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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

News and Notes - March 27

- Back home in NY, yippee...

- The New York Times picks up on the story of the Hong Kong dart shooters.

It was a device worthy of Rube Goldberg, or perhaps Wile E. Coyote. A remote-controlled mechanism with a dozen launching tubes was found buried in the turf at Hong Kong’s most famous horse racing track last week; it was rigged with compressed air to fire tiny, liquid-filled darts into the bellies of horses at the starting gate.
It's thought that a gambling conspiracy is behind the device; given the way the device has been described as "elaborate," I presume that it was capable of singling out specific horses to be darted.
Horse racing experts said it might be hard for gamblers to profit by silently firing darts into one or more horses and betting on others to win. They said that any horses that were pierced, and possibly horses near them in the starting gate, might react violently, which would probably lead to the discovery of the darts and the cancellation of the race.
I'd guess that it would cause a cancellation of much more than just one race. "Yup, poison darts, just like I thought....bring em out for the next race!"

- The economic benefit of Monmouth's Breeders Cup is estimated to be $57.6 million, according to a study released Monday by the Center for Urban Policy Research at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. But no word on how much of that will be generated by, or should we say, from local blogger Patrick, who is hoping to generate another $39 worth of Ramsey shirt sales.

- Nobiz Like Shobiz was again accompanied by Funny Cide during his Monday workout. Both were timed in 59.80, and observers clocked both galloping out six furlongs in 1:13 and seven furlongs in 1:27. In addition to being probably the only horse Tagg has that can keep up with his Derby hopeful, I'm sure that the trainer is counting on Funny Cide to take him under his wing, and counsel him on how to handle the Derby Day crowd. Tagg actually commented on the lack of crowd noise in New York that I half-kiddingly mentioned the other day, saying "I don't think there will be much of a crowd at Aqueduct." [The Downey Profile]

- And oh yeah, there are some decent races in Dubai on Saturday. The Daily Racing Form has all the entries here. Todd Pletcher has five.
Grade 1 winners English Channel and Honey Ryder, who will race in the Dubai Duty Free (Gr.1) and Dubai Sheema Classic (Gr.1), respectively, were particularly striking as each galloped with gusto. Dubai Golden Shaheen (Gr.1) entrants Friendly Island and Bishop Court Hill, both chestnuts, gleamed in the morning sun.

The other Pletcher runner, Dubai Sheema Classic challenger Host, stayed on the training track on Tuesday but could make a return to the main facility on Thursday. [Dubai Racing Club Blog]