- Three winners in a row for trainer Paulino O. Ortiz with Unique Citizen ($15.60) taking the first on Wednesday. I left the office for OTB with four minutes to post, and I think that Queenofalldiamonds was around 5-2 at that point. By the time I got to the parlor across the street (after the race; great elevators in this building), she was the 7-5 choice. Well intended, but Unique Citizen won easily.
The first timer from Robert Ribaudo was dead on the board at 35-1 and ran 5th; but the barn's Bribon absolutely romped in the 6th. He was going effortlessly as he drew away on the turn, and went on to win by ten; not sure what those late smacks of the whip by jockey Sabastian Morales were all about. This horse seems to really love Belmont; check out those figs, and I imagine he'll get a good one for this race (and whatever he does get, the race was really better). Favored No Reply was awful at 7-5; McLaughlin has been quiet of late. He's 0 for his last 23 here going back to his last winner, Golden Artemis on June 5. That was two days before the Belmont. It seems like ages since that day, and almost nothing good has happened since in our little world.
In the 4th, Ouchy Night (Cactus Ridge) was 10-1 morning line making her debut for trainer Tom Bush. She went off at 7-2 and won by four. It's a great game, ain't it? I find it reassuring to see that kind of stuff in these troubled times; it gives me belief that the racing universe is still basically in order.
- Saw a TV ad for the Empire City Racino at Yonkers Raceway. A man encounters a VLT upon his arrival in Manhattan; is startled by another in the mirror as he's getting a haircut; sees several more on the street, and then in increasing numbers until they start to stretch as far as the eye can see like at the end of Field of Dreams. OK, not quite that far, which would certainly extend straight from downtown to Yonkers. But we're told nonetheless that there are 5,300 machines right here at home. OK, not quite right here, but pretty darn close. The Jackpot Next Door is the slogan. Might have been clever and appropriate to have had a few machines come rolling down the street in a sulky but I guess they didn't think of that.
The ad reminded me of that Twilight Zone episode when that nice couple wins a trip to Las Vegas, and the guy, who didn't want to come, gets hooked to the slots; in fact to a particular machine that he knows just has going to pay off some time. "Franklin....Franklin," it drones as it appears in his hotel room and makes him fall out of the window.
Mr. Franklin Gibbs, visitor to Las Vegas, who lost his money, his reason, and finally his life to an inanimate metal machine variously described as a one-armed bandit, a slot machine or, in Mr. Franklin Gibbs's words, a monster with a will all its own. For our purposes we'll stick with the latter definition because we're in the Twilight Zone.Seems almost like the episode serves as a metaphor for today's situation, with the states and tracks alike addicted to slots revenue. I know Rod Serling was a genius....but he couldn't have foreseen this, could he?
Or could he?