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Friday, April 22, 2005

Go Baby Go

- The NTRA is having a problem, as a couple of major horseman groups are reassessing their membership in the organization, expressing their concern at a forum today. The head of one of the groups, the Thoroughbred Owners of California, criticized marketing efforts by racetracks and said there is too much emphasis on the importance of television in bringing people to the track. [Bloodhorse] As I’ve written before, I think TV is not being used to its fullest potential, and that there should be initiatives connected to the telecasts to give people a rooting interest and incentive to watch, and to yell “Go Baby Go!”

And what ever happened to Go Baby Go? I know a lot of racing people absolutely hated it, and feel free to attack me if you’re one of them because I thought it was awesome; but one thing I can tell you is that it was something that I would routinely hear repeated from my non-racing friends and acquaintances. It seemed to bring a smile to their faces and they thought it was really catchy and cool, and weren’t those the people it was aimed at?

- Rain, forecast through the weekend in Kentucky, is disrupting Derby workout schedules, but Nick Zito was able to get works in for his two five-week-layoff horses. Churchill clockers caught High Fly in 1:06 3/5 and Noble Causeway in 1:04 3/5. Zito, however, said High Fly breezed six furlongs in about 1:18, while Noble Causeway went the same distance in about 1:17. Afterwards, Zito sounded extremely defensive about the sluggish times.

"I know it's going to look bad on paper, but I don't really care. I remember Strike the Gold had the slowest work in history, and it was the same thing with Go For Gin.....If you want to remember anything about these works, just ask yourself, how much is 12 and 12? That's what High Fly did the last quarter in. For sure, in stone, that's what he went. And Noble Causeway did the same thing. I don't know what the clockers got. I respect them; they're good clockers. I know both my horses did a Willie Mays. That was his number, 24. Just remember Willie Mays' number and you'll know how my horses worked." [Bloodhorse]
Also, Greeley’s Galaxy went 6f in 1:16 4/5, with the final 1/8th in 12 3/5.

- Steve Crist in the Form (sub only), never a big fan of the bounce theory, is naturally skeptical of those who think Bellamy Road will bounce in the Derby.
Had he won the Wood by six or seven lengths with a figure in the low 100's, some people would like him a lot more. He would be improving gradually, blooming in springtime, with perhaps another forward move under his girth. Somewhat strangely, because he ran so much better than that, now everyone's worried he'll go backward. [Daily Racing Form]
The fact is, we really have no idea what he’s going to do, nobody does; as Dave Liftin asks in his column, ‘How do you predict what a 3-year-old colt will do four weeks after running a 120 Beyer Speed Figure in early April?’ There’s no precedent for it! He may face much more early speed in the Derby…but I think perhaps he may not. But I’m not going to get into that until we know what Rockport Harbor is going to do, because he’s one horse that we know will want the lead if he’s in. I wouldn’t be surprised if Nick Zito is dialing 1-800-NO-DERBY to vote him out right now.