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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Notes - April 11

Kevin said...

I saw both TIME SQUARED and LOVE DUBAI were entered in the Bluegrass this weekend. Both ran last Saturday, with the former breaking his maiden at Keeneland and the latter running dead last in the Illinois Derby. There is officially no cure for Derby Fever.
Regarding Time Squared, Patrick Biancone doesn't have Derby Fever. He has Derby Delirium, and the Delirium part isn't limited to just the springtime. The way he places some of his horses is just amazing to me. And Time Squared was actually 7-2 in the Sham against Ravel and Liquidity! He got a 67 Beyer when he won on Saturday, so I believe he only has to improve around 40 points to win this race, as I think Street Sense is going to explode with a big number.

And I can't wait to see what Biancone does with Belgravia. The colt has been working steadily, and the trainer has been quoted as saying that he'd go in the Derby with only one prep in 2007. Watch for him to race in the Lexington next week. He has graded earnings, having won the G3 Hollywood Prevue and running third in the G1 Hollywood Futurity, so I don't know if he has to do much of anything to qualify. He's not included on the current list because no one in his right mind would possibly think that a horse who hasn't started this year by now would possibly run in the Derby. Don't be so sure.

- My Thursday picks for Keeneland should be up pretty soon if they're not now at the Keeneland Special. A couple of winners on top on Wednesday in Cambridge Belle ($8) and Christie's Treasure ($6), and a few others that I'd mentioned in the money or on top. I could criticize myself for sometimes trying to be too cute; for example, I guess Shug's Carriage Trail was a logical selection. But layoffs still means something to me; they're ingrained in my handicapping consciousness, and when I see a horse coming off a seven month layoff, I can't help but be a little skeptical still with the sometimes exception of Pletcher and maybe a couple of others. So I had the exacta in reverse in that one, but not a bad day overall.

One more thing, and then I gotta do Saturday's card, which is not going to be a quickie to do (except for the Blue Grass). Getting back to the NY hearings and Empire, I just want to go back to a second to what Jeff Perlee said:
"No one wants to go and spend the day at a place that's falling down around them, where they're treated rudely, where they get cold food."
Now it's obvious to my regular readers that I just don't like these guys, and I'm not going to go into the reasons again. I guess if someone accused me of sometimes stretching a bit in order to criticize them, perhaps that's a fair criticism. On the other hand, it is my website, so I don't have to be objective about it, and I'm not. But what I just wanted to add about the NYRA employees is that over the last year or two, during which morale has to be horrible and I'd imagine that things like 'raises' and 'bonuses' are just a laughable notion (not to mention the state of their pension plan, which happily seems guaranteed to get bailed out), who would blame them for being edgy at times. But I've found, to my amazement, that they are consistently professional, courteous, and even downright cheerful, and they've really earned my respect. So I'll just say that I think that was a cheap shot, and that Perlee is just plain, dead wrong to have said what he did, and leave it at that.

8 Comments:

Anonymous said...

alan,

agree with you about nyra employees. they have always been helpful and courteous to me. i doubt jeff perlee's been to aqueduct lately (if ever). oh wait, he was the director of the nys lottery at one point. must have visited in the run-up to the introduction of thousands of vlt's at aque.....never mind.

Elizabeth Cohen said...

I absolutely love DOMINICAN in the bluegrass. This guy loves the poly, 2nd off a layoff. He has a long loping stride and he will gallop past the frauds known as STREET SENSE and GREAT HUNTER in the lane.

Actually they aren't frauds and I'm expecting a fast closing second from DOMINICAN. Where are the betting windows?

-Lemon Drop Adult

Superfecta said...

I've been keeping an eye on Belgravia as well - and hey, he's probably faced bigger fields in some workouts than half the current Derby contenders have in actual races at this point. You've gotta like a drug-free horse!

Late Scratch said...

Yes, Alan, it is quite obvious that you don't like Perlee or Empire and you certainly may have your reasons. During a recent experience at Aqueduct, however, I felt that I was treated rudely. Not so much by the employees who were only taking orders, but from management who decided to shut off owner and handicap parking for other uses. My wife had just had a serious knee operation and despite possessing a temporary handicap sticker AND owner's credentials, we were told we had to park several hundred yards from the track's entrance. I opted to break the rules and drop her off at the valet stand but then had to proceed to general parking while she waited for me to come back to assist her inside the track.

I attended both days of the franchise hearings and have one admonition. Be careful what credence you give to second-hand accounts of what was said. Most of Pretlow's comments were made after the hearings had ended. He clearly was there only to make sure the AHC's original recommendation would stand. After yesterday's show by Excelsior, I have to wonder how he and the Saratoga Mayor feel about that decision now.

Anonymous said...

I spoke with both Mayor Keehn and Assemblyman Pretlow after the hearings. They both remain standing with Excelsior.

Alan said...

Superfecta - Ha ha...and if he does get his one prep in, he'll have almost as many prep races as some of the top contenders too!

L.S. - Nice to hear from you, and thanks for the report from the hearings. It's unfortunate that those of us downstate have to rely on only these second hand reports, and I'll keep your advice in mind. As you well know, parking at the Big A was a real mess this winter. The old owner's lot near the track entrance has now been reopened with the giveback of the Belt Parkway lot by the Port Authority, who had the spaces fenced off for no apparent reason other than spite. But clearly, the parking attendants could have given you a break under the circumstances, and I'm really sorry to hear that you had a rough time, and hope your wife is feeling better.

Anonymous said...

Over the years some, not all, of the NYRA employees have had a valid reputation as being rude. In particular the mutual clerks, parking attendants, and of all people customer disservice.

Since the new administration began, I have found the employess more congenial, especially all the new mutual tellers. The improvement in that area has been amazing.

There are bad apples in any bunch, especially when their future employment and pension is in jeopardy, but I would agree that overall his comment was a cheap shot.

Anonymous said...

in regards to your comment about nyra employee morale, you are right on it isn't high.Management has seen it's way to give raises and promotions to themselves and even add more high level positions while maintenence workers are without a contract or raises for years now.In my opinion the labor contracts they do have are often ignored. Despite this nyra employees still get the races run.