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Author Topic: where to start  (Read 2487 times)
eggiewon
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« on: August 22, 2008, 04:51:50 PM »

If racing in IL was going to get alot better where would you start at to make it better .  does it start with the horseman, mangement, more advertising , less racing days  or a block of time off (4 to 6 weeks)
  just wanted some of your opinions and ideas.
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Earl Sande
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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2008, 05:23:52 PM »

Got to have casinos at the racetracks. No other way to keep up with all the states that have them. We have no chance with the current political climate in Illinois. Madigan must go.
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talking head
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2008, 05:38:26 PM »

Rick;

It starts with giving the Horsemen a FAIR CHANCE to make a buck!
The amount of money bet that goes into our purse account SUCKS!
Though the handle might be great on certain nights, the amount that the horsemen get all depends on certain factors which mostly are in the tracks favor! You have to give the Horsemen a chance to make a living!
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fanofharness
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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2008, 07:20:17 PM »

Purse account being funded by TOTAL handle.  Eliminate recapture, on track vs off track and the like.  Start with a percentage to the purse account from the total handle.
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eggiewon
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« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2008, 12:57:19 AM »

i agree the splits would help the purse account ,but all your gonna do there is make a few select trainers richer  and we still have a problem .
        I think they should start with the irb and make set rule for a violation. Better/more testing ,and when someone gets a positive all the horses should have to move to a track may. or bal. that would eliminate  paper trainers . Random races put in 24 hour det. like the big M does .
               Just by reading this sight it's very obvious  most people think our sport is full  of cheaters  so lets start by making a effort to clean it up , but where do ya start with that
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Jeepers
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« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2008, 04:47:17 AM »

i agree the splits would help the purse account ,but all your gonna do there is make a few select trainers richer  and we still have a problem .
        I think they should start with the irb and make set rule for a violation. Better/more testing ,and when someone gets a positive all the horses should have to move to a track may. or bal. that would eliminate  paper trainers . Random races put in 24 hour det. like the big M does .
               Just by reading this sight it's very obvious  most people think our sport is full  of cheaters  so lets start by making a effort to clean it up , but where do ya start with that

Rick: I wouldn't disagree with your remedies for illegal medications and paper trainers, but you led with your nose, while the original premise of your question examined all aspects of racing.

So I'll turn the question back on you: Would blocks of time off for violators be your top priority for improving Illinois racing? IF so, that suggests that integrity is the biggest problem facing Illinois racing.

Thank you for racing within the rules.

This will sound bad (I don't mean it that way), but remember the good old days when YOU were the LAST guy you'd put in the bike?


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FreeLegged
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« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2008, 11:46:43 AM »

good topic. not specific to chicago racing, but to the industry as a whole here is where I start if I were commissioner of harness racing in the U.S.

1) uniform rules for all tracks, with one governing body.

2) zero tolerance. you cheat, you're gone. and dont think that you can be a gypsy and just pack up the stable and go to another track, when you are gone because of cheating it means gone at all U.S. tracks.

3) driving fines increase with each offense. whipping violations as an example. first offense, $100, 2nd offense within 6 months, $500. $250.00 more tacked on for each additional offense within 6 mos.

4) have a pre detirmined list of drugs (which can be updated every 90 days) and any non-vet in possession of these drugs is automatically barred from any pari mutual track.

5) every trainer must sign a waiver giving permission so any horse of his can be tested at any time

thats where i start.
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talking head
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« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2008, 11:50:18 AM »

i agree the splits would help the purse account ,but all your gonna do there is make a few select trainers richer  and we still have a problem .
        I think they should start with the irb and make set rule for a violation. Better/more testing ,and when someone gets a positive all the horses should have to move to a track may. or bal. that would eliminate  paper trainers . Random races put in 24 hour det. like the big M does .
               Just by reading this sight it's very obvious  most people think our sport is full  of cheaters  so lets start by making a effort to clean it up , but where do ya start with that
Rick that is a great starting point, in fact a portion of that boat money should be set aside just for drug testing! I also would add that if you get a positive and have to race out of the paddock the trainer has to PAY for the security guard that watches them.
Also trainers now keep appealing their positives over and over until the IRB says the hell with it! There  has to be a way to stop all these B.S. Appeals!
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eggiewon
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« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2008, 12:30:36 PM »

