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Favourites Score In Peaceful Way Elims

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Published: September 14, 2009 10:44 pm ET

Last Comment: September 15, 2009 3:11 pm ET | 12 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Favourites completely dominated in Monday’s trio of $30,000 Peaceful Way Stakes eliminations for two-year-old filly trotters at Mohawk Racetrack.

In the first elimination, it was Angostura who actually emerged victorious after a fierce stretch-long duel with race favourite Costa Rica. However, the winner was subsequently disqualified and placed last after the Ontario Racing Commission judges ruled that driver Trevor Ritchie had violated the new rule on urging horses which was instituted province-wide on September 1.

As a result, Costa Rica, in rein to Ron Pierce, was elevated to the win position and Perfect Chance and Tequila Slammer were promoted to second and third respectively, both insuring spots in the lucrative final.

The daughter of Muscles Yankee-Examination paid just to $2.80 to win in recording her seventh win of the season in 10 starts for Jimmy Takter who trains for wife Christina along with Jim and John Fielding. Her purse earnings now sit at just over $570,000.

The Takter-trained Cantab It All delivered as the heavy favourite in the second elimination for driver John Campbell in 1:57.1. The daughter of Cantab Hall-Bettor Odds came first over to take the lead turning for home and then easily held off a closing Warrawee Lassie with Ruling Class finishing third.

It was the sixth win in just eight starts this year for Cantab It All who is owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, Mel Hartman and Falkbolagen Ab. She returned a popular $2.10 to win and the winner’s share of the purse bumped her earnings to just over $156,000.

Poof Shes Gone made a quarter-pole move to the lead in the final split and then cruised to her sixth consecutive win for driver David Miller in 1:57.1. The daughter of Kadabra-Travelin Superlite held off Ruffles and Glide By the for win and also returned just $2.10.

The filly’s only loss came in her first career start at the Meadowlands on a sloppy track. Since then, she’s been flawless for trainer Richard ‘Nifty’ Norman and owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman, David McDuffee and John Fielding while improving her seasonal bankroll to just over $450,000.

Post positions for the final were to be selected and drawn following the eliminations, but an appeal filed by Trevor Ritchie on the judges’ decision to place Angostura from first to seventh will delay the draw.

(WEG)

To view Monday’s harness racing results, click here.

September 15, 2009 - 3:11 pmFirstly I wish all good

Firstly I wish all good fortune on your appeal. I think this is typical of the penalty not fitting the crime. Who and why did the powers feel setting a horse last for this infraction was justified.. I agree with the rule but the penalty, come on..

Dave Gilders seems to have a handle on how penalties could be handed down.. I am sure everyone knew this was going to happen sooner than later, now lets see if things will change when it comes to the penalty. The judges just upheld the rule and penalty as they are instructed but now we need some common sense from the appeal board... Good luck again Trevor and company

September 15, 2009 - 2:39 pmI could not believe my ears

Hugh Woods SAID...

I could not believe my ears while watching racing last night when they announced that Angostura had been set from first to last. The purpose of the new rule was to stop the cutting, slashing and abusement of horses, not the couple of taps given while urging your horse to do his best.

The driver should have been fined as set out in the new rule, but he never abused the horse just because he held both lines in one hand and lightly tapped the horse. Why are the horse, trainer, owner and bettors being penalized? This was not the purpose of the new rule. What else can they do to kill off harness racing. Let's give our heads a shake. What do you think Jack Darling?

September 15, 2009 - 2:25 pmI too am a bettor (previous

I too am a bettor (previous owner)and am encouraged to see that this rule enfuriates the horsemen to the same extent that it enrages the bettors. Too often we are written off as digruntled losers who could not pick a winner in a one horse race. However the gambler now has options of where to spend their money and with rules and decisions like this they are certain to go eleswhere. All we have to do is look at the stats that are posted on the SC homepage to realize that the handles are still plumeting by the millions each year.

It is hard enough these days trying to handicap a race without having to worry if the driver is cognisant of the fact that he can no longer do what he has done (encouraging, whipping or whatever you want to call it) his entire career. If the idea was to ensure the safety of the horse (I don't think Trevor returned to the paddock with half a horse here), then obviously the intent of the rule has been misinterpreted. However as often is the case the rule was probably written so there is no interpretation to be taken.

