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Author Topic: HARNESS RACING A DYING SPORT  (Read 5011 times)
SUPERMAN
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« on: January 08, 2006, 01:01:00 PM »

      Say what you like about harness racing but its a DYING SPORT and soon there will only be farm and fair racing. Its truely a DEAD GAME and my advise is to sell every horse you own and get out!!! This games over with!!  Embarrassed Embarrassed Embarrassed
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burton
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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2006, 01:41:57 PM »

Superman,

While I don't entirely disagree with you, you are one negative minded gentlemen.
What do you like about harness racing?
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Dan Villeky
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2006, 04:20:49 PM »

Might I suggest that you look North of the border where Harness racing beats the tb's in every facet of the game. Be it handle, attendance, purses , what ever, the harness cards are making the news in Canada. Where in the US do we have a  "tiered track" system where the "B" tracks feed their developing stock into a Woodbine or a Mohawk type of circuit. I might argue that Illinois racing is now and has been for a long time, that "B" grade system. The arrogance displayed by all involved in Illinois racing is now turning and biting those same people squarely in the Axx.
How many remember the days when King Phil sat in his office at Sportsmans Park and told out of town trainers that "if you don't have a 20 claimer don't bother calling me again?" Funny thingwas that , in those days an 'open' 10 claimer could have beaten a $25k ICF pig by city blocks. That friends is the point. Your years of the ICF preference has turned racing in Chicago into a "B" class of racing. That along with two of the most arrogant, greedy track owners spells impending doom for Chicago racing.
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Dan Nance
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2006, 05:26:38 PM »

Might I suggest that you look North of the border where Harness racing beats the tb's in every facet of the game. Be it handle, attendance, purses , what ever, the harness cards are making the news in Canada. Where in the US do we have a  "tiered track" system where the "B" tracks feed their developing stock into a Woodbine or a Mohawk type of circuit. I might argue that Illinois racing is now and has been for a long time, that "B" grade system. The arrogance displayed by all involved in Illinois racing is now turning and biting those same people squarely in the Axx.
How many remember the days when King Phil sat in his office at Sportsmans Park and told out of town trainers that "if you don't have a 20 claimer don't bother calling me again?" Funny thingwas that , in those days an 'open' 10 claimer could have beaten a $25k ICF pig by city blocks. That friends is the point. Your years of the ICF preference has turned racing in Chicago into a "B" class of racing. That along with two of the most arrogant, greedy track owners spells impending doom for Chicago racing.

Most of what you said is what I said in my very first post on this site back in June 2004 and I got Slammed by several posters for saying it. They told me that I was just saying it because I was a bitter X trainer. And, now here it was 2006 and what I pointed out in my very first post is true and being agreed with by you and many others. I think Chicago racing has turned into below "B" class racing. 
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John Doe
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2006, 06:57:06 PM »

     I hate to admit it, but this topic seems to be right on target. They should have never raced that double-header yesterday because they embarrassed the sport by doing so. It's one thing to get a signed contract, come to an agreement, and end the strike, but it's another to just throw a bunch of non-competitive horses in the box just for the sole purpose of not missing any more days. Let s be honest, quite a few of the horses that raced yesterday are horses that could not compete anywhere else and looked horrible. Why make the product look worse than it really is? I just don’t get it. When I looked at both cards on Saturday, I could not believe my eyes. I mean really, are the Johnston's that hard up to just put anything on the track so they can get their filthy money?

     I understand that all or almost all of the 20k claimers and up have departed but how about waiting a few extra days and getting the best quality of horses and drivers available for the return of harness racing in Chicago instead of doing what they did yesterday? I am a very optimistical person but judging by the quality of horses flesh that raced yesterday at Balmoral, it does appear that harness racing is becoming pitiful in Illinois, thanks to Langley, Doc, and the Johnston's. Hey Doc and Langley, how does it feel to have to call horsemen and ask them if they would like to race their horse so you can have full fields? Doc, I hope every horseman tells you to shove that idiotic condition sheet you write directly up your anus because you deserve what you get.