freelegged
   I agree with most of what you posted but IMO as a trainer i would be scared to death if there was o zero tolerance rule you race 100's or even 1000,s of starts a year for some trainers . If there was some mis comunication with your vet and the wrong horse got a shot of robaxin or banamine  you really shouldnt get life for something like that  but with something like EPO you should get a life ban on your very 1st offense.
  Talking head
  as far as the appeals go there are 2 ways the IRB could handle them 1 is just say we are not taking your entry's during your appeal or all  trainers horses have to be in the D barn until the case is totally settled, but the problem with that is what if someone wins there appeal and was not guilty but had to race out of the D barn for a few months or even a year .
 Jeepers
      I dont think integrity is the biggest issue , but i believe the public thinks it is and until we as an industry  can prove  we are putting out a good and  honest sport  we will never get new people in our bizz. 
 also  yea it wasnt that long ago  if you would have told me i would have 4 or 5 hundred starts in a year i would have told you you were nuts .
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FreeLegged
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« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2008, 12:42:41 PM »

rick it is pretty admirable of you to take the time to come on here and discuss this stuff. nice job.

and yes I agree with you about certain drugs shouldnt be a lifetime ban. BUT as I said, have a list of drugs, which can be re-visited every 90 days. I am not a vet and dont care to learn enough about every drug. But the ones determined to be the real bad ones, lifetime ban for POSSESSION or positive test. these other drugs, I grant you not a lifetime ban...but in exchange, then all horses under that trainer are also suspended for the same duration. So as an example.

you have a horse test positive, for something because it wasnt given the proper # of days out, and it was a mix up with the vet. no problem. no lifetime ban, you and the horses you are listed as trainer of get 45 days off. and you are then informed, the next time it occurs, 45 days becomes 60 days. and will increase 15 days each time thereafter. when you (as an example) have to explain to owners that none of their horses can race for 45 days, they will start demanding you run a tighter ship.
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FreeLegged
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« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2008, 12:46:59 PM »

by the way, a huge problem in this sport is nobody wants to be accountable. nobody wants to stand up and say "yes, a mistake was made and I have to pay for what we did"

ever notice this? in this sport, it is always someone else's fault. people always want to pass the blame onto someone else.
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race track phil
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« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2008, 01:31:06 PM »


       There have been some great points made in these threads , but the integrity of the sport is something that has cost harness racing many bettors to go elsewhere to gamble !!   I think drivers should be called in and asked on certain drives why they chose to drive a horse a certain way , meaning not trying to get position or not pulling with a short price horse . I know there are plenty of reasons a driver has a difficult time making a decision , but there are many times where it is obvious on what to do in certain races . I will give an example and go watch the replay and tell me why !!  8/21 race 4 at Maywood the number 1 horse Way West was a giant favorite the number 2 was Pomme Frites driven by Tyler Buter and isn't a very good horse , but the rest of the field are in the same category .  I think in a situation like that the drivers obvious choice should be is to leave and at all cost keep the 2 hole behind the overwelming Way West !  the point is its a 7 horse field with Super betting and I'm sure a lot of bettors keyed the 2 horse to reach because it looked like he had too because of the position he should be in , but instead Tyler gave up the 2 hole to Nathan Fatlands with the 7 horse and also let the 8 with Harmer in the 3 hole . He then never pulled and got shuffled to last and didn't even try to follow when the horses outside past him until late . The horse didn't have much in the tank but the point is it looks bad the way he drove the horse because rats like those need a good drive to have a chance to finish in the money and if you wanted the horse off the board for sure the way he drove the horse made it easy to stay off the board and out of the Super !!   Did Tyler stiff the horse to be out for betting purposes ?  I dont know !!!   I doubt it though but it looks bad to an experienced bettor and maybe to all bettors . If i were a steward i would call Tyler in even though the horse is a rat and ask why you didn't try to leave a little harder to maintain the 2 hole !!   This is only one suspicious drive that I have noticed To reply about but there are many others I've seen since I started watching harness again and I believe the integrity of the sport has to be cleaned up in this area too !!!!  I also believe that drivers bet and that should not be allowed in any race they drive in for any reason and that means no machines in the backside !!  I remember Tony pounding away in the Maywood kitchen !!!  Beautiful !     

