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Friday, April 29, 2005

Notes - April 29

- Steve Haskin has some more weak quotes from Patrick Biancone on Spanish Chestnut’s possible entry into the Derby:

"Number one, it's the Kentucky Derby….Number two, the horse is qualified to run on his own merits. He hated the ground at Turfway and his race in the Blue Grass wasn't that bad. And number three, he will only run if I find him in great form. I want to see how he moves over the track. When I ran Lion Heart last year, everyone said he couldn't stay a mile and a quarter." [Bloodhorse]
Well, he did beat one horse in the Blue Grass! And he may be right about Lion Heart, but at least we knew he could at least stay a mile and an eighth. I mean, he was the 5-1 second choice!! Who is going to bet on this horse?

Well, some people will. It’s one thing when you run half of a coupled entry as a rabbit for his entrymate; the ethics may still be debatable, but at least the bettors get the two as a team. In this case, you’ll have your beginning hunch player types who may know someone who owns a chestnut tree in Spain betting on him; maybe he/she reads Biancone’s comments and figures they’re making a good longshot play.

Why, if he even comes in the money, I’ll register as a Republican …..contribute to Tom DeLay’s legal fund…..put a ‘W’ bumper sticker on my car…..spend an entire weekend listening to Creed’s Greatest Hits…..join the Sean Hannity fan club….watch a marathon of The Simple Life…..become a regular reader of The Drudge Report….become a NY Islanders fan…….

I’ll get back to you on this.

- ESPN picks up the Breeders Cup; NBC had broadcast the races since its inception in 1984. They will present a 7 hour telecast of the races! Their pre-race show will commence around Labor Day, I guess.
Last year's Breeders' Cup at Lone Star Park produced the lowest television ratings in the 21-year history of the event. The national rating was a 1.4 share, down 22% from the 2003 share. Each rating point represented 1.08 million households.

When asked about the ratings, [ESPN’s Mark] Shapiro said: "I don't believe Breeders' Cup has been a priority to NBC Sports for years. That's one reason it's moving to ESPN. Somewhere in this cluttered environment and competitive universe, it has gotten lost on NBC." [Bloodhorse]
Not often in this situation that you hear a network executive dis the previous broadcaster like that! Not very classy!! ESPN has sports, like hockey, that they treat like garbage too.

- Mike Welsch of the Form observed Bellamy Road’s gallop on the muddy Churchill track (no official Derby workouts today) and comments that he continues to look every bit the part of the race favorite. [DRF] The Form’s Byron King was looking to beat him, but
Then I watched the replay of the Wood Memorial, not having seen it since the day of the race. My doubts in Bellamy Road ceased. He was awesome. [DRF sub only]
King wrote that he was looking at Afleet Alex and High Fly as the likely candidates to topple BR. Well, I would substitute Bandini for High Fly - there’s little not to like about he and Alex (his jockey?), especially, in my opinion, Bandini, who I think could be sitting on a huge race for Pletcher, more on him soon. Like Brad Free writes in his subscription only (or print edition) column, I’ll be looking for a longshot (or two) to key in the exotics with my top choices. He likes Buzzards Bay as that longshot; I’ll be looking elsewhere – right now Andromeda’s Hero and Noble Causeway are still my top two candidates.