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Author Topic: Has Harness Racing lost it's soul ?  (Read 1765 times)
sulkyfromouterspace
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« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2013, 05:07:57 PM »

Hey Dolfan.....This video is for you.....and for even more BIG FUN....visit the NEW Meadowlands !!!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuAD19X63Xk&feature=player_embedded
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« Reply #26 on: January 22, 2013, 05:40:45 PM »

There is no "technical" reason why harness racing cannot return to the glory days.  Its all about marketing.

One need only look at NASCAR to see that anything is possible with marketing.

NASCAR moved from a regional oddity to one of biggest sports in America after they got a commissioner and a marketing plan.

Love him or hate him, Gural is the ONLY hope for harness racing.  Right now he is as close to a commissioner as we have.  He is a "commissioner" with no authority, so all of the little generals in the industry need to listen to him for the game to survive.




Nascar attendence is down 40% since 2006.......most of the tracks have lost tons of money the past few years........sorry but Nascar is not a good example IMO........I live less than 2 miles from a nascar track where they race twice a year and the cost of camping, merchandise and tickets have triple in the last 10 years and they will not let you bring in a big cooler.......you can have a cooler that fits maybe 6 beers and after that they are 10 bucks a piece......they have driven the people away by raising the cost on everything so they just watch on TV as the ratings havent went down much
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Dolfan
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« Reply #27 on: January 22, 2013, 06:16:04 PM »

Hey Dolfan.....This video is for you.....and for even more BIG FUN....visit the NEW Meadowlands !!!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuAD19X63Xk&feature=player_embedded

Loved it!  And just to test your memory, here's one for you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcSOgkP0sPA

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Dolfan
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« Reply #28 on: January 22, 2013, 06:24:00 PM »

Dolfan----- you are soooooo upset that the Meadowlands is doing a great job.... admit it.....    You are trying to mask your hatred with some pleasentries...     Brennan and Sears are Banned from the meadowlands ......they pissed off the Godfather of Harness Racing.....Jeff Gural...  you just dont do that.....    When the Big M has slots and purses are kicking yonkers  a s s ....    you will see Sears and Brennan come crawling back....    just Watch !      I love the Meadowlands....and I am having more fun now then I had there in 20 years.....   Sorry you cant say the same....

Look I did very well (owning) at the Big M & have no complaints.  Believe me, it is not hatred - I love the sport too much.  But I admit that I find 1 mile tracks not really harness racing, 5/8's just barely.  I was born & bred on the 1/2's.

I know Brennan made his comments but Sears?  Banned?  Why?  For being too good?  Gingras got banned from Yonkers a few years ago but that was because of suspicious driving habits.

If it's going to take slots for the Big M to survive, well, the state could've done that & Gural doesn't deserve the credit.  It will also be a short-lived fix as the states are going to eventually change direction & open up gambling to many different venues, not just tracks.
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sulkyfromouterspace
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« Reply #29 on: January 22, 2013, 06:33:46 PM »

Dolfan !!!!   You got the GS BUG too !!!!!    HAHA !!!!   I respect that  !!!    trophy

I also respect you're love of harness racing....   maybe Im looking thru rose colored glasses....  maybe fans "love" the sport more then horseman that been burned by the game....who knows.... BUT ,,,, I love harness too.....   we can agree to disagree....

The Meadowlands is unique ...People seem to embrace harness here......  I am a believer that harness will be king again.....  and slots will introduce many new fans to the sport....unlike Yonkers.....     

I think Mile track racing is the Best.....    especially this year at the Meds....awesome stretch drives !!!   
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sulkyfromouterspace
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« Reply #30 on: January 22, 2013, 06:37:05 PM »

Sears was fined last year at the Meds for giving holes......he cried like a baby......   and took his ball to yonkers..... He was the posterboy for the Meds...now he is not welcome by Gural....  although he will be back for the big stakes races .....just like the crook Brennan....
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sulkyfromouterspace
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« Reply #31 on: January 22, 2013, 06:38:57 PM »

Thanks for sharing the Feelings gong show......I forgot about that one !!    you got me !!

Keep them coming !!!   although we need to keep them at the OT.....    people get salty when having fun on regular threads
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Dolfan
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« Reply #32 on: January 22, 2013, 08:34:50 PM »

Sears was fined last year at the Meds for giving holes......he cried like a baby......   and took his ball to yonkers..... He was the posterboy for the Meds...now he is not welcome by Gural....  although he will be back for the big stakes races .....just like the crook Brennan....