                                          RTP
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MoJo
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« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2008, 03:56:34 PM »

Rick;

It starts with giving the Horsemen a FAIR CHANCE to make a buck!
The amount of money bet that goes into our purse account SUCKS!
Though the handle might be great on certain nights, the amount that the horsemen get all depends on certain factors which mostly are in the tracks favor! You have to give the Horsemen a chance to make a living!

Rick,
 You are totally wrong. It has to start with thew HORSEMEN giving the public a fair chance. It is the horseman ruining this game...and nobody else.  Until that end is fixed, what do you even promote?
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eggiewon
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« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2008, 04:10:57 PM »

MO jo
  i agree with you if you read my posts . Anytime you race for money we are gonna have cheaters . Something needs to be done to stop them and IL just doesnt do that .  I hope your not implying that horseman need to police them selves. That just cant be done . Thats why we have the IRB  .
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« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2008, 04:49:52 PM »

MO jo
  Something needs to be done to stop them and IL just doesnt do that .  I hope your not implying that horseman need to police them selves. That just cant be done . Thats why we have the IRB  .

You're right Rick, horsemen shouldn't have to police their own people.  But it is important that they report any wrongdoing that they personally observe.  The authorities cannot do it by themselves.

The long standing code of silence must be broken.  It is dangerous and serves noboby but the dishonest.

« Last Edit: August 24, 2008, 12:20:04 AM by nextbonus » Report to moderator   Logged
TrotterMan
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« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2008, 08:21:32 PM »

Guys this is too bad yes that things are done more to get rid of the trainers that cheat big time. We all know that our fellow horseman with blue and white isnt an honest person he never has been since day one nor will he ever be but I would hate to know the nbumber of cloudy tests or even positives some of these type of trainers have that get ignored or feared if they are made accountable for the postives it will cause major problems with filling races or the industry to begin with. the thing that upsets me is the speed some of these horses are pacing.  Some of our 4 claimers at BML could be out in 30 claimers at the Big M and get a damn check. How about a 14 year old pacer going in 52 come on please or any of those horses pacing miles under 54 it just plain wrong. We all know those claimers all have issues thats why they are 4 claimers so do we all think its sheer ability LOL  I think not.....and then some of the better horses or even the stakes horses that just go and go and never get tired regardless of the trip they have.  Theres trainers that have these owners that buy these high dollar yearlings every year and we sit and watch these jack asses train the wheels off these cotls and watch them break down training right and left and the owners sit there and say wow look at the 2 year old colt how fast hes going and winning in and how much hes made but they only see those horses they forget about all the high dollar and awesome colts that have been ruined year after year because they were sensely trainer beyond ability by trainers that go until they either make it or they break down.  Many of us would love to have a chance to train a 300,000 yearling and some of these cotls would make great 3 year olds but they never get that far cause theyre being trained in 200 or better in May to race bikes . These ***hole should have their licenses taken away for what they put these babies thru. Im not tree hugger but it gets so old hearing them say well I knocked out 10 more this week etc etc and yet the owners go to the sales and fork out more and more money to hope they get that one amazing horse and to hell with all the ones that get trashed in the meantime but lets keep thinking these trainers are superior horseman please its all about the money they dont care about the horse!!!
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« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2008, 12:29:26 AM »

I modified my previous post because I was dead wrong.  I painted an entire community with the same brush when the vast majority do not deserve it.

