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HRU Feedback (2017-05-14)

May 14, 2017

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Wise words from Del Cameron

In researching something about the Cameron family, I came upon a story about Del Cameron that I shared on Facebook.

On reflection, I thought it would be more beneficial to everyone if I shared it with as many as I could.

It’s a story about Del that appeared in the April 1976 issue of Hubrail magazine.

In it, Del Cameron giving advice to prospective young trainers and drivers says the following:

“Be honest with your owners in every way, regarding the condition of their horses and treat them like you would want to be treated if you were an owner. You are their agent and it is up to you to see that their horses are well cared for. Live within your means and establish good credit. Don’t (necessarily) try to live like your owners. Forget about gambling. Be careful of the company you keep and drive every horse to win.

By saving the five per cent or 10 per cent of your winnings, you will have more at the end of the year than by trying to make it by gambling. I’ve wondered sometimes what I’d be doing for a living if I wasn’t training horses. I honestly don’t know. I’m glad I never had the chance to find out, because harness racing has been a very happy and wonderful life for me.”

I think back and realize how lucky I’ve been to have known and often to have been friends with wonderful people and great horsemen like Del Cameron.

They didn’t make that many like him back them. It seems, to this somewhat jaded old bastard, they make fewer like him today.

Our industry is much the poorer for it.

— The Curmudgeon / Hanover, PA

Drivers, stop opening holes for outside horses

I have a problem with drivers opening holes for horses on the outside leaving the gate. It makes handicapping difficult when horses that can’t reach the front are allowed to tuck in wherever they wish. Mohawk and Woodbine are the most egregious, though I see it time and again at the Big M, especially for the top drivers. This practice is “supposedly” against the rules.

Case in point, (May 6) at Yonkers, race 12. Mossdale Conner N was making his first start after an amazing qualifier in which he had the rail. He now had post 7 and I felt that he wouldn’t leave from there in his first start, thus I left him off my ticket. I was right and he floated out. The quarter was a reasonably slow :28.1. Magically, a hole opened, which allowed him to end up second over and from there, win the race. There was no reason why a nw$25,000 class horse can’t follow the horse in front of him in 29 seconds. I felt like I was robbed. The judges need to do their jobs and issue large fines and suspensions to give handicappers a fair shake.

— Paul Vernon, MD / Hallandale, FL

Kudos to Tattersalls video crew

David Reid and the Tattersalls Sales Company conducted another well-run mixed horse sale on May 7. His videography crew and the online video presentation of the auction enhanced the viewing experience by providing a clear, quality picture of auction ring activities and added close up shots of buyers as they placed bids. The result was one could almost feel the urge to raise his hand and join in the bidding.

The long-term sustainability and future of our sport, particularly post-slot machine era, will depend on cultivating and nurturing a sense of customer participation.

I was over seven hundred miles away from East Rutherford but was able to grasp a sense of how the sale was going and feel somewhat immersed in the action.

— Jim Reynolds / Watseka, IL

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