- Bill Mott starts Gullible Gal in the second at Belmont on Wednesday; it's a maiden filly dash for juvenile state-breds. Out of the $6,000 first-year sire Hook and Ladder, she sold as a yearling for $310,000. Gullible Gal is a half-sister to two stakes winners: Ready to Please, Pletcher's More than Ready filly who won the Grade 2 Fantasy; and Chief Officer. The latter, a NY-bred stakes winner, whistled by ten lengths in her debut for Mott here a year ago. She's by Officer, who was a hot debut sire at the time.
And Hook and Ladder is off to a nice start himself, with three winners from his first five runners. A son of Dixieland Band, he stands at Becky Thomas' Sequel Stallions in New York, along with Freud, as well as Read the Footnotes and Ten Most Wanted.
- King of the Roxy returns to the races on Saturday in the Barbaro Stakes....the Delaware Park version, formerly the Leonard Richard. The ultimate goal is the seven furlong King's Bishop, so why a two turn route as a prep instead of having run in the Tom Fool? Barry Irwin, now running Team Valor all by his lonesome, told Haskin in Bloodhorse: “I asked Todd (Pletcher) which race he preferred and he said he wanted to go for the money as opposed to the one-turn.” The Barbaro has a $300,000 purse as opposed to the $200,000 for the Belmont race. That means that Pletcher stands to earn an extra $6000 at DelPark; and given that I imagine that the Toddster doesn't have much of an emotional stake in how much the horse earns, Irwin's explanation doesn't hold water. I'm sure we'll hear him blame the trainer if the move doesn't work out.
- Silent Name bled badly in the Triple Bend, thus accounting for his last place finish. The son of Sunday Silence is slated to join Frank Stronach's Adena breeding operation upon his retirement, and he already has a page reserved in the Stallion Register. 2007 Fee: Future Stallion.
- Gemstar, the parent company of TVG, was reported by the AP the other day to be exploring the possibility of putting itself up for sale. Perhaps Rupert Murdoch, who controls the company, is seeking to raise a little cash for his prospective purchase of Dow Jones.
But the Financial Times reports today that the TVG unit is a strong possibility for being sold off on its own.
TVG recently hit the zenith of its business, seeing more revenue than it has ever generated during its fiscal first quarter ended March 31.And it should come as no surprise that Churchill Downs is mentioned as a possible buyer. The article notes that TVG's suit against Twinspires does not specifically mention Churchill, leaving open the option that it might see value in combining with Churchill Downs, analysts observed. Considering Churchill's recent spending spree in which they picked up three ATW's, plus their investment in HRTV, I'd imagine that the anti-trust division of the Justice Department would be paying attention to any such proposed sale.
Four analysts say they expect to see some of TVG’s revenues begin to fall significantly over time due to a legal spat with rivals. The first look by analysts at whether revenues are falling will come July 27 when Gemstar releases its fiscal second quarters results. [FT.com]