Another Governor's Plate is in the books, but are the eliminations to qualify for the big race necessary?
There are not many big races left in the Maritimes, which makes owning a good horse not all that enticing. The Governor's Plate package – including two $5,000 elimination races, the $5,000 consolation and $25,000 Plate final – carried $40,000 in purse money. Winning the Governor's Plate and an elimination race netted the winning owner about $15,000, and that is the best haul one can expect with a good horse racing in the Maritimes.
It takes a horse that can win in the 1:53 to 1:54 range to have any success in the Maritimes’s best races, and that kind of horse sells for anything around the $40,000 range. Rose Run Quest won here on Plate night in 1:54:1, and was listed on the Standardbred Canada website this week for $45,000.
Consider the costs involved with feeding, training, etc., etc., and one quickly realizes that most around these parts are in it for the love of the sport.
Since there are not many top-quality horses in our region, maybe the eliminations to qualify for the Governor's Plate should be eliminated. One elimination race this year was OK, and the other was a dud.
Only four horses, due to illness, and a 1:58 mile in the consolation race was an embarrassment, and not a very good bang for the $5,000. Maybe this could be considered – a single race Governor's Plate preview on elimination Sunday, with the top six qualifying for the Governor's Plate?
The order of finish could be used as a means for determining post positions for the final. The last two spots could be for late entrants, hot local horses or at very least the last two in the preview race.
A good back-up class on Plate night could be included as well as another good race in late summer. We see the best horses in Summerside only on Governor's Plate Week, and an extra invitational pace should be added to the racing calendar – maybe on Labour Day Weekend.
I think the $40,000 could be better utilized, make for better races and not all in the same week.
Manny Machado is considered to be one of the best players in baseball. He was traded from the Baltimore Orioles to the Los Angeles Dodgers this past week for prospects, mainly because Baltimore can't, or won't, pay Machado the massive contract he is expected to sign if he becomes a free agent this winter.
The likely number Machado is likely to get is $30-million-plus per year, which makes it real tough for a small-market team like Baltimore. It is too bad a home-grown-produced star like Machado, who spent his first seven years with the Orioles, is not staying there.
It does not seem fair, especially for small-market teams, not be able to hang onto their star players. A salary cap in the NHL has certainly limited player movement from team to team, but makes for a great and even league where most teams can retain their top players.
We will likely never see a Major League Baseball salary cap, but if we did would Manny Machado still be an Oriole?
Justin Verlander has been one of the best pitchers in baseball over his 13-year career. Only twice has he allowed a four-home run game, with both of those at the hands of the Cleveland Indians.
Last Sunday, he faced the Detroit Tigers for the first time ever, and his former team hit four homers off him while tagging him with the loss.
The Tigers are in Year 1 of a complete rebuild, and have been baseball's worst team this month. Most would bet the light-hitting Tigers would not get one home run off Verlander, let alone four. You never know in baseball!
The Gold Cup and Saucer race is one of the highlights of Old Home Week in Charlottetown, and will be run four weeks from today. There is an old Island saying that summer is over with the conclusion of Old Home Week, and we will be reminded of that very quickly.
The Charlottetown Islanders open their Quebec Major Junior Hockey League exhibition season the next day on Aug. 19, when the Moncton Wildcats provide the opposition in Cornwall. Really?
Have a great week!
Joe MacIntyre is a Summerside resident. His column appears every Saturday. Comments and suggestions can be sent to email@example.com.