Letters from John Campbell, Fred Chick and Joe Faraldo

HRU Feedback (2020-04-26)

April 26, 2020

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Campbell offers a little levity for Feedback

I’d like to respond (with tongue firmly in cheek) to Mr. Tom Santoro’s comments/question in the latest Ask the Guru column (full story here) regarding my on-camera talent, or admittedly lack thereof.

I assume Mr. Santoro, based on his opinion and critique of everyone mentioned in his question to Ronnie, has a background in sports broadcasting or television production.

Heck, he could be the next Roone Arledge or Don Hewitt (if you are young, Google them) for all I know.

As harness racing history is recalled and written about I will leave it to other people to determine where my place in that is. However, I did have a lengthy career and a list of accomplishments that I am very proud of.

I have been fortunate and am grateful to have been inducted into a NUMBER of Halls of Fame.

Mr. Santoro expectations of me are that in addition to this I should be Jimmy Kimmel like on air.

Come on, man. Be realistic. Nobody is good at everything.

I was just a harness horse driver.

Everyone be safe.

—John Campbell / Westwood, NJ

What an opportunity we have to fix a broken system

What an opportunity we have. Let’s turn a negative into a positive. Let’s turn a half-full glass into a glass overflowing. As a horseman/owner of over 50 years, I think I have seen just about everything, from the heyday of harness racing in the 1970s to the recent indictments. What an opportunity we have to fix a broken system. We should embrace change, change in that if you see a problem, speak up. I love harness racing and the only way it survives is to lose the bad apples. I think that change must happen.

#1 no trainer of raceway horses can possibly obtain a 400 average without extraordinary medicine.

#2 no state commission is exempt from playing favorites with positive tests of connected horsemen.

#3 if a trainer earns a positive/suspension his horses race the very next week without any interruption.

My conclusion is, bring on the federal oversight no matter what the cost. Just imagine the same test in every state with no favoritism. I usually own half or all of 15 to 30 standardbreds and I am more than willing to put my money where my mouth is. Are you? If so speak up. Remember, the squeaky, wheel gets the attention. Believe me, there are more of us than them.

—Frank Chick / Harrington, DE

Faraldo letter sent to NY Gaming Commission regarding qualifiers at Goshen

With the vast open paddock space at Goshen Historic Track, I reiterate that it would be doable to have qualifiers there and insure that all social distancing mandates, wisely put in place, are observed. Goshen will not permit spectators, only one groom, perhaps a limited number of trainers will be present and certainly a very limited number of drivers will be on hand.

Goshen being a betting free Fair Track, any racing activity there is under the jurisdiction of the USTA. In the past, whatever charted lines were prepared were incorporated into the USTA database and then used as part of the official breed registry records. Records which are relied upon for years as both accurate and reliable when inserted into official racing programs at pari-mutuel track in all of North America. Even assuming there may be a waiver of the existing 30-day qualifying rule, some horsemen still want and need to tighten up their horses and further educate their babies.

We understand that the coronavirus has changed everyone’s mindset as to what is or is not doable but we are confident that we can achieve and insure a safe environment and serve the future needs of racing.

I hope we can get some further guidance and your approval to go forward. I have spoken with the Goshen Historic Track and they will do anything to help harness racing and I know the Gaming Commission feels the same way.

—Joe Faraldo, president SOA of NY

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