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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Those Damn Horses - What A Nuisance!

- Even as Yonkers Raceway president Tim Rooney spoke about an eventual $60 million in annual purse money, more than even the Meadowlands (though with nearly twice as many dates), once they reach their full capacity of 7500 slot machines, Joe Faraldo, head of the Standardbred Owners Association told the NY Times: “I don’t believe management has any intention of having live racing here in calendar year 2006."

“They don’t care about racing; racing has become secondary to them. Racing is not cost efficient when you can have slot machines. With slots, you don’t have to grade the track, cart away manure. You don’t have to do a whole myriad of things. The longer they can get away with not racing, the better.”
Faraldo is saying something that racino owners all over the country likely think to themselves all the time. Damn, that racing, what a nuisance! But that's the price they pay to be in existence and churn out millions in profits every day - $2.6 million is what Yonkers officials are hoping for. A day!! So what's $60 million in purse money in the scheme of thing? It's just the cost of doing business, and the horsemen benefit with a subsidy to which I can't really come up with anything comparable in the world of business.

- I suppose that Yonkers will be using some of their chump change to pay the $9 million fine they've been assessed by the Department of Environmental Conservation for dumping vast amounts of sewage into the Bronx River over the past six years. [Albany Times Union] Nice.

- It didn't take long for the effects of Yonkers' casino to ripple across the river to New Jersey, where Atlantic City interests and South Jersey politicians have thus far managed to prevent VLT's at the Meadowlands.
New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority President George Zoffinger countered that the arrival of VLTs in New York and Pennsylvania "is going to be disastrous" for the Meadowlands Racetrack.
"It doesn't have to be slot machines, but we either have to find a source of money that will keep the purses competitive or, if not, we'd just have to make a decision to sell the tracks," Zoffinger said. []
- Todd Pletcher's Magnificent Song will try to join her stablemate Wait A While as a three-year old winner against older in Grade 1 company on the grass when she starts in the Queen Elizabeth stakes at Keeneland on Saturday. It's entirely possible that the trainer will have a trio of sophomore fillies – including Jade Queen – in the Filly and Mare Turf; that would be something just in itself. Ouija Board will skip the Champion Stakes due to soft ground and train right up to the BC.

And the UK's Times Online reports that George Washington will gallop on an all-weather track along with a contingent of stablemates to kick dirt in his face. He's being considered for the Breeders Cup Classic.


Walter said...

Trainer Bill Spawr says he is currently "50-50" on whether to run Bordonaro in the Sprint. A decision will be reached by the 23rd. He went on to say that Bordonaro came out of his win in the Ancient Title (a 1:07 4/5 performance that earned him a 119 Beyer) "as good or better than any other." He also mentoned that Bordonaro is "not the best shipper," rather surprising considering his sterling efforts outside of California. Here's hoping he gets in, as i think there's little doubt he's the best older sprinter in the country. Maybe the best period. I'd love to him and Henny Hughes hook up through the strech run of the Sprint, should be one helluva battle.

Walter said...

As promised, here are the current 2007 Kentucky Derby prices. I'm not gonna post the whole list, but here are the favorites:

CP WEST - Loser of the Belmont Futurity in slow time. 40/1

CIRCULAR QUAY - Multiple sprint winner, failed in his two-turn debut. 25/1

GREAT HUNTER - Impressive winner of his two-turn debut, albeit on Polytrack. Before that, had never won outside the state of Texas. 40/1

HOLY ROMAN EMPEROR - European, has never raced on dirt. 60/1

NOBIZ LIKE SHOBIZ - Impressive winner of ONE CAREER START. 25/1

PEGASUS WIND - Loser of only two stakes attempts. 60/1

PRINCIPLE SECRET - Failed in two-turn debut. 60/1

STREET SENSE - Loser of only two stakes attempts. 60/1

TIZ WONDERFUL - Impressive winner of ONE CAREER START. 20/1

THE GREEN MONKEY - Cost a lot of money. That's about it. 75/1

alan said...

Walter - Thanks for that, and especially for the commentary. As I said, not much to get excited about yet.

Walter said...

My commentary isn't meant to denigrate these horses. For instance, everyone knows i'm a big Principle Secret supporter. I'm just trying to illustrate how unproven these horses are, and how ridiculous those prices are. 20/1 on a horse who's started ONE time? For a 1 1/4-mile race with 20 starters in the gate that's still over 6 months away? Quadruple that to 80/1, and you'd STILL be getting screwed. I mean, they're not holding a gun to anyone's head, but that's about the only nice thing i can say.

Walter said...

Just learned that Ashkal Way will not run in the Breeders Cup. He'll instead be pointed at the Citation Handicap @ Hollywood Park. As it stands, the only two Godolphin horses pointing at the Breeders Cup are Librettist and Echo of Light, each of whom will contest the Mile.

Walter said...

Almost forgot, i also read today that Araafa (one of the best milers in Europe) has opted out of this weekend's Champion Stakes and now appears headed for the BC Mile.

Btw, Midnight Lute won the Perryville by open lengths today @ odds of 7/1. I'm embarassed to say i didmn't bet him, as i sided with Latent Heat @ 9/2. I did box them in a small exacta, but unfortunately Latent Heat couldn't stick around after leading the field into the stretch. Of note, Midnight Lute is already the second Keeneland stakes winner who had previously worked over the Hollywood Park cushion track. Just something to keep in mind.