Saturday Notes

Our part-owned Angus Hall yearling learning the ropes. 
The Ontario news has been reverberating throughout the Province and elsewhere. Folks seem to be coming to grips with it and none are very pleased. The added uncertainty is killing the thoughts of having a good sale or two this year (blame in this, in my opinion, is squarely on the government):
  • Horse breeders in the province were totally deflated by the news. The thoroughbred industry is set to stage its yearling sales on Sept. 3, 4 and 8, while the standardbred game has its first auction (the Canadian yearling sale) Sept. 15-16. With no firm commitment about racing’s future, consignors to the sales were devastated with the news. There is wide speculation that many breeders will withdraw their horses from the Canadian yearling sale and then look to sell privately if a viable plan does come later in the fall.
There is a dichotomy of opinion out there, as well. If you read the comments on my piece below, from owners, customers and bettors, there is a "they made their bed so they have to lie in it" meme. If you read the comments on SC, no one in the industry is to blame. It's a whole lot of 'the government is stealing our money'.

I think that belies two major problems with the policy. Being supply driven, the customers felt left out from slots.  Despite things like free admission, they felt taken advantage of, and felt that slots were not for them, only participants. We never had a customer cultivation program where anyone gave back. And because demand benchmarks were not set that the industry had to hit, participants felt like it was "their money", in total disregard for the fact that it was never "our money", we were simply keeping it warm. This continues to this day. Remember back when Aqueduct slots were starting to hum, and NYRA released a brazen PR about purse increases and stakes race bumps? Not a mention of the customer once that I've seen, and I don't think I've seen anything about the customer since. I'm sorry, you have not learned a thing people. This is more than about purses. It always has been, you just have to open your eyes.

Anyway, this story will continue to develop. It's not over yet.


Today in HRU, a bettor who likes a little bit of harness racing history, talks about racehorses of today, versus yesterday. Is speed killing the game, and hurting horses from staying sound? In addition, Bill Finley takes a look at the Ontario situation.

San Pail requalified. It will be interesting to see if he comes back well. I thought he looked okay.

Big card tonight at Mohawk. It's a must watch. Cards like that should break $2M easily with the Meadowlands closed. I have no idea why they don't do that number.

Have a nice Saturday folks.

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