- Woke up and looked outside and gee, guess what? It's cloudy and wet. In the three days I've been at the track thus far, there hasn't been a single ray of sunshine. Should the sun peek through by Classic time as is considered a possibility, it will be a triumph (and maybe we'll actually be able to see them turning for home). But looking at the weather map, even that seems a distant possibility. They're still calling for a possible inch of rain, and the line of green on the doppler radar stretches all the way down to Atlanta.
Despite the foul conditions, a crowd of 27,803 was on hand. A statement released in the name of Dennis Dowd of the NJ Sports and Exposition Authority said:
"Friday's card more than exceeded our expectations. Despite the weather we had a tremendous crowd come out and support the Breeders' Cup card and, save the weather, we couldn't be happier with the way things turned out."On one hand, it sounds like the latest statement from the White House assuring us that steady progress is being made in Iraq. But indeed it was a great crowd I thought, and I myself didn't see too many unhappy faces (other than those waiting on the betting lines on the 4th floor grandstand...Case noted that many of the self-service machines seemed to be not working. I'd recommend the first floor clubhouse, where I was told things were much better, but I don't know what the deal is with getting in there if you bought the $50 general admission.) So I agree that kudos are in order for the folks at Monmouth that have worked so hard to stage this event.
The entire Monmouth Park team has been on overdrive for the past few months and from the feedback I've received, the fans have not only recognized this, they've truly appreciated it."
I listened to the calls, and it's true that Denman missed Maryfield until they passed the sixteenth pole. I could see how you might have thought that was Miraculous Miss. Great job by Lenny hitting that triple, and I know that Patrick also had Miraculous Miss on top, and would have had the late Pick three, eek. You can give Trevor a pass based on the poor visibility and idiotic saddle cloths, but the call was gloomily reminiscent of Street Sense last year. And, as a couple of readers noted, he called Cannonade instead of Cannonball late in the Juvie Turf, and called Achill Island, Achill Hill early on. He did get Nownownow though, and I liked his "looked like he just jumped in at the quarter pole" line.
By the way, I saw a statement by Jim Gluckson of NTRA saying that the saddle cloth situation will be reviewed, but for now they've opted for the "branding" that they feel the purple cloths provide. That's what the man said.
I was looking at the first three races on the card today; thought maybe I'd hook something up singling Izarra in the Juvie Fillies. But these races, especially the second and third, look even harder than the BC races!! Man, these are impossible, especially the third, the Select Stakes for three-year olds. (Buffalo Man makes his first start since being briefly fancied as a Derby horse after winning at Ocala.) But that was looking at them late last night after a very long day, so maybe they'll make more sense today. Nice races though if you're up early today (11 AM post time).
As for me, I'm planning on heading over at around 9:30 or so. The Head Chef wants to come later, and given the rain, who can blame her. So she'll take a taxi over later in the day. As I've said, I'm supposed to live blog for the BC site. Don't know how that's going to work out, but I'll be hanging out here too, so, if for some strange reason you're looking at blogs during this day of days, please check it out.
Patrick Biancone was apparently kicked off the grounds yesterday, even though his agreement with the KHRA specifically allowed him to be there....at least if Monmouth was in Kentucky I guess. He was on the backstretch in the morning, but was asked to leave the premises.
"Patrick Biancone had previously submitted a trainer-transfer agreement to the New Jersey Racing Commission indicating Francois Parisel was now training the horses....I spoke to him by telephone and reminded him of the trainer-transfer agreement. I asked him to leave the barn area, and he complied." [NY Post]I guess that's it for now. I'll of course discuss the results of yesterday's races, as well as today's in more detail once the
But quickly, as for Discreet Cat, the Godolphin team was bewildered, a familiar pose for them with this horse these days. “Maybe it was the ground, or maybe it was his throat." Sounded like they're not giving up quite yet. As far as the race goes, didn't mean to disparage the excellent performance by Corinthian, but I still think that the dirt Mile needs to be a one-turn Mile in order to really make it a unique event worthy of a "championship" race designation, if, that is, it's going to be billed that way.
Speak to you from the track.