Wednesday Notes

Good morning folks.

Many of you saw Modern Legend win the Canadian Pacing Derby for small-timer Dave Drew. Keith McCalmont at Trot has a really nice article on the owner-trainer.

Sometimes you just have to shake your head. High percentage trainer Pat Sheppard was recently suspended for a positive TCO2 test (tubing). The ORC allowed him to keep the horses stabled where they were, but bring in new trainers. One of them, yesterday, was assessed  .... you guessed it..... a positive  TCO2. It looks like he had been training the stable for less than 10 days.

Ontario changed its thinking (was forced to change it with slots being taken away) and slowly moved towards adding dates to the tracks that brought in handle and were growing, and taking away others who weren't. Last season both average handle and total handle was up and that has continued in year two. Despite losing 10% of the racedays from last year, total handle is up over 2%. 

Churchill and Kentucky Downs are fighting for September dates, and yesterday the commission stayed the hearing for a few weeks, to let them work things out. Horse racing makes things far too complex at times, with business decisions. Like the Ontario situation, when in doubt, go with the track that people want to bet.

3 year old pacer of the year is an interesting battle. The early season stars JK Endofanera and He's Watching are still racing, but two new kids on the block are sharper and faster right now: Always B Miki and Limelight Beach. The former looks a lot like Toscano's three year old from two years ago, who spent much of the summer in sires stakes and swept the last two months with wins to take the trophy home. Limelight Beach broke last week but raced amazing after that, showing he is still sharp. If either of those horses sweep October through November racing, they can win.

Yesterday's accident at Indiana Downs claimed the life of jockey Juan Saez. Horse racing is often described as the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows, but this is positively subterranean. Juan Saez was just a boy of 17.

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