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Openstretch
12-24-2017, 11:58 PM
Normally I would say, "Not my circus, Not my monkee" as to the ruckus or lack thereof about the removal of the passing lane from Yonkers. Why should I care? My patent on it has long been expired......it now and for quite some time has been in the public domain. Yet I realize despite its spread to over 100 tracks on three continents over the last two decades no one really understands its function and how it can be adjusted .....its width, its length....to meet the needs of the racing at the track it is in......or, if they do they say nothing........not even the great driver, John Campbell evidences an understanding of it to my mind anyway. I will wait to see if I shuould discuss it......if anyone has interest within our moribund sport. Richard A. Herbert, M.D.

menifee
12-25-2017, 02:56 AM
I’m curious - what is it’s function?

Openstretch
12-26-2017, 12:43 AM
When I patented it there was just a beginning of the euro rail in Euorpe that resembled the concrete parking lugs in parking lots, but made of a lighter material. When the Openstretch was installed at Maywood, we devised an upright pylon that a horse could trample with impunity ....far better than the horizontal, ground level lugs in Euorpe. Coupled with the extra 7 or so feet of the passing lane this effectively decompressed the stretch. Note the near absence of severe accidents in Harness Racing over the last two decades.
In an effort to get harness horseman and bettors to better understand the passing lane's function.......(actually there is almost no understanding as we sit 20 plus years out) lets start with the new one installed at Hoosier (they boast the longest in racing......but it is useless. I would like for the horsemen to venture why that is useless). Hint..... passing lanes do not and should not have to be identical track to track. R. Herbert, M.D.

caper
12-28-2017, 05:16 AM
Its function is to allow the second (and sometimes 3rd) horse on the inside a place to find room to be able to win the race. No?

Ray2000
12-28-2017, 12:11 PM
Yes capper,
I don't know if there are any USTA rules specific to the passing lane but the leader has to stay in his lane.

Excerpt from USTA rules

§ 18.01 Driving Violations.—Although a leading horse is entitled to any
part of the racetrack except after selecting his position in the home stretch, neither
the driver of the first horse nor any other driver in the race shall do any of the
following things, any of which shall be considered a violation of driving rules:
(a) Change either to the right or left during any part of the race when another
horse is so near him that in altering his position he compels the horse behind him
to shorten his stride, or causes the driver of such other horse to pull him out of his
stride.
(b) Jostle, strike, hook wheels or interfere with another horse or driver.
(c) Cross sharply in front of a horse or cross over in front of a field of horses
in a reckless manner endangering other drivers.
(d) Swerve in and out or pull up quickly.
(e) Crowd a horse or driver by “putting a wheel under him.”
(f) Carry a horse out.
(g) Sit down in front of a horse or take up abruptly in front of other horses so
as to cause confusion or interference among trailing horses.
(h) Let a horse pass inside needlessly or otherwise help another horse to
improve his position in the race.
(i) Commit any act which shall impede the progress of another horse or cause
him to break.
(j) Change course after selecting a position in the home stretch or swerve in
an out or bear in and out in such a manner as to interfere with another horse or
cause him to change course or take back.
(k) To drive in a careless or reckless manner or fail to maintain reasonable
control of the horse at all times during the race.
(l) Kick the horse which shall be defined as a blow or thrust with the foot
against any part of the horse’s body or to impel by striking with the foot. Removal
of a foot from the stirrups or any foot supports in and of itself shall not constitute
the offense of kicking.

Openstretch
01-08-2018, 04:46 AM
As suspected even people in the business don't get it. OK. How about.....does the length and the width of a passing lane have an effect on the conduct of a race on a short track (half and five eighth track)? And should a passing lane HAVE TO BEGIN at the top of the stretch? Rich Herbert, M.D.

pandy
01-08-2018, 09:10 AM
As suspected even people in the business don't get it. OK. How about.....does the length and the width of a passing lane have an effect on the conduct of a race on a short track (half and five eighth track)? And should a passing lane HAVE TO BEGIN at the top of the stretch? Rich Herbert, M.D.

It has a big effect on the way the race is run, particularly on the four turn ovals, because the horses sitting second and third rarely pull first over since they can sit and wait for the passing lane. So the first over horse comes from fourth or fifth. This creates a big advantage for the pacesetter, who often is able to rate its pace unchallenged until the three quarter pole. Prior to the passing lane, the horse most likely to pull first over was the horse sitting third, and sometimes the pocket horse would pull if it was the favorite.

The bottom line is, the passing lane contributed to the speed bias, and the speed bias is a big reason why the handle has dropped steadily over the years.

Denny
01-11-2018, 10:16 PM
To those more knowledgeable than I,

Does the spacing of the wheels have to be so far apart?

Seems to if they could be closer together, then the horses wouldn't have to lose so much ground when going wide.
Maybe we'd see more exciting racing with more horses going three wide.

There would also be more room to be found between horses coming down the stretch.

The sulkies are so wide, have they always been? Do they have to be for a safety reason?

Thanks

baconswitchfarm
01-12-2018, 01:19 AM
To those more knowledgeable than I,

Does the spacing of the wheels have to be so far apart?

Seems to if they could be closer together, then the horses wouldn't have to lose so much ground when going wide.
Maybe we'd see more exciting racing with more horses going three wide.

There would also be more room to be found between horses coming down the stretch.

The sulkies are so wide, have they always been? Do they have to be for a safety reason?

Thanks



If the sulky is narrowed the horses back feet will hit the wheels and not be able to go in a clean manner, slowing it down significantly.

Openstretch
01-20-2018, 10:09 PM
First, Australian and New Zealand bikes are indeed a small amount narrower and a little longer to help for stability and horse strikes.
Yes, the two hole benefits way too much now. But why? Say at Yonkers the stretch is something around 400 feet or so. What would the horse taking the belly trip do if ........say the Yonkers Passing Lane started 75 or 100 feet deep into the stretch? This would create many possibilities. Fearing not enough ground to get up would the two hole horse pull early? How would we know if it is not tried? Why couldn't different races on the card contest the race over (using Yonkers again) say three different length open stretches. It would only take a few minutes to set the plastic pylons to the three different lengths. Let the drivers and trainers factor in all the elements as to strategy........and, of course the bettors. For god's sake harness racing shake things up! Another point an open stretch should be wide enough to accommodate two horses, not the 7-9 feet wide they currently are.
But, nowdays, not my circus, not my monkey............that said I still sure would like someone, somewhere to shake things up. Rich Herbert