HRU Feedback (2017-08-20)

Zeron’s comments indicate bettors forgotten again

Obviously, there was a lot that came out of the Hambletonian. Discussions, opinions, legal actions, but there was one comment that might have gone by with little notice. Let me first say I don’t know Scott Zeron and he seems a good guy with a great career ahead of him. But his comment in Saturday’s HRU publication (full story here) has as big as an impact as anything else that happen on Hambletonian Day. His quote was in response to this question.

Asked why drivers seldom file objections, Zeron said, “in an overnight race, we like to leave things to the discretion of the judges”

I understand that judge’s decisions in a race such as the Hambletonian have huge impacts on owners, trainers, drivers, etc., as compared to an overnight race. But how an overnight’s impacts the MOST IMPORTANT element of harness racing, the GAMBLING FAN, may or may not be the same.

It’s been observed before in this publication that stake races are not great gambling races. I can speak for myself and say I have more money invested in an overnight race than I do in a stake race. I want my money to be protected at all cost. I think this statement is true for others.

To have Scott Zeron say we don’t really want to get involved in overnight races tells the gambler we don’t really care about you.

The reason there is the ability for a driver to lodge an objection is to create checks and balances in the system. Who’s to say the judges didn’t miss something. What if the judges were “on the fence” to call an inquiry? Just to ignore that part of the process goes back to the integrity issue.

The lack of integrity doesn’t only come from the illegal actions, but those of indifference as well. In other words, if an outcome was altered by malicious attempts OR the indifference to correct them, then there is no integrity in your system.

Also within the article was the fact that judges don’t call in the drivers anymore because of the ridiculous answers. Drivers… LISTEN UP! If your actions are based on “not wanting to upset your friends,” ex: leaving gaping holes, not objecting, not responding truthfully to judges, then you must not ask why the gambling public is leaving your sport. If you don’t care about them, then they don’t care about you!

— Manny Guagliardo / Hoffman Estates IL

Hambletonian Day and comments

I didn’t see anything unusual at Hambletonian Day.

There were lots of people that I have never seen at the Meadowlands before, who managed to clog the betting machines with .40 worth of super bets, in limited areas because of parties and other events that were rented out.

Not sure how any of this is good for the sport, but let’s have that discussion another time.

Here is some insight into races where horses trot: They break stride.

They break here, they break in Sweden, they brake in Norway. It’s part of the game.

To complain about it indicates a real lack of understanding for what you are watching.

As for the “joke” part of it, being critical of Bartlett trying to actually do something while parked is not a joke. The “joke” would be if he left last and sat there without making a move.

If a driver thinks he has a better horse and chance, he drives accordingly.

As for the DQ, there should be zero surprise over that.

A very good driver made a mistake, that’s all.

As for the ultimate winner not winning a race, to coin a popular phrase, that’s a real “head scratcher” to me.

If you bet Ake’s horse, would you NOT cash the ticket because he didn’t win?

You race within the rules and you win and lose within those rules.

The DQ was quite obvious, so much so that it was easy to tell during the race.

The sport has plenty of problems, but I don’t think Hambletonian Day or breaking horses are the reasons the game teeters on the brink of extinction.

The day was presented properly and it was actually a decent day to be at the track, but for the long lines.

— Vic Dante / North Caldwell, NJ