- Jeff Scott in the Saratogian has this interesting tidbit about the entrants for the Breeders’ Cup:
Of the 30 horses that won Grade I races between January and June, only four -- Saint Liam, Rock Hard Ten, Leroidesanimaux and Ashado -- will likely be in the Belmont starting gate a week from Saturday.Scott worries that with speed horses such as Commentator, Lava Man, and Bellamy Road out, Saint Liam and Rock Hard Ten may be free to dictate the pace.
The result could be a Classic similar to last year's, when Ghostzapper and Roses in May paraded around the track virtually unchallenged.- Michael Mayo of the Sun-Sentinal, commenting on the Florida legislature’s failure to follow the will of the voters and implement rules for slots at Broward County pari-mutuels, notes that the Legislature was supposed to have rules in place by July 1, but didn't.
That's 110 days of constitutional defiance, and counting. "If you or I violated a mandate [such as this], we'd be in jail," said Bruce Rogow, an attorney representing the pari-mutuels.Governor Bush, while expressing support for a special session, also said last week that he would support an amendment to repeal the slots initiative, and Mayo asks if that’s the case, why not repeal the lottery as well? Perhaps because when it comes to his stated dire opposition to gambling, the Governor is every bit as hypocritical as many conservatives now consider his brother to be when it comes to the president's supposed fiscal (and some would now say, judicial) conservatism.
Since Bush took office in 1999, annual lottery revenue has gone from $2 billion to $3 billion, with more drawings and scratch-off games than ever before. On his watch, the lottery has introduced scratch-off tickets that sell for $10 and $20 apiece.- With the Congressional hearings on the Jockey Guild under way as I write, this article from Yahoo Business, via Albany Law School Racing and Wagering Page, is an excellent recap of the events leading up to Wayne Gertmenian taking over at the Guild, and his subsequent decision to let the jockeys’ insurance policy lapse.
Earlier Monday, [Bush spokesperson Russell] Schweiss told me the lottery wasn't gambling, but "similar to gambling." Huh? I guess he's right, since most gambling ventures return 80-92 percent to bettors, while the lottery pays back only 50 percent. In that sense, it's more like stealing.
According to piece, Gary Birzer, whose on-track paralyzing injury led to the discovery that the riders were no longer covered under the Guild policy, is currently nearly $800,000 in debt. Former Guild head John Giovanni says that "The only salvation the jockeys have is what happens at the hearing." The Guild, of course, blames the tracks, and does so in its usual sophisticated fashion. "Those guys never got out of the Neanderthal early 20th century (in labor relations)," said their counsel Lloyd Ownbey.