- If you’re in the NYC area and looking for some seats for Saturday, perhaps below the outrageous face value, check out Craig’s List.
- The defending champion and morning favorite for the F&M Turf, Ouija Board, was out for a spin on the turf this morning, and her trainer Ed Dunlop had these comments for the UK’s Sporting Life:
"She is moving as well now as I have ever seen her. She's here, she's the champion and if we can win again it will be fantastic.”He may be underrating the disadvantage of her post position. There’s a decent enough distance for Bailey to move her over, but still there’s a chance she’ll be caught wide on that first turn. The Times Online reported that her odds in the UK generally eased in the betting after being drawn 13 of 14.
"I walked the course last night and I personally thought the straights were pretty good but the bends were softer, particularly the top bend which is pretty soft and will remain that way. I know it's dry but it's cold.”
"I don't know how she will handle it but it was just on the soft side when she won at Lone Star last year and I hope it won't be a problem.”
"I personally feel the European horses will handle the turf conditions better than the Americans because they are a bit more used to running and working on it.”
"Her draw (13) isn't ideal but I don't think it is as big a concern as it would have been in the Mile or in the dirt races.
"I hope she will sit sixth or seventh in the early stages and make her move when the time comes. Jerry has ridden a Grade One winner for me here before and knows what he's doing."
- No exceptions for the European horses that had to endure quarantine upon their arrival – all Breeders’ Cup horses will be required to report to the security barn for the six hours before the race. Andy Beyer wrote in the Washington Post, also carried in the Racing Form, about how he believes the difference in the racing here since the policy was instituted is quite noticeable:
The overnight transformations of horses that appear to be the surest signs of cheating -- a la A One Rocket [the horse that sparked the NY milkshake indictments] -- are much rarer than in the past. In my opinion, only two trainers are conspicuously beating the system. For the first time in more than a decade, I felt that I could handicap and bet in New York without asking, in almost every race, "Who's got the juice?"And NYRA’s CEO Charles Hayward concurs that despite the improvement, there still is cheating going on. "I don't pretend that the barns have stopped everyone….You look at the past performances and that's not the case."
OK, so who are the trainers, two of them according to Beyer, that he feels are still juicing their horses? I have a couple of names in mind, but I’d rather not say right here, at least until I have a chance to go back and do some research. But if Hayward is seeing this in the past performances as he says, is NYRA doing something about it?
- It took a hearing before the United States Congress, but jockeys on the board of directors are finally launching an investigation into the disputed credentials of Jockey Guild chief Dr. Wayne Gertmenian and the organization’s shady financial dealings.
"There's concern from just about everyone, whether it be from the East Coast to the West Coast and everywhere in between," California-based rider Paul Atkinson told The Blood-Horse Oct. 24. "I've spoken to riders in a lot of places who are having difficulties (with the current Guild administration). (The situation) makes me sick to my stomach, to be honest." [Bloodhorse]John Velasquez, the co-vice chairman, reportedly called for Dr. G’s ouster, but Matt Hegarty in the Form reports that his suggestion did not receive support from at least seven members. I don’t want to jump to conclusions about those members, who may simply prefer to let the investigation run its course before taking any action; but it’s certainly hard to imagine that the guy could still have any support after he basically acknowledged to Congress that, among other things, Matrix Capital is simply a front to siphon money to himself. But then again, 41 percent of the population still approve of the president’s job performance. So go figure.