Instead of penalizing those that abuse.....everyone including the owner and the bettors will be punished. (not that I think Trevor deserves anything for what he did). I know the sport is doing whatever it can to attract new people to the game and ecourage them to stay. Unfortunatley here is an example of how the regulating body has put something in place that will work in the opposite direction. Try explaining to the first time bettor what Trevor did wrong in the second race last night to warrant being taken down, the bettor losing his money and the owner not only losing last nights purse but any shot at the final as well. Next symposium maybe you can use this as an example of a bad marketing tool for this sport. From the responses I have read so far good luck fixing this one.

September 15, 2009 - 1:45 pmThe ORC will get what they

The ORC will get what they deserve in this! I stated previously that if they instituited this rule that one of the ways that the owners of the horses could show there displeasure was to not bring in outside horses to race under these rules. Now we have had the "Perfect Storm" happen and the owner of the DQ'd horse is paying an immense fine for a stupid rule. This should give even more incentive for top flite horses to "STAY AWAY" from a commission that would have such a rule.

I think that it would be justifiable and perfect if the owners of the DQ'd horse took it to the judges and then to civil court to have this overturned and quite possibly putting the race next week up in the air until it's solved. A court injuction not to hold the final would be justified in this case!!!

September 15, 2009 - 1:21 pmRegarding the race last

jimmy takter SAID...

Regarding the race last night, Monday September 14th.. I am in big favor for the new whipping rule because I do not like to see my horses be abused but I can't see how they can have a rule like this. Owners and trainers put alot of time and money in to this game and why should they be punished for what the driver does.

I believe that in these situations it should be the driver that should get the fine and/or suspension. If the driver breaks the rules and makes an impact on the results the judges should then determine whether or not the horse gained advantage. If the horse does gain advantage they should be put back.

I know this time because of the rule my horse won but next time I know that it can happen to me. I can't imagine how the connections to the horse feels. Furthermore, if you keep the rule like this, there is a strong possibility that it will end up in lawsuits and appeals!

Jimmy W Takter

September 15, 2009 - 12:48 pmLet's drive all the bettors

Ted Fenic SAID...

Let's drive all the bettors away with this stupid rule that penalizes them as if they are the culprits.

Once the bettors leave and the slot money disappears, we will have this great whipping rule which will discourage the drivers from their 5% of the blankets we will be racing for.

September 15, 2009 - 12:42 pmAs soon as I turned 19, I

zac zacharia SAID...

As soon as I turned 19, I was introduced to harness racing at Greenwood racetrack. I was instantly hooked. Years later, Greenwood would be demolished and up would spring harness racing at Woodbine. Lost was the intimacy and excitement of being up close to the action. I compare this event to the day the leafs stopped playing at the Gardens and moved on to the Air Canada Centre. Don't get me wrong, I know change can be good and necessary, but at what cost? There was a certain invisible force I felt when I walked into Greenwood raceway that was lost forever when they stopped racing. For the love of the sport, I persevered and began making that long public transit journey to Woodbine.
I am now 39 and it's 20 years later. Harness racing to me was what baseball is to the Americans. Handicapping the races day in and day out was a passion that I truly loved. I saw it as a challenge where I can make a few bucks and,at the same time, watch the incredible power and speed of these magnificant animals.
After watching last night's debacle involving the disqualification of Mr.Ritchie, it is clearly evident that it has now become impossible for me to enjoy this sport. I have that sick feeling in my stomach that we all get at some point in our lives when we lose a loved one. At the same time, I know that eventually I'll get over it. For me, the flame has finally burned out and I'm now signing off this sport forever.
As for all the "politicians" in the sport that felt it necessary to implement these rule changes in order to save the sport, you better hope that my case is a minority one. You can't afford to have many people like me walk away from the sport.

September 15, 2009 - 11:08 amRegarding the

Regarding the disqualification of Trevor Ritchie last night. I am a horse bettor (about 3,000$ a night). I was never so disgusted as my horse was disqualified last night. This rule has got to be the worst ever instituted. Richie made a great drive, kept his horse interested and never abused him at all; and you come and take away my hard earned bet with such a dumb decision.

