fella. He is truly a kind and gentle soul.

Greg at Western Fair has arranged TVG to cover races on Monday's it seems. Great work dude.

It looks like the Jersey situation is winding down, with some sort of deal. Like expected.

I got some nice feedback on the Zenyatta-Tebow piece in Harness Racing Update (pdf here, page 7). Thanks to everyone who shared thoughts.

This week we'll be looking at the Most Influential People in Harness Racing. I think it's out tomorrow. You can easily subcsribe for free to the paper if interested at the above link.

Tis the time of year where little things amaze me, and make me smile. We were heading to the cottage last weekend and we drove by a farm house on a side road decked out in lights like you wouldn't believe. It looked like an engineer planned it, and did the work (with plenty of help). Later on that weekend, I spoke to someone and mentioned it; I wondered who this festive person was. I was told he was an 85 year old farmer who's been doing it for well over a half century. Wonderful.

Happy Hanukkah folks!

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