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Harness Racing's Perfect Distance

Published: March 30, 2014 11:30 am ET

Last Comment: April 4, 2014 3:20 pm ET | 6 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Many harness racing tracks across North America have hosted races of varying distances as part of experiments, special series or annual extreme racing events in recent years.

As harness racing strives to recapture its fan base, trainers revisit the multi-faceted topic in this week's Standardbred Canada video feature.

Would you like to see more races contested at a distance shorter than a mile, longer than a mile or do you feel the mile is the perfect distance for harness racing?

(Note: If you are having difficulty loading the SC Video Features in HD quality, you can adjust the settings to a lower quality and quicker web stream by clicking on the red 'HD' symbol near the right hand corner of the video.)

April 4, 2014 - 3:20 pmWe have watched races longer

We have watched races longer than a mile, with the predictable backing down of pace even more evident than in the mile race. The last quarter is the only real race. As a regular come-from-behinder, there is less hope for a cheque than ever in this format. If you want the front, you better keep going, no matter the distance. Rating your horse and cheating are two different things. Maybe the squirrely-breds have it right...speed dash for a couple hundred yards and go have a beer!

March 31, 2014 - 11:22 amI would like to see the half

I would like to see the half mile tracks experiment with 1 1/4 mile races. For a trial to see how the bettors and fans like this format start with a couple races a week of mid priced claimers, trot and pace.
This would help equal the post position bias on half mile tracks.
Doug McIntosh

March 30, 2014 - 6:29 pmThe 7/8 mile races at

Tim Bates SAID...

The 7/8 mile races at woodbine a few years ago were a novel idea.

March 30, 2014 - 2:48 pmThe definition of a

Norman Hall SAID...

The definition of a Standardbred is a horse that can pace or trot the distance of one mile within a prescribed time, used to be 2:30 when the first registry was put together in the 1860's containing the names of approximately 3000 horses that had either achieved that record or had at least one parent to do so.

The mile is still the standard of the breed.

March 30, 2014 - 2:15 pmI would like to see the mile

Georg Leber SAID...

I would like to see the mile and sixteenth for half mile tracks. It is so predictable that the inside horses have such an advantage at those tracks. Give them a stretch drive instead of coming out of the last turn and the finish is right there. 1/16 is not going to hurt any of the horses. It works at Yonkers, in my opinion.

It may boost the handle a little because there won't be as many 1/5 horses. A further benefit will be for the horses that draw outside posts.

Bottom line-try it-we may like it

Georg Leber-ICR Racing

March 30, 2014 - 1:53 pmIs it me.... or did only a

Will Yamakva SAID...

Is it me.... or did only a few people in this video make the fans the focal point of the reasoning? Until people realize what the customer wants is the most important reason to have this.

a few races a year is not enough to gauge fan interest and increase handle.

hockey added overtime and shootouts...
baseball added interleague play...
Football added 2 pt conversions .....
basketball allowed zone def in the pros...

things changed.... not for a day or two.... but a year's worth of experimenting.

get with the program harness people, the game as it stands and "the perfect distance", are not gaining fans


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