Yeah, giving holes.  Y'know there are 2 sides to everything.  If you play nice & do favors for each other, the horses last longer but the races become less interesting.  You bust balls & you sacrifice better racing at the expense of the horse, the owner, the trainer.  But the vet makes more $$.

Can't blame Sears for leaving though.  He's been the sport's #1 driver (& M1's) for many years now.  Rarely stiffed a horse, you always had a chance when you bet him & he gets treated like a newbie.  If you want to be recognized as the best track, you have to have the best purses, horses & drivers.  Only time will tell & it'll certainly be up to the individual states to decide where slots will go. 

As far as the mile tracks go, you must enjoy watching races on TV.  This thread asks if the sport has lost its soul.  IMO, the further you get from 1/2 mile track racing the further the soul gets.
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Charlie J Croft
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« Reply #33 on: January 22, 2013, 08:44:42 PM »

Sears was fined last year at the Meds for giving holes......he cried like a baby......   and took his ball to yonkers..... He was the posterboy for the Meds...now he is not welcome by Gural....  although he will be back for the big stakes races .....just like the crook Brennan....

He did give quite a few hole for no apparent reason and his half in, half out was  tought to watch, It has ruined many a flow and wrecked the outside horses trying to get into therace. I dont think he'll be missed by meadowlands regulars. The flow of the race has suddenly been much better
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sulkyfromouterspace
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« Reply #34 on: January 23, 2013, 05:38:34 AM »

As far as the mile tracks go, you must enjoy watching races on TV.  This thread asks if the sport has lost its soul.  IMO, the further you get from 1/2 mile track racing the further the soul gets.


you are right about the thread Dolfan...

I will sum it up.....
A very Different Yonkers.....Lost it's soul
The New Meadowlands....Finding it's soul
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sulkyfromouterspace
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« Reply #35 on: January 23, 2013, 05:44:10 AM »

I will agree that 1/2 mile racing is more "fan friendly" ......  you can see the action ...because its closer.... BUT.....I hope the Meadowlands increases the camera angles for the fans.....  The split screen does not help much with watching the action.....Let's get some better camera angles at the Big M .   With HD TV their is no reason to miss out on any of the action !!!  the stretch drives on a mile track are pretty awesome !!    trotter
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Psycho Dad
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« Reply #36 on: January 23, 2013, 11:25:29 AM »

I will agree that 1/2 mile racing is more "fan friendly" ......  you can see the action ...because its closer.... BUT.....I hope the Meadowlands increases the camera angles for the fans.....  The split screen does not help much with watching the action.....Let's get some better camera angles at the Big M .   With HD TV their is no reason to miss out on any of the action !!!  the stretch drives on a mile track are pretty awesome !!    trotter

Two big changes are needed:

Replays need to provide the head on view.  They provide it right after the race.  Why isn't it available for later view of replays?

We need a way to see the horses on the outside in the stretch.  The most critical part of the race is blind.  We see horses as they enter the stretch, then they disappear if they are not within a few lengths.  Who is blocked?  Who got interfered with?  Which drivers stopped driving?  Who got cut off?  Some horses won't pace at the head of the lane, then take off late.  We see them flying late, but don't see that they wouldn't pace earlier in the stretch.  So much is missed.
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Dolfan
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« Reply #37 on: January 23, 2013, 12:08:52 PM »

You guys are so intent on M1, watching angles on TV, hoping to get some kind of edge.  But the sport will never attract new people that way.  People are too lazy to keep up or learn something new.

The sport's soul lies in places like Goshen & Delaware.  You can't go to those places & not feel the ghosts of harness racing's past.  The only chance is to get people to love the sport & that is not happening outside of a rare occasion.  Maybe YR has lost it's soul - I don't know.  Here's what I am becoming more certain of:

Maywood Park's configuration of the track, the banking & the angled gate along with the early, untimed start & open stretch makes for the best 1/2 mile track racing & every 1/2 miler in America should copy it.  Then they should take those 5/8's tracks & either turn them into 1/2's or mile tracks because that's where people are gambling.  When you look at the pools on the 5/8's they pale in comparison to 1/2's & milers.

I know this is a small sampling but after 78 races pp 8 has a win % that doubles pp 1 at Maywood.  This is with cheap horses & bad drivers, in general.  That easily proves to me that Maywood has found the best combination to make the races interesting & fair.  I would expect that with a full sampling that number will turn completely which would still be a major victory.
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« Reply #38 on: January 23, 2013, 01:11:21 PM »

You guys are so intent on M1, watching angles on TV, hoping to get some kind of edge.  But the sport will never attract new people that way.  People are too lazy to keep up or learn something new.

