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Kelly Spencer's Blog


12 Days Of Christmas - Day 12

Published: December 19, 2008 4:16 pm ET

Last Comment: December 26, 2008 9:59 pm ET | 3 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Greetings from the snowy depths of SW Ontario. With more tracks canceled than racing, chances are you’re looking at that driveway right now without a single racing-related excuse to save you from the shovel. I feel your pain. Literally. Which, leads us into the the 12th item in the 12 Days Of Christmas . . .

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love (harness racing) gave to me:
12 months of interesting work.

My neighbor takes what appears to be great pleasure in sitting on his stoop and chatting with me while I shovel my driveway. I keep an extra shovel nearby, but he won’t take the bait. I only tolerate his brazen chatter because he likes to talk harness racing.

He doesn’t know anything about racing, but is forever intrigued by the notion of making a living at it. Admittedly, it’s not my job of pushing paper or photography that spellbinds him, but that of working with horses every day.

Truth is, there are lots of soul-sucking jobs out there in the world beyond the racing bubble. I think we’re all extremely blessed to make our living in this colourful industry. Whether you work in a hands-on role with horses, or in an administrative or executive capacity, harness racing is an exciting field, layered with so much passion, action and reward.

December 26, 2008 - 9:59 pmIf we keep discussions open,

R. Clark (not verified) SAID...

If we keep discussions open, and bringing issues to the forefront, (blogs like this for ex.) ... Then things have a chance of improving ... Everyone has to realize this industry is a ship, slowly sinking, and if something isn't done, "COLLECTIVELY", across the board, coast to coast, north to south, then Harness Racing will only be a footnote in entertainment history.
I don't pretend to have the answers, but, I would like to see a "BLOG" dedicated to just that, people with ideas on how to improve this industry for the good of all involved. (yes, that includes the betting public as well).
ABOLUTELY NO BITCHING OR NEGITIVITY, just possible solutions, where no idea is too crazy or dumb ... a positive think-tank if you will.
This industry has brilliant, dynamic people with great ideas, who need to be heard.

On the thirteenth day of Christmas my true love ... is Harness Racing

Thanks Kelly, all the best to you and yours !

December 22, 2008 - 8:29 pmOn the first day of chanukah

Coralee (not verified) SAID...

On the first day of chanukah (or the 4th day of Christmas!) my true love gave to me: My children and I screaming at the television set as one of the horses I look after makes it's first lifetime start....and it's first lifetime win!! Then came the celebratory dancing of course! Happy Holdays Harness Racing Fans!

December 19, 2008 - 8:16 pmTo Kelly from

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

To Kelly from Scrooge:

Harness racing needs more like you in the business, especially the passion you have. However, as a bettor, I also have my 12 days of Christmas list, but it's not so cheery.

1. The number ONE rule amongst track operators, trainers, and drivers in racing, absolutly never, ever, ever reduce the takeout %.
2. The number of 1/2 mile tracks that Windsor leases that are rotting into the ground while they reap the benefits of the slots.
3. As Dave Perkins referred to them as the "three blind mice", the judges that make some of the most incredulous decisions involving 100's of millions of dollars wagered, with the Don McElroy/Larry Nickle one taking the cake.
4. The 4 negative positive tests in Kentucky of all places, great advertising, eh?
5. A 5% increase in purses at Woodbine while betting continues to slide.
6. $6.00 for a bottle of beer at WEG that costs $1.50 to buy, a 400% mark-up! That will attract the young crowd!
7/8. After 15 years of watching races at Woodbine, they need 4 nights of 7/8 mile races to evaluate if there is a problem.
9. The approximate number of months between Bill Elliot's positve test and his suspension.
10. Ten,... a number that bettors can only dream about,... ten horse fields, ten race programs, 10% takeout, 10-cent chicken wings? Oh yeah, gotta have that 400% markup, the bettors pay through the nose on EVERYTHING.
11. One of the reasons for decreased wagering, as in 9/11,... also SARS, border waits, whipping, the economy, etc. Everything but the fact that takeout is approximately ohhh,.... let's say 11% too high.
12. Exactly one dozen more than the number of track operators that will appreciate anything on this list.

And one last thing,... BAH... HUMBUG! Not really, I hope everyone has a merry Christmas and a happy New Year, and maybe, just maybe, things will improve in 2009.

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