5 May 2008

Jockey Suspended For Possession Of A Buzzer; Fort Erie Opens For Maybe Its Last Year

Electric Devices Are Still Being Used By Jockeys
Jockey Glenn Murphy has been suspended 180 days, through Oct. 27, and fined $2,500 for possession of an electrical device at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie.
If you see one cockroach in the kitchen, you know there are hundreds in the walls.
6 months is not enough of a deterrent. How about 10 years to life?

FORT ERIE OPENS: $600,000 handle Saturday, $400,000 on Sunday

Fort Erie had an all source handle of barely over $400,000 yesterday. Why do they bother racing on Sundays? Makes zero sense. Slot players who come on the weekend don't need live racing to draw them in. Wednesdays make more sense. I know it didn't work when they tried it years ago, but the complexion of gambling on horses has changed drastically since then. A track like Fort Erie needs as little competition as possible. The best time for them to race is when few others are racing. Action is pretty decent for the Fort on Mondays and Tuesdays. They usually get over $1 million in handle on those days. Maybe not this year though. Short fields does not entice big betting.
The blame can be shared on this one by the ownership, who have no business running a racetrack, and the horsemen (mostly the trainers), who refuse to play the cards they have been dealt. It would have made much more sense to run only 60-65 days and increase purses by 20%. The fields would be larger, and the game would be more economical for the owners of race horses.
The end result is that this could be the last year for live racing at Fort Erie. It is such a beautiful track, and it doesn't have to be this way, but I only see pessimism growing and growing. The $300 million Nordic smoke and mirror show should get an official veto sometime in the summer, and unless Nordic sells to an owner interested in growing horse racing, the writing is on the wall.
The reliance on slots is just mind boggling when looking at industry growth. If someone loses $200 at slots, the track gets $20 and the horsemen's account gets $20.
If that same person loses $200 on the horses, the track and horsemen get to split $197 (on their live product and around $185-$190 on a simulcast product). Many of those playing slots these days, used to bet on the horses. What has the track done to bring them back?

Ontario Racing Commission Accused Of Trying To Regulate Lawyers
Lawyer Gerry Sternberg is not allowed to work as a lawyer before the commission until he apologizes to ORC chairman Rod Seiling.
Here is why the Commission expects an apology:
'Trouble began during the March 6 hearing into alleged improprieties of two standardbred horsemen, when Seiling drew attention to the repetitiveness of Sternberg's questions during cross-examination of a witness.

"Sir, do you know what cross-examination is?" Sternberg asked Seiling. "Do you have any legal training? I would like to know whether or not you have any legal training...because there is no one here beside you to tell you what the rules are."

"...All I know is you were a hockey player in your day....I am tired of listening to you when you don't even know the rules."

Sternberg said Seiling, a former National Hockey League player, had interrupted him during cross-examination and that he felt it was unreasonable for his clients that his questions were being restricted - and the commission's own lawyer hadn't objected. The exchange was brief, Sternberg said, then he moved on with his questions and finished the hearing without incident.

The ruling against Sternberg said that the lawyer was "misinformed and incorrect" about the chairman's "skill sets" and about the ability of the chairman to put limits on cross-examinations.'

WEG Bans horses trained by William Elliot and Evzen Pindur
DPO (darbepoetin-alfa), a longer lasting form of EPO(Erythropeietin) was found in blood samples from a horse in each of their stables. Pindur received a 10 year ban and a $40,000 fine. Elliot is still being investigated.

Wow, 10 years. Hopefully that is the kind of deterrent needed in the industry.

Richard Dutrow, the trainer of Derby winner Big Brown really humiliated Woodbine when he won the Queen's Plate three years ago with Wild Desert
Wild Desert was working out under false pretenses prior to the Plate and the owner of the horse, Dan Borislow, bragged that he cashed over $100,000 at Woodbine. Why wasn't Dutrow giving a lengthy ban over this, and why wasn't the purse money taken away and redistributed?
Dutrow has also had numerous drug violations.
Not taking anything away from Big Brown, but Richard Dutrow shouldn't be allowed in the sport.
It is hard to believe that Big Brown's system is free of banned substances that aren't well masked by legal drugs, or the substances are not detectable on drug tests. Dutrow has too much of a history when it comes to taking illegal shots.

PETA wants jockey Gabriel Saez suspended for "mercilessly whipping" Eight Belles in the stretch.
I know that break down of Eight Belles hurt the sport probably more than the victory of Big Brown helped the sport. It was tragic. Very sad. My wife hates watching horse racing because she is paranoid that every time she watches a race she might see a breakdown.
She watches very few races. I figure that in these big races, breakdowns should happen a lot less frequently, so I am more at ease to put on a big race for her to watch. I put on the Barbaro race after Barbaro went through the gate, just as something of interest for her. The result of course was Barbaro, pulling up quickly after the race started with a leg dangling.
I put on this year's Derby for her, and look what happens? Again, you can explain to a regular that what happened to Eight Belles was a total unfortunate fluke, but try explaining it to a casual fan or potential fan.

ADW Lockout Blamed for 2% decrease in Churchill Downs' all source handle on Derby day.
It was still $164,688,176 for a 12 race card. Putting that in perspective. It takes Woodbine around 70-75 days to do that kind of handle, and it takes Fort Erie (which averaged around $900,000 a day last year) to race 180 plus days to achieve that kind of handle.


Anonymous said...

Many interesting items in your blog today. Appreciate your time and thoughts to make it so.

Anonymous said...

free bet

well, what u think of the bells euthanasia, i cant believe it....

Anonymous said...

Anon, I try to keep things interesting. Thanks.

Freebet, I'm not sure what you are asking. She had to be euthanized, there was no choice.
She ran hard, and she probably had a heart attack prior to breaking her ankles.
The track was hard, and I don't fault her connections for running her against the boys in the Derby. She definitely belonged. What I do question is the fact that she didn't go past 1 1/16th prior to going a mile and a quarter.
Running hard in a grueling distance probably did her in.
I think that a horse should go at least a mile and an eighth in a race prior to the Derby.

Anonymous said...

Suffolk Downs has bigger win pools on a Wednesday than Woodbine has on a Saturday. Funny stuff.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you about these. Well someday Ill create a blog to compete you! lolz.