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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

News and Notes - Dec 5

- It certainly didn't look good for Teuflesberg when he broke down at Keeneland in October. But he survived despite injuries to both sesamoids in his left foreleg, and will stand at Hurricane Hall for $10,000.

"Teuflesberg was a very good 2-year-old, is a magnificent specimen, and is from the immediate family of Tale of the Cat, Johannesburg, and Pulpit, while being inbred to that great sire-producing female family through his sire," said Hurricane Hall president Ben P. Walden Jr. [Bloodhorse]
He's a son of Johannesberg, and has the same 4th dam as that sire (inbred 4x5 to State). He won or placed in ten of 21 starts, and how many three-year old stakes caliber horses run 21 times these days? If he's as prolific at stud, he'll make a lot of mares very happy!

- Curlin is doing lots of jogging.
"We're proceeding like we have the opportunity to run him, but we're definitely a long ways away. He'll be jogging for a while." [DRF]
The longer we don't hear a decision about his future, the better the chance that he'll race I'd say; at some point, I suppose it will be too late to make stallion plans for 2008.

- The Delaware State Police and the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau are involved in the investigation of the sponge lodged in the nostril of Maren's Meadow. The two-year old filly was sent to have what was thought to be a tumor removed after a disappointing 4th as the heavy favorite at Del Park in October, but it turned out to be apparent foul play instead. The filly's owner, Sandra Rasmussen, said that the watchman at trainer Larry Jones' barn could have been distracted by a nearby fire. With all the attention paid to developing tests for newfangled drugs like EPO's and snake venom, old school cheating methods could fall under the radar...though I guess not in this case. The last published reports of sponging at a major track came in 2001, when two horses were scratched before races at Santa Anita Park. [Delawareonline]

- Pool Land has been retired and will be bred to AP Indy for a cool $300,000. The sire is currently number two, behind Smart Strike, on the general sires list. Since Pool Land is out of a mare by Slew City Slew, the resulting foal will be inbred 2x4 to Seattle Slew.

- Churchill Downs will make their replays available on You Tube.
“That content is better off in the public domain,” said Vernon Niven, executive vice president of technology for Churchill Downs Inc. “We hope that younger players find that makes us easier to do business with.” [Thoroughbred Times]
Churchill has been rather stingy with their replays up to now; they're not available on Cal Racing, and on their various websites only when there's a race meeting going on. The move is said to be part of an effort "to make its content more readily available on the Internet," which will hopefully including live race video, one of the big no-brainers that many tracks have still not seen the wisdom of.

- Thanks to reader Bit Player for his informative opinion on the subject of whales:
For every bettor who loses less than the takeout (say 20%), someone else has to lose more than 20%. The study that the NTRA commissioned a few years back shows pretty conclusively that "someone else" is playing on-track (where players lose around 30%, if memory serves). I suppose one could argue that losing 30% rather than 20% does not affect how much on-track players feed into the pools, but everything I've ever heard racetrack execs say about "churn" indicates that isn't true.

In addition to not contributing anything financially, Moby brings us batch betting and late odds changes. And, given the amount of money we're talking about, I'd be surprised if Moby isn't also, at least indirectly, contributing to some of the darker elements of the game.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

I want to apologize for and correct an error in the portion of my earlier comment that you incorporated in this post. I went back and looked at the NTRA study. In fact, the study says that, in 2003, on-track patrons lost at a rate that was about 2% above the nominal takeout rate in the WPS pools and 3.5-4% above that rate in exotic pools. Thus, the 30% number (10% above the takeout rate) in my comment was an overstatement.