20 July 2008

Somebeachsomewhere's Defeat Was Not Big Brownish

I'm not much of a harness fan (I pretty much tolerate it), but when a horse like Somebeachsomewhere comes along and is undefeated with 10 wins in a row, mostly against top competition, well I just have to look. The only similarity to Big Brown's Belmont race was the questionable tactics used by the rider driver Paul MacDonell at the start. He turned having the 2 post into the 8 post, which of course must have been worth at least a neck. In retrospect, he should have just gone into the hole and stay there until going into the backstretch. Still, this had to be one of the most exciting harness races of all time:

Betfair and US Horsemen In Serious Discussions
Betfair, the Great Britain-based online betting exchange, continues to negotiate with officials in the United States and is inching closer to a deal by which it would compensate horsemen for use of their product.

Betfair officials, who attended the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association summer convention in Pennsylvania July 18-20, said the company doesn’t accept wagers from U.S. residents, but it takes bets on U.S. races from players in other countries, including Canada. Betfair officials have been in talks with the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Group, which is attempting to increase purse revenue from pari-mutuel wagering.

Quoted in the article is Nick Coukos:

Nick Coukos, executive director of the Ontario HBPA, said he uses Betfair but doesn’t play horses through its system because no money is returned to the Canadian racing industry. That, Coukos said, is a major stumbling block for the company.

“I think something finally needs to move forward before Betfair can be (embraced) in North America,” Coukos said. “Betfair has tremendous products, and our industry is starving for an alternative wagering platform. If you can get a deal done in Canada that works, it would be a huge step toward getting into (the U.S. market).”

Kudos to Coukos for being smart enough to play on Betfair and having the stones to admit he plays there (Nick is quite the poker player, if you haven't heard already), but isn't he the same guy who has called betting at places like Betfair "ILLEGAL?" Sure looks that way.

Like I've mentioned in the past. Playing Betfair, and even playing horses on Betfair is NOT illegal for Canadians. I can invite a Mountie into my house and let him watch me deposit money to my Betfair account, withdraw money from my Betfair account, and most importantly, place bets on my Betfair account....and guess what? He can't do diddly to me.

As long as an unlicensed company does not have a server in Canada, it is perfectly legal for that company to accept bets from Canadians and perfectly legal for a Canadian to place bets there.

The only downside is that if you have a gripe with the company you are doing business, Canadian laws aren't going to protect you. But with a company as reputable as Betfair, a dispute like that is highly unlikely.

Don't forget about Betfair's summer special. Open up an account and bet at least $50 (it doesn't have to be all at once), and win or lose, Betfair will deposit another $50 in your account the day after you go over $50 in bets.

The Horseplayers Association Of North America Is Rolling Ahead

Paul Moran wrote a piece flattering us (I'm one of HANA's many volunteer administrators).

Jen Morrison linked to the HANA site.

As mentioned in my last post, HANA's website was linked by Equidaily as well.

Read Nick Kling's version of Pull The Pocket's post on low takeouts: Racing Fans Neglected By The Elected

Just to show the idiocy that HANA is up against, read It's Not A Big Deal.

Funny quote from Valupix on the Pace Advantage Forum:
"This industry takes dysfunction to levels lower than any has ever been taken.

You can quit thinking it can’t get anymore dysfunctional because there are folks in this industry who are right at his moment doing everything they can to think up new and innovative ways to lower the bar yet again."

Australia introduces more roomier and padded gate stalls: Why didn't they think of this earlier? It makes too much sense. And what makes sense, rarely gets embraced by the racing industry. The track execs just don't usually "think" that way.

Some Picks For Sunday

At Fort Erie, Denna's Summer should destroy the field in the 3rd. She is favoured in the program, but her last race was awful (it was two turns). Cutting back to 6 1/2 where she got a great speed figure two starts ago is a recipe for victory.

Will 0-41 six year old mare Redclouds At Night finally break her maiden in the fourth race? My speed figures say YES.

At Woodbine, On Maternity Leave stands out in the second race at a price. Again, you have to throw out his last race and hope the rail is OK (jockey Jerry Baird loves to save ground).

Lomaki may win the Matron in the fourth. She made a middle move and chased last time out after a 40 day layoff. She should run big today.

Nice Case is much the best on figures in the 9th race.

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