- The prospects for slots at Kentucky racetracks got a boost with the election of Democrat Steve Beshear, who handily defeated the scandal-ridden Republican (there's a redundancy for you) and incumbant Ernie Fletcher in Tuesday's election. Beshear supports a referendum on the question of slots at racetracks in a bid to raise $500 million a year. Fletcher, who was indicted during his term but had the charges dropped in return for an admission of wrongdoing, spent nearly half his campaign budget running ads opposing casino gambling.
And in a desperate ploy in the closing days, Fletcher played upon hatred and bigotry in focusing on Beshear's endorsement by a gay rights group. Concurrently, some Kentucky voters received bogus robocalls which proported to be from the Fairness Campaign, a gay rights organization. The recorded calls said:
Beshear is receiving major support from out-of-state gay activists and has publicly committed to same-gender relationships, employment of more homosexuals in state government including teachers, and support for homosexual adoption of children.Beshear, by the way, opposes gay marriage. No one has taken responsibility for the illegal calls, a tactic employed unsuccessfully by the Rethuglicans in the 2006 vote that gave control of Congress to the Democrats. I'm sure there's some sleazy operative hiding out there somewhere, and I bet he knows Karl Rove. But the GOP knows no shame, as evidenced by the serial liar Rudy Giuliani proudly accepting the endorsement of a religious wingnut who, a couple of days after 9/11, said that America got "probably what we deserved" and that the ACLU has to "take a lot of blame for this."
If you believe these rights are fair please vote for Steve Beshear for governor. Visit Fairness.org. [Talking Points Memo]
Oh, but I know, this is all subject matter for other blogs, and I digress. It's far from a lock that the slots issue will even make it to the ballot.
In general, Republicans oppose expanded gambling, while Democrats support a referendum. The Kentucky Senate is controlled by Republicans, by a 21 to 16 margin. (Another member is an independent who is participates in the Republican caucus.) The House is controlled by Democrats by a 63 to 37 margin.But Beshear's election certainly puts the issue into play.
Legislation to put a referendum on the ballot would require a three-fifths majority vote in each house. [DRF]
- The buyout of Satish Sanan by Jess Jackson and George Bolton is an interesting development in the Curlin story. If the three of them had agreed that the horse should be retired to stud, therefore in theory entitling them to the colt's maximum value, I don't know why Sanan would sell out at this time. So, just guessing here, but just maybe Jackson and Bolton want to roll the dice and bring him back, y'think? The two of them now own an 80% interest.
- I'm alive after one day of NYRA's SHOWdown contest. I didn't publish my pick in advance here, because I didn't want to be humiliated if I got eliminated on the first day. It's that same fear of being exposed as an idiot that has prevented me from thus far acknowledging to you that Highland Cat won his first race, at Calder, after I and most of the Castle Village partners sold our interest...oh man. But not only did Jules For AJ keep me alive in the contest, he actually won the race and paid $7.60.
It's taken a while for trainer David Jacobson to warm up after 20 years away from the game, but he's now won five out of 14 at the Big A meeting after In For A Dime won the first, returning a mutuel of $23.60. Jacobson had been dropping horses in class prodigiously in what seemed like a fire sale, but this one took a huge jump in class and got up over Wildcane, for trainer Juan Rodriguez. And if the latter's name is back in the pp's, it means that the "bad guy" Richard Dutrow is suspended again.
I neglected to mention Cody Autrey in my discussion of hot trainers at CD yesterday. I recall that Autrey, like Jacobson, had claimed a bunch of horses in the 35-50K range over the spring and summer. Autrey took them to Del Mar and didn't fare very well, and I'd noticed some of those dropped down drastically as well. But his win in the second today with Time for Etbauer was his 4th win from 7 runners at the meeting, so keep an eye on him as well. [UPDATE: And wow! Another winner for Autrey, via DQ, in the 7th; Mojito Man at 9-2!]