There should also be program designations like “First time Pena/Allard/Milici” (take your pick at your particular track), or “Blind bridle to Oxycodone,” or “Big vet bill this week, ready to go.”
If you have been to the track more than two or three times, you get the point.
The most disturbing part of the article (click here to view) is the “beard” mention. And it happens A LOT.
I won’t go down the list, but I’ve said before that if the fans, from the serious to the less serious/more than casual type bettor, know who is bearding, then why don’t the people who are supposed to be in charge know?
When a guy who has a tough time hitching up a sulky and figuring out where the bit goes comes to town and in his first 50 races has 23 wins, 18 seconds and a few thirds, it’s not beginner’s luck. And it’s not hard to take care of.
After some due diligence, the phrase “We are not accepting your entries” should be in the vocabulary or the racing secretary at your track.
Rookie quarterbacks don’t win playoff games in the NFL, and at any harness track today other than “Bozo Downs” or “Fantasyland Raceway” does a guy who still doesn’t own his own tack box win 45 per cent of his (first) races.
To say that the bettors were neglected for too long is a GROSS understatement. There aren’t many left.
Last night at the Meadowlands, you couldn’t have gotten together a softball game with the number of people in attendance.
When your game reaches a point where you can blindly use the horse of a certain trainer “just because,” then you are way past the point of no return.
Rene Allard has appealed and received a stay of his one-year suspension.
What happens next is anyone’s guess, but it matters not.
You can bet on the proverbial “sure thing” that there will be another just like him, and right after him. There always is.
And the people keep going away, and most of the handle at most of the tracks not named The Meadowlands or Woodbine/Mohawk keeps declining, and places keep closing.
THAT, Mr. Racing Commissioner, and Mr. Track Manager and Track owner, is the cold reality, not all of the nonsense of “Wow, we export the signal to France and Greenland and Zimbabwe now and our handle grew by 147 per cent!!” Nobody believes it, and the product didn’t improve.
Purses at Yonkers are great, but the bettors hold their nose and turn away and don’t bet on it. Why?
Those who have either been betting the game for years or who have ever raced horses there know the answer. No need for me to write it here, you can guess.
“Get caught once and you get no second chance” should be the mantra of any of the tracks that want to clean up their product and the game in general.
— Vic Dante / Belleville, NJ