     These Johnston's have to be the biggest scum I have ever seen. How can you race a double-header show casing those horses and drivers? Your greed and filth is beyond comprehension. I hope you enjoyed the wonderful show yesterday and good luck to anyone who decided to eat anything at Balmoral because that food was probably over a week old and leftovers from the pre-strike era. LOL. How does your stomach feel today?

     Sorry friends but if yesterday’s double-header is any indication of harness racings survival in Illinois, I would say the guy who started this thread is right on. There is no way humanly possible for any horsemen to be able to race horses in this state without going bankrupt. Even more disturbing is the lack of consideration for the fans that love this game by asking them to wager on this garbage you call harness racing.

     With all of the scratches and driver changes yesterday it does look like harness racing in Illinois is pretty much over. At least quality harness racing is. I don't know what you want to label yesterdays races at Balmoral but it was not harness racing, I know that much.

     My first impression when I heard the strike was over was enthusiasm for my friends. After seeing what I saw yesterday at Balmoral my friends would have been better off finding another line of employment. What a shame is all I can say.

     Thanks Langley, Doc, and the whole Johnston crew, you guys should get some kind of reward as the worst ever for your participating roles in Illinois harness racing. All of you have destroyed an empire that even Osama couldn’t have. Nice job!

Best Regards,
Joseph M. Dakuras
(A UNLV Runnin Rebel For Life)
« Last Edit: January 08, 2006, 07:01:38 PM by JDakuras » Report to moderator   Logged

AND NOW, HERE ARE YOUR UNLV 1990 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS:
                       GREG ANTHONY
                       ANDERSON HUNT
                       MOSES SCURRY
                       STACEY AUGMON
                       LARRY JOHNSON
THE BEST COACH EVER, JERRY "TARK" TARKANIAN
THIS IS HEAVEN
Richard Breth
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2006, 07:39:58 PM »

These Johnston's have to be the biggest scum I have ever seen. How can you race a double-header show casing those horses and drivers?

The Johnstons dont own the horses do they? Thats your fellow horsemen your insulting. There horses. There entrys. There hard work to get them on the track. What were the track owners suppose to do? We dont like the horses you entered horsemen. They arent good enough. Racing is canceled today.
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Dan Nance
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2006, 07:53:34 PM »

The Johnstons dont own the horses do they? Thats your fellow horsemen your insulting. There horses. There entrys. There hard work to get them on the track. What were the track owners suppose to do? We dont like the horses you entered horsemen. They arent good enough. Racing is canceled today.

Here's the management person sticking up for the Johnston's again. Hey goof, if the Johnston's didn't ruin the game and drop the purses to the bottom they would still have better horses in Chicago.

    What are the horseman suppose to do sit around and race for peanuts or leave and go somewhere else?
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Zulu
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2006, 08:09:37 PM »

The Johnstons dont own the horses do they? Thats your fellow horsemen your insulting. There horses. There entrys. There hard work to get them on the track. What were the track owners suppose to do? We dont like the horses you entered horsemen. They arent good enough. Racing is canceled today.

You don`t know the full story and JD probably does so you would be ill advised to comment. 
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Richard Breth
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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2006, 08:44:22 PM »

You don`t know the full story and JD probably does so you would be ill advised to comment.

JD "probably" does. Which means you dont know if he does or not. Which means I could say the same to you about commenting.

Did the horsemen want to run for purses this weekend or not? Did Doc write bad races on purpose to exclude better horses? Did the IHHA go say we dont think these are good cards please cancel?

Dan Nance we had a deal not to do personal attacks like calling names and insults didnt we. Is it off? Joes post was about this weekends cards how it would be better to wait a couple days. What difference is a couple days going to make to the purse level?
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TC
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2006, 09:11:32 PM »

Fellas (and Dickie too), these cards were more than a tad disgraceful.  The track did rush to get back up and running without making sure enough quality drivers and horses were still here to fill the cards.  Isn't it obvious as Marty said that the Gestapo dearly wanted to double-dip and were willing to budge a bit in the negotiations ?  I still think the deal is just an "extender" of malaise in the IL harness racing game, but too many horsemen couldn't afford to sit out at this time a year with few racing options running, especially nearby for cheaper horses.  This could be the end as we know it if the handle dives any further.  I forget the horseman that suggested that the next deal should be set to have an April expiration date, so that closer racing options could be greater (Hazel, Hoosier,and Scioto in May).  Marty should look closely into this great idea.  TC
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cumonwire
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« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2006, 09:36:32 PM »

I had a great time at Balmoral Saturday Afternoon.  Good crowd.  Loved the 10cent Superfecta pay-off in the 1st.  I didn't have it.

