- Received a couple of emails regarding my post on Capital Play. An Australian journalist wrote to inform me that he accompanied "the entire Capital Play team" to tour the Belmont backstretch on May 14 in what was a "comprehensive visit." I had presented my information that they hadn't visited to a representative of the company in what was at least a half-hearted attempt at being a real journalist; I went with it when it was not disputed. But in any event, apologies for that bit of misinformation.
Another reader writes:
[Betsy Berns] is the author of a horrible, terrible book called "The Female Fan Guide to Thoroughbred Racing," which is filled with party tips and pointless, cutesy factoids (including one that incredibly makes wife beating out as something kinda funny) along with basic handicapping and wagering instruction. It is not to Capital Play's credit that they have Berns on board, at least to this female fan ...Ms. Berns, who is assisting the company in its strategy to attract women to the tracks, also writes a blog called the Female Fan for IVillage. I haven't read the book, so I can't yet comment on the above assessment of it, but I did look at the blog, and the thought that she's actually getting paid to write fluff like that is getting me all depressed and making me think that I should be devoting my time to a more lucrative pursuit. So let's change the subject...
- I ran across this interesting piece in the Evansville Courier & Press (which I probably found on the Albany Law School's Racing and Gaming Today). I was not aware that it was Ken McPeek who picked out and signed the ticket for Curlin, and he describes how he got the colt for just $57,000:
Curlin was forecast to sell for about $300,000. McPeek bought the colt cheap because he'd had an OCD lesion removed from his left ankle as a weanling. That dissuaded any pinhookers who train them for a few months and resell at a profit. "He had it all," said McPeek. "Hips, legs, length, girth. Everything but a real attractive head. People trying to turn a horse quickly wouldn't touch him with that ugly ankle. I gambled. That's what I do. I gamble where some won't."Nice gamble, indeed. Knowing which imperfections are the ones that are OK to disregard is a very valuable talent. The original owners have already partly cashed in on the horse, and I imagine the best is yet to come.
As you may know, Garrett Gomez replaces Mario Pino on Hard Spun, and the deposed rider spoke to the Baltimore Sun.
"Absolutely, I don't think I did anything wrong...The whole race was fast and I thought my horse ran really well.- And apologies to A.P Jet, who I tried to kill off the other day. The stallion is alive and well at Sugar Maple Farm in New York,
"It's horse racing. Things happen out of your control. I really don't have any second thoughts. [The race] was presented that way. It set up that way. Fast from start to finish."
Pino said he wishes Hard Spun and his connections "nothing but good luck.
Said Pino: "Life goes on. Everything is good."