Harrisburg, PA --- Jason Settlemoir, president of the United States Harness Writers Association, has announced that H.A.N.A., the Horseplayers Association of North America, and driver Yannick Gingras will receive President’s Awards at USHWA’s “Night Of Stars,” the annual awards banquet, on Sunday, February 27, at the Marriott North in Fort Lauderdale Fla.
Today’s release will look at H.A.N.A.; a release tomorrow will focus on Gingras.
Horseplayers, both Standardbred and Thoroughbred, have long been the lifeblood of the equine racing sports, but they and their concerns/suggestions have usually received short shrift from the sports’ organizations and racing officials. The self-formed H.A.N.A. is trying to change that: “H.A.N.A. is committed to giving horseplayers a voice” reads the very first sentence of its mission statement.
Among the areas where H.A.N.A. thinks that racing could present a more attractive product to potential customers/bettors are: universal signal availability to all outlets at all times, without exception; the long-awaited and long-debated lowering of takeout rates -- H.A.N.A.’s ideal figure would be in the 10 percent range, a number not far off from “optimilization of handle” studies by university economists; a severe hard-line stand against drug misusage in racehorses; “pool integrity,” which they define as a secure tote system which displays correct and final odds as soon as the gate springs; and large, competitive race fields.
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