This guy seems pretty happy, and why the hell not? He's hanging out, attending sales, and plotting his future, which may just be brighter now that he and loyal owner Fab Oak Farm have purchased the training facility at Hurricane Hall in Kentucky.
Biancone said the uphill Polytrack course was the determining factor in purchasing the property.So Biancone may not be earning money now (or perhaps he is, as he's allowed to be a bloodstock agent, consultant, and who knows, perhaps he took out a real estate license and got a commission on this deal). But this little vacation may work out just fine, given the time, as he has, to build up his operation, and on private property too, so he doesn't have to deal with those nosy investigators snooping around his refrigerator. Yeah, this will act as a real deterrent to other trainers, that's for sure. Some may decide that an enforced vacation isn't a bad idea, and that the time could be used quite productively. It's almost as if Brian McNamee was allowed to buy the Yanks' training facility at their spring complex in Tampa.
“To be able to gallop horses everyday up hill is a huge advantage, as you don't need to gallop as long as on a flat track to arrive at the same level of fitness....As an example, if you gallop one mile up hill, to obtain the same work on a flat track you would have to gallop at least a mile and a half. This will help with the soundness by less concussion on the legs and extend the length of racing career.” [Thoroughbred Times]
And in case you missed it, Ed Fountaine's story on Jack Van Berg that ran in Sunday's NY Post is a devastatingly bleak assessment of the state of the game. The industry tries to lead us to believe that most trainers are clean, but this article conjures up an image of syringes being crushed beneath one's feet as you walk around the backstretch. The hall of fame trainer calls for a strict no-medication rule, and says:
"If you had sophisticated testing, and no medication whatsoever, and you caught them and sent them down the road for a year, (you would see) a lot of difference in them."But I don't think that Biancone's suspension is exactly what Van Berg has in mind by "down the road." This is supposed to be a punishment, a setback, not an opportunity to enhance his future earning potential. It's been a joke, really, ever since the day that New Jersey racing officials had to kick him off the grounds of the Breeders' Cup. Except that Biancone seems to be the only one laughing.