Cotolo’s Harness Review
If you have a Facebook account you should know you can be connected to TwinSpires there as well as Twitter but did you know that a great number of people in the harness business also have Facebook pages? Although Facebook tends to discourage trying to make friends of people one doesn’t know, a simple email explaining you are a fan along with a request to be added as a friend could get you a social-networking connection to someone in the standardbred industry. You could go to my Facebook page and peruse my friends to find some of the high-profile harness folks that you may approach. Most of them are great ambassadors for the sport and more than willing to accommodate fans as Facebook friends.
More good news for Illinois: The business figures at Maywood Park have been more than encouraging, especially on Friday nights. Maywood, the Chicago half-miler that alternates harness programs with upstate Balmoral Park, has seen an increase in handle of 16.9 percent compared to the same dates in 2011.
Through Feb. 11, the track reports, Fridays at Maywood are averaging $1,027,864 compared to $879,561 in 2011. Business has been helped, some feel, by an increase of almost one horse per race in the fields. Fridays in 2012 have averaged 8.27 horses/race compared to 7.39 horses/race in 2011.
Gaining in popularity, also, is the Maywood Pick 4 wager. The average 2012 Friday Pick 4 pool is $13,289 compared to $6,537 for the same dates in 2011, resulting in an increase of over 103 per cent.
Maywood offers a guaranteed Pick 4 every racing with a low take out of 15 percent.
At 23, Matt Kakaley became the youngest driver in harness history to win 2,000 races. He did it at Dover Downs, where Kakaley was handling We The People. Kid Kakaley can be seen racing in Delaware and shooting down to the Meadowlands as well these days. He broke the record held by Tim Tetrick, who was 24 when he totaled 2,000 wins.
(Cartoon by Thom Pye)