I see no easy answers to the problems that the Illinois standardbred industry faces.  There are a ton of great people involved in both racing and breeding here.  I sure hope things turn around.
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Dolfan
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« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2008, 01:00:10 AM »

Anytime you race for money we are gonna have cheaters . 

Funny, I've said the same exact thing for racing on the biggest stage, where the money is paid out in a big way.  The bigger the money, the more you cheat.

Now, if you're talking cheating, as in stiffing & betting, that's a different story.  The large majority of races at Maywood seem to be guys going at it cut throat.  There are no other 1/2 milers where horses get hung more often.  Rick, I know if you've got the rail & any speed at all, chances are you're hanging everyone.  Of course, you're not the only one - we all know the speed advantage on that track.

But "where to start" to me, always goes back to getting new people.  Attracting new fans has been the single biggest cause of the demise of the sport.  It takes a long time, tracks have to be committed to getting people in the door & it seems to me that the Chicago tracks are not at all interested in that.  The drivers are the stars of the sport & since so many have bailed, I believe this is a battle that will never be won without new revenue (i.e. slots & casino gambling).  Then, you have a chance to increase the purses substantially which is the only thing that will bring the stars back or "create" new ones.

Remember, Chicago had the 2nd highest purses in the U.S. just 4 years ago.  Ledford, Tetrick, Morgan, Miller made the racing extremely competitive & the handle had to be seriously higher - on & off track.  Now you've got at least 8 or 9 tracks with higher purses, which leads me to wonder how you guys can get by at all.  I feel for the horsemen - you will not be able to survive at this rate.
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talking head
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« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2008, 11:45:08 AM »

Integrity is something that Chicago Harness racing Lacks! You have the tracks to just seem to care about filing races, not about testing or suspending anyone. In fact here is a story I heard that a vet that worked in the paddock at Maywood threaten to quit because they were doing NOTHING about a bunch positive tests! A week or two after the story came out is when Billy Farmer and J. Price received suspensions. There were more but nothing ever happened with the rest. Again the track owners just want to fill races so that they put on a race card to make money. There is no such thing as the word Integrity!
On the issue of Horsemen policing themselves, How can this happen when nothing is ever done! it doesn't take a genius to figure out whose horses are running on high octane.
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FILLYNATION
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« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2008, 11:34:09 AM »

We commend Mr Eggiewon on at least posting some very informative controversial topics ...
Free Legged was right On with his posting
We are former owners who will only race in Illinois if  the playing field is open to all !!!!!
The purses would need to be raised at least 50%  min  $4000  purse   
We owned several horses in the 80's early 90's and purses were much more !!!!!!
Random drug testing of horses    Stabling(ON TRACK ) horses in a designated area for first time offenders   
CCT Installed throughout barns monitored 24 7 ( $1 a day stall rent would pay for it ) full trainers responsibility would be enforced
Again this is a very good post
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FILLYNATION
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« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2008, 10:05:17 PM »

these past few postings give hope to racing fans as well as owners of horses .
Why can't the horsemen approve appoint some Really well meaning educated caring people to represent themselves to the Integrity board !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lets stop the hating of other well meaning trainers owners and pester the racing board to put an end to this Juicing fixing which as posted here earlier is Quite obviously going ON BY A SELECT FEW TRAINERS OWNERS DRIVERS GAMBLERS MANGEMENT .....
A public forum serves as a stepping stone to making changes for the Better of the animals as well as the industry
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Dolfan
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« Reply #21 on: August 25, 2008, 10:29:09 PM »

To Filly Nation, Talking Head & others,

Do you really think that the integrity issue is the main cause of the decline or are you just saying that fixing the integrity issue will keep the decline from getting worse?

Your best case scenario: 
Lets say, you become squeaky clean in a world record 2 months.
Now what?  Harness racing fans all of a sudden show up in abundance?
Does anyone, other than a few guilty horsemen, even know that you've cleaned things up?
How long until new people come in or the old one come back - 2 years, 5 years?  Do they ever come back?

