Thoughts on Various Topics, Moral and Diverting (609 Views)
Posted by: richiebee
Date: July 08, 2020 06:57PM
(with apologies to Jonathan Swift).
A) Baffert/Lidocaine Positives: I keep going back to the fact that three of the
horsemen I believe are exemplary (McGaughey, Mott and Motion) all fought hard
when horses they saddled came back with overages. Baffert's attorney/spin
specialist comes up with the "patch contamination story", and it is a good one,
1) I've used those patches before. I've even applied them to myself while
suffering a bit of an overage of my own. I am here to report that these patches
are packaged so that one's hands need never touch the medicated portion of the
If the "patch" theory is well received, watch for the following in a future
overage story: "Yes, it appears that the groom was having respiratory problems
and was wearing a clenbuterol patch...."
2) As someone at the other place mentioned, it is much more likely that Gamine
and Charlatan were training on Lidocaine and withdrawal time was miscalculated.
Informed sources concur that Lidocaine is not considered a performance
enhancing (or pain masking) drug when used in the quantities found in Gamine
and Charlatan, but an overage is an overage and when rules are not applied
equably they are a lead weight on the concept of fairness.
3) At one point or another the stewards somewhere have to give Baffert what I
have called the "Lifetime Achievement Award" and sit him down for 15 -30 days.
Add it all up: dead horses, a Triple Crown winner who arguably should not have
been eligible for the Kentucky Derby, now Lidogate, horses who work
ridiculously fast in the morning and turn in unlikely performances in the
afternoon (Gamine's Acorn one of the more brilliant ones in my opinion). Do
Asmussen and Baffert deserve their own wing in Racing's Hall of
B) Track moisture: This kind of information, and even more detailed, has been
available at a lot of tracks for many years. In the days of the Ford
Administration, NYRA had a daily handwritten chart at all three of its tracks
(if you knew where to find said chart) which showed the depth of the cushion at
various places on the track surface.
Regarding track maintenance, I had a racetrack buddy who, while the rest of us
were quaffing beer or bullshi__ing, would be locked in on the activities of the
track maintenance crew between races. The type of harrows and floats. The
formation of the tractors as they circled the track. Where the water was going.
He once went to the rakeyard at Monmouth, where the equipment and crew go
between and after the races, in search of information. He brought two six packs
of beer hoping to curry favor and gather knowledge. He reported back that the
crew barely paid attention to him, drank his beer and continued on with their
card game. A final note on this racetrack character -- he came from an
extremely wealthy family and his dream job was to walk the turf course and pick
up divots after the races.
A good track maintenance crew can for better or worse alter or at affect the
outcome of races, especially when there is a lot of time between races (big
days/turf racing). Butch Lehr at CD used to be particularly good in this way.
C) In "They Live", a sci-fi flick featuring pro wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper,
things are not always the way they seem. At one point in the proceedings Roddy
gets a hold of some sunglasses which allow him to see that there is hidden
meaning and messages behind many innocent looking billboards. I am beginning to
think I would like to have some glasses like that and have a look at the
gazillions of "Runhappy" signs at racetracks everywhere. Is there some hidden
meaning? Has Runhappy produced anything worthwhile yet?
In "They Live" Piper delivers one of the great cinematic lines of all time,
purportedly an ad lib, when standing in a bank and brandishing a weapon, he
announces: "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I'm all out
Last week while watching some races, a Runhappy TV ad caused me to have a
Hefweisen on the keyboard moment. The ad showed Runhappy defeating Private Zone
in the BC Sprint. The narration (by Mattress Mack himself?) concluded with
"Private Zone was trained by Jorge Navarro. Runhappy ran on Hay, Oats and
Water" I couldn't believe I heard this correctly, but four or five minutes
later, when the ad ran again I had another good chuckle.