Oct 19 2012

Friday Flick, increased jockey fees plus other racing notes

  • The good folks at the Preakness marketing department have put out the following video promoting the race.  The vid is really well done — gorgeous pictures, soaring music — and while I do have one quibble (i.e., to whom is the video targeted?  And what should they do upon seeing it?) it’s still a nice-looking calling card.
  • Following a somewhat strange and occasionally contentious discussion on Tuesday, the Maryland Racing Commission voted sort of unanimously to raise losing mount fees — those paid to riders whose mounts finish fourth through last — to $75, from between $45 and $100, effective January 1.  In addition, with the increase, the state’s horsemen will cease paying the traditional year-end bonus, which increased the income for riders who had ridden frequently, but without earning much money, in the state.  The Commission’s vote followed the recommendation of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (MTHA), which had voted unanimously at its most recent board meeting for the raise.  However, the Commission also indicated that it would revisit the issue at mid-year next year, with the possibility of another increase.  Commission John Franzone vehemently opposed the MTHA’s position and had pushed for the Commission to adopt the Jockeys’ Guild position, requesting $100 per losing mount.  He was not, however, present for the actual vote.
  • Word at the Commission meeting was that handle is slightly up to this point in the meet versus last year.  That’s good news, though I suspect yesterday’s card may not have helped the cause much.  Fewer than eight horses per race faced the starter, two races had just five, and one race, the second, had less than $22,000 in the WPS pool.
  • Five horses were claimed yesterday, and all of them went for $7500 or less.  Meanwhile, Cattail Creek (16-1) and Jon Don (3-1) both broke their maidens, the former for trainer Ferris Allen and Nancy Lee Farms and the latter for trainer Bobby Plummer and the amusingly named A La Carte Thoroughbreds.  Makes you wonder if you could just own a piece, rather than the whole horse, and if so, can I have the nose?
  • I don’t much like betting on off-tracks, which we have today, so no Race o’… but good luck if you wager!
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