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Author Topic: Pandy Speaks (Bob Pandolfo) About Ledford  (Read 2236 times)

« on: April 12, 2006, 09:33:44 AM »

Sunday, April 2nd 2006
4:13 PM
HARNESS RACING: Drugs and cheating

With the arrest of harness driver Eric Ledford, as well as three other people associated with the Ledford barn, drugged horses are back in the news. As of this writing, the actual trainer of record. Seldon Ledford, has not been arrested. Obviously, the Ledford stable was improving horses dramatically the past couple of years. One of his recent claims, Allstar Blue Jean, was claimed from successful trainer named Ettore Annunziata. In his last start for his old trainer he paced in 1:51.3. In his first start for Ledford he paced in 1:48.4. He also jogged in his next start. He went from a 50k claimer to one of the fastest horses on the grounds. When things like this happen, everyone suspects--really knows--that the trainer is using some sort of illegal drug. From a handicapping perspective, I don't think its hurts bettors that much. I've been following racing since 1971, and in that time period there were always trainers who improved horses suspiciously. If you snapped your fingers and erased all drugs from racing, you wouldn't miraculously turn losing bettors into winners.

The real losers are the honest horsemen who play by the rules. And the horse, of course. Put yourself in an owner's shoes who has horses that are trained by a honest trainer. How many times have you finished 2nd to a horse trained by an obvious juicer?

It's a vicious cycle we have in today's sociey. Cheating. It's not just a problem in sports. In one sales job I had, there was a salesman who was getting a lot of his sales by cheating. I was working for Verizon and according to the company's rules, if they caught you churning sales, you'd be fired. Churning was cheating. Here's how it worked. A customer comes in wtih his wife and wants to buy two cell phones, one for his son and one for his daughter. That's 2 sales for the honest salesman. For the cheater, it's 4. He closes the two current accounts, and creates 4 new accounts. This gives him 4 sales instead of 2. It's called false churn.

Everyone knew that this guy was cheating, but the manager turned her back because she wanted the numbers, too. But who got hurt? The other sales people. The quotas were based on past sales. Since the sales were artificially high because of all the false churns, everyone's quota was much higher than it should've been. This meant lower commisions for the honest sales people.

The cheaters don't see themselves as crooked. They rationalize it. Barry Bonds knew that he was a much better player than Mark McGwire, and he knew McGwire was using, and showing him up, so the next thing you know, he's cheating himself. Vicious cycle. Cheating begets more cheating by more people. The salesman I'm referring too seemed like a really nice guy. But he was one of those bottom-line type of guys who would do anything to be the best, and really didn't see anything wrong with it. Eventually, the manager started to take heat and finally fired the guy.

There's really no other way to stop corruption and cheating in corporate America, sports, and society in general. You have to make the cheaters know that if you break the rules, you'll suffer the consequences.

Get rid of them.

Unfortunately, our society often rewards cheaters. When Mark McGwire hit his 62nd home run of the year, he was put on a pedestal. Even the family of Roger Maris was at the game to shake his hand. What a joke. Maybe we wanted to believe that we were witnessing history. But it was a sham.  Roger Maris was a fantastic athletic, not a drug user. As for Babe Ruth, well, he was in a class by himself.
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Michigan Dale
Hero Member
Posts: 675

« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2006, 10:35:03 AM »

Good article.   Pandy puts it well.   He is right, cheating and being a crook is often rewarded and that's a shame.  We have bad actors in the professional trade Association I manage.  Personally, I find it most distressing....makes me ill.   We deal with them.   Yesterday 4 were cited for 'trademark infringement', next week is a hearing with sanctions possible for violations of the Code of Ethics that can be severe, recently a malcontent filed a suit against us for enforcing Ethical Conduct!   What kind of convoluted, bottom feeder thinking is that?   Its pathetic.   Shouldn't matter what a persons name is or who they're connected to.  If proven to be a cheat or a crook or can't follow the rules that are there for all to follow - as Pandy's article said, "Get rid of them."   Amen.
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rusty knight
Full Member
Posts: 143

« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2006, 11:15:49 AM »

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micha goss

« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2006, 05:26:40 PM »

Here's the problem.

In the old days, meaning the hey-day of the success of the Meadowlands, no one even discussed drugs or any of this. Think back to the 1980's in the Niatross era and even fast forward to such stars as Matt's Scooter, Presidential Ball, Life Sign, etc. I can't remember hearing about barn raids or people being watched. Now, there's all this detention barn stuff, the watchful eye of big brother, etc. I think personally that, as a handicapper, you want the 'old days' where the authorities turned their head and let people do what they want.

If a horse went from joe blow to joe superstar, you KNEW that was a lock. You already had one sure winner before you even did a speck of handicapping. So what, the horse paid tied it up to a tri or pick 3 and actually were able to make some money.

Now, with some races being 'stakes barns' and some have no idea who's using and who is not.

My attitude is do it right or don't do it at all. The Meadowlands has done things half assed for the longest time. Sure, you want to look like heroes and have 24 hour D barns and whatnut but why not have ALL the race in D barn? Why not have ALL D barns 48-72 hours? Why not do it right from the beginning.

How many of you used to be able to win or hold your own and now you have no shot? You used to be able to hold your own back in the day because you knew who the drug stables were and you knew they were going to 'do what they do' without risk of getting caught or even looked at.

Now, how many of you would be tentative to wager on a horse that goes from Art Unger to Ken Rucker? In the old days, if that trainer change took place, you'd be every dollar you owned on that horse and you'd be a sure winner. Now, you have to factor in that Rucker may want to lay low, you have to factor in that someone may be watching Rucker from the bushes...thats can you handicap like this? Its a guessing game. You KNOW that an Unger to Rucker pupil is supposed to explode in 148 and be a more sure thing than death and taxes. In the old days, like i said before, you'd have at least one sure winner before the races started without having to do ANY handicapping.

Now, its a big guessing game. You now only have to guess who the best horse is, but you have to guess who's next on the big-brother-watch list.

If you are going to rid the game of drugs, do it right or don't do it at all.
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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2006, 05:36:35 PM »

another hypocrite! that joke pandolfo gives out his bad picks every night at the meadowlands and guess what??...........he was probably giving out ledford horses left and right! using the ledford "barn change" as an "angle"!! another so-called harness racing expert,blowhard who probably couldnt spell horse never mind even jog one at 5mph around and empty track!! another band wagon jumper who knows nothing!! Angry Angry
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Full Member
Posts: 199

« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2006, 07:13:43 PM »

Hey Micha Goss,

Did you ever handicap for a paper called Sports Eye

They used to have a guy with your name in it years ago.
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micha goss

« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2006, 08:22:30 PM »

No, i've never handicapped for Sports Eye, but i know who you are referring to!
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