Off and racing


As mentioned yesterday, I went to the harness races in Clinton on Sunday. It’s a beautiful track in a beautiful setting.

I went specifically to see the Kin Pace for three-year-old fillies and Velvet Stinger delivered a speed that tied the track record.

But, before that, there were lots of interesting races including three races of the Ontario Sires Stakes for 2-year-old trotters who had never raced. They’d all qualified to prove that they could get around the track at a certain speed, most coming from Mohawk. Now, trotters are known to go off stride more than pacers and younger ones even more so. The first of the three races really showed that.

There was another series race that I’d seen when I looked at the entries online. It was the “Catch Driver Claiming Series”. The definition of a Catch Driver from the program is “A driver which does not train his or her own horses and is engaged by other trainers to drive their horses.” It happens all the time so I wondered how the heck you could turn that into a claiming series.

It wasn’t until the on-track commentator mentioned what it was all about that I got a clue. “Catch Driver” is actually an app you can install that lets you simulate driving a horse on your phone! They were sponsors of the series. I made a physical note on my program to download this app and try it when I got home!

I did and immediately was hooked.

If you’ve ever played computer games before, you’ll know what’s meant by first-person games. It puts you in a haunted house looking for ghosts. Or, it puts you in the seat of a Formula 1 car and you get to drive the streets of Monte Carlo.

Here, you’re in the sulky with the reins in your hand, driving a horse!

You drive on various tracks – 1/2 mile, 5/8 mile, 1 mile and face off against other horses as you run the course. Pop the ear plugs, drive into the pocket, circle the field, all of the things that you’d see at the track are here. As a fan of the sport, I was caught by the detail that went into the design and the play.

Now, those two-year-old colt races had three horses break their maiden yesterday. (An interesting expression for male horses) And now, I’m working to break my own maiden.

I’m getting better but if the announcer was calling me out, it would be “and Doug can see the entire field”. In horse racing, that’s not a good thing!

OTR Links 07/05/2022


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.