- Ouija Board is reported to be thriving in Hong Kong, where she's preparing for what is supposed to be her final start, in the Hong Kong Vase. It sounds as if she's enjoying the local cuisine too.
"She's thriving out here," raved Robin Trevor-Jones, traveling head lad for trainer Ed Dunlop. "If anything, she's doing a little too well in this climate. She's putting on weight and is around 472 kilos, which is about six more than her racing weight in Japan and at Churchill Downs for the Breeders' Cup. But that's not a problem. She's as fit as a fiddle." [BRIS]Scorpion, a respectable fifth in the BC Turf in only his second start of the year, is also preparing for the mile and a half race. An assistant to trainer Aiden O'Brien said: "He's in grand form and has settled in well. His trainer will be in town later in the week to finalise his preparations." [Virtual Form Guide]
The Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint is set for this Sunday, but there's a problem with expected favorite Takeover Target; an "irregularity" was found in a blood sample. Also on Sunday is the Hong Kong Cup, with Pride and Alexander Goldrun scheduled to go.
- Reader Jim writes in with some good suggestions for the next NY franchise holder, and I've been remiss in not mentioning those recent improvements to Churchill's website. I'd been critical of the lack of accessibility of their replays, and now they have them available on the main page, with, as Jim mentions, no need to mess with video software (as long as you can handle Flash).
- Shaken by the much-publicized rash of fatal breakdowns this year - 21 in all - Arlington Park will announce on Thursday that they are installing an artificial surface, though which one remains to be seen; this according to the Chicago Tribune.
Arlington officials are known to have visited Keeneland, which markets Polytrack. Arlington officials also have conferred with Michael Dickinson, a Maryland trainer and inventor of a surface called Tapeta.