- Rags to Riches is unlikely for the Travers according to owner Michael Tabor, but he's leaving it up to Todd Pletcher. But first things first. "I'll be nervous if she is 1-9 in the Coaching Club," Pletcher said. Then he should start to get nervous, because it's hard to see how she could be any higher than that. It should be quite a challenge for racing secretary PJ Campo to even round up any competition. If there's ever any chance of us seeing another walkover in New York, this could be it!
As for beyond that race:
"If we were to run in the Travers, it would be the sporting thing," Pletcher said. "From a practical standpoint, it would be the Alabama, and hopefully we would have another representative in the Travers who might be able to do the job." [Albany Times Union]Scat Daddy and Any Given Saturday worked out last week, and Circular Quay has been training on the grass.
- Vernon Downs, the harness track located near Utica in upstate New York, may be the first casualty of the racino era, as owner Jeff Gural says he will close the track without some tax relief from the state. The bill that would do so has passed the Senate, but has encountered opposition in the Assembly.
Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow, chairman of the Assembly Committee on Racing and Wagering, said the bill, currently stalled in the Assembly, would take away up to $50 million from education. He said he is working on a compromise that would include the track owners, horse owners and horse breeders. [AP]The track is being licensed on a month to month basis due to short fields and poor financials (it's reportedly losing $700,000 a month), and got another extension through July 31.
Slots have also been sputtering at Gulfstream, and Governor Charlie Crist has a bill on his desk that would expand racino hours to 18 during the week and 24 on the weekend; increase the number of machines to 2,000 from 1,500 per facility; and allow ATM machines on the grounds, though not in the VLT rooms themselves. The Miami Herald reports that Crist is expected to allow the bill to become law by taking no action, which will occur after 15 days.
- Did you know that first-year sire Posse already has eight winners?? His closest competitor has just three. He got his first stakes winner over the weekend when Steve Asmussen's Kodiak Kowboy won a stakes at Woodbine. Posse stands for just $12,500 at Vinery. He wasn't overly precocious at two himself with a record of 7-2-1-1, though he did win the G3 Ky Breeders Cup, and ran second in the Bashford Manor. He was better at three, when he won four stakes, including the G2 Riva Ridge.
Posse is by Silver Deputy (Deputy Minister), out of a Rahy mare. Alan Porter, writing on the Vinery website, says:
POSSE is out of a mare by Rahy, who in turn is out of Halo’s Champion daughter, Glorious Song. It would be interesting to breed him to mares descending from Glorious Song’s brothers Devil’s Bag and Saint Ballado, or other sons of Halo.It would be a nice way of tying up this post for me to tell you that some of his winners fit that pattern, but that's so far not the case. However, Porter also notes that: Two Mr. Prospector line strains which have already worked particularly well with Silver Deputy are Fappiano and Forty Niner;. Kodiak Kowboy is out of a mare by the Forty Niner stallion Coronado's Quest; and Possetothemax, another one of his winners, is out of the Forty Niner stallion Twining.