It would have been an idiotic move to let Saturday go by with out live racing.  You have to have the lights on so people know you are open for business.  40 degrees in January, people are itching to go out.

Thank you for settling the strike.  Good day Saturday, better day next Saturday.
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Zulu
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« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2006, 11:24:24 PM »

JD "probably" does. Which means you dont know if he does or not. Which means I could say the same to you about commenting. NO COMMENT

Did the horsemen want to run for purses this weekend or not?
"Probably" most of them IMO

Did Doc write bad races on purpose to exclude better horses?
The race secretary can only write races for horses that he or she knows are still in the state, it would be foolish to write for races you know you can`t fill , once agian IMO

Did the IHHA go say we dont think these are good cards please cancel?
What makes you think the IHHA can even do this?



On a seperate note not to answer Dan`s question but the extra couple of days could have prevented some of the chaos of rushing into it last minute, at the very least make sure we had enough drivers on the grounds.
The purse structure will not change for the better until the Tracks and the IRB prove to the state they/we are going broke or they/we are funded through other means.
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John Doe
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« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2006, 11:32:22 PM »

The Johnstons dont own the horses do they? Thats your fellow horsemen your insulting. There horses. There entrys. There hard work to get them on the track. What were the track owners suppose to do? We dont like the horses you entered horsemen. They arent good enough. Racing is canceled today.

Richard:

     Actually the Johnston's and Langley do own some of the horses. Does that answer your question?  They had one in the first race tonight if you check your program. If you don't understand my point then I see no reason in discussing it with you.

     I'll try to explain it real easy for you anyway. I was thrilled that the strike was settled so my friends were able to get back to work. I was extremely disappointed that the Johnston's were so greedy that they did not give a dead rats ass what the product looked like by putting a terrible card together just so they would not miss a Saturday. I think it was you that said the harness people should consider racing fewer days, if not, my apologies. What would it have hurt if they waited a day or two?  In case you did not know it, Doc does write the condition sheet and could have taken a day or two calling out of town horses and drivers in an attempt to see if they were willing to enter here and race. Maybe then racing might have come back after a five day absence with a bang. Just my opinion and I was only hoping!

    When I say bang, I was hoping for a respectable card in terms of quality and quantity of horses and drivers along with free programs, seating and beverages all day long for the fans who always seemed to be overlooked in situations like this. But I know what your thinking Rich, silly me to ever raise that point, so forget that I even thought about that.

     Since you seem to have all the answers and so often respond to my posts, please tell me your grand plan to make harness racing better here. You seem to have some ideas that are better than most posters on the forum so throw them out here so we can see what you are thinking. It seems that  when I post my thoughts and opinions, you seem to always have a better idea or think I don't know what I am talking about. Please share your ideas and thoughts with the forum, okay Rich? I know you think the Johnston's should have raced pigs if they had to so post it on here and let's have a chat. I'll be waiting. Have a great night.

Best Regards,
Joseph M. Dakuras
(A UNLV Runnin Rebel For Life)
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AND NOW, HERE ARE YOUR UNLV 1990 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS:
                       GREG ANTHONY
                       ANDERSON HUNT
                       MOSES SCURRY
                       STACEY AUGMON
                       LARRY JOHNSON
THE BEST COACH EVER, JERRY "TARK" TARKANIAN
THIS IS HEAVEN
Les Moore
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« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2006, 11:32:33 PM »

I hate talking about this subject because i'm in denial. The sad fact is that its true. I don't want to get back into the blame game because everyone involved shares a piece of the pie. What angers me is that when a human is drowning he fights to his last breath to get to the top and live. I don't see anything but business as usual for harness racing. We need new people with new ideas. Managment can no longer sit there and wait for things to get better. They must act now and revamp their ways of doing things for the future of the sport. Racing's competition must be dealt with now or all of us will be attending harness racing's funeral very soon.
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John Doe
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« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2006, 11:46:57 PM »