The sport's soul lies in places like Goshen & Delaware.  You can't go to those places & not feel the ghosts of harness racing's past.  The only chance is to get people to love the sport & that is not happening outside of a rare occasion.  Maybe YR has lost it's soul - I don't know.  Here's what I am becoming more certain of:

Maywood Park's configuration of the track, the banking & the angled gate along with the early, untimed start & open stretch makes for the best 1/2 mile track racing & every 1/2 miler in America should copy it.  Then they should take those 5/8's tracks & either turn them into 1/2's or mile tracks because that's where people are gambling.  When you look at the pools on the 5/8's they pale in comparison to 1/2's & milers.

I know this is a small sampling but after 78 races pp 8 has a win % that doubles pp 1 at Maywood.  This is with cheap horses & bad drivers, in general.  That easily proves to me that Maywood has found the best combination to make the races interesting & fair.  I would expect that with a full sampling that number will turn completely which would still be a major victory.
Well said Dolfan.
I think most of us older players first were exposed to harness racing at half mile tracks. The action was up close and personal. They went by us a couple of times and we could see the action easily.
Once those of us who were intereested in the sport became a bit more knowledgeable, many of us preferred the mile tracks.
But for new fans going to a mile track and weatching it on TV, well, it just doesn't excite the newbie the way the half mile track excited us.

A question for JDZigg, where did you first get exposed to harness racing?
Mine was at maywood park.
If I would have gone to hawthorne on a january evening first time out, I'm not sure the sport would have grabbed me.
Of course, hawthorne eventually became my favorite Chicago track to play.
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Psycho Dad
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« Reply #39 on: January 23, 2013, 01:16:02 PM »

I'm intent on angles, because I am intent on winning.

Its the ONLY reason I bet harness racing.  If winning wasn't everything, I would play slots.  Lots of different games and different sounds and different colors.
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« Reply #40 on: January 23, 2013, 01:59:19 PM »

You can't save the "sport" with the animal.  NO kids today get to hear about how their ancestors rode horses as a mode of transportation; few areas have any sort of mounted patrol;  heck, parades often have few horses.  Like it or not we don't DIAL a phone anymore and we don't see horses like we once did.

The only way you can save the "sport" is with the human.  Kids today love the Kardashians (why?) and other PEOPLE and do almost anything to get more of them.  The current human roster in the sport is laughable, except for maybe 30 (talking drivers here because they are the ones in front of the camera the most).  Save the sport, get new faces.  A few dozen more Callahans would not hurt. 

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sulkyfromouterspace
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« Reply #41 on: January 23, 2013, 05:27:26 PM »

I totally agree with new faces helping the sport....This Kid Joey Bongorno(spelling).. is 19 and has the coolest job of any 19 year old I know.... Hes a good looking kid and can be the new face of harness racing....Jeff Gural should market the hell out of this kid......   I wish the game had more diversity....I hate to say it...but more people and companies would embrace harness if it had more diversity...( drivers)...   I know the Meadowlands plans on having latino nights....that will help....but more latino drivers would seal the deal.....IMO.....



Sulky
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« Reply #42 on: January 23, 2013, 06:34:31 PM »

The kid does look to have ability.  Let's hope he wants to improve and wants to be honest.  If so, yes, market him.

Or we could hope for 13th generation Legrange Miller, or Lemarcus Miller,  or Angulus Miller, or maybe Austin Merton, or Chet Merton...you know, the ones that would thrive on merit and ability, not simply because they are the only 3 people in the entire universe that know the sport exists and know you can drive horses to make money. 
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sulkyfromouterspace
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« Reply #43 on: January 23, 2013, 06:41:38 PM »

Good point FVRedhot !
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« Reply #44 on: January 23, 2013, 07:33:56 PM »

Once upon a time the horse was the star, drivers next and trainers third. Horses were viewed in almost mythological proportions, we viewed battles for the ages. Whether it was Ramblin Storm in a sat night battle at the Big M or Lorryland Butler at the hilltop, it was an event. When a horse like Jaguar Spur or Matts Scooter came to your local track it was must see racing. From Rambling Willie to Niatross and Nihilator to Mack Lobell, you were ready all week to see the action and the greatness.

 Now with so much speculation about who's an epo/doping horse and questions to a horses real abilities vs enhanced, one has to wonder if racing will ever have that "magic" again. I think the answer is pretty obvious when there's more threads about politics and music than real race horses and i don't blame anyone for not caring anymore.  

 head shake

Harness racing used to be exciting going back to pre 1990 and now, its like nobody cares. There isnt a 'buzz' as much as it used to be surrounding 'big' races. Its a fantastic question to ask, "what happened"?

