- Bill Nader may consider Hong Kong to be a breath of fresh air compared to the grim present and clouded future of NYRA, but at least he's never had to deal with remote controlled poison darts under the Aqueduct starting gate! Hong Kong police have found what was described as an "elaborate device" embedded in the turf course at the Happy Valley racetrack.
The remote controlled shooter included 12 metal tubes, each a foot long, filled with darts buried in the grass under the spot where the starting gates would be situated for 1,200 metre (3,937 ft) races on Wednesday night.- Putting another bit of nastiness from the Dr. G era behind it, the Jockeys Guild has settled its dueling lawsuits with Churchill Downs, which stemmed from the 2004 walkouts by riders at Hoosier Downs and Churchill, in protest of the tracks' lack of insurance for on-track injuries.
The tubes, spaced so each would aim up at a horse, were wired together and linked to a wireless receiver, according to a local newspaper and a police source who declined to be identified.
"The obvious intent was that it was going to fire these little darts which have got some kind of chemical in it ... up from the ground up to where the horse's starting gate is," said the senior police source.
"I doubt very much that it was meant to do anything more than just slightly tranquilise the horse. That's my speculation." [Guardian UK]
The settlement, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Louisville, bars the jockeys from walking out or going on strike until 2011 and forbids the track from taking disciplinary action against the riders, except under normal circumstances. [AP]- The Pletcher Shuffle: With Ravel out, Rags to Riches is possible for the Santa Anita Derby; Sam P., currently scheduled for the Illinois Derby is also a possibility for the West Coast, which could shift Cowtown Cat from the Wood to Illinois. Deadly Dealer will try the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn.