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Sunday, April 10, 2005

Sunday Night Odds and Ends

- Tim Sullivan of the San Diego Tribune has harsher words for the connections of Sweet Catomine regarding the revelation that she was almost scratched after she bled after a workout, suffered a bad foot for which she spent two days in treatment, and was in heat.

What Wall Street condemns as insider trading, though, the equine industry accepts as standard operating procedure. Wygod, of Rancho Santa Fe, warned Santa Anita officials on Wednesday that his horse's status was shaky, but neither the owner nor the track nor trainer Julio Canani chose to clue in the customers.
Even if no one acted on an unethical impulse in this case, it is unconscionable that such an opportunity could exist. How can an industry entirely predicated on gambling afford even the appearance of impropriety? How can it continue to treat its patrons as people who deserve to be duped? How long before the National Thoroughbred Racing Association requires at least the same minimum disclosure the National Football League provides about injuries?

Sweet Catomine's connections had every chance to come forward in a timely fashion. Sports Illustrated's Tim Layden said yesterday that Wygod had shared some of the details of the filly's condition with him on Friday – but only after an assurance that Layden's story would not be published until after the race was run. [SignonSanDiego]
Wygod again claims that he explicitly told NBC in pre-race interviews that the filly had had problems (not that would have helped most on-track bettors anyway); I went throught the recording of the telecast, and I haven’t heard anything like that; please tell me if I missed it.

- Rockport Harbor had his workout at Oaklawn this morning.
Rockport Harbor galloped out one-mile in 1:40.90. His fractional times were 11.99 seconds for the opening eighth, 23.56 for the opening quarter, 34.99 for three furlongs, 46.89 for the half-mile mark and 59.52 seconds for five furlongs. He finished the work at the wire, and covered his final quarter in 26.08 seconds, according to clockers at Oaklawn. [Daily Racing Form]
Nonetheless, trainer John Servis said he’ll miss the Arkansas Derby and go in the Lexington on April 23 instead.

- I mentioned before NBC’s Bob Neumier predicting that Bellamy Road would be bet down to 5 or 6-1 favoritism in Pool 3 of the Derby futures bet. Try 3-1. The closest competitor is Zito’s Sun King at 10-1. It’s Nice to be Nick. Do you think 3-1 is a fair price at this point, 4 weeks before the Derby? Certainly no value there, considering all that can happen between now and then.

- On the first day of the post-Wood era of this Derby prep season, in which everything has changed, Consolidator, perhaps a bit nervous after watching Bellamy Road’s romp, worked at Churchill and zipped 5f in :59 3/5. As for Going Wild, who quit badly in the Wood, he said, “He's a very, very good horse, and it didn't turn out well yesterday; but it's four weeks to the Derby, and I think it's fixable." [Bloodhorse]

- B Wayne Hughes didn't hesitate; he told NBC's Mike Battaglia minutes after Greeley's Galaxy's win that he would put up the $200,000 to nominate the Illinois Derby winner to the Kentucky Derby. I wonder if he had watched the Wood? Nonetheless, the son of Mr. Greeley has some impressive credentials.
After the Illinois Derby, Chicago-based Daily Racing Form expert Marcus Hersh estimated that the Beyer Speed Figure of Greeley's Galaxy for the race would be ''at least a 104.'' If that is true, the Stute trainee would meet all three criteria of Kentucky Derby Odage: a first or second in his final prep race, a Beyer of at least 100 in that prep and a Beyer move from his second-to-last to last prep of no worse than minus-2 points. [Chicago Sun Times]