Monday, September 10, 2012

More Peeks Into the Ontario Sales

Earlier this week the CTHS sales at Woodbine were off, but not by as much as expected by some. This weekend, the open session had a very poor result.

A couple of trends may be developing, which a lot thought would happen.

One, lower quality horses are having trouble finding homes, and two, buybacks simply aren't happening. In 2011, 73 horses were not sold. In 2012 that number plunged to 38.

In Ontario for the harness sales there are two major classes of horses. Ontario has a strong sire base, and those horses can, and do, win open events North America wide. Like other strong jurisdictions there are the lower end horses, made for OSS grassroots action. Those will have to take a hit, in my opinion.

Although rumors abound on what may happen with slots at racetracks and a transitional fund, there really is not much certainty out there. In fact, there is just as much uncertainty this month as there was last month. We seem to be getting nowhere.

Darryl Kaplan writes a good piece in the View about the words "it's not that simple". Those words plague racing, although I have always thought "we can't" trump those (e.g. we can't lower takeout, we can't change slots deals, we can't....). When you have a bunch of people sitting around a table that can fall back on those words, you have an industry that never moves forward. It makes for a great excuse to do nothing.

There are some sites out there with a lot of money and a lot of backing. One of them without a lot of either does the best job on the web with weekend wrapups, and that's Hello Race Fans. If you are a thoroughbred fan and you missed any action at all, visit their page for videos and updates. It's great work.

Kentucky Downs slashed their rake and got some good publicity out of it. This weekend they had a huge opener, even when comparing apples to apples. None of the press releases even mentioned the rake, that I saw. If you have the lowest rake in North America, you should mention it. Tioga does in harness racing, and although it's a small track, sooner or later that branding helps. Why KD doesn't is beyond me.

Have a nice Monday everyone.

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