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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Thursday News and Notes - March 30

- Jessica has the story over at Railbird on the grim news out of Massachusetts on the prospect for slots legislation, the failure of which could be the death knell for the industry in the state. And once again, as in Maryland, one man seems to hold all the cards, in this case, House Speaker Sal DiMasi. The measure passed the Senate, and supporters feel that it could do so in the House as well if DiMasi wasn’t working to defeat it. "The fix is in. It's just like the old days," said one Beacon Hill insider. "The word has gone out. He doesn't want it." DiMasi icily mentioned job training for those who would be put out of work if tracks indeed close.

An editorial in the Boston Herald opines that the Speaker, in addition to being callous, is being rather duplicitous as well.

And the speaker failed to see any contradiction or irony in his other big announcement of the morning - that the House budget would lift the cap on Lottery proceeds that go to cities and towns, increasing local aid by $158 million. (The governor also proposed lifting the cap.)

It’s the ultimate hypocrisy to be economically dependent on one form of gambling, while bemoaning the “social costs” of another.
- Ernie Paragallo hasn’t completely ruled out the Wood (nor the Illinois Derby) after Achilles of Troy’s eventful six furlong work in 1:16.71 yesterday. "We'll know more after he works again next week." [NY Daily News] The colt gave his exercise rider more than he could handle, breaking off well before the three-quarter pole, according to the Form. "He breezed a mile and an eighth…..There's not a thing wrong with him; he's sound as a dollar."

- Paul Moran of Newsday echoed my comments about the competitive deficiencies of New York’s rebate program.
The plans approved for NYRA and Capital District OTB are tiered downward to the point at which a player betting the minimum $2,000 per month would qualify for a one percent rebate - $20 - leaving the vast majority of bettors inclined to seek out rebate offers with better options.

A player wagering $500,000 a month - $6 million a year - is either collecting a much more attractive rebate from an offshore bookmaker - Pinnacle Sports, in Curacao, for instance, offers its clients a seven percent rebate on all bets placed on horse races at North American tracks - or is enjoying the copious largesse extended to the best clients of Nevada racebooks.
In addition, NYRA VP’s Bill Nader conceded that there are no current account holders who wager $500,000 in a single month nor is one expected to arrive on the scene anytime soon. I guess he figures that Ruben Bailey isn’t coming to town.

- Hot damn, Walter does it again. I may have to start charging for this. Though he hemmed and hawed just a bit, he did give a slight nod to Hot Flame in today’s two furlong baby dash at Santa Anita. He returned $9.40. No surprise based on his pedigree; he’s by Flame Thrower, a son of Saint Ballado who won four of five at two, including three Grade 2 stakes. And he’s out of a mare by the crack first time sire Carson City. This is the female family of the nice stakes winner Nasty and Bold, as well as the grass star Told.


Walter said... baby race here, but i'm running well right now, so i'll post it anyway...take a look at Bransfield in Race 6 today, a mile for turf maidens...he's coming off a fine effort down the hill (one good enough to make him the 5/2 ml favorite), and stretches out to a mile here in his second start off the layoff...he's ben working better than ever since his last race, in fact my clocker says he's "rapidly coming to hand"...should turn in a good effort today, and the crew he's meeting doesn't seem overly tough...i'm not expecting more than 3/2 or 8/5, but i think he looks pretty solid...

Walter said...

...well, Bransfield got pounded at the windows, going off @ 6/5 and running second in the bad... 8^P

Ruben Bailey said...

Yeah, you know us High-Rollers. We like a perk or two here and there.