RSS Feed for this Blog

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Last Word

One last word, I hope, on the Sweet Catomine affair - at least until after the CHRB decides what to do - but via Equidaily, I found a column by Tim Layden of Sports Illustrated. He's the writer who Martin Wygod confided his reservations about Sweet Catomine to on the Friday before the race; which he did only after confirming with Layden that the story would be published after the race. Layden explains what transpired:

Wygod went on to tell me he didn't think Sweet Catomine was coming to the race in top form, that she had lost weight and was fighting a minor problem that he would not disclose, but that he said had nothing to do with soundness. He also confirmed a rumor I had heard on the Santa Anita backstretch, that Sweet Catomine was in season (heat) for the first time. Oddly, Sweet Catomine's trainer, Julio Canani, had raved about the filly the previous day. Something didn't add up.
Based on the information I was given by the owners on Friday -- a filly in season who has lost a little weight and whose owner and trainer disagree about her fitness -- I didn't feel like the public was owed full disclosure. Horses run all the time at less than 100 percent. In fact, horses are seldom completely fit and ready. [CNN/Sports Illustrated]
Layden had a decision to make, and I can respect his judgment, but I just wonder if it was affected by the assurance he gave Wygod that the story would come out after the race. I would think that any reporter for one of the daily updated sites would indeed, if he stumbled across the information, print right away that the filly’s owner was making statements pretty drastically at odds with the trainer’s, wouldn’t you think? It’s also interesting to read that her being in heat was something known around the backstretch; a clear example of the secret little world of information that insiders are privy to, but we’re not. That's why we watch the tote board.

- Greater Good’s breeder/owner Lewis Lakin on the colt’s relatively low Beyers:
"The only thing is, I don’t think they’re looking at it exactly correctly. This horse can finish in [24 seconds for a final quarter-mile], it seems like, no matter how far he runs. He also knows where the finish line is. He just knows he wants to win.

"I’m thinking if they run a 105 Beyer against him, he’ll run a 106.” [Arkansas Democrat Gazette]

- Layden also wrote of the atmosphere in the press box when writers watch a big race from another track, and specifically of those at Santa Anita watching the Wood last week:
Sometimes they behave like spectators, sometimes they make sardonic remarks. This time there was little more than silence. (Although the right side of my jaw clicks on occasion, and people might have heard that as my chin dropped toward the floor.) [CNN/SI]