Thursday, June 17, 2010

I know it's long, but it's a must-read...

Pay attention -- PAY CLOSE ATTENTION! Today's post is a very, very important one because it is a commentary on the unmistakable progress that has been made within the industry within the past week.

In the context of my Wednesday June 9 post entitled, "Please, tell me I'm wrong!", I was quite critical of Chris Hickey and WEG's "Mohawk Racing Live" in-house broadcasts. It wasn't meant to be a personal attack on Chris -- I recognize that he's just like the rest of us that wake up each day with a job to go to. I simply thought that he and the rest of the broadcast team were capable of much better and the comments left by readers of this blog were suggestive of similar. There was no one more pleased than me when, within just a few days of my passionate plea, those overwhelming beliefs were confirmed. Coverage of last Saturday's Burlington card was much more informative and of much more interest than that of those which I had been so disapproving of earlier in the week. If you read Tuesday's post, you'll find that I was just as quick to praise Chris and WEG for the overnight, marked improvement that such criticism had so obviously given rise to.

I used the same post as a means of expressing my disappointment with the Ontario Racing Commission's "From The Stand" segment. I couldn't understand why a project with so much potential -- one which could easily be used as a means of addressing perception issues which have been universally agreed upon as having contributed to the sport's decline -- featured nothing more than discourse for uninteresting, inarguable, self-explanatory infractions. That format has since changed as well. Yesterday's "From The Stand" piece was absolutely fantastic! Horsemen and gamblers alike had several questions and wanted answers about the 7th Race from Grand River on May 31. After watching the race live and viewing the replay at least 20 times, even I was certain that Plante's bike had gone inside three pylons and that Keystone Gemini should've been disqualified. I read comments from one customer that was alive on a "pool shot" Pick Four with the runner-up (A Step Above) and he, too, was of the impression that the Judges had done him an injustice when they failed to change the order of finish. It is only as a result of yesterday's revelation , though, that it has become clear to one and all that the Judges got it absolutely right -- the bike's inside wheel hit the first pylon, was inside the second and hit the red pylon at the mouth of the passing lane -- none of which are violations.

The harness racing industry is replete with passionate people of diverse backgrounds -- tireless, hard-working grooms, grinding gamblers, dedicated drivers, breeders that fight to stay in business -- the list is endless. It's obvious that Peter Kyte isn't the only passionate person involved. If my own affection, however, leads me to saying or writing things that others misconstrue and take offense to, I apologize in advance. I'm not always right and few make more mistakes than me. I may even be too critical and too outspoken at times, but I'd rather be guilty of those offenses than be accused -- even if only by myself -- of complacency.

Feel free to detail your own thoughts in the comment space provided below.


  1. That is why I don't go to Mohawk as much these days, Grand River is a much more enjoyable experience. I enjoyed following along with you on twitter.

  2. I find your blogs refreshing and accurate , no BS , just telling it like it is , you are not worried to offend sometimes but also as quick to praise when warranted , your open minded not worried about repercussions is a new and refreshing idea..
    Keep up the "REAL" view from the press box ..
    Well done..


  3. Someone has to put the pylon rules in the program, no if & or buts.. make it black & white . . .as far as I'm concerned it's a joke when ya hear the judges calls on the subject. How a bout a white pylon & 3" inside you install a red one. Hit the red & your tossed to last unless your avoiding a collision.

  4. Great job Pete in bring about positive change. It's been quite a while since I watched the coverage of Woodbine/Mohawk on The Score. The interview portion of the program was usually of little value.

  5. Hey Pete, we need passionate and controversial dialogue for our industry. There is way too much of congratulatory interviews with soft ball questions. Excitement beats boredom anytime.
    When it comes to the pylon rule, there is no excuse for going inside one! By definition, if you do, you haven't gone a mile!! You couldn't go over the old hub rail and no driver should ever go inside a pylon unless forced to.