Letters to the Editor

And they're off...late

Monday, August 13, 2018

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Dear Editor,

It's been close to 18 months since Supreme Ventures took over horse racing at Caymanas Park. While this period has been short, there are still issues that cause understandable anxiety and frustration.

Some things have been achieved, paramount among these being the payment of purses in days, rather than the extended period of waiting which obtained prior. Still, there are many grumblings from stakeholders with word making the rounds that a major owner has just about had it and could be close to walking away.

While I do not profess to have all the answers I would like to speak on one area — starting races on time.

There is talk about simulcasting local races to the Diaspora in the United States, Canada, etc. This is, at best, a pipe dream and the joke of the century, at worse.

On an average race day (10 races) one is hard-pressed to find even three races going off at the advertised start time. With lateness running between three to five minutes, how will this square in these areas which operate to the second? The rest of the world will not conform to Jamaica time. Even from a local perspective it must be difficult for radio and television programming.

It matters not the size of the field, six or the maximum 16 runners, enough effort is not made to load the horses in a timely manner to ensure on time starts.

While most things are likely to entail financial input of varying sizes, surely getting the starting gate attendants to move apace can't be beyond the budget. Time is money.

Hopeful Punter


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