- "We're still considering all our options....Nothing has been eliminated yet," said Steve Asmussen of Curlin. [Bloodhorse] So I guess that thing about the fans voting was just bullshit, yes?
"There are many elements to consider and ultimately Curlin's vote will count the most. His responses during his training sessions will guide our decision on his future." [Stonestreet Farms website]Curlin? Who died and made him Imperial President? I thought it was a dumb idea anyway. Would the Red Sox let their season ticket holders decide whether or not to trade Manny? Don't be surprised if those of you who voted find yourselves on the Kendall-Jackson winery emailing list!
- A slight change in tune by NYRA's Charles Hayward after the significant declines in attendance and handle for the first week of Saratoga. Before the meet, Hayward minimized the possible effects of the economy, saying "I think we temper our expectations against the weather really more than the gas." Now, he says in a press release:
"We came into the 2008 Saratoga meet knowing that the economy, gas prices, and a particularly early opening in July would result in business declines compared to a record 2007." [NYRA]To be fair, Hayward had acknowledged before the opening that last year's numbers would be tough to beat even if gas was "29 cents a gallon." (It's not.) And the horrible weather and lack of a Day 2 giveaway certainly had a large effect. But I don't think there's any getting around the fact that the difficult times are going to make it extremely tough, if not plain impossible, to make up even just a portion of those declines even if the weather is Del Mar-perfect from here on out. (Though I'm not ready to portray this as the beginning of the end of the Saratoga world, as Paul Morose did on ESPN.com.)
- Somebeachsomewhere has bounced out of his first career defeat in fine fettle, according to trainer Brent McGrath. "He came out of the race super."
He’s had a great week. He enjoyed the truck ride home and he’s been bouncing around and looking forward to his next race." [Standardbred Canada]The colt is scheduled to race in an elimination heat for an Ontario Sire Stakes on Sunday at Mohawk. Meadowlands Pace winner Art Official will race on Saturday at Indiana Downs, and Ron Pierce will fly there for the drive after driving at the Meadowlands on Hambletonian day that afternoon. Trainer Joe Seekman said: “It’s going to be tight on Hambletonian Day, but we’re going to try to swing it." [US Trotting Association] Hope he's not flying American Airlines, that's all I can say.
In the Hambletonian, Deweycheatumnhowe will attempt to become the first unbeaten (14 for 14) Hambo winner since the multiple heat format was so unfortunately discarded in 1997.
Only six winners over the past 62 years were unbeaten at age 3: Donato Hanover (2007), Scarlet Knight (2001), Malabar Man (1997), Mack Lobell (1987), Sharp Note (1952) and Titan Hanover (1945). [Harness Edge]By the way, Somebeachsomewhere is the 3-1 favorite in the advance wagering for the Little Brown Jug. Only problem is that he's not going to run in it. However, we're told that the bettors have shown that they still want him to race in Delaware. I can think of better ways to send that message than pissing my money away in a futures pool. Maybe they can go and vote on Jess Jackson's website instead.