- C P West has been added to the Belmont field, and as far as I'm concerned, there's more of a point in Digger running than this Nick Zito-trained colt, who was blamed by Mario Pino for prompting his reckless move to the front on Hard Spun in the Preakness. Because at least Larry Roman has a point to make by running his colt, even if you believe that he's a little nutty and misguided. Zito told the Form: "I heard the band, and the next thing I was marching," which is just as nonsensical as anything Roman has had to say.
Haskin, filling up space in order to earn his pay, says of Imawildandcrazyguy:
..How close are the parallels between him and last year’s Belmont winner Jazil? Both came from 20th to finish fourth in the Kentucky Derby, with Jazil beaten 9 1/2 lengths and Imawildandcrazyguy beaten 8 1/2 lengths. Jazil was 24-1 and Imawildandcrazyguy was 28-1. Both were beaten a length or less for third by a horse coming out of the Arkansas Derby (gr. II). And, of course, both skipped the Preakness to point for the Belmont.Here's what's different about Imawildandcrazyguy and Jazil: Jazil faced a field that was so bad that Bob and John was the favorite, enough said. Haskin also reports that when Pletcher announced he would run Rags to Riches, Garrett Gomez' agent put out a "feeler" to Larry Jones, without asking directly to be released from his commitment. I'm trying to imagine just how that conversation went. Jones apparently made it directly known that he will retain the services of Gomez, and Johnny V, released from his commitment to ride Slew's Tizzy, gets the ride, which I know won't thrill everyone who reads this site.
- Frank Whiteley Jr., and jockey Jacinto Vasquez have filed a lawsuit against Disney over the upcoming Ruffian documentary. It seems that the two had been asked by ESPN to participate in the film, but refused when told they would have no creative control. The network proceeded anyway, inserting reporter Bill Nack into the story.
"The conversations depicted in the film between Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Nack never happened, according to Mr. Whiteley. He didn’t sit around his barn chatting with reporters.”Nack is hardly "obscure," but he may have been in 1975; he was writing for Newsday at the time, and didn't go to work for Sports Illustrated until 1979. The suit requests that ESPN provide a disclaimer to inform viewers that the film is a fictionalized account of true events. But it also seeks a licensing fee on behalf of Thoroughbred Legends LLC, which owns the trademark to Ruffian. [Thoroughbred Times] And given the events of the week past, who's to criticize them for trying to make a little money out of the deal.
The lawsuit contends that Whiteley did not speak to Nack for more than a year prior to the match race, and had no conversations with him after the event.
“Mr. Whiteley does not want to be portrayed as someone who sat around his barn casually discussing medical and racing issues with an obscure reporter,” said [attorney A. Lee] Parks. [Bloodhorse]