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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Odds and Ends - April 20

- Now comes word that a disgruntled Sweet Catomine bettor has filed a lawsuit, alleging that the track, the filly's owner and trainer, and others committed fraud by not disclosing the horse's health problems before the race. Note to the complainant Arthur Mota (no relation to Manny): it’s gambling. As much as I think Wygod was in the wrong, I don’t imagine there’s any legal covenant when one places a bet requiring any more disclosure than you find in the Racing Form, and probably not even that. I wonder if the judge will take into consideration that at 4-5, Mr. Mota just made a lousy bet.

- Time to dial 1-800-NO-DERBY to vote Don’t Get Mad out of the race. I was a supporter of his too, but enough is enough. Trainer Ron Ellis is sending him to the Derby Trial, which actually makes a lot of sense, being a one-turn mile race he could love; but Ellis said of coming back a week later in the Derby that “I wouldn't rule anything out until we see how he runs." [Bloodhorse] Fortunately, the Derby Trial is not graded this year, so he’d need defections to get into the Derby field.

- Dick Jerardi in the Philly Daily News reports that the decision to retain Jeremy Rose on Afleet Alex was made only after entertaining offers from other riders.

Ritchey fielded calls from agents for some of the top jockeys who did not yet have Derby mounts. After listening to pitches from agents representing Patrick Valenzuela, Alex Solis, Corey Nakatani and Jose Santos, among others, Ritchey decided he was most comfortable with Rose.
So, Rose it is - unless one of the contenders with a big-name rider gets hurt in the next 2 weeks. Then, there is at least a chance Ritchey and Zacney could reconsider. [Philadelphia Daily News]
I’m not sure how much bigger a name he could get that way than the ones he’s already turned down, unless he’s waiting for Angel Cordero, Jr to come out of retirement.

Bob Neumeier is on the Alex bandwagon, and sums up my feelings perfectly on the relative merits of the Blue Grass and Ark Derby perfectly:
When a horse can inhale a field from behind an easy pace, he deserves extra credit. Conversely, when horses in the back of the pack cannot fire late off a fast pace (hello Sun King and Consolidator in the Blue Grass), that is a bad sign. One could argue, I suppose, that both those horses should have been closer to the early pace at Keeneland and that their respective jocks Edgar Prado and Rafael Bejerano took them out of their basic running style.

I don’t buy it. [MSNBC]

- We’ve been reading about how George Steinbrenner is somewhat of a spendthrift when it comes to his thoroughbred operation; at least compared to the Yanks, anyway. He prefers to breed and raise his own, and spent just $87,000 on Bellamy Road. Perhaps he’s getting a bit emboldened though; I see that he bought a 2 yo at the Keeneland sale yesterday for $335,000. He’s by Salt Lake, out of a Liloy mare, and is a half brother to stakes winners Da Dean and Ifyouprefersilver.