- Patrick at Pulling Hair gripes about all the writers coming out against Barbaro. But Paul Moran of Newsday certainly ain’t one of them.
[The Derby] established him as genuinely top class and perhaps the best 3-year-old to race in this country the last quarter century.[Editor's Note - !!] Has trained since the Derby as though he will run through a wall. This race may look a good deal like the Derby. Value at 4-5, but that may be wishful thinking. On to Belmont. [Newsday]- Ed Fountaine of the NY Post has some economical suggestions for trying to make some money even if you like the favorite...and though he specifically fancies Bernardini, you can substitute the longshot of your choice.
A $1 trifecta wheel using Barbaro on top, with Bernardini second, and hitting the "all" button in third costs $7. For another $7, you can key Barbaro, with all for second, with Bernardini third.- I can’t believe this story coming out of the Meadowlands. First it was leading trainer Seldon Ledford and his son Eric who were banned for over 10 years for use of the performance-enhancing drug arasnerp. Now, the current leading trainer, Ken Rucker, has been notified that his entries will no longer be accepted as of May 24 due to a positive test for erythropoietin, a similar medication, in one of his horses. The Meadowlands had made Rucker sign a specific agreement regarding the substance due to some prior violations.
A $1 superfecta wheel keying Barbaro on top and Bernardini second, with all third, with all fourth, will set you back $42. Not much to risk for a boxcar payoff, and if Brother Derek or Sweetnorthernsaint, or both, finishes out of the money, the tote board will explode. [NY Post]
"In November of 2005, Mr. Rucker had a series of positive tests - five or six in a one-week time frame - in Chicago, for a class four medication (a less potent form of performance-enhancing drug.....We at the Meadowlands expressed concern to him about these positives and we indicated to him that we would feel more comfortable with him racing here if he signed an agreement." [NY Daily News]Rucker denied any knowledge of the drug and stated the obvious when he said "This is not a time to start experimenting with [erythropoietin]."
I'll tell you man, nothing will drive bettors away faster than the notion that the participants are cheating. Thinking back to the demise of harness racing in the NYC area, the accepted explanations were the advent of OTB and the Meadowlands. But around the same time and possibly prior to that, I recall that it was a much-publicized scandal involving top drivers that started the ball rolling the wrong way. That scandal involved race-fixing, as the drivers allegedly conspired to keep two specific horses out of the top four in superfecta races. (And indeed, the wager was discontinued and it was many years before the superfecta resurfaced in New York State.) These incidents at the Big M may not be a conspiracy, but to see two different trainers both suspended for the same violation within a couple of months, and while each led the trainer standings, can certainly make it seem like one. And how long before the first similar positive pops up in a thoroughbred?