- Alex Brown reports on The Rail that, "curiously," Big Brown's final quarter this morning of 24.8 was slower than his opening quarter of 23.6. But his exercise rider Michelle Nevin (no relation, I presume, to Bob), told the press: “He was a little rank today....He was looking to do something; he was trying to get away early. So I ended up having a pretty good hold on him all the way, to try to ease him down. I was very happy with him.” [Bloodhorse] So how 'bout we just load em in the gate already and get this thing underway!
The Head Chef cannot attend, as she's catering a wedding shower for our dear friends Ira and Carol's daughter Alison. And she's taking my car. So Ira is being forced to pick me up and accompany me. He's one of my Rangers seatmates, and a "fewbie" who meets me at the Meadowlands once or twice a year. Wait until I tell him that we're leaving my house by 11, and that the Belmont itself doesn't go off until 6:40! Oh man, I don't think he's going to be too pleased. And I have to keep him entertained all day!
- No dime superfectas on Belmont day....or on Friday for that matter either. A reader was told by a NYRA official that the explanation is that it would make the lines move too slow...and that since there's advance wagering for Saturday on Friday, both days are effected. I'll keep that in mind when I'm standing in line behind someone betting the dime superfectas from Churchill Downs. Yes, there's a full simulcast schedule, and even if ALL dime bets are banned, there are a lot of bets that could take up just as much if not more time. So it seems a rather odd explanation to me, especially for a wager not offered on every race.
A couple of readers mentioned the idea of windows exclusively for the Belmont or for novices. That's a concept that would start to bring us full circle back to the old days when one had to go to different windows for any different kind of bet. Exclusive windows for the dime bets, or for those wanting to bet simulcast tracks wouldn't be a terrible idea on a day like this.
- Nick Zito used to be one of my favorite guys, but now he persists in entering unqualified horses in these Triple Crown races. "I see a lot of similarities," he said, comparing Anak Nakal to 2004 upsetter Birdstone. What I see is a horse who actually makes Zito's other hopeless entry, Da' Tara, look good. At least the latter has cracked the 90 Beyer mark! "It's never bothered me what people say or what they think." I guess not. (I really hope I don't regret writing this.) John Velazquez jumps off Anak Nakal to ride Ready's Echo, and Julien Leparoux gets the mount.
- And Hoosier Park in Indiana is the latest member of the racino club - 2,000 slot machines went online on Monday morning, with the usual line around the block awaiting its opening.
By 4 p.m. Monday, more than 5,000 people had already visited the casino, said Jim Brown, Hoosier Park’s general manager for gaming.The Hoosier casino is a 24/7 operation, and therefore will never close its doors for all of eternity. There's a sobering thought for you.
“It exceeded my expectations,” he said. “It was a Monday, and we had customers lining up before sunrise. Over 800 folks joined us within the first hour.” [Herald Bulletin]