Probably you wont believe me because you dont know me, but I can assure you that is it for me. I quit betting on harness racing starting today. Believe me, it is hard enough trying to win (excessive take-out percentage, racing luck, drugs etc...I don't need this aggravietion on top of everything else).

Gilles Simard

September 15, 2009 - 9:47 amIntent versus application.

Intent versus application. Let me say first off I was and am still someone who thinks a change was necessary for whipping (not urging) violations, especially for serial offenders and those who blatantly disregard the rules and meet out extreme punishment to horses. Do I support the current changes after 2 weeks of implementation, well no. Reason being once again as a prominent trainer aptly put it; "yet again we've shot ourselves in the foot". The intent of the rule change I was hoping for was to stop the one-handed slashing taking place by a small minority of drivers. This should have been a no brainer, take the worst offenders and fine them, suspend them or if they don't get it take away their license seemed simple to me. Not that complicated in fact and maybe like the graduated license system we have for newly licensed car drivers, the newest harness drivers should be required to keep a line in both hands for a certain period of time. After year long meetings with industry groups to achieve the desired "compromise" is this the best solution? I'm told give it time, time will tell. My question is do we have the time? Yes those who know me know that I pushed for something to be done because what I was witnessing was poor horsemanship on the track from older drivers who knew only one way to drive the slash and pound style and younger guys who seemed to know one thing, keep hitting till you hit the wire. We have many highly talented professionals whom I would suspect have never as much as left a welt on an animal. Trevor Ritchie is one, Doug Brown, Steve Condren, Roger Mayotte, Paul Macdonell for certain are true professionals and great horsemen. What do you suppose would be their combined total of whipping violations over the last 30 years and tens of thousands of drives? Those industry participants who now feel the need to vent about these changes I say where were you when input was sought? If this issue is ever revisited in the future and input is sought make sure you call or write otherwise the industry will get more of the same.

September 15, 2009 - 9:32 amPlacing Angostura from

Placing Angostura from winning to last. With no shot at the $500,000 final has to be in the top ten of how to kill Harness Racing, drive owners and gamblers from the game.
How the ORC can justify fining the owner of this filly a possible quarter million dollars is absolutely ludicrous. There was no abuse to the horse. (was not that the purpose of the new rule?) Now the abuse is to the owner and their connections. And that is perfectly fine?

I hope the authors of this new rule are proud of themselves.

Doug McIntosh

September 15, 2009 - 7:36 amThe set back of Trevor

DON JOHNSTON SAID...

The set back of Trevor Ritchie's Horse last night would have to rate as the dumbest thing I have ever seen in Harness Racing. Yes he had both reins in one hand and this rule was put in place to protect the horse but come on... The two tippy taps He gave the horse would not hurt a fly. Trevor may get a little fine out of this and loose his 5% but the people that this rule is hurt the most is the Owners and the Bettors who had no control over this.
The owners not only lost the Purse money but also lost the right to get into the lucrative final.
There was also a large amount of money bet on this horse and I am sure that without a doubt some of these bettors that had their money taken away will never come back.
It would have been interesting to see if Jack Darling would have appealed if it was his horse.

September 15, 2009 - 12:00 amThe disqualification of

The disqualification of Trevor Ritchie's mount caused a huge bruhaha at the teletheatre from where I watched the race.It was quite obvious that Ritchie did not abuse his mount at all, and the spirit of the rule was not broken. If you take this rule literally, the judges should have disqualified at least two other winners (Dave Miller and John Campbell), who clearly lifted their whips obviously high in the air (well over a 90 degree angle)although they were not flogging their horses. Which of these instances do you think hurt the "perception" of horse abuse in standardbred racing? There were so many other instances of "loose lining" throughout the night that they were almost too numerous to count, but in typical fashion,let's penalize a brilliant steer by a great driver and all the suckers who bet on him. All this did was confuse the neophites and aggravate the "die-hards", so how exactly was this ruling in the best interest of racing?

Either have whips or get rid of them completely so we get some consistency......please? I beg you for the sake of the sport that is my passion.


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