Hru Feedback (2017-04-09)

RE: Making outside posts trailers on a half

At Western Fair Raceway the 8 horse is in the trailer position. It is a speed-favoring half-mile track. The trailer wins only slightly more than being on the far outside. I have a better idea. Some sort of draw for post should be implemented on a half-mile track. Those who drew the 5-8 one week should draw for the 1-4 next week and vice versa. It leads to constant 1-5 favorites to have the best horses lucky enough to keep drawing the inside post positions. Some allowance could be made for horses moving up in class after a good post effort.

— Al Gatto / Roselle Park, NJ

Lessons from Wrestlemania?

Last Sunday night Wrestlemania drew 100,000 humans to watch matches that were fake. Not a one of them was concerned about “integrity,” or how much money they had to “takeout” in order to buy overpriced refreshments.

Conversely, harness racing is desperate for fans and real. Many “insiders” believe that the issues of “integrity” and lowering “takeout” are important to growing its fan base.


— Steve Ross / Medford, NJ

Bettors get violated again

Thank you for noting in my last letter to the editor that all purse monies were returned. (2017-04-02 Feedback)

That’s fantastic! Here’s the problem: Once again, and as usual, the end users of the harness racing product, the bettors, get screwed.

Where exactly is the remedy for them?

The three trainers lawyer up as usual, the positive tests get overturned (positive test on the day of the race, not a positive after the legal systems gets involved), and after what appears to be a weak admonishment , the trainers are right back in business. Now THAT’s ruling with some real teeth!

What did the bettors get? Violated once again.

Why not refund the losing tickets? It’s too late to recover the cashed tickets, but it’s not to late to make the defrauded gamblers whole on those races.

I know I’m speaking in fairytales here, but giving the track operators some responsibility might go a long way towards eliminating this sort of thing.
It might also show the betting public of the past, present and future that the word integrity in not merely a vague concept.

Or how about exclusion?

“OK, you were cleared in a courtroom but we don’t want or need you, your horses or the negative publicity.”

If you are trying to grow your business, what happened here is NOT the way to do it.

— Vic Dante / North Caldwell, NJ

Another tale of One Too Many

All this talk about the horse One Too Many (full story here) coming up with a Morphine and Codeine positive brings to mind a story about a totally unrelated “one too many” story.

The date was January 1, 1963. Lawrence Sheppard, the owner of Hanover Shoe Farms found himself greeting his farm superintendent Harry Moss at his residence early on that New Year’s Day.

Harry was there to deliver some news.

“Mr Sheppard, I’ve got some both good and bad news for you,” he said.

“Let’s hear it” Mr Sheppard said. Moss recounted, “The good news is that our Hoot Mon mare Lovely Hanover had a beautiful Hickory Smoke filly. The bad news is that she had it about half an hour before midnight, thus the foal is legally now a yearling. But, we’ve got nothing to worry about. We can register it as a foal of today. After all only the two of us know about it.”

Mr Sheppard frowned at him and said “Boy that’s “one too many!”

The foal was registered with her correct foaling date and was named December Hanover.

— The Curmudgeon / Hanover, PA

Kudos to Towers

Kudos to Dean Towers for his piece on the passing lane. An idea with merit for small ovals has created stultifying racing in North America. And the percentage of winning favorites? Please! During my tenure as GM at Pompano Park (1999-2006) I resisted the frequent lobbying of a number of horsemen who wanted a passing lane. My response was always a quid pro quo: If you’d like additional real estate on which to compete, then give me at least 10 horses in every field, 12 for Superfectas! I would have been happy to pay bonus money to all horses finishing sixth through last.

— Dick Feinberg / Pompano Beach, FL

Passing lane at The Meadows bucks trends?

Meadows Stats

651 races

47 winners (7.2 per cent)

42 place (6.5 per cent)

34 show (5.2 per cent)

18.9 per cent of the time passing lane horses hit the board.

Percentage of winning favorites — 38.56

Looks like The Meadows stats are the exception to the rule.

I totally agree the passing lane certainly changed the racing style.

However, we do have five in and four out past the half or 5/8’s in many of our races with full fields.

Short fields usually little movement till past 5/8’s.

Just thought you might be interested.

— Roger Huston / Canonsburg, PA