- Liz Mullen reports in the subscription-only Sports Business Journal (thanks to Robert Colton for passing it along) that the Jockeys’ Guild used money from members’ savings accounts for their operating expenses, and that “there is not enough money in the operating account to pay back the roughly $440,000 owed to scores of jockeys.” As if that wouldn't be bad enough even if the expeditures were legitimate, one can only shudder to think what exactly qualified as “operating expenses” to one L. Wayne Gertmenian.
The article says that the Guild is $240,000 short, which is a bit more than the $217,000 in checks that Dr. G and Albert Fiss cashed while they were being removed from their positions. There is still no word about the police investigation into that affair.
The money owed to the jocks is savings accumulated by riders whose contributions from their mount fees have already covered their monthly health insurance premiums. Former manager John Giovanni explained to Mullen that the money was kept in individual accounts under his watch. “We never commingled funds….It was their money. That was the way it was supposed to be.”
- Highland Cat worked a snappy half mile in 49.24 seconds breezing at Belmont this morning, the 7th fastest of 44 works at the distance. In our last report from the barn, we were told:
[Bill Turner] told me that the 2 year old maiden race field that Highland Cat caught in his last start was as tough a field as there was this year. He then mentioned that when Seattle Slew broke his maiden, there were 5 horses that he beat that eventually were Stakes winners.So, that means that he doesn’t think that Highland Cat is as good as Seattle Slew? Really? Shit! The winner of his last race, Flashy Bull, ran a real bang-up second to Bluegrass Cat in the Remsen. Highland Cat is slated to race over the inner track on Friday in a 60K maiden claiming affair at a mile and 70 yards.
Even better than Highland Cat was the work by Mum’s the Word, who got the half in :48.94. She’s the Real Quiet filly that we recently sold, and she’s been working up a storm for her debut.
- The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear a constitutional challenge to New York State’s expanded gambling opens the doors for Indian tribes to pursue opening casinos, which can’t really be good news for horse racing in the state. "There's no place left to go," said Cornelius Murray, an Albany-based attorney who represented a coalition of anti-gambling groups in the case. "It's the proverbial end of the line." [Newsday]