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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Hollywood, Here We Come?

- More rain forecast for LA puts Sunday and Monday's cards at Santa Anita in jeopardy after five inches of rain caused racing to be canceled on Saturday. The CHRB will meet on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of moving races to Hollywood Park.

Said [board chairman Richard] Shapiro: "If the problem is something that cannot be corrected reasonably quickly, and if it is going to take weeks to get Santa Anita back in shape for racing, then I certainly would advocate that we as a board adopt an emergency measure so that we could be able to shift racing over to Hollywood Park until the Santa Anita track is once again suitable for racing." [LA Times]
It's been wet up north as well, but Golden Gate is having no such problems with their Tapeta surface. "Even with all the rain we've had the past couple of days, we've had a fast track and no problems," Golden Gate Fields spokesman Tom Ferrall said Saturday. [OC Register]

- Hutcheson winner Smooth Air is by Smooth Jazz, a son of Storm Boot (Storm Cat) who stands in syndication at Buckridge Farm in New York for $3,000 (pdf file). Smooth Jazz raced for Pletcher and Michael Tabor, and earned a 117 Beyer (and a '0' on the Ragozin sheets) when he won the Commonwealth over the old Keeneland speedway in 2003. The Toddster is quoted here as saying that he was as fast as any horse I've had, and I bet he's said that about a fair number of other runners he's had.

- As far as I can tell, it's YES for TVG and NO for HRTV as far as NYRA's signal goes, but the State Racing and Wagering Board is said to be negotiating with the latter.

Scott Daruty, the president of TrackNet Media, told a conference in Arizona that “tremendous strides” have been made and that "only about 20% of Thoroughbred content in the United States is considered “exclusive” to certain wagering providers." Among that 20% is Gulfstream Park, and TrackNet apparently cut Florida horsemen a better deal rather than reach an agreement to sell the signal to Youbet.com. The Florida HBPA threatened to withhold the simulcast signal, which is their right, in response to the prospect of losing their share of the $16.5 million handled by Youbet last year. That would have shut TrackNet out from its own content. TVG was not involved in the negotiations; David Nathanson told Bloodhorse they were not contacted. TrackNet claims that TVG has not responded to offers to exchange content.

7 Comments:

Anonymous said...

So glad NYRA didn't rush into synthetic surfaces, aren't you Alan? More and more it appears that too many tracks were sold a bill of goods by the snake oil salesmen. Let's start by improving the breed, as the mission used to be, and forget these ridiculous band-aids. /S/Green Mtn Punter

ljk said...

They take a track and make great efforts that the foundation is smooth and level. Then they put a synthetic surface on it.

My guess is that if you did the same and put down a dirt surface, the results would be just as good or better.

Teresa said...

LJK: several horsemen, particularly in California, made the same observation in the recent synthetic track issue of The Blood-Horse. They suggested that the foundation, not the surface, is what was making the tracks unsafe.

Brett said...

Man would I love to see them move to Hollywood. I don't know but I just seem to perform much better there.

BTW- Can anyone explain why the past week TVG has not shown Santa Anita races live?

Anonymous said...

To answer Brett's question, I think the recent California peace accord dealt only with rights to the take wagers. TV rights were not affected. TVG does not have rights to broadcast Santa Anita live.

I'm curious why the NY Racing and Wagering Board cut off HRTV. More TV exposure would seem to be a good thing for NY racing. Did TVG play hardball and threaten to drop its coverage? Was there concern about TrackNet cutting into OTB profits? I've found no press coverage of this issue except for a little on the Brisnet site.

BitPlayer

DC said...

What i don't understand about the whole Polytrack/Cushion Track thing is why-in-the-hell nobody wanted to use Tapeta Surface (until Presque Isle and Golden Gate). I mean, Tapeta Surface was designed by an absolute master horseman, and it had alreday been in use for roughly a decade! It must've made too much sense...

Power Cap said...

If Aqueduct closed for 3 days due to ineptitude, there would be hell to pay. Glad that NYRA still has the knowledge and staff available to maintain safe dirt surfaces. The all-weather tracks have been exposed as under hoof disaster zones.