In the U.S. there's a current discussion about putting people on a list who may or may not have done anything wrong and denying them a constitutional right. Some might find this similar. The big difference of course is that the Olympics is a club not a country.
Some may say horse racing is not a right either, but oftentimes the lines are blurred. A trainer may get caught with a drug program in full force, weeks later his son takes over the barn like nothing happened and the horses are allowed to race. "A right to make a living", the lawyers tell us; and they have a point, because racing's quasi-public/private relationship is real.
To me and many of you, though, that's like banned Russian athletes training with the head of the doping program's daughter and competing under the flag of Togoland. It would never happen.
Racing is different, and always has been. It's why the sport has seen only marginal progress on such issues.
Meanwhile, back at the Meadowlands, one fellow who doesn't much care who he offends or what he does - Jeff Gural - is trying to put a cap on such things. Jeff owns three tracks and bans people the sport won't or can't or don't want to, including beard trainers operating on behalf of the harness version of Togoland.
Just last week he banned his nemesis, Joe Faraldo, because of an alleged beard trainer shuffle.
- “(Faraldo) has a lifetime ban. Last night (Friday) he entered two horses in the Billings that were trained by Richie Banca who is not allowed to participate at my tracks,” Gural wrote. “(Faraldo) put himself down as the trainer and looking at the program it was obvious that when he raced in New Jersey he put himself down as trainer and when the horse raced the next week in New York, Banca was back down (as trainer)… I thought this was a serious violation of our policies regarding drug trainers.”
There's growth in them there gambling hills.
The latest positive article involves "E Sports". In "How E-Sports Gambling Grows to $30B in Wagers by 2020" the writer notes:
- Steady growth for already-significant skin gambling products mixed with a series of small booms on the cash betting side will combine to vault esports betting toward the upper tier of online gambling verticals by 2020.
This is going on while some people in racing argue about 1% drops or rises in handle, or if a takeout reduction brings in more or less revenue after a couple of weeks, (after 87 or so years of takeout hikes).
The mindset in Vegas with sports betting, or in esports or fantasy is all about growth, new markets, investment and innovation. Racing's mindset seems to be stuck in poker subsidies or government handouts.
I don't think anyone is happy that in this environment with rising populations, with gambling becoming more and more mainstream, racing- which had a tremendous first mover advantage for so long, especially online - seems to have little or no response.
Enjoy your Tuesday everyone.