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Author Topic: Question for the day 2/9/06  (Read 1156 times)
County Fair Racing
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« on: February 09, 2006, 12:07:40 PM »

Ok I will give a try at this.  There had been discussion of loosing the World Trotting Derby.

Should the World Trotting Derby stay in Illinois?  What bebefits does this bring Illinois?
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artieson
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2006, 12:33:17 PM »

 [t]I would hope the Trotting Derby and Grand circuit races in general would stay in Illinois. I would like to see them moved to Hawthorne racing in the summer so as to get more betting on them. But the Duquion and Springfield fair racing is what makes harness racing unique. I think the Grand Circuit has lost some of its luster with all the big races now available each week.l]
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Terry Hunt
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2006, 12:52:02 PM »

The World Trotting Derby was established as a replacement when DuQuoin lost the Hambo to the Meadowlands.  While the WTD has had its share of exciting races and some record breaking performances, it has never enjoyed the luster of the Hambo.

I have been a big fan of the Grand Circuit events over the years as it gives us an opportunity to see world class performers racing throughout the country...but the Grand Circuit itself seems to be less cohesive with competition for the top horses split between so many venues.

That is good for the management of these horses overall, because it gives them options.  It is pretty clear that over the past several years the quality of the horses that come to Illinois for the Grand Circuit events has diminished.  The Trotting Derby, the Hayes Memorial, the Review Stakes etc have still had some outstanding individual performers - but they have  not generally enjoyed full fields of top tier stakes colts.

DuQuoin is a beautiful facility, and I believe people really enjoy the racing experience in the true old time fair setting...but very few people enjoy getting to DuQuoin.  As a result there are more stakes horses skipping that leg.

Funding for the World Trotting Derby and the Filly counterpart is largely out of state funds.  I don't recall if it comes from the Dept of Ag or the General Revenue funds...maybe someone else could give that answer.

The question concerned Illinois losing the WTD, and what benefit it provides Illinois.  First, there is no danger of losing the WTD to another venue as happened with the Hambo.  The race doesn't have the same luster, and the state provides the lion's share of the money.  Second, the WTD is thought by some to be the anchor for the state fair at DuQuoin.  If so, that may be reason enough to continue the event - but there is very little tangible benefit that is derived.

I would much prefer to see that $400K added to the Illinois State Fair Colt Stakes races at Springfield and DuQuoin...but that is just my opinion.
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Terry Hunt
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2006, 12:57:51 PM »

As a result there are more stakes horses skipping that leg.

I don't think trainers/owners skip the WTD because DuQuoin is "out of the way" (it's actually not that far from Lexington) as much as because they don't want to go three heats in 100 degree weather.

We're breeding finer, faster horses and the WTD has effectively ended the career of more than a few good horses.

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Ironworks
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2006, 01:02:14 PM »

I think some small changes could make it more appealing.  First, do away with multiple heats.  Given how hot it gets down there that time of year, multiple heats can wear down a horse to the point the top performers might skip it to avoid throwing off their overall stakes plan for a trotter.

That and do something to avoid all the rainouts (I know that's not really feasible)!  DuQuoin is a special place, but I drove down from Chicago a couple of years back to watch a filly of mine compete.  After about 45 minutes, the skies opened up and it started to pour for about a half hour.  Everything was canceled, so I got the fun of driving home.  At least I got to see the fairgrounds, though.

One last thing...get rid of that huge fence between the grandstand and the track!
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Claiming King
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2006, 01:15:12 PM »

Making it a single dash would ruin it just like it ruined the Hambo. Why must we *** with everything that's good?
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Michigan Dale
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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2006, 01:47:46 PM »

Racing more than one heat is tough.   Its supposed to be tough so that only the best can do it.  I haven't lived in Illinois since 1991 and yet I'd hate to see Illinois and Duqoin lose the WTD.   I believe what we need is a major sponsor with deep pockets, or, one day a network exec that enjoys harness racing.   I still recall in Chicago Bruce Roberts and Johnny Morris giving some attention to the sport - why?   Because they liked it.
My gosh, networks present dogsled racing, poker as a sport(?), curling (does anybody really understand that sport?), bicycle racing, rodeo's, kayaking, you name it.....there ought to be a spot for Harness Racing.   The atmosphere at the WTD, the Little Brown Jug, etc., can't be matched at the bigger parimutuel venues.   Balmoral's 'setting' comes the closest.   Hawthorne and Maywood in their respective commercial or industrial zones, just don't cut the proverbial *** in that regard.  Bottom line, my three cents worth is leave the WTD where it is and the way it is run.
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tonymfan
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« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2006, 02:11:42 PM »

I would hate to see DuQuoin lose the WTD. It's what makes the DuQuoin meet special, and it's one of Illinois's prestige races!!

It would be nice if DuQuoin was closer to Chicago. The drive reeks. Grin
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Petro
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« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2006, 02:21:15 PM »

For the last five years, about ten of my buddy's take off of work and hang out in Springfield for 7 or eight days to watch the racing.  I think its a incredible time.  Cheap drinks, fun bars and a great atmosphere.  The ride is boring but the excitement during the week is worth the 3 hour drive and many times your hanging out with drivers and trainers; great conversations and stories.....
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boiler
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« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2006, 02:33:27 PM »

Anyone who is against multi heat racing doesn't understand the meaning of Standardbred.  All of these stakes that are now raced like a T-Bred are what ruined our sport.  The excuse for doing this used to be that Multi- heat racing scared off T.V. coverage.  Well, we haven't got any more coverage and now all of our big time stakes are screwed up.


I know I will be abused for making this post.  Horses can't the heat, the bred is different now, blah,blah,blah.  I'm old fashion. 

Maybe so, but I'm not old and I understand that if my 2 yr trotting filly draws bad and I have two heats to get to the front a little common seance can make a really fun and profitable afternoon.  With one heat for all the money, my choices are limited.  Send her out the gate on her toes, hope she stays trotting, get a hole, a breather in the middle half, and send her home.  More than likely I'll be going home with nothing.
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off stride
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« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2006, 02:58:32 PM »

The World Trotting Derby was established as a replacement when DuQuoin lost the Hambletonian

I would much prefer to see that $400K added to the Illinois State Fair Colt Stakes races at Springfield and DuQuoin...but that is just my opinion

wasnt the purse 600,000 ? and wouldnt that money ..  in the overall scheme of things, be better spent on sending a couple of inner city kids to college ..so they can solve the global warming crisis?
« Last Edit: February 09, 2006, 03:01:02 PM by off stride » Report to moderator   Logged
DLeestable
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« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2006, 04:35:13 PM »

I have to agree with Mr. Hunt on this one.  The money would be a huge shot in the arm to the County fairs. 
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Auntie Mae
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2006, 08:37:47 AM »

Doesn't most of the money for that purse come from horsemens payments? If the guys that want to do away with the WTD get their way how is going to mean any more money for county fairs in Illinois? I am told that the reason the good horses are skipping that race is the owners can't get their purse checks until months later.
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