Saturday Harness Notes

Yesterday the long-term framework was released for Ontario racing. Bill Finley summarizes it in HRU (Pdf, page 2) for those interested.

I'll have more on it next week, but it's pretty much as expected. For many years racing's factions fought over racedates, rules, slot money and everything else under the sun. The framework pretty much says "throw that out of the window". Now racing will rely on handle and customers for funding and revenues, and that alone.

It's a wake up call for the alphabets, not for customers or those pesky HANA types. Customers and many industry watchers have been talking about it for years.

What a night in store for everyone at Pocono for Sun Stakes Saturday. The absence of giving the best horses the best post positions has resulted in something we don’t see very often in Stakes Finals: Mind-bogglingly interesting races.  With Smiling Eli, Betterthancheddar, Captaintreacherous and I Luv the Nightlife starting from the outside tear, there will be no walkovers for all the chocolates. For punters, the pick 4 for the stakes races becomes eminently bettable. I can’t remember the last time I have watched such a compelling menu of stakes races in our sport. 

Be honest, aren’t you as a fan stoked to see if the Captain can overcome the nine post? I am, but more than that, I also am interested to make a wager to find out.  And wagering makes the horse racing world go round. 

World Famous It's the JHO ®
Grading would be a good thing, just to label our races for the masses. Ha, I know, I'm a broken record. For those who don't know I think harness racing's braintrust chatted about it for maybe a half minute or so at the last industry meeting/big buffet of fun. It was apparently deemed too hard to accomplish or something.

Yesterday the Cancelliere's had a couple big ticket items in. Detour Hanover has some wheels that's for sure. The $825k yearling has a stud career in front of him no matter what, but of course they'd like to get a nice mark and win some races with this fella. He's rank and he is nowhere near where he needs to be mentally, but this is the kind of horse who can find himself and really make some noise, in my opinion. maybe at age 4. Who knows.

Enjoy your long weekend my Canuck pals and get ready for a darn nice weekend of racing. 

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