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HRU Feedback (2017-10-22)

October 22, 2017

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Walter deserves another chance

It’s about time Walter Case is given a chance to resume his amazing career (full story here).

He paid his dues and I believe he has finally learned his lesson. Of course, time will tell. It should not have taken this long for Walter to be reinstated, as there are several driver and trainers with similar rap sheets that are racing. Monticello has a driver with gun possession, spousal abuse, race fixing and a slew of DUIs to his credit. Northfield Park has a trainer with armed robbery and vehicular manslaughter on his record and a driver there was convicted of being part of a large counterfeit ring. Pompano has trainers linked to numerous crimes. For anyone to be up in arms about Walter Case getting another chance is not judging him fairly, as a precedent has been set to license former criminals and to single out Mr. Case and deny him a license would be discrimination.

— Michael Campbell / Milford, PA

Towers and Keeneland

RE: 2017-10-21 Brush And Crush

Here’s what racing has become, Mr. Towers:

Computer server “A” that sits in a dark room in, say, New Jersey, dumps money into the pools and is competing with other servers, including server “B” which operates in some room in South Dakota, or Wyoming, or anywhere else removed from the host track.

Yes, people show up at Keeneland and Del Mar. They do NOT show up at Aqueduct, Churchill (except for one day), most of the other Tbred tracks.

The betting money is all coming from machines that are guided by guys that have pretty deep pockets, and, let’s face it, are controlling the pools. The $20 a race player has virtually a zero per cent chance of beating that, especially with the enhanced rebates that are afforded them.

We can speak of all the pomp and circumstance of the Triple Crown and the top stakes races at the biggest tracks, but the reality is some of the dark, dank racing that takes place at say, Mountaineer Park on a Monday night, or Penn National, or any of those. That’s a problem.

The harness side is MUCH worse. Freehold is now unbettable. Small pools are becoming smaller pools at most of these places. The racing, in a word, stinks.

The “Millenials” that everyone values so much in the business community, have no interest in racing, and less than zero in harness racing.

It’s not about the takeout for many of the people who bet. A one per cent rise in takeout isn’t keeping many away that want to go and play and/or enjoy it.

It will keep the guy away who doesn’t care at all about the sport or the animals anyway. It’s strictly a financial prospect for them, and while their bets pay lots of bills within the industry, they are not fans of the sport and thus, would be much quicker to cease participation.

With or without takeout changes, can the harness (especially) industry fix the Thursday N/W races at Freehold to make it more interesting? No.

International Day last week at Yonkers induced a handle of a little over $1 million, which is a dreadful night of handle for the Meadowlands. And that’s with a top card at Yonkers.

Nobody wants to be in that funnel you speak of, Mr. Towers.

They do, however, want to be funneled into a local casino or card room, or an online poker game.

When you can make racing look like a card table or nightclub, then, and only then, can you get kids to play the game that they don’t want to play.

— Vic Dante / North Caldwell, NJ

Judges need to do their jobs

Every race day I sit in a home office with four large 50″ flat screens and watch just about every race from tracks I follow and those I miss are recorded. I do this because I bet for a living but as each race day passes I find myself more and more frustrated at the lack of proper procedures with respect to the race judges.

If I can see lack of trying by drivers and grabbing up horses in the stretch then how can these judges not see it? On average, 3-4 races per night will blatantly show races of questionable performance that these judges fail to do anything about. Sure it’s an observation and if the judges were really doing their job then before the official went up on the board if they were all in agreement then give them the power and let them right at that moment to place horses and change the order of finish. After the race, those drivers that were found guilty of a placing offence would then get 10 days suspension for first offence, 2nd offence 30 days and 3rd offence 60 days. Any repeat offender in the same calendar year automatically gets one year.

I have never liked purse checks handed down the order of finish like Halloween candy and would like to see only top three get a check and if the judges had the power to alter the order of finish then we could eliminate many of the horses that shouldn’t even be on the track along with suspicious drives.

— Bob Adams / London, ON

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