Hey BigWrench: ¬† Looks like you skipped school too much. Last time I looked, Woodbine/Mohawk was north and east of those bull rings you mentioned and I do believe they race year round there also.
Do you think Toronto gets some nasty weather in January ¬†
Seems to me those winds blow 30 to 40 mph some nights there.
When was the last time you watched Big M racing ¬†
You better check the calendar, they race in December, January, February also.
All I was trying to say is this. These large win numbers that these drivers put up are at small tracks.
Lets take a prime example. Stephane Bouchard. Can you over drive a horse on a 1/2 and get away with it? You sure can. Over drive one on a mile track, you get carved up. Plain and simple.
I went back the last couple of years at the Meadowlands - Here are those numbers currently for Bouchard in 2006.
Bouchard ¬†- starts 113 - 3 wins - 7 seconds - 6 thirds - ¬†win -3% - ¬†UDRS -0.079
His 2005 numbers are
Bouchard - starts 119 - 2 wins - 9 seconds- 6 thirds - win - 2% - UDRS - 0.076
His 2004 numbers are
Bouchard - 201 starts - 4 wins -12 seconds - 23 thirds - win - 2% - UDRS 0.091
So lets total those up. ¬† ¬†433 drives - 9 wins - 28 seconds - 35 thirds
win ¬†- 2% ¬†- UDRS - 0.083.
Now if you look at his Yonkers/Monticello numbers, they are quite different aren't they.
You wonder if this is the same guy, don't you.
Is the driver competition better at the BIG TRACKS? Yep.
Does he put other drivers to sleep like he does at Yonkers/Monticello? No.
Does he understand pace, positioning, when to move and how to move on BIG TRACKS? He hasn't learned it yet.
The bull ring racing is the same race after race after race. Make the front. Back'em down.
Do you think Brett Miller prefers the bull rings?
I will tell you this. When John Campbell left the Detroit/Windsor area for the Meadowlands he was MARGINAL at best, especially at Wolverine. John won his share at Hazel and Windsor. John HAD TO LEARN how to drive at the Big M. He was taken under the wings of Ray Remmen, Greg Wright Sr. Tom Harmer, Chris Boring, Bill Gale and was given the knowledge of what to and not to do.
Walter drove all size tracks, no problem with him. Herve won most of his in the bull rings. Yonkers, Roosevelt, Freehold. When the BIG M opened up, who dominated the early years there? The Detroit drivers.
Cat Manzi - No problem there either. Cat drives and wins his share at the Meadowlands. He has good track presence and awareness.
Dave Palone - Very good driver and understands pace in the BULL RINGS. Put him in with better drivers on a bigger track and things change. The 1/4 pole moves stop. The slow middle 1/4's stop. The friendly give and go racing stops.
It is kind of like the Beyer number with the runners. Both horses run 1:09 the same day day with a Beyer number of 112 for their respective race.
Their next start is an allowance race. One of the runners was a $15,000 claimer, the other a $75,000 claimer. What horse do you want?
Each driver has a place in harness racing. I only agree with Dave Brower on a few things. One of those is, "Show me on the BIG TRACK".
I have not seen enough of Dave Palone to put him in the upper tier of drivers.