Fascinating to see what actually comes out of that Standardbred
Wagering Conference slated for the end of April in Montreal
though one has to suspect that any conclusions reached will
not be flattering to the industry overall.
Scheduled to be addressed is the alarming decline on standardbred
wagering in Canada which at last look was down by some 40%
since 2002, Undoubtedly comparisons will be made with related
thoroughbred wagering trends. In addition, coverage will
also include a myriad of related topics some of which may
illustrate why the betting handle dwindles as time goes
Not sure how the Canadian numbers correlate with those
down here but it’s likely they’re in reasonably
close proximity. Did notice some published figures that
overall horse betting on New Jersey racing declined by some
25% from 1999 to 2006, though the numbers weren’t
isolated by individual breed,
Since the purpose is to ascertain just why and where the
handle has gone, it is advisable to encourage any players
in attendance to testify with total candor. Or don’t
even bother. We may or may not be able to specifically address
all the dialogue expressed but at least we’ll have
some idea where we stand in the grandstand.
Of course there will be a tendency to dismiss much of the
banter as mere rhetoric from disgruntled and/or degenerate
gamblers. But that would be like the prevailing ostriches
pompously dismissing colloquialisms as not credible when
offered by acknowledged racketeers in a mob trial
It’s possible the ultimate conclusion for the wagering
lethargy will focus upon the basic disparity of interests
between those putting on the show and the betting public
who finance it via pari-mutuel handle. It could be that
this gap will appear so vast as to render it insurmountable
since the very nature of contemporary harness racing mandates
it as a risky wagering proposition at best and that’s
even before the so-called substance abuse issues are considered.
In all likelihood, there won’t be major revelations-especially
to those fluent in the nuances of gambling, but the rest
of us just might learn a thing or two. Whether we are capable
of actually implementing what may be necessary to reverse
the trend could be a whole ‘NUTHER story.
WHO WAS THAT MASKED MAN?
Could have said the auctioneer to the bid spotter inquiring
about the gent who just spent $90,000 to land the McArdle-Miss
Easy filly at the New Jersey Classic last September.
Don’t get the wrong idea now, it was a totally legitimate
sale with a very noticeable under bidder though months later
it seems there are some rather fascinating questions left
First and foremost is what possessed this new buyer to
anoint that filly as a “had to have” for he
wasn’t even remotely intimidated by one of the known
deep pocket bidders who generally gets what he’s bidding
Secondly how come we didn’t see this gentleman buying
other horses at either Lexington or Harrisburg?
C’mon scribes, there’s a story here!
Always great to read the erudite offerings of Hall Of Fame
communicator Dean Hoffman whose piece on elite broodmares
was a breath of fresh air.
Dean’s formula for citing elite broodmares is indeed
impeccable though on an individual basis there are always
things that stand out.
Margaret Spangler may never have had a $250,000 winner
but yet she produced four individuals that qualified as
sires in Kings Counsel, Chief Counsel, Blackstone and Attorney.
Evensong’s great son Victory Song is the paternal
grandsire of Garland Lobell who with Amour Angus has accounted
for contemporary stallion sons in Conway Hall, Angus Hall
and Andover Hall. Evensong also contributed stallion sons
Peter Song, Gay Song, Mighty Song and Flying Song and a
daughter Scotch Song who provided Lusty Song. Lest we forget
Evensong’s milestone contribution Volo Song, considered
an all time great.
Romola Hanover had a quartet of $250,000 winners though
three of them qualified as legitimate age group champions
in Romeo Hanover, Romulus Hanover and Romalie Hanover. A
fourth Nevele Romeo was the founding and namesake stallion
for New Zealand’s Nevele R Stud, while a fifth Romaine
Hanover produced Rodine Hanover from whence sprang Real
Artist, Art Major and Worldly Beauty.
Tarport Cheer produced great fillies in Tarport Hap and
Cheery Hello a leading stallion in Tyler B and another whose
name appears in many pedigrees in Jamuga.
Then there was Leta Long who had two outstanding racing
sons in Tar Heel and Keystoner although the Hal Dale latter
was somewhat less than his Billy Direct brother in the stud
ranks. An Adios son Meadow Pace may not have been as prominent
as the other two on the racetrack though he became an accomplished
Brenna Hanover produced a champion colt in Bret Hanover
and superstar filly in Bonjour Hanover. She also had another
son in Baron Hanover who himself earned far short of the
coveted quarter million level but sired many who surpassed