The integrity issue, while important, is about number 4 on the list.  You've got to get the purses significantly higher to get the horsemen back with quality stock.  Then you can also introduce people to ownership with a chance to profit or at least break even & have fun doing it.  That gets you quality racing & that's just the starting point - you still won't have any new fans.  Some of the old ones may return but the tracks have to be so committed to the product, they have to keep at it for years to turn the corner.  At Maywood, there's a slight chance that newcomers will enjoy the close up views, but Balmoral?  No way!

You've got to have casino revenue to increase purses substantially.  Forget about the $4,000 purse minimum - you need minimums of at least $7,000.  I know you're about to have me committed but I've owned some horses in Chicago & The Meadowlands & you can't possibly expect to have a chance to make a profit owning horses if you don't have at least $7,000 purses.

Then the integrity thing will matter.
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FILLYNATION
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« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2008, 10:05:31 AM »

A $7000 bottom is a bit to Wishfull    Trainers out east  get at least $50 , day pay farm rent , hay straw doubled the prices here .....   Lets say a $ 5000 base with a claiming price of min $60007000/8000 no way can you race a 4000 claimer for $7000   Also have series of purses 5k 10 k 15k final ...  Instead of paying out 15k for one race
   As for integrity   ILLINOIS MUST TEST, RETEST AND put the fear of god into the cheaters who have no other skills besides racing horses to feed their families ...
Stables which get caught needs horses to be barred for at least 90 days  !!!  Lets see owners who buy cheap horses for underhanded trainers who only care to CASH tickets .... Owners who enjoy taking pictures while trainers juices up these poor horses   then when they get caught   the horses seem to disappear ...
Then these owners look for new scumbag trainers who promise results ......
Fans as well as gamblers enjoy cashing tickets with value   not $4.00 win tickets by trainers who Spend $$$$$$  loading up horses just to win a race and bet them to the hilt to make a profit !!!
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eggiewon
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« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2008, 02:09:46 PM »

Dolfan
  We all know there is not any quick fix for racing we are just trying to come up with some ideas of where to start ,or maybe things that we can have some effect on with our efforts . I guy like me would have 0 impact if i went on a rampage about how the money is split at the otb,s.IMO  alot of the gamblers are the horseman or horse people somehow involved with the sport . I wont go to the races on a night off to gamble . And if someone like myself  wont go why would i expect some one new to come out . I think there should be a page in the program for positives test or supended trainers drivers or even grooms let the public see we do try to fix our problems . There are horses on the high blood gas list that i bet 90% of us horseman that are at the track dont even know who they are . the public should know that they are betting a horse that has been in the D barn since noon . We cant even get that right  in the program . Why can IN or other places list right in the program B/L/F but here in IL we dont list it what nobody is giving bute or banamine come on now lets get with the program.
         Bringing gamblers back  wont be the complete answer to IL problems , but it will help get the ball rolling to better racing .

  oh and i almost forgot you talk about better quality stock. Do really think anyone would go buy a nice horse for 50 or 60 G"s  to put in the FFA  and get beat by a recent 12 claimer in 48.4  maybe the best claim since color me best >>>>> what a joke racing is here
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stevenc
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« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2008, 02:35:26 PM »

Integrity is everything...Does anyone remember about 3 or 4 years ago when Tim Tetrick drove a 1-5 Gar at Balmoral, suprisingly didnt win with him and it was found out that the winner of that race was owned by Timmy himself (forgot the horses name).  He was not listed in the program as the owner.  In my opinion that is worse than what Marsh did many years ago and Ronny got 8 or 9 years.  What did Timmy get...30 days?  Was it a coincidence that the 1-5 Gar lost and lost to Timmy's horse?  Probably not!!!

How would you feel if you wre the owners of Gar or even worse...one of the many betters who placed their hard earned money on the 1-5 favored Gar to find out that you had no shot of winning before the race even began?
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