HRU Feedback (2020-08-09)

Are you kidding me?

Well, apparently those in charge of integrity at Harrah’s Philadelphia took a vacation day Thursday (Aug. 6). You know, that’s the day the Lou Pena show re-emerged. What in the world were the judges thinking? Were there any questions raised, if any steps were taken as a follow-up, it ain’t on the track’s website.

Perhaps the feds need to look into some bank accounts for suspicious activity?

Since those in charge seemed to have abandoned the search for integrity let me help out. In the early 2000s I lived in California and because of the time differential with the major tracks in the east, Cal Expo was the only evening racing available. Guess who the leading winning team there consisted of (are you ready for this) Gilbert Herrera and Lou Pena. How many times have you seen Geo Napolitano Jr. and Gilbert Herrera overwhelm the competition similarly to what Mr. Pena was doing before his suspension? Just a coincidence, right? So ask yourself, if your suspending a trainer for the issues discussed to the point of exhaustion, wouldn’t you be looking into associates as well? Even a high school’er could connect the dots. Who in heck is protecting us?

And, since we’re talking about trainers: Last Saturday at The Meadows I noticed that a trainer with as many as five horses entered in the same race with no common entry designation. The racing program for this race showed Mr. Burke was listed as trainer and part owner of all horses. How is this legal? It certainly feels shoddy. Is Pennsylvania living in an alternate reality? In all fairness, I did put a call into the Gaming Commission’s office to the specific person listed with oversite for this track with my main question and as of yet have received zero feedback. Guess they’re on vacation too!

I guess since feedback and inquiries are going unanswered coupled with outrageous take out rates I will continue to support and send my dollars to the larger tracks like the Big M with principled oversite.

—David Perry / Dearborn, MI

Integrity in question?

We have been racing horses since 1978 and have seen many changes in the racing industry, some good some bad that hurts the integrity of the industry. My concern is a very basic and important part of racing. I will call it the Ball and the Bottle, the draw for post position. That process has been replaced by a computer very similar to a slot machine. I have noticed very disturbing results: How about 8 races and 5 EIGHT HOLES , 2 SEVEN HOLES and 1 TWO HOLE. Is this really a fair process ? I have noticed this at many tracks where some trainers get very favorable draws and others seem to always draw outside. No person oversees the computer, is it above approach? I have discussed this with many owners and trainers and they are all concerned. What is next? The computer will replace the live horses with a computer generated replica? No owners, trainers, stables and no need for race horses. The casinos will love it!

—John Sonacc / Allenwood, NJ