Ah, April Fools, where we ignore almost all news because, well, April Fools! Over the years there have been some downright dandy ones in horse racing. I thought I'd share some of my favorites here.
Parx Changes Wagering Menu - I saw horseplayer advocate and all around horse racing guy Ray Paulick tweet this out yesterday.
Keeneland Goes to Dirt - This knee-slapper was filtered out last
year by someone who's surely a descendent of funny-man Shecky Greene.
Record handles, during and after the so called 2008 betting recession,
monster field size on the main in the face of declining foal crops,
impeccable safety records to say 'take that' to PETA, huge field stakes
races bringing in big money, record attendance, a meet everyone shoots
for ..... please.*
Gural Rule Rescinded By Hambo Society and Woodbine - This one cracked me up. Probably the number one complaint by fans has been that we don't see good horses race longer, and the "Gural Rule" cures this nicely. The older divisions have been really fun to watch lately, and fans are liking what they're seeing. Sure other sports don't do this. I, for example, was enjoying watching Canadian NBA product Andrew Wiggins' rookie NBA season with the T-wolves, but with them not making the playoffs, he only has a few games left in his career. Although there's a chance we'll see his babies playing in NBA in 19 or 20 years, it's crazy he can't play at least one more year. It's nice that harness racing is leading the way. They'll never change this rule.
Churchill Downs Increases Takeout Rates - This one happened last year. It's not 1954 folks. No one does this anymore. If an April Fools joke is to succeed, it has to be remotely plausible.
Keeneland Gets Breeders Cup - This little gem filtered out right around the same time as the dirt thing. Look, at Keeneland, sure the Breeders Cup Classic will feature Shared Belief, California Chrome and Palace Malice, but on the poly it will not feature those three, plus a 25-1 Nick Zito dirt plodder. He'll stay home, make a stink on Byk's show, people will call it disenfranchisement, all hell will break loose. Plus, we all know the last poly Classic winner. She stormed home to win in one of the least exciting Classic's ever, and she was a really slow surface specialist, not worthy of the crown. I have not even mentioned the venue. People come from all over and would have to eat at Malone's. They might have to catch connector flights. Hollywood stars like Urkel might not make it. Let's face it, this is simply too un-bee-lieve-able.
FBI Dragnet Nabs Penn National Racing Participants - I've watched the racing at Penn National over the years. I am pretty sure I've never seen any evidence of this. Everything looks on the up and up there. Nice try April Fools comedians.
Frank Stronach Builds a Giant Horse Statue Costing the GDP of Chad - Whoops, this one actually happened.
Have a nice afternoon everyone! And don't get fooled!
* - The Keeneland poly meet opens Friday.
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