- Reader Jim L writes: Are you going to have a Saratoga-only blog again this year? It does look like a terrific meet.... Yes, it certainly looks like a terrific meet, but no, sadly there will be no Saratoga-only blog this year. (Though the Head Chef promises to write some food columns again.) Reality (as in working for a living and dealing with kids) rears its ugly head this summer though, luckily and thankfully, interspersed with vacation. As you may know, we're off to Del Mar on Saturday morning for a week. By the time I extract myself from my beach chair and stroll over the track for the 2 PM post time there, the Saratoga races will be just about over! So as much as I'd love to write about the entire meet in detail as I did last year, Saratoga coverage will be spotty until I return (and same goes for this week amidst the usual pre-vacation hysteria).
But I will be up for Travers week. Whatsmore, I'll be doing some horse-by-horse stakes analysis for Sean and Joe Clancy's Saratoga Special, starting with the big BC Challenge races on Saturday; and I'll also, once I get back, be providing picks for the Special's selection grid in which us "professionals" will be competing against Joe's son who will be making his picks by throwing darts. Talk about pressure!!
As we mentioned yesterday, Governor Spitzer will not be at Saratoga this week either, nor at any time during the meet it would seem. Thanks to the reader who sent a link yesterday from the NY Daily News. It doesn't seem to be working today, but nonetheless we learned that Spitzer also "encouraged" the New York State Racing and Wagering Board to give up its boxes as well, though "not happily." I think that Brian, who, by the way, will be in Saratoga blogging on his Triple Crown Racing site (when he's not escorting patrons to their seats) made a great point when he wrote that turning down the box was a swipe at Bruno IMO. Whatever Spitzer's intention, it's really a swipe at the entire industry in New York.
The question for the Governor now, regarding the Attorney General's report on his office's plot to discredit Senator Bruno, is the familiar "what did he know and when did he know it?" The same questions that NBA Commish David Stern had to answer this morning (nothing, and 'not until after the season.') Not surprisingly, not everyone is buying Spitzer's claims of ignorance.
The claim was met with skepticism from politicians in both parties, since the governor is known to be something of a micromanager.I wouldn't be surprised if one of Spitzer's remaining aides is making some calls trying to find out what's up with that federal investigation of Bruno.... That seems to be about the only thing that would take the heat off the Gov at this point. Perhaps a trip (escorted by state police at taxpayer expense) up to the races would take his mind off things for a few hours!
“Did the governor know?” asked Senator Dean G. Skelos, a Long Island Republican and the deputy majority leader. He said the report “leaves many questions open in terms of how far up the chain of command were the acts of — at least the acts of Dopp and Howard — known?”
Mr. Skelos added that he believed it would be “totally appropriate” for the Senate Committee on Investigations and Government Operations, which has subpoena power, to review the matter. It is expected that the Senate will do just that. Mr. Skelos is a member of the committee.
“You have the makings of a real conspiracy here,” he added. [NY Times]
- Good news from Belmont, where Rags to Riches was pronounced to be fine after a training scare the other day.
“Although everything seems to be fine, in order to be thorough she will have a complete physical done," said Pletcher. “Though her race plans will be made after the exam, she remains under consideration for the (grade I) Alabama at Saratoga August 18.” [Bloodhorse]