Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The Ontario Harness Racing Clown Show

For those of you excited to bet a little harness racing, the state of Ohio seems to have your back. Friday night, after a long Coronavirus related hiatus, a full card is set to go at Scioto Downs, with a 14% takeout pick 5 in races 5 through 9.

Glancing at the past performances you'll notice the events are pretty easy to handicap - despite the time off - because the horses have all, of course, qualified. As most know, qualifiers after time off are just about everything for harness horses, because they race so often. Without them the public is betting blind, or even worse - cannon fodder for barns who have a horse ready without anyone knowing about it.

Meanwhile, let's switch to Ontario harness racing. It's only a few miles away from Ohio but in terms of their respect for the betting public, it might as well be a million miles.

The government entity that runs racing in the Province has just this minute announced .... wait for it..... that no qualifiers are needed!

Cue the Clown Show:
  • Summary of Changes: An amendment has been made to reduce the number of horses that are required to qualify. Any horse that has a clean charted line between the timeframe of February 1, 2020 through March 19, 2020 will not be required to qualify upon the restart of racing 
Wait (I just realized I just said that, but wait, again), it even gets worse!
  • Any horse that was racing and eligible to race during that time will be eligible when racing resumes, provided they enter within 60 clear days starting June 5 (can be entered up to and including August 4). 
Awesome. Enter August 3rd! Try and handicap that you poor saps.

And hold it, I know I know, you're saying, "PTP it can't get worse can it?"

Yes, yes it can!
  • While the temporary rule is in effect, the number of days in which a horse must have a clean charted line in order to be entered to race will increase from 45 clear days to 60 clear days.  
So, remember when it was 30 days, now it's 45, and there was a horse off 42 days with no line, that you pitched out of your pick 5 who jogged at 3-1 with half the paddock making out like bandits because they knew?

Now they can do that to you with a horse off 60 days!

This is a classic screw up by a jurisdiction that has taken advantage of you - the horseplayer - since forever. And you know what, they can't even blame a pandemic, because Ohio just ate their lunch.

Enjoy getting taken out behind the woodshed fellow customers. In Ontario at least you're used to it.

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