- In a quick return to the realities of this dangerous sport after an upbeat day on Saturday, jockey Chance Rollins is in a medically-induced coma at Stanford Medical Center after suffering grave injuries in a spill at Bay Meadows on Sunday. It was reported that the jockey was not breathing when reached by medical personnel. "He required full cardio-respiratory resuscitation." [Brisnet] The outlook is guarded, at best.
"It's difficult to predict the outcome. The next 48 to 72 hours will tell. He could have just minimal memory loss, or he could be in a vegetative state. I'm cautiously optimistic knowing the resiliency and toughness of jockeys." [SF Chronicle]- Veteran racing writer Dick Jerardi, leading the charge to change the spacing and the distances of the Triple Crown races, called the Belmont "stupid" after the Preakness. Perhaps to emphasize his point, Jerardi was quick to denigrate Saturday's race, assuring us that Barbaro would have would have won by approximately 12 lengths, and claiming that Jazil earned an anemic Beyer of 95, the worst for a Triple Crown race since at least the early 1990s and probably long before that.
Jerardi is one of the Beyer boys, so he should know, but according to the Form, the correct number was 102; perhaps it was upgraded upon further review and conjecture. My question is this: how can anyone assign a speed figure for the only race each year that is run around two turns at Belmont Park? Jerardi points out that there were fast sprint times during the day, but don't they make separate variants for one and two turns races?
I think that the final time of the race, put in historical perspective, has to count for something here. After all, I'm sure this was not the only Belmont day that the track may have played fast. You can check out the past times here and decide for yourself. It seems to me that the race stacks up fairly well; looking at more recent editions, it was faster than Afleet Alex, Lemon Drop Kid (by two hundredths of a second), Empire Maker, Touch Gold, and Victory Gallop. It was not faster than Point Given, AP Indy, Easy Goer, or Affirmed. And that all makes perfect sense to me. A great horse, as the latter four are considered to have been, Jazil is not - at least not yet. But his Belmont win was a thoroughly respectable performance with a nice closing quarter mile of 25.17 seconds against a couple of horses in Bluegrass Cat and Sunriver that I think we'll be hearing more from.
- Construction is under way on slots facilities at Pompano Park harness track in Florida, and though the plans have been scaled back somewhat due to the high tax rate established by the Florida legislature, they are still pretty ambitious.
The new racino complex will be a bit of upscale Las Vegas in South Florida, with action, light and sound. It will hold a gaming arena with 1,500 slot machines for 16-hour-a-day play, a multi-story feature bar with high-imagery audio and video, a high-tech sports bar, expanded simultaneous off-track betting facilities, an expanded poker parlor and four restaurants. [South Florida Business Journal]Aren't we forgetting something there? Like, maybe, horse racing? Take a look at the financials of track owner and casino giant Isle of Capri, and you'll know why.
Current revenue for Pompano Park is not broken out separately in Isle of Capri's annual report. Instead, they are lumped with "corporate and other" revenue, which is estimated at $19.8 million, or 1.8 percent of the firm's overall $1.1 billion revenue.