- Just Zip It has finally found a race, and it hasn't been easy. We've been notified repeatedly of races she was entered in, only to be told subsequently that the race "wasn't used." It was on Jan 1 that she returned after a 13 month layoff with a solid second in state-bred maiden special company. She's been ready to go since Jan 19, but that was the first in a series of races that weren't run. We'd had trouble finding her a race last time too, and Castle Village's managing Steve Zorn recently discussed his take on what the problem is:
It always seems that the filly races are the hardest to fill. Even when, as for Sunday, they're in the condition book, the racing office often decides to use races that draw more entries. I think part of the problem at NYRA is that the racing secretary, PJ Campo, has gotten into the habit of using too many "extras" -- that is, additional races which are announced on the "overnight" the day before entries are to be taken. He'll sometimes list up to 10 or 12 extras, in addition to the normal 12 or so races in the condition book for that day. That means that there will be something like 24 races, from which to draw a card of nine that will actually be run. That's way too many, and makes planning difficult, to say the least. In the good old days, a racing secretary would say "the book goes," and trainers would somehow find a way to enter their horses in the book races. But with the coming of simulcasting, there's strong pressure on the racing secretary to get the biggest fields possible, as each additional entrant increases the betting handle on that race. This pressure is particularly severe at NYRA, which faces constant financial stress.Finally, she got into an open maiden special, and one in which she seems to fit quite well; no monsters here! The race has a purse of $48,000, and since she's a NY-bred by an, at the time, NY stallion (City Zip), she's eligible for an additional $9,120 in bonus money, so this is some nice purse in a race in which she appears to have a real shot.
When a "book" race isn't used, as was the case for Just Zip It today, the racing office will normally bring it back as an extra for the next racing day, in this case Wednesday. But if it isn't used for two days in a row, then it typically disappears. That's what happened with the open-company maiden last weekend. Let's hope we have better luck this time around.