Re: Tomorrow Will Be a Good Day for Racing (510 Views)
Posted by: richiebee
Date: April 06, 2019 05:17AM
Silver I've tried to behave but your damn the torpedoes racing pronouncements,
which are like something out of Sinclair Lewis' early 20th Century world, are
an insult to my limited intelligence.
Your "forget the crap, handicap and wager" pronouncement of earlier this week
convinces me you are looking at your half full glass through rose colored
spectacles. Many of the elements of what you are calling "the crap", such as
unstable mutuel pools, super trainers and surface safety issues most certainly
figure into one's wagering strategy and eventual choices.
First of all, I will admit that Keeneland is putting on its usual great show.
It is a venue where owners, breeders and trainers love to run, resulting in
full fields which all horseplayers, from those of humble bankroll to the bots,
love to wager on. Of course we all know that the "boutique" meets are the most
well received. Which is why those at the helm have Brilliantly!! decided to
expand Saratoga to the point where it is no longer special, more Target or
Walmart than boutique (though Saratoga Springs will continue to feature no
shortage of outrageously priced dining venues, lodgings and watering holes),
and why Oaklawn will gamble that its short meet magic will continue to be well
received even with future expansion.
Your assessment of Aqueduct's Saturday card fascinates me. On Wood Memorial Day
there will be a race run for $8000 claimers. This is exciting because while the
price of EVERYTHING else has gone up in the last 20 years, I seem to recall
that the bottom claiming level at NYRA used to be $10,000 in the not so distant
Let's examine NYRA's late P5. Grade III Excelsior. 8 horse field featuring as
best as I can tell, 2 stake winners: Hit it Once More, who won a 50 grander at
Finger Lakes and last year's winner, Discreet Lover, returning off a layoff for
a trainer who is 1/48 this year. Will try to beat DL at 9/5. I guess another
way to look at it is that you have 1/48 Uriah against runners from Rice,
Pletcher, Asmussen and $ervis.
Grade II Gazelle: Oaks points available to all 6 fillies in this compact field,
which features one graded stake winner, Positive Spirit, who won last year's
nine furlong Demoiselle in 1:56. Someone with a good database might be able to
tell me if that is the slowest nine furlong graded stake winning time over a
fast track, ever, at NYRA. Will be interested to see if Espresso Shot,
craftily identified as a winner by Ken Sherman nearly 48 hours after her
Busher score, can go from NYB stake to open stake to graded stake.
Will admit the Carter, the Wood and especially the last race, an allowance
race, are very solid betting propositions and that is enough to get me out to
Ozone Park live and in person. I might even bring a can of spray paint in case
I am confronted by the PETA people, or maybe bring a pound of ground beef to
toss at them. In any case, Jason $ervis has entries in four of the five
races in the sequence, so even without betting much I can enjoy the spectacle,
the anticipation, the excitement of watching the win odds on his entrants drop
drastically in the last flash even on a day when there is big money in the
Now to California. There are two reasons I will not be betting Santa I'llseeya.
The first reason is that I can not put money into the pockets of an
ownership/management group which is so short sighted that they announce a
bulls**t manifesto including medication changes, transparency measures and whip
restrictions, all of which might be a good START to the conversation, but none
of which will solve SA's problem, which is the racing surface.
As someone pointed out in a Bloodhorse comment, if equine fatalities were
DIRECTLY related to rampant misuse of medications legal and illegal, there
would be a lot more fatalities at Parx and Penn National. In terms of whip
abuse, no runner should come back to be unsaddled with bloody wounds caused by
a jock's whipping, but, generally, I do not think whipping a horse is inhumane,
and most animals that truly object to being struck by the whip have a way of
making their displeasure known, which is how we end up with horses running
loose through local streets adjoining racetracks and why horses occasionally
break through inner rails for a swim in the infield lake.
The other California problem is that if I have bet on a horse at Santa Anita
tomorrow, and the point comes in a race where the jockey on that horse needs to
yank on the reins to get a horse to alter course, and then needs to pump on the
horse to get him/her through a narrow hole near the rail, is my jockey going to
be 100% thinking about getting to the wire or 50% wondering if the horse has a
safe surface underneath him/her?
I think that your "Full speed ahead" edict, and Barry Irwin's call to "Circle
the wagons" in defense of Santa Anita are both admirable and well meant. I also
think that many racing stakeholders and racetrack operators are looking at
SA/Belinda/Tim the way crime families looked at Sonny Corleone or John
Gotti, or Joe Pesci in "Casino": The situation at Santa Anita is bringing too
much heat on Racing, and the TEMPORARY closing of SA (and the immediate
relocation of the Breeder's Cup), until the surface issues are resolved, might
be best for Racing at this point.