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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Four Down To Two? [Updated]

- Hunch bets for Wednesday:

Nothinupdanssleeve 4th at Delaware

Curious Exchange 1st at Great Lakes Downs

Gun For Hire 6th at Great Lakes Downs

Anything But That - 8th at Hoosier
- Here we go again, as the four (or three, depending on what Excelsior is now thinking) remaining bidders for the NY franchise make their cases before the Senate committee. Or maybe that's just two now. Tom Precious, reporting on, confirms some backstretch rumors I heard last week that Empire and Capital Play are in “heavy talks” to merge their bids. So Empire, which still, on their website, proclaims that "New York racing should be run by New Yorkers, for New Yorkers, with racing’s best interests in mind," would team up with the consortium from Australia. Sounds like a great mating, mate!

[UPDATE: Excelsior, after being mysterious over the last few weeks, did indeed show up, and brought Jerry Bailey with them. "We're at the 1/16th pole and it's time to get the whip out..."]

- Thanks to Dave for providing a link to a piece which provides a look at the main players in the race fixing trial involving Kieren Fallon. And this article by Chris McGrath includes a list of the 27 races that are the subject of the trial; 17 of those involving Fallon. You'll notice that he won five of those. But the prosecution claims that those races, far from exonerating him, demonstrated his involvement in the conspiracy.
Caplan said his success on Russian Rhythm, in much the most prestigious race under review, cost the conspirators £160,000. "The prosecution case here is that Rodgers and the other conspirators were clearly expecting the horse to lose under Mr Fallon, but something went wrong," Caplan said. "The prosecution cannot say precisely what went wrong, but we can and do say that Shaun Lynch was seen as an unreliable intermediary after this and eventually was replaced... by Mr Philip Sherkle."

During the days after Russian Rhythm's success, Caplan claimed that urgent attempts were made to meet Fallon, and possibly to confront him. Rodgers and Shaun Lynch went to Leicester racecourse and had given Fallon and another jockey a lift to a nearby airport. A week later Shaun Lynch made concerted efforts to set up a meeting, at one stage sending Fallon 17 texts. [Belfast Telegraph]
Today, Fallon's defense attorney labeled the charges "absurd."
He pointed out Mr Fallon's average strike rate on horses between 2002 and 2004 was 19%.

But it rose to 29.4% in the races which are included in the indictment.

He said: "That means that if the Crown's allegation is right, that Fallon's win rate was 150% higher when he was trying to lose than when he was trying to win." [BBC News]
I don't suppose we'll be seeing live coverage of this on TVG's International Racing, will we?

- Probable Classic favorite Curlin is prepping for the race at Keeneland; he worked a half in 51.80 there on Tuesday. Curlin's schedule calls for him to have his final work Oct. 22 at Keeneland and to ship to Monmouth the next day. [Albany Times Union] Street Sense is prepping at Churchill, and drilled in 48 2/5; more significantly perhaps, is the fact that his final eighth was timed in a snappy 11 2/5 seconds.
Then on his gallop out -- though it was faster than most horses work -- he went five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 and six furlongs in 1:12 4/5 with Borel easing up around the turn. [Louisville Courier-Journal]
- In a prior post I mentioned Darley's 'Big Three' of three-year olds that will be joining the operation next year, forgetting about Authorized. The Epsom Derby champ was also sold to the Sheikh, and will now be transferred to Darley after his miserable performance in the Arc.

1 Comment:

Walter said...

Speaking of Breeders Cup works, Midnight Lute just went in 1:09.80. Looks awfully tough in the Sprint if he can reproduce that Forego effort.