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Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Breeders Bowl

- Hank Goldberg was just in the booth for the Louisville-West Virginia game, and they were talking up the Breeders Cup. When asked if he was more excited about this game or Saturday's races, he said that the Breeders Cup is like eight bowl games on the same day; nice set-up there. They've had a couple of live shots from a lit-up Churchill Downs, and a Breeders Cup Preview is promised for half time.

- It seemed a bit strange seeing the Form for the Breeders Cup with the horses listed in post position order after getting so used to seeing them listed alphabetically. I have to get used to looking at the bottom for Balletto instead of at the top.

With all the excitement about Saturday, the opening of the Cushion Track at Hollywood got overshadowed, but the reactions and quotes are quite familiar, despite the fact that two horses, later determined to be uninjured, were pulled up prematurely. Victor Espinoza said: "Most of the horses I've ridden feel totally different on it. It's more bouncy and the horses have more confidence." [LA Times] Here's an interesting quote by trainer Mark Glatt:

“What I've seen is that minor inflammation in joints, since I've trained here, has gone away, versus Del Mar this summer where those problems would have continued on....I have to believe it's much kinder because I'm seeing some minor problems go away, almost to the point of being nonexistent.” [SignOnSanDiego.com]
An interesting disparity in results; Wednesday's races were dominated by closers and it looked like it was Keeneland all over again. But today's resuls instead favored speed and close to the pace, which raises the question whether any adjustments were made.

But it's almost scary the way all of the artificial tracks thus far have received such effusive praise with nary a disparaging word. And Cushion Track - just the name makes me feel all bouncy and playful. It's starting to remind me of that Twilight Zone episode when the smiling aliens came to Earth with a book written in some Alienese entitled "To Serve Mankind," and as the stupid humans were loading onto spaceships to visit their planet, the interpreters discovered that it was a cookbook. Let's hope that the era of synthetic tracks doesn't end with Rod Serling leaning against the sixteenth pole. "Little did they know that they were racing..straight into......."

- Halftime, and I had to endure Lou Holtz, who makes me sick, in order to get to a brief pre-recorded segment with Randy Moss and Kenny Maine, who said with his characterstic smirk that all of "OO-ruguay" will go crazy if Invasor wins. Randy Moss said that Kiaran McLaughlin is confident with Invasor and feels that Bernardini's post position may make him vulnerable.

3 Comments:

Stalusk said...

I feel for racing lovers in the States, you simply wouldn't believe the exposure the big races get here in Australia, Melbourne particularly. Commercials running every 90 minutes (every hour on certain networks) on radio and TV, billboards over freeways, posters at bus and train stations. If you needed to stay here for business this week, there is simply no way you could avoid. Everyone at my workplace is talking about it, and they aren't even racing fans. The public really embrace every aspect of it.

Walter said...

I for one wasn't too thrilled with Bernardini drawing the 3-hole, but i'm not sure it's that big a deal. There's a nice, long run into the first turn, and Bernardini enough speed so that he should be able to secure a good position behind the leaders. I project him out to a pretty good trip, but of course i've been wrong before. I think the horse that really screwed was Brother Derek. Down on the rail inside Lava Man is not where you want to be. I guess that's where McLaughlin thinks Bernardini might end up.

Anonymous said...

Guess the opposition is hoping Berny can not handle being boxed in, will therefore be rank, and will expend too much energy early. I think he may surprise everyone and be right on or near the lead.

Stalusk, It stinks to live in a country that does not appreciate my favorite sport. It is more an elite media thing, upscale sports such as tennis and golf get way more coverage on the evening news despite racings TV viewership being on par or esceeding them regularly. The big media outlets do not want to be associated with the derelict horseplayers they wrongly perceive as the core audience. BAd job by industry promoting the sport plays a part also.

You have give me another reason to consider Australia as a retirement community.

Mr. Ed