- Pretty surprised about the Big A cancellation. Didn't seem all that windy where I am, and I certainly feel as if I've seen racing under similar conditions. But the jockeys voted not to ride; Johnny V said that they didn't want to start a card they may not be able to finish. Hal Handel sounded a bit annoyed.
"We tried to see what we could do this morning to accommodate them," Handel said. "We would really like it if they went out there and at least tried; they decided not to. At the end of the day it's their decision." [DRF]Handel was the public face and voice of Greenwood Racing when it was holding a very hard line on insurance for the riders at Philly Park. He doesn't come across as being the most jockey-friendly guy in the world.
I had invested a fair amount of time looking at the late Pick Four, which I was going to play at home. I'd given up my right to go to the track as part of delicate negotiations with the Head Chef to obtain permission to go to the Rangers-Devils game tonight. Not much to bet on TVG with Churchill no longer there. Oak Tree has the Cal Cup, and I'm just not into betting these. I really want to get back to some good old $10K claimers, non-winners of two since whenever.
Patrick Valenzuela returned to the saddle, and did so at Zia Park. They said on TVG that he's riding at 123 pounds. They made him 2-5 on Strong Force, but he faded to 4th. As Matt Carothers was saying, it might be a good time to play against him on overbet horses at Zia Park. (He's since won two in a row.)
Sun King got trounced as the 8-5 favorite in the Ack Ack at CD. Istan ran off for Mott, continuing his torrid ways there, and I was actually surprised that Sun King got up for the distant place spot; it really looked as if he was just spinning his wheels. He's supposed to run in the Cigar Mile and then stand at Darby Dan for $10,000. Midnight Lute will also run in the Cigar Mile, and how cool is that?
Bennett Liebman has a link to the updated Thoroughgraph sheets for the Breeders' Cup runners on his Racing and Gaming Today page on the Albany Law School site. It's a large PDF file that took awhile to download, but here it is. Midnight Lute, who earned the all-time best -7 in the Forego, equaled that number in the Sprint. His Beyer figure of 108 was significantly lower than his season-high 124 he earned at Saratoga. Curlin got a -4.
I finally got a new cable to download photos from my camera; I lost it sometime last weekend. That was a drag because I had pictures I wanted to post during the day on Saturday. Most of them no longer seem worth bothering with, so here's just a few (though if you want some real photography, check out these that reader wendyu was nice enough to share).
This was the scene in the paddock before the Classic. It was a great moment, the atmosphere was just electric, a keen sense of anticipation was in the air. And the sun was finally shining.
This was the photo I was going to post when I wrote that I was reminded of Del Mar. It was the first time I'd seen the building bathed in sunshine since I arrived on Wednesday.
The following were taken the following morning. The residual mess and the bright sunshine, coming 24 hours too late, made for a eerie and poignant scene.
The scene in the merchandise tent for the 50% off blowout on Sunday morning.
No, this isn't left over from our last Caribbean trip. It's two lonely and confused looking palms on the beach at Long Branch, NJ.