- Since I can’t seem to pick many winners these days, I need to brag when I get anything right, so I’ll point out that I did correctly surmise that owner Harry Aleo would not run Lost in the Fog in the Derby, and that has now been confirmed in a story in the San Francisco Chronicle. Trainer Greg Gilchrist cited some Derby history as part of their reasoning.
In the past four Derbies, there were 29 legitimate contenders that either finished in the top five and/or were among the five with the lowest odds. Only seven won a major race after the summer.Good for them. This decision should benefit the horse and the sport down the line. It looks like the colt’s next start will be right here at the Big A, on Wood Memorial day no less, which is shaping up as a big day. Wouldn’t it be fascinating if they instead ran him in the Grade 1 Carter the same day? It is a 3 yo and up after all, and may attract Forest Danger, but I guess that’s asking too much of him at this point. Perhaps the Met Mile?
"I don't want to be in that record book," Gilchrist said. "We want to enjoy this horse for another year or two. This business is so tough that if you do everything absolutely perfectly it's still hard to win, especially at these levels. I'm not downplaying the Triple Crown; there are some people who would say it's worth it to try. That's fine; they can go for it." [SF Chronicle]
- What a streak. Oaklawn track announcer Terry Wallace called his 17,000th consecutive race on Wednesday!
- John Servis says that Rockport Harbor is progressing nicely, but at the same time acknowledged that he missed some more hoped-for work.
Servis said he wanted to put a strong gallop into Rockport Harbor on Wednesday to put the colt "right where I wanted him mentally."Nonetheless, it’s on to the Rebel.
But that wasn’t possible because of the minor physical setback that Servis said he believes is fallout from Rockport Harbor’s right rear foot being severely gashed in the Remsen. "Between the two [foot problems], I’ve missed at least one work and a strong gallop," Servis said. "I just think he would have been a lot more prepared for this race. [Arkansas Democrat Gazette]
- On a conference call for investors this morning, Churchill CEO Tom Meeker continued to be evasive about the company’s plans for Hollywood Park.
He said the "deliberation process" on Hollywood Park would be completed in a few months, and thereafter he would be "in a better position to comment."Meeker also said that the company spent nearly $6 million to promote failed slots legislation in California and Florida.
CDI purchased Hollywood Park for $140 million in 1999. Its property value is believed by some to be more than double that amount. [Bloodhorse]
- Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is a Baptist minister and an opponent of gambling. Nonetheless he will not veto legislation expanding gambling at Oaklawn Park, and will let it become law, though without his signature.
"It’s not a bill I want my name on," the governor said at a news conference. "I’m surprised a lot of the legislators want their name on it."The interesting part of this particular initiative is that it only allows devices that some “skill and study” are involved. It also provides for a tax rate of only 20%, far below that of other states.
He said it would be "a total waste" to try to veto the bill, though, seeing as how the state constitution allows the Legislature to override him with only a simple majority. "My own vote is a no vote, but it doesn’t do anything to help in the legislative process to go through a futile attempt to veto a bill that’s going to be overridden," he said.
He said he was shocked by the bill’s quick passage with "the lack of debate, the lack of questions, the lack of intensity around it."
[Arkansas Democrat Gazette]