- There's a Pick Six carryover of over $300,000 at Belmont later today, but the card sucks, plain and simple. NYRA's website indicates that all four grass races have been taken off. [UPDATE - Races 1 and 6 remain on the grass, labeled 'yielding.'] That makes the 4th race perhaps the most indecipherable mess in the history of Belmont Park. I wouldn't bet that race with Scooter Libby's defense fund money. The card is so bad that I'm almost tempted to not run out of work early to make it there for the twilight card. But I probably will anyway. The weather seems nice thus far, and there's always simulcasting!
Briefly, in the dirt races,
Stud Muffin looks like the stud of the fifth [ran yesterday] ; in the 7th, Not On My Turf won for fun by five in this same class in his last race - he gets a free ride by opting for the optional claiming price. Maybe I'm missing something, but he looks like a cinch here. Ditto for City Attraction, the even money morning line fave in the 8th.
- Reader Case sent along an article by Dick Jerardi, regarding Philadelphia Park using some its slots money to perhaps try and lure Rags to Riches there for the Cotillion on September 22. The track has the money to make it happen, and a possible $1 million purse is mentioned .
To bridge the gap between the Travers (or the Aug. 18 Alabama Stakes against fillies, also at Saratoga) and the Cup, Rags to Riches would need a race in September. The Cotillion would fit nicely 5 weeks prior to the Cup. If Pletcher were looking for an easy spot for a lot of money, the Grade II Cotillion would be it. In 2004, Pletcher brought his terrific filly Ashado to the Pha to win the Cotillion. A month later, she won the BC Distaff. [Philly Daily News]The Pha??
"I'm still holding some money in my pocket," said Sal Sinatra, Philly Park's Director of Racing.- New York's Inspector General Kristine Hamann, who conducted the just-released integrity reviews on the franchise bidders, will review Joe Bruno's accusations that Governor Spitzer used the State Police to conduct surveillance on him with respect to his combined state business/fundraising trips to NYC. In addition, the chairman of the state GOP is calling for a special prosecutor.
"My goal is to get [the Cotillion] to a Grade I, whatever I need to do to do it," Sinatra said. "That race did go to a vote last year by the graded stakes committee. We're close."
Lawyers in Mr. Bruno’s office said they believed that the Spitzer administration’s orders to keep logs of Mr. Bruno’s travel might have been an act of official misconduct, a misdemeanor that is an impeachable offense. They also said they thought the administration might have violated the Civil Service Law related to using public employees for political activity and the Public Officers Law relating to securing unwarranted privileges. [NY Times]Whatsmore, Bruno says he will ask the state and Albany Country district attorneys to investigate the matter as well. Do you think this is getting a bit out of hand?
"There has never been anything like this," said Eric Lane, a Hofstra University law professor and former counsel to a former top Democratic state senator.Spitzer's office of course denies the charges, claiming that the State Police generally keep itineraries when state transportation is utilized; and that the itineraries of the trips in question, which had not been saved, were reconstructed in response to a Freedom of Information request by Bruno's perceived journalistic nemesis, the Albany Times Union.
"This is beyond politics. This is war," added Douglas Muzzio, a Baruch College political science professor. [NY Daily News]