There's a 'buzz' that still surrounds the Super Bowl, the final 4 and the Indy 500, but the harness racing buzz has faded away in the last 2 decades and i'm just not sure why.

Maybe it has to do with the boom of social media and the internet age and during this age, there's more 'negative' stories that are read by people and the 'stars' and 'heroes' of the past are easily torn down. When Mickey Mantle was womanizing and drinking like a sailor in the 1950s and 1960s, fans didnt know about it because the media wasnt 'allowed' to tell tales. They knew that if they tattle told on Mickey, he would never give them another interview....stars off the field shenanigans were private. Now, you have TMZ generation tearing everyone down, there are few true heroes anymore and people are just much more skeptical these days due to all the negative press that's easily accessable thru the internet.

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Dolfan
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« Reply #45 on: January 23, 2013, 10:21:41 PM »

Well said Dolfan.
I think most of us older players first were exposed to harness racing at half mile tracks. The action was up close and personal. They went by us a couple of times and we could see the action easily.
Once those of us who were intereested in the sport became a bit more knowledgeable, many of us preferred the mile tracks.
But for new fans going to a mile track and weatching it on TV, well, it just doesn't excite the newbie the way the half mile track excited us.

A question for JDZigg, where did you first get exposed to harness racing?
Mine was at maywood park.
If I would have gone to hawthorne on a january evening first time out, I'm not sure the sport would have grabbed me.
Of course, hawthorne eventually became my favorite Chicago track to play.

Burton, mine was at Roosevelt Raceway when I was 14.  I remember the 1st time my dad took us to M1 I said "I can't see a thing, this is no fun".  I never changed my mind.  I always found it more interesting to watch & handicap the 1/2 mile tracks.  I watched Abbatiello, Filion, Haughton, Chapman, Insko & all the others.  I never grew tired of watching 1/2 mile track racing although finding a bet became more difficult as the favorites dominated.  Still, it was the sport that 1st attracted me & I eventually became an owner.  That became more difficult as the vets dominate.


Harness racing used to be exciting going back to pre 1990 and now, its like nobody cares. There isnt a 'buzz' as much as it used to be surrounding 'big' races. Its a fantastic question to ask, "what happened"?

There's a 'buzz' that still surrounds the Super Bowl, the final 4 and the Indy 500, but the harness racing buzz has faded away in the last 2 decades and i'm just not sure why.

My theory has progressed & now I believe it is for these reasons, in no particular order:

- Too many stakes races, spreading apart the better horses.
- Poor or no training skills, keeping many horses off the smaller tracks.
- Trainers winning at totally unbelievable % because of "good vets".
- Poor or no training skills, almost eliminating heat racing.
- This romantic idea that the faster you go, the better, shortening a horse's shelf life.
- Poor or no training skills, leaving a good horse's form unsustainable.
- The need for instant gratification by every dope who can't go 3 minutes without texting.
- Poor or no training skills.
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We can produce more wealth, but we cannot produce more time.  When we give someone our time, we actually give a portion of our life that we will never get back.
sulkyfromouterspace
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« Reply #46 on: January 24, 2013, 04:52:09 AM »

Meadowlands wagering is "through the roof"

 geezer The Meadowlands has plenty of soul....  Sing it w me........The roof The roof......The roof is on fire......we dont need no ,,,,,sears, brennan or Pena......let the Mother f r  thrive !!!!     horse shoe



Medowlands is the sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooul TRACK !!!


Put your hands together for the NEW BIG M !!!!!



http://www.wat.tv/video/soul-train-dancer-o-jays-put-3unw1_2f1mr_.html
 




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sulkyfromouterspace
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« Reply #47 on: January 24, 2013, 04:57:02 AM »

OK OK.....ENCORE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://www.wat.tv/video/soul-train-dancer-carl-douglas-3unwv_2f1mr_.html
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« Reply #48 on: January 24, 2013, 07:55:09 PM »

Sulky,

Jeff Gural better hire you and bottle whatever that positive energy you have is.
I think it's contagious.
Keep it up.
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sulkyfromouterspace
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« Reply #49 on: January 24, 2013, 09:04:14 PM »

Thanks Burton....If harness fans don't see the positive things going on at the meadowlands....then they aint harness fans...PERIOD !!  and ALL should support someone trying his best to save our sport !!      trophy
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