- Breeders Cup President D.G. Van Clief Jr. announced that Dubai-based Emirates Airlines will sponsor two of this year's Breeders Cup races. A couple of weeks ago, Van Clief was asked by the Sun Sentinal about a report on HBO's Real Sports regarding thousands of children as young as 3 years old being flown there from South Asia and being forced to serve as camel jockeys, and he had this response: "The Maktoum family continues to be one of the most significant participants and contributors in the thoroughbred racing industry globally."[Sun-Sentinal] According to the report, the Maktoum family is active in camel racing, and did not return messages or commit to ending the practice; and the family also controls Emirates Airlines. Apparently, allegations of some children having been 'physically and sexually abused, electrically shocked and not allowed food, water and clothing' is not reason enough to turn down sponsorships of $2-million for the Distaff and $1-million for the Filly & Mare Turf. One could perhaps speculate that the deal was already in the works when Van Clief was asked about it but to be fair, officials from professional golf and tennis, who also run rich tournaments in Dubai, were no more forthcoming.
- The New Orleans City Planning Commission has deferred a decision on Churchill Downs’ request to build a slots parlor at Fair Grounds. The arguments on both sides are pretty familiar.
Supporters said that in the six months it has owned th Gentilly track, Churchill has proved itself to be a good neighbor and a good citizen, and that the revenue the slots would produce would be vital as the Fair Grounds tries to compete against other tracks nationwide for top horses and trainers.
Opponents said Churchill has not been a good neighbor, already violating some of the provisos the city imposed on the track's operation, and they fear that the addition of slots would generate noise, trash, traffic and crime that could devastate their quality of life, especially if the machines are allowed to operate 24 hours a day, as Churchill wants. [Times Picayune]
- Entries in for the Arkansas Derby. I'm off to the Meadowlands, see you later.