= So much for Indian Blessing relaxing early with blinkers off. She blazed the first quarter in 22.85 in the Acorn, the second in 22.49; and that, according to the chart, under a firm hold! She didn't have much left to resist Zaftig (Gone West), a pure Beyer play as the 5-2 second choice; her 102 fig in the Nassau County is faster than anything Indian Blessing has ever run. Now, Baffert's champ will be running shorter. “This is too far for her,” Baffert said. F&M Sprint perhaps?
The Beyers also gave you J Be K, the winner of the G2 Woody Stephens; sometimes it's just as simple as that. I didn't like Ready's Image after his unimpressive return to the races; but I got all creative and esoteric and went for some value with Groomedforvictory and the awfully-named Fatal Bullet; serves me right for that and for drinking too much too. Sometimes the fastest horse is just the fastest horse. Asmussen's colt, a son of Silver Deputy, was an easy winner at 5-2. Majestic Warrior was a somewhat inexplicable 5-1 and continued his run of mediocrity.
Ventura is now three-for=four for Frankel since coming over from the UK, after taking the G1 Just A Game. This Juddmonte homebred is by the late Chester House, out of a Be My Guest mare.
- We've seen a number of distorted anti-NYRA editorials in New York newspapers over the past few years, none of which I ever recall delved beyond the bullet points in Empire and Capital Play's press releases and ads to examine the core issues affecting the industry in the state. Now, the New York Sun makes the case that the bathroom and water pressure problems at Belmont demonstrated what a shameful job NYRA has been doing.
It brought a vast crowd out to the track to see Big Brown, sold them huge quantities of beer (the vendor of lemonade ran out just when it started to get hot), and then locked all the bathrooms — for men and women — and hung up out-of-order signs on them. This, it says, was a drop in pressure.I think it's fair to say that the first paragraph is a gross exaggeration. Now it's not my intent to minimize what really did happen with the bathrooms on Saturday. It was really bad. The lines, particular on the first floor grandstand (I never made it to the clubhouse), were untenable; and the resulting public urination was disgusting. I wouldn't want to be a squirrel scavenging around the park for food right now; and that's just what was going on outside. It was a public health hazard.
We don't suggest the bathroom failure is anything more than symptomatic of the unpreparedness of NYRA's board of directors. But no wonder thoroughbred racing has been in decline in New York State.
However, it seems to me that a drop in water pressure is something probably beyond NYRA's control. Matt Hegarty reports in the Form that NYRA will meet with the local water utility on Tuesday. A commenter wrote in that someone at NYRA made a wrong call to shut the water. Since he/she chose to remain anonymous, that doesn't mean much.
However, it's certainly within the realm of possibility that human error was involved, and that someone, trying to help, mistakenly made things worse. Even so, it's a tough situation for NYRA. As a couple of un-anonymous commenters noted, NYRA is not in the position to build bathrooms that would be used once a year - at most! I could only imagine what the editorials would have said about that. Yes, running the facilities is a crucial part of the job, and, as I've said, NYRA could have done a better job directing people to less crowded locations (I used bathrooms all day, and, to be honest, I had no idea of the severity of the situation until I read the papers the next day); and they certainly could have had more portables tbere.
But NYRA's main job is to present racing, and the day otherwise proceeded seamlessly. Some of you wrote beforehand that it wouldn't be a day for serious betting because of long betting lines, but I didn't see a single one all day. And that with a crowd of 95,000 which is still historically huge even if well short of the record. The tote system handled $99.3 million worth of wagers without a hitch. The backyard was crowded but more than manageable, and there surely was no problems getting beer! NYRA did a lot of things very well, and most everyone I saw seemed happy.
The Sun editorial goes on to liken NYRA's non-profit status to "socialist racing."
New York turf lovers deserve better....and horseplayers get better in other states. Churchill Downs is a for-profit company, whose Nasdaq symbol is CHDN; Pimlico is owned by Magna Entertainment Corp., whose Nasdaq symbol is MECA. Why do New York race goers have to go be subjected to a non-profit, socialistic company?Yes, better they should be subjected to Frank Stronach's near-bankrupt capitalist company instead. This editorialist obviously didn't make much of an effort to research what he/she wrote.