- Victory Gallop is being shipped off to Turkey, and hopefully he'll brush up on local laws so that he doesn't say the wrong thing.
"Victory Gallop was a very special racehorse who has developed into a nice sire," said WinStar president Doug Cauthen, adding that the Jockey Club of Turkey made “an attractive offer to our shareholders, which was difficult to turn down.The son of Cryptoclearance saw his stud fee go as high as $30,000 at one time, and was scheduled to start at $10,000 in 2008. He's had just modest success, ranking 37th on the general sires list last year, and 54th the year before. He's had seven graded stakes winners from his first five crops, but his two top money earners raced in Japan.
“We are sad to lose Victory Gallop from our stallion roster, but at the end of the day our obligations are to our partners and shareholders, and what is best for them is what's best for us. Victory Gallop will always have a home here upon retirement from stud duty." [Bloodhorse]
Now, we all remember Victory Gallop's Belmont win against Real Quiet in 1998, certainly in the top three of the best races I've ever seen in person. But you may also recall that he was the champion older horse the following year, a campaign which included this scintillating win over Behrens in the Whitney. (Though tell me, who the heck were those horses leading the pack down the backstretch?)
- Pennsylvania's thriving slots operations are the envy of the east coast, and Governor Ed Rendell as a theory as to why they are out-performing other states.
Senior citizens love the slots and are showing up in droves at Pennsylvania's new slot parlors, Gov. Rendell said at the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce event on Wednesday night...- Gary West writes that next Saturday, already scheduled to be a big day at Fair Grounds with Indian Blessing, Showing Up, Better Talk Now, and Pyro slated to run, could be even bigger.
"Having the second-oldest population in the nation is paying off for us big-time," Rendell told the crowd. [Phillyinc.biz][Hat tip to Albany Law School's Racing and Gaming Today]
If Curlin goes to Dubai for the World Cup, he'll have a preparatory race there, the trainer said; if the Horse of the Year remains in this country, he'll probably begin his campaign next Saturday in the Mineshaft in preparation for the New Orleans Handicap on March 8. [Dallas Ft.Worth Star Telegram]Churchill Downs is considering purse enhancements, or a bonus involving the two FG races along with the Stephen Foster as an enticement for him to stay.
- Racing at Saratoga opens this weekend.....the harness track, anyway. And not a moment too soon, if, that is, live racing will also attract some business for the slots there (though, I think it's supposed to be the other way around). Business from the VLT's has dropped off rather precipitously since the summer - to the tune of some 37.5%. Win per machine has gone from $241 in August to $162 in December; with the gross handle dipping from $165 million to $106 million. Of course, a certain amount of the decline would be expected due to the change of seasons; but the decline the year before was about half that much in percentage terms. Complete gaming report for the track is here (pdf document).
- The Rangers won two huge "four point games" on the road against divisional foes the last two nights. Does that make it an eight point week?