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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Weekend Washout

- The race I would have been the most excited for this weekend won't happen due to the bad luck of the draw. Somebeachsomewhere and Art Official will race in separate divisions of the Bluegrass Stakes at Lexington's Red Mile. Since Art Official will not race in the Tattersalls there next week, the two may not meet again until the Breeders Crown at the Meadowlands in November. Not that I would have seen Saturday's race anyway since it's HRTV which has that track's races....which tracks do they not have?

Well, Santa Anita for one, at least during the Oak Tree meeting. The first day of the Pro-Ride era went off without any apparent hitches. But I think that, at this point, we know to take the usual opening day favorable reviews with a grain of salt, and await further developments. There were no wire-to-wire winners of the six synthetic races, though a couple came from just behind the leader. And actually, the more incongruous results tote-wise came on the grass, with the winners paying odds of 8-1, 15-1, and 22-1.

The weather forecast for the next 72 hours here is grim, and Curlin faces the prospect of a sloppy track for the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont. Still haven't read any word of what his connections will do. But at least it's a built-in excuse for NYRA when another small crowd shows up to watch. Don't want to belabor the point, but there just ain't no buzz around this horse at all. NYRA has their website all Curlin-ed up, but it's not going to help. Even I don't know if I'm going to go.

Curlin could sure use a rival as Somebeachsomewhere has. I know that the rematch with Art Official hasn't yet come to fruition....but at least in harness racing, the horses do run with regularity. Unfortunately, it hasn't yet worked out. It's getting real tiresome to see these thoroughbreds - Big Brown included - be handled almost as carefully as Sarah Palin. Who knows, if Curlin is unimpressive - again - perhaps Jess Jackson will suspend his campaign, seek to postpone his showdown with Big Brown, and propose to send the horses to Washington to save the economy. They could probably do a better job.

- Perhaps the Fed can bail out this guy too.


El Angelo said...

Campbell Brown is starting a Free Curlin campaign.

SaratogaSpa said...

how many people can you really expect to come out on a fall day (sunny or rainy) to watch Curlin run against no rivals or other stars ?

Anonymous said...

count me in as one that is coming to see curlin. I am flying from Tennessee to see the champion break the record.

El Angelo said...

If they get 10,000, they should consider it a success.

Anonymous said...

Well, I hope he doesn't scratch for TN anon's sake.

NYRA is fighting a losing battle nowadays with Belmont.

The fall meeet can not compete with NCAA and NFL football and the MLB stretch run and playoffs. Even when the Yankees finally are not playing meaningful games the Mets take their place.

And the expenses and inconveniences of sending the kids back to school.

Throw in the fall nor'r easters, Belmont just not a place to spend a cool, damp windy day.

The spring meet can not compete with family obligations (graduations, weddings, religious events, mothers and fathers days etc)and the start of MLB.

A losing battle, the only successful meets seem to be run near vacation destinations during vacation time. To the casual fan, the racetrack is now a place to spend one day of your vacation, nothing more.

Alan Mann said...

>>Well, I hope he doesn't scratch for TN anon's sake.

That's for sure!! There's a devoted fan for you, so I hope everything works out!

Also wanted to second this reader's comments on Belmont not being the place to spend a "cool, damp windy day." Even without the dampness, it just gets plain cold there during the fall. And the gloominess factor goes up in the huge plant as the temperature and crowds go down.

Superfecta said...

Actually, I'm pretty excited about Curlin's race because I think Mambo in Seattle is ramping up - could well be worth watching come October.

El Angelo said...

I'm going to sound like a broken record here, but I agree with the sentiments that Belmont in the fall can be a bit gloomy, not the least of which is because dusk comes around the time of the last race and it's cold by 6 pm. So why doesn't NYRA actually use its head and accelerate the time between races by 4 minutes? Over the course of the day, it would shave about 45 minutes off the time the track is open, and would end the day at 5:30, rather than 6:15. I think I'm not alone in saying that 5+ hours at the track is too damn long, and it's not like they have TV to cater to here.