I hate talking about this subject because i'm in denial. The sad fact is that its true. I don't want to get back into the blame game because everyone involved shares a piece of the pie. What angers me is that when a human is drowning he fights to his last breath to get to the top and live. I don't see anything but business as usual for harness racing. We need new people with new ideas. Managment can no longer sit there and wait for things to get better. They must act now and revamp their ways of doing things for the future of the sport. Racing's competition must be dealt with now or all of us will be attending harness racing's funeral very soon.

      Great post Les. I feel the same as you but really believe that harness racing does not have to die unless we allow it to. Anything can be turned around but you must have a solid team with players that are willing to work together towards forming one common goal. That has not happened in Chicago between the horsemen and Johnston's and unfortunately the result is going to be what ends up killing this game in Illinois.

     I went to Balmoral tonight and you should have seen it. I am not exaggerating; there were probably about 45 people in the entire place. I would love to know the on track attendance tonight. You cannot have shit like that and call yourself the second biggest harness track in North America. At the very least, a simple marketing plan with cheap television and radio advertisements would be a step in the right direction, but then again, what do I know?

Best Regards,
Joseph M. Dakuras
(A UNLV Runnin Rebel For Life)
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AND NOW, HERE ARE YOUR UNLV 1990 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS:
                       GREG ANTHONY
                       ANDERSON HUNT
                       MOSES SCURRY
                       STACEY AUGMON
                       LARRY JOHNSON
THE BEST COACH EVER, JERRY "TARK" TARKANIAN
THIS IS HEAVEN
Chitown Stan
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« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2006, 11:50:30 PM »

10 years ago, if I would have told you they were televising poker on TV and it was real popular, would you believe me?

What about car racing?

Even golf?

Fact is anything can make a comeback. unfortunately it is going to take a team effort and with everyone bickering all the time we aren't ever going to go anywhere.
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Les Moore
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« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2006, 11:59:43 PM »

Thanks Joe, I'll always respect your opinion because you were there when the sport was flourishing and I can tell by your posts you still love the sport. Without getting into specifics, the best place to start is with public relations. Either the track has to fork out the money to their PR people to let them do their job or hire new ones who will. I think harness racing has to reinvent itself to get a new generation of fans. Its going to take team work from the owner to the floor sweepers but it can be done.
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TC
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« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2006, 12:10:56 AM »

Joe, didn't you know Balmoral is a state-of-the-art facility.  They wow me every time right at the clubhouse entrance with that circa 1911 turnstyle you pass through right into the ashtray-equipped elevator.  Then, you pass a postage stamp sized non-smoking area and enter the dingy, cancer-filled clubhouse where the lighting grates are all black from tar and nicotine stains.  The screens in all the Smokebusters are clogged, rendering the devices useless.  The heat is turned up to warm the blood of all the $1 playing septaugenarians and octogenarians from South Chi-Heights who love Kools and blind betting on t-breds.  Then we get to the 1st series technology SAM machines that won't accept any bill not perfectly on-center and straight or ANY bill over a $20 denomination.  Try heading to the tellers at 15 minutes to 1st post at the Big M, their #1 simulcast signal.  The day/night shift change means you stand in a loooong line to get you betting voucher unless you bring a wad of $20s and want to slowly and successfully feed them in the archaic cash-to-voucher machines.

  For the capper, several horsemen friends of mine had to use some less-than-stellar drivers to drive their stock due to guys on vaction or competing elsewhere.  I felt so sorry for them as they held up their end and entered to help themselves and the track fill yesterday's cards.  I received a p.m. this morning from an esteemed poster to this forum who said he went to close-by Balmoral live for the 1st time in ages.  He said he's going back to his favorite OTB which is actually further away from his home and work because he was appalled at the clientele the track had (me included probably - LOL) and didn't even feel "safe" there.  I can't really blame him.  At the meeting, I silently disagreed with Joe Boccia when he made derogatory comments about the fans.  I now can at least see his point (though I'm still in disagreement somewhat).

