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Saturday, April 30, 2005

Saturday Morning Notes

- The first four finishers in last year’s BC Juvenile are expected to go in the Derby, but the so-called Breeders' Cup jinx remains firmly in place: No Juvenile winner has won the Derby, while only three Juvenile starters have won it, the latest being 1993 Derby winner Sea Hero. [Daily Racing Form]

- Funny Cide will make his 5 yo debut at the Big A Sunday, and he’ll be carrying 127 pounds, plus his own weight.

"At the moment he's a little bit heavier than we'd like," said Robin Smullen, Tagg's assistant trainer......He's certainly changed," Smullen said. "He's gotten massive. His neck's heavier and he's really filled out in the chest. He's a lot bigger now." [Daily Racing Form]
He sounds like he looks like the Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose approval rating is fading faster than Spanish Chestnut down the stretch. Trainer Barclay Tagg has the Pimlico Special in mind for his next start.

- From the weather map, it looks like there was much rain in Louisville overnight, so Zito’s scheduled workouts for Bellamy Road, Noble Causeway, and High Fly will likely be moved to Sunday.

- Dick Jerardi on Afleet Alex’s trainer Tim Ritchey’s long road to the Derby. [Philadelphia Daily News]

- Steve Crist, in his subscription, or print edition-only column, is optimistic about the Breeders’ Cup’s move to ESPN, despite the fact that it means that the races will no longer be on broadcast TV. He points out that Monday Night Football and much of the NBA playoffs have gone the same route, and that the viewers will benefit.
The content and quality of the telecast is likely to improve sharply. The network broadcasts have been so useless to actual bettors that Breeders' Cup has had to produce a separate simulcast show just to provide basic odds and payoff information. NBC's telecasts have become formulaic and bland presentations of Olympics-style human-interest stories. ESPN already produces 130 hours a year of racing telecasts, which will continue and probably grow under the eight-year deal, and has developed the game's premier on-air talent, led by Randy Moss.

- Florida Senate President Tom Lee, who earlier in the week said odds of passing slots legislation was 50-50, now says that is "has a very unlikely chance of passage.....There are some deeply held philosophical beliefs that I think are going to make it difficult to resolve this piece of legislation....Unless somebody really blinks." [Sun-Sentinal]