- Doug O’Neill is quoted in the Albany Times-Union as saying of Stevie Wonderboy: “I don't think he will run again until October or November." That seems more extreme than the 90 days that we originally heard, and would make an appearance in the Breeders’ Cup unlikely. In fact, what other races that deep into the fall would make a return at three worthwhile at all?
In the meantime, Stevie will recuperate from his successful surgery on Merv’s ranch, and Left at the Gate has learned that he is slated to fill in for Vanna White on Wheel of Fortune for a couple of weeks, where he can give his injured ankle some exercise by spinning the wheel. Merv, ever the sportsman told the Times-Union that he wants to set up a match race between Stevie and the Kentucky Derby winner.
"Maybe I shouldn't be broadcasting this so soon," Griffin said from his Los Angeles office, "but I have had the beginnings of an offer. There are some wealthy people out here -- I won't say who they are -- and they are willing to put up $1 million for the race. They're very legit and people who love horse racing."A lot of things would have to go right for that to happen, and I don’t think that even Janet "Betzky" Jones would want to bet on that proposition.
- The story of NYRA being hit with a tax warrant was, to me, as much of a non-story as one about hockey players betting on football games should be. Yeah, NYRA owes the state money; we all know that, and the debt goes far beyond the $1.125 million owed on pari-mutuels from the end of 2005, a time during which we all knew that the association was on the verge of bankruptcy. Only $5 million of the bailout loan has been released to NYRA thus far, and CEO Charles Hayward said “we're hopeful to set this matter straight once we get the loan." [DRF]
The problem is that bad publicity like this can inspire clueless editorial writers to spout nonsense like this from Westchester’s Journal News:
If Gov. George Pataki and the Legislature needed another reason to get rid of the money-losing clubhouse known as the New York Racing Association, it came Tuesday, when the state slapped the group with a tax warrant for failing to pay $1.25 million in taxes generated at Aqueduct race track in Queens.Hmm, NYRA…clubhouse, where have I heard that before? Who wrote this crap, Frank Stronach? And since ignorance breeds ignorance, when the uninformed public and know-nothing politicians and their appointees on crucial committees that are to decide the future of racing in the state read stuff like this, they can take it as fact. It can reinforce their misconceptions as to who and what exactly are responsible for the mess, and leave them susceptible to big promises from big spenders, no matter how bad their track record already is.
- Rabbit alert: Spanish Chestnut worked a bullet (out of 37) five furlongs in :58.20 at Santa Anita today. Point of Impact worked another impressive six furlongs, this time in 1:11.80 (2/20).
And our filly Christening breezed a half in :50.13 (20/28).