- Remember when Calder used to race on Christmas Day? I believe it was the only track that would do so. Forget about that now. However, three tracks will be racing on Xmas Eve – Calder, Fair Grounds at La Downs, and Philly Park.
Santa Anita springs into full action on the day after Christmas, and a couple of prime contenders for the G1 Malibu have worked out this week. Greeley’s Galaxy went seven furlongs in 1:27 on Monday prepping for his first effort since the Preakness.
"He had a minor bleeding problem," [Warren] Stute said, "and we fired his ankles before we turned him out at San Luis Rey Downs. Mr. Hughes has had him scoped every time he's worked since he's come back and no blood has shown, so that's a good sign. Generally when you turn a horse out he gets over it. He's been back with us now for about three months." [Bloodhorse]And Wilko breezed a half in :49 1/5 on Thursday. "He did it real easy," trainer Craig Dollase said. "We're all set." And I'm all set to check out the pp's in search of a horse with some sharp recent form with which to bet against these guys and make some cash.
- It seems as if the Aqueduct racino is not the only one behind schedule in New York. It’s been six months now since Yonkers Raceway shut down for casino construction, and horsemen are dubious of the scheduled April 1 reopening date.
As opposed to Aqueduct, at least construction is actually going on there. But horsemen like Standardbred Owners Association head Joe Faraldo think that racing could be happening there now too.
"We want to put up a 'chicken coop' (a temporary structure that would house the judges, timer and announcer) in the winner's circle and race on Monday and Tuesday afternoons," Faraldo. "There is nothing that's not good about the chicken coop. A guy sketched one out on a napkin for Hazel Park (in Detroit) and built it in one week for $48,000. And we (the SOA) have told Yonkers we will pick up the cost."You would think that if track management, which claimes that "It is not a safe place to race," really wanted to race, they could. After all, it’s not like they have to accommodate a live crowd. Only a few hundred people at most were showing up at the track anyway, so they could very well conduct racing for the OTB audience only. In fact, they could throw down some cones and race around the parking lot if they really wanted to.
"They told us from the beginning that under no circumstances would they be closed longer than 4-5 months….I think they took advantage of the opportunity to not race during the winter. Usually, the word of Yonkers Raceway was pretty good, but this time I think it was intentionally misleading." [NY Daily News]
- If anyone out there owns a 14-year old pacer which you would like to send to Monticello Raceway to run for a $4000 purse, please contact Eric Warner in the race office by calling (845) 794-4100, ext. 557. [US Trotting Association] The track is having problems filling the Au Revior pace for 14 year olds, conducted on the last day of racing of the year at the upstate NY harness track, and just before those horses reach their mandatory retirement age on Jan 1. In fact, the track will even accept trotters. If you ask nicely, perhaps you can enter your 14 year old kid.
- Giacomo is still working slowly for his 4 year-old debut; this morning he breezed six furlongs in 1.16:80.