  Let's face facts, as long as the Gestapo can divvy up close to $12 million (yes Dickie) every year with this bad showmanship, this game in these parts is doomed.  I't never too late to make wholesale changes, but the sand is running out of this hourglass quickly IMO.  TC
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Chitown Stan
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« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2006, 12:18:09 AM »

The first thing tracks have to do is start charging admission again. At first, I thought that free admission was the only way to go, then you start seeing bums at the racetrack just watching TV or this and that. $1 or $2 admission isn't going to break or detour anyone from coming, and its just enough to keep the low life mooches out. Just my thoughts.
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TC
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« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2006, 12:25:17 AM »

The first thing tracks have to do is start charging admission again. At first, I thought that free admission was the only way to go, then you start seeing bums at the racetrack just watching TV or this and that. $1 or $2 admission isn't going to break or detour anyone from coming, and its just enough to keep the low life mooches out. Just my thoughts.
...and a good step in the right direction Stan.  How about whacking up the admission monies with the horsemen to bolster purses ?  TC
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Armonsol
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« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2006, 12:26:10 AM »

The first thing tracks have to do is start charging admission again. At first, I thought that free admission was the only way to go, then you start seeing bums at the racetrack just watching TV or this and that. $1 or $2 admission isn't going to break or detour anyone from coming, and its just enough to keep the low life mooches out. Just my thoughts.
The Waukegan OTB is like a homeless shelter.  Half of the people there don't have a nickle.  They sit and watch TV, or look for balances on SAM machines, or beg for money to bet.  I had one grab a voucher out of the machine worth $85 amd bolt out the door.  When I told security the manager came out and lo and behold, the guy had cashed it on the other side.  And they KNEW who he was!  A lowlife cajun with HIV who was homelss.  I did not go back there for five years.  When I walked in again, five years later, that guy was standing there!  Still alive.  He ran for his life.  Right after that, a guy asked if he could "get a bet" from me.  I have never returned.  
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Les Moore
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« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2006, 12:39:13 AM »

Great posts and how true that is. The OTB I used to attend started free admission and it got as bad as going live. When you go to bet one low life is breathing down your neck waiting for you to leave your voucher in the machine and another one is going through your tickets on the table. I say that you pay $10 to get in and then you get a redeemable voucher at the betting window.
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Chitown Stan
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« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2006, 12:40:56 AM »

How about you pay $2 admission and get a free program? Or a free cup of coffee?
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John Doe
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« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2006, 12:50:15 AM »


     Last time I was at the Merriville OTB Parlor there was a homeless guy in the bathroom with his shirt off taking a shower in the sink. I am not lying either. This guy is there every night and he asked me for $5. I give it to him most of the time just so he won't bother me anymore. I figure that since he always asks to borrow $5 without ever thinking that he has to pay it back, when he sees me next time he'll scoot out the back door.

     I told the security guard that they should install showers in the men’s restroom so the sinks will be available to wash our hands in. About 20 minutes later that guy came out of the restroom with wet hair and all. I was in disbelief.

     I know one thing; after living in Las Vegas for 14 years, I can tell you that the Casinos do not tolerate shit like that. They make damn sure their customers are comfortable and safe. If you attend any of the OTB's today, you might want to carry a gun or brass knuckles for protection.

Best Regards,
Joseph M. Dakuras
(A UNLV Runnin Rebel For Life)
« Last Edit: January 09, 2006, 12:55:19 AM by JDakuras » Report to moderator   Logged

AND NOW, HERE ARE YOUR UNLV 1990 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS:
                       GREG ANTHONY
                       ANDERSON HUNT
                       MOSES SCURRY
                       STACEY AUGMON
                       LARRY JOHNSON
THE BEST COACH EVER, JERRY "TARK" TARKANIAN
THIS IS HEAVEN
Les Moore
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« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2006, 12:58:39 AM »

Joe, thats were i'm talking about. I stop there and bet and get out of dodge. I used to go all of the time but all of a sudden it got bad. Don't leave your program laying around there either.
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