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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Notes - Feb 8

- BC Distaff winner Round Pond worked on the turf, albeit slowly....five furlongs in 1:05.60 according to the Form.

"She wasn't sure what to do. She just didn't know what it was like working on the inside like that with all those other horses around her. She's usually fairly aggressive breaking off, but this morning she must have gone the first eighth in 15 [seconds], although she finished well and galloped out good."
Matz mentioned the main track Rampart Handicap on March 11 at Gulfstream as a possible 2007 debut. She actually does have some interesting pedigree for the grass, at least on paper and on her distaff side. Round Pond is by Awesome Again (Deputy Minister), certainly not known as a turf sire, but she's out of a mare by the Arc winner Trempolino who is a half sister to the Irish 2000 Guineas winner and current stallion Black Minnaloushe, as well as the Grade 1 grass winner Nasr El Arab and Pennekamp, a champ in France at two. She's also inbred 3x4 to the full brothers Vice Regent and Viceregal.

The same Form piece also plugs William Kaplan, the trainer of Drums of Thunder, whose fine second place finish to Nobiz Like Shobiz I've mentioned here before. He also trains Sunshine Millions Sprint winner Storm in May, and will send another bright looking three-year old in Imawildandcrazyguy in Saturday's Risen Star. Kaplan said: "I thought [Drums of Thunder] ran extremely well and that he proved he belongs in the Derby picture." It seems you just can't have a nice three-year old this time of year and not talk Derby. I think he looks like a really nice colt, and I did mention him here as a longshot possibility for the Holy Bull exotics, but I'm don't know that I'm quite ready to put money down on him in the futures pool. Though I guess a couple of bucks at his 30-1 morning line can't hurt.

- Haskin also wonders what Scat Daddy (30-1) was doing dueling with Nobiz Like Shobiz (8-1) in the Holy Bull. Odd tactics for a closer.

- ESPN.com's Jay Cronley took a date to the races, and what was he thinking?
Not enough.
....
The evening went something like this.

Q: She found it sad that so many senior males were here all alone.

A: I said that it was more likely that they were among the happiest people in the world.

Q: Did that mean that I wished I had come alone instead of bring her?

A: (Pause) No.
The website's editor may be thinking of love and romance as well. The headline of the piece, at this writing, reads Date Nght.

4 Comments:

Green Mtn Punter said...

Got a big laugh out of Jay Cronley's piece on taking a date to Santa Anita. While it is true that some women love the challenge of handicapping and betting, most do not, so it was Jay's mistake in not bringing along another couple so the ladies could socialize while the guys played the races. I have found that most women love going to the track- Saratoga and Belmont- they consider it to be a unique venue, a "cool" place for a social outing. Over the years I have introduced a fair number of the distaff set ages 14-50 to Saratoga and they all loved it, no exceptions. I know, I know, it's Saratoga, so who in his/her right mind wouldn't?! The Saratoga Backyard, as any regular knows, can take on the appearance of a giant college mixer on week-ends, a great place for boy meets girl, I know because I was one of them not that long ago- Ok, Ok, many years ago! I would say by the numbers of young people I see at Saratoga that a day at Spa with a date and/or friends is pretty high up on the list of summer social activities, contrary to what we hear from the marketing people who are always telling us that young people and women are largely absent from the racing fan base. And all of this sans VLT's- I'm tninking of Andy Beyer's piece today on how the "new" Gulfstream is all about VLT players with the horseplayers shunted into the background. The key for serious horseplayers is to provide compatible female companions for your girlfriend/wife so you and your fellow horseplayers can watch the tote and make your bets, and the ladies can socialize and people watch, and everybody's having a good time. This social activity is sadly what is missing at most racetracks. For example, NYRA or a new franchisee should be working hard to restore Belmont's attraction as a social venue, a place for a unique social occasion and outing. Instead, the strategy seems to be VLT's as the cure-all for racing's revenue squeeze rather than providing a unique and attractive venue for social events and activities. Magna, with it's Gulfstream re-do, has bet the farm that VLT's must carry the day, but I disagree, I believe that the races provide the more fascinating backdrop for social activity, with time between, not windowless VLT parlors with individuals vs machines and little social interaction.

John (AKA Not Too Swift) said...

I like the new look Alan.

alan said...

>>The key for serious horseplayers is to provide compatible female companions for your girlfriend/wife so you and your fellow horseplayers can watch the tote and make your bets, and the ladies can socialize and people watch, and everybody's having a good time.

In other words, something to keep them busy so we can ignore them and concentrate on the races!

John - Thanks! And I must say that you seem to have a real screen presence!

robin said...

From a decent female handicapper, let me just say that all of you guys are fulfilling your own bias against women in horseracing by encouraging people like Jay Cronley. I wrote to him and told him he is a moron, and why, and now he wants to go to the races with ME, probably so he can write another article about how women ruin his good time. Whatever. He is obviously a man who seeks out women who punish him in some way or another. And the rest of you can't be far behind, though probably less verbal about it. Good thing too, because any woman who reads his stupid article might die laughing, at him.

I have led numerous trips to the track, to teach novices handicapping, and women are by far the better students, when there are no neanderthal men to insult their intelligence and their different approach to the sport, which I won't even go into since you are all too pigheaded to think that women might just know things you don't and think in a different but equally valid way.

But at the end of the day, I still win more than I lose, which means that most of you men out there are funding my earnings. So have a nice day.