- We went what, two or three days without a retirement, so I guess we were due. But the retirement of Stevie Wonderboy is certainly no surprise. In fact, owner Merv Griffin and trainer Doug O'Neill tried to bring him back long after others would have packed it in and sent him off to stud on the merits of his BC Juvenile and two-year championship honors. He'll stand at Airdrie, and the marketing machine is already in full swing. "I really believe the juvenile field he beat, with Henny Hughes and First Samurai, was as strong as any in recent memory, and he was really getting away from them at the end." [Bloodhorse]
First Samurai...remember him? I have to say I was surprised to look and see that he's standing for $40,000.
Brilliant 2YO by Giant's CausewayHenny Hughes also gets $40,000. Man, imagine if either of them had shown any attributes other than raw speed? As opposed to those two sons of sons of Storm Cat, Stevie is by Stephen Got Even, a son of AP Indy. He has very odd breeding in that his paternal and maternal grandsires are half-brothers, both being out of the prodigious producer Weekend Surprise. He's free of Mr. Prospector, and has just one instance of Northern Dancer, so expect breeders to have some fun with him.
WON Hopeful-G1 & Champagne-G1
The ONLY 2yo MG1SW in His Crop
- On the other hand, there's been no break from news of trainers under suspicion - or worse - of drug violations. Biancone remains under investigation, Gary Contessa gets a week for a Bute violation, five trainers in Kentucky, including Bobby Frankel, are fined for amounts of
And in New York, a father-son training team pleaded guilty to injecting a harness horse at Saratoga with cobra venom on one occasion, and Epogen on another. Oh man.
"This restores the integrity of harness racing to the betting public, who need to know the races they are betting on are fair and true contests," [District Attorney James A.] Murphy said. [Albany Times-Union]Well, I wouldn't go that far!! In fact, it certainly makes one wonder how many people involved with either breed have gotten away, or are still getting away with the same. Indeed, the wiretaps in the case resulted in additional wiretaps at other racetracks and investigations that are still pending. The two pleaded guilty to felony interference with a domestic animal, and though they are not expected to serve jail time, the felony allows the state to permanently revoke their licenses.
Getting back to Biancone for a moment; again, we have no details of what's going on, and we don't even know if this is about medication, though that's certainly a fair guess. But he is listed as the trainer of Itsawonderfullife, the 2-1 morning line favorite in the 4th at Churchill today. Wouldn't it be in the betting public's best interest if the horse was ordered scratched? Bettors now may be wondering what's going on, and thinking, 'hey, if he's under investigation, he probably isn't using any drugs on the horse this time, so we should bet against him.' [UPDATE: He won by five at 3-5. I guess not many people were concerned.] I think that those are the kinds of issues best eliminated from the handicapping equation, and that the stewards should not accept entries from the barn until the matter is cleared up.