- Filly Owner Courts Criticism - New post up at The Rail, over at The NY Times.
- Three winners for Contessa to close out the Aqueduct meeting. Since January 1, the trainer had 77 winners from a staggering 453 starters at the Big A.
Two winners for Prado, who wasted little time getting here from Keeneland. He took the G3 Fort Marcy with Silver Tree for Mott. Had I not spent my day watching the Rangers get shut out, I might very well have been betting against the winner. The eight-year old son of Hennessy had been beaten at short odds in his last three, and looked decidedly on the downside of his career.
- Doug O'Neill was disappointed but not discouraged by Lava Man's third place finish against Cal-breds on the grass.
"Down the backside, I thought (Lava Man) was 1-9," O'Neill said. "The little hair that I have left, I'm fixing it and saying, `I think I'll stand on that side of the winner's circle today.' That's what is so shocking, but when he came back to be unsaddled, he was really blowing, and that's a sign of conditioning.The Hollywood Gold Cup is still on the schedule for Lava Man.
"We were disappointed, but he still ran a very good race." [San Bernardino Sun]
Surf Cat had a far more successful return when he won the Mervyn LeRoy on Saturday with a rousing rally. You gotta figure he's headed towards the Gold Cup too, but he may be making a detour to the Met Mile here at Belmont.
Belmont opens on Wednesday with $1 million in improvements, including expanding the picnic amenities to the backyard. [NY Daily News] However, fans will pay more for the track programs, increasing in price from $2 to $2.50; and, worse yet, NYRA will once again attempt to eliminate the old pocket programs that veterans like myself feel totally lost without; they will be replaced by a $3 "Daily Racing Program." The last time NYRA tried to get rid of the "small programs," it didn't work out so well, as a torrent of protest led them to bring them back. But that was at Saratoga, where there were actually people who cared enough to complain. So it looks like the classic old track program is history.