- OK, after piecing together all the evidence, we finally know exactly what happened to Big Brown in the Belmont. Cranky from missing his monthly injection, and a bit wobbly after waiting on those long bathroom lines, Big Brown was spooked at the break by the starter standing on the track, causing him to veer out, get stepped on by Guadalcanal, thus displacing his shoe. He was then restrained into submission by Kent Desormeaux, who mistakenly thought the horse was trying to move too soon, when he just wanted to get outta there and beat the traffic back to Aqueduct so he could pee in privacy. Glad we cleared all that up. We've now been offered more excuses than we heard from Hillary explaining why she voted for war.
- Here's a hint of what will happen in two years when that "temporary" 1% takeout increase is set to sunset.
The legislation actually would extend by one year—through Aug. 31, 2009—a 2% purse deduction. (A one-year increase from 1% to 2% was included in the legislation that awarded the New York Racing Association a franchise extension.) If the bill passes, it would mandate that up to one-half of 1% of the amount be used to fund the testing program for steroids. [Bloodhorse]The legislation referred to is one passed by the NY State Senate to establish a fund for steroids testing; what exactly the other half percent will be used for we're not told. So all of us honest owners will have to pay for the transgressions of admitted users like Dutrow, and "no comment" ones like Zito.
- Drag racer Scott Kalitta was killed in an on-track accident over the weekend; the second straight year that a driver lost his life racing Funny Cars. No congressional hearings are planned as far as I know. Big surprise there.
- We had XM Radio in our rental car down in Florida, and had a lot of fun listening to Fred. No, not Fred Gwynne, Fred Shero, nor Fred Flinstone. But just Fred.....XM Channel 44. It's billed as the "History of Alternative Rock," and though I'd quibble with some of their selections, it serves as kind of a "Deep Tracks" for the new wave/alternative soundtrack of the 80's. We heard a lot of songs we hadn't in some time. When we got to the Sarasota Farmers Market on Saturday morning, we ended up sitting in the car to hear three of them, and please indulge me for sharing. In order, we have I Confess, by the English Beat; Kid, by the Pretenders (the real ones, including the late James Honeymoon-Scott and the likewise Pete Farndon); and last, and most assuredly not least, Was There Anything I Could Do? by Australia's fabulous Go-Betweens; performed here by songwriting genius Grant McLennan, RIP.