HATS OFF TO MATT
Grand ole Matt’s Scooter celebrated another milestone
via his recently announced Hall Of Fame citation. A foal
of 1985, the former “world’s fastest harness
horse” is still hale and hearty even at the voting
age of 21 and is primed and ready for another breeding season.
The great Moni Maker also achieved a very well deserved
Hall of Fame nomination.
STALLIONS AND GENETICS
You know its possible that this year three of the top half
dozen or so trotting stallions could be FULL brothers that
is of course if Andover Hall emulates or surpasses brothers
Conway Hall and Angus Hall.
And we could easily have a quartet of significant stallions
from the great Rich N Elegant should first Red River Hanover
and then Rocknroll Hanover equal or surpass existing brothers
Rustler Hanover and Richess Hanover.
Yet just a few short years ago a trotter had to be either
by Valley Victory or a Valley Victory son in order to win
classics and attract megabids.
That has changed.
Now a classics winner could be a Muscles Yankee, Yankee
Glide, both Valley Victory sons, Or it could be an S J’s
Photo, S Js Caviar, one of the Garland Lobell “Hall”
brothers like Conway, Angus, or Andover. Then, there’s
this Super Bowl resurgence through Credit Winner (American
Winner-Super Bowl) and Striking Sahbra (Supergill-Super
Bowl). There’s also Malabar Man, Dream Vacation, and
a whole slew of exciting new prospects like Tom Ridge, Windsongs
Legacy, Broadway Hall, Cantab Hall Classic Photo Like A
Prayer and Revenue. Thus what seemed so single dimensional
five years ago is once again multi dimensional.
Unfortunately there was that degree of stagnation within
the trotting breed given the long dominance of first Speedy
Crown and then Super Bowl (with Speedy Crown mares) but
that has passed..
Just as the once over-powering dominance of Meadow Skipper-and
sons Most Happy Fella-Albatross has been saturated with
the Adios resurgence through the Abercrombie sons Artsplace
and Life Sign. The Most Happy Fella branch from Meadow Skipper
is now twofold via No Nukes-Western Hanover and the Cam
Not sure how this proposed move to stallion book limitations
is going to affect what is already occurring.
Moreover, can illustrate first hand that hypocrisy can
and does rear its ugly little head in regards to these stallion
“numbers” as I’ve yet to have one person
ask “how many you breeding to that sucker?”
when in the process requesting that belated extra breeding
needed for a mare either coming off the track or unsuccessful
with a suddenly troubled rival stallion. At that moment,
all they care about is “Get me in! Throw the other
guy out, but get my mare in”
Had this precise scenario with Malabar Man, Muscles Yankee,
Windsong’s Legacy and now Rocknroll Hanover!
PANDY & POKER
Old handicapping colleague and USTA columnist Bob Pandolfo
likened certain aspects of poker handicapping to horse handicapping
in terms of the mathematical probabilities inherent in both.
It’s a good read although the essential differential
between horse betting and other gambling forms is not touched
With poker and other card games, it’s a play action
thing as the player personally controls a segment of the
play. He decides when to hold, fold, raise, etc as the play
is against the other players. Even slot players can feel
an element of play action as they select the location of
the machine along with the hand speed needed to pull the
Even those betting craps know that the element of chance
supercedes player intention as the shooter has no control
over how those dice will actually land.
However with horse race, betting as in sports betting control
ceases with the issuance of the ticket. Thereafter, drivers
intention, the horse’s condition, stable intention
in addition the nuances of the actual race dictate what
the result will be.
With sports betting there’s the element of athlete
condition, weather condition, and as in the case of the
Super Bowl official mishap condition. However an essential
difference with sports betting is that generally the bettor
is assured that regardless of outcome, participant intentions
That is not the case with horse betting as much too often
not all participants exhibit a consistent degree of PREDICTABLE
intent forcing the bettor to psychoanalyze in addition to
handicapping. Consequently losing bettors are eligible to
perceive and conclude as they see fit which understandably
they will! Unfortunately for us, the moment they sense all
is not as it should be, they’re GONE.