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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday Morning Notes

- Caught the winning race by Rail Trip from Hollywood on TVG yesterday. This is a three-year old colt who was making his second start, at 2-5, for trainer Ron Ellis; he'd earned a 102 Beyer in his debut. The results chart notes that he dueled three deep and stalked on the turn, but to my eyes, the colt was just on cruise control. Vic Stauffer had it right when he noted that Rail Trip moved towards the leader "in hand for Valdivia," and that, after turning for home, he was "being ridden like he has to go around again." Just after that, Valdivia shook up the reins, and Rail Trip was quickly gone before being wrapped up again inside the sixteenth pole. Quite impressive; final time 1:13.92. Rail Trip is by the AP Indy stallion Jump Start out of a Carson City mare. High dosage index of 5.18 indicates he may tprefer shorter distances, but worth keeping an eye on for sure.

Macho Again was indeed the 2-1 favorite making his turf debut in the Woodchopper at Fair Grounds; and not surprised that he barely lifted a hoof finishing 6th. As I've said on many occasions, this is perhaps the most consistently reliable overbet situation - the horse with name recognition from Triple Crown or other prominent races switching to grass. Of course, you still have to pick the winner. Naturalyontherocks was a no-play at 5-1; Evade a good price at 6-1. But the latter settled for second, as Jimmy Simms (Lost Soldier) changed tactics nicely to rally for the win for Asmussen, who also took the Bonapaw on the FG card with Storm Treasure. That five-year old son of Storm Boot is another one of those horses who survived an ill-advised journey on the Derby Trail (11th, 20 lengths behind Barbaro at 51-1), and went on to success after sticking to its true calling; in this case as a fine turf sprint-to-middle distance runner.

Mentioned the other day that Empire Maker had had just one graded stakes winner this year (Acoma); so you can make that two with Cash Call Futurity winner Pioneerof the Nile, for Baffert. He was hard ridden from the turn and all out to hold off maiden graduate I Want Revenge. Pioneerof the Nile is a half-brother to Forefathers; he's out of Star of Goshen, a stakes winning Lord At War mare who's a half-sister to the graded stakes winner Powis Castle.

- Off topic again, but no politics here. Just a shout-out to a great little piece of software called Senuti. This quick-to-download program allows you to easily upload your MP3's from your IPod or I-Phone to I-Tunes on your Mac. As you may know, Apple does not provide that capability, in deference no doubt to the RIAA. But you can do so simply with this program; and for free with the trial version. I was so pleased, given that my old computer fatally crashed last year taking its I-Tunes library along with it, that I went ahead and purchased the license for $18 anyway. Windows users may find a program that works for you in this article.


Brett said...

Rail Trip was extremely impressive and I love that he is with Jay M Ess Stables and Ron Ellis. They will place this 3 YO colt in the correct races and give him enough experience where he can win when he first goes to graded stakes competition.

Anonymous said...

Not being aware you are a NY Jets fan, I am sure we are once again long-suffering Jets fans due to be left watching the playoffs again. What I don't understand is that the coach simply abandoned a seemingly highly effective running game to let Brett air it out again. After they lose to the Dolphins next week, the Jet brass should fire Mangini and make every effort to go after Matt Cassell as their next quarterback.

Anonymous said...

The fish stinks from the head down, Woody J is a detached owner that knows zip about football.

While I hate the Mark Cuban, Jerry Jones type owners, they at least care.

Woody has been made a fool by Tannenbaum who hired his buddy Mangini. They both should go, but Woody cares only about selling PSL's, not winning.

Anonymous said...

Pie in the sky ????

Lower handle, but better numbers for NYRA
December 22, 2008 at 12:25 pm by James M. Odato
The New York Racing Association presented its projected budget to the state this morning, envisioning a $2.5 million profit next year as opposed to this year’s losses of $13 million.

Irene Posio, NYRA’s chief financial officer, said the association expects revenues to reach $283.3 million in 2009, about the same as this year. But real estate taxes are not burdening the association anymore, as the state has assumed the responsibility, and greater fees on simulcasting will combat a shrinking handle.
Posio said handle is expected to fall by 5.5 percent, but she also said the Saratoga meet should rebound from the weak 2008 performance that was impacted by inclement weather a sour economy. Also, she expects the Aqueduct winter meet to improve because the horse fields are stronger. At the same time, NYRA is not banking on a Triple Crown competition like 2008’s to spike interest in racing next year.
The projected $2.5 million profit after taxes would represent the best bottom line since 2000, Posio said.
The report came before the Franchise Oversight Board, whose chairwoman, Budget Director Laura Anglin, called for more information on personnel costs.

jk said...

Comptroller halts man's pension credits for 2 full-time jobs

Last updated: 3:47 p.m., Monday, December 22, 2008

ALBANY -- John Cansdale must be a fast driver: The New York Racing and Wagering Board's executive director has for at least the last two years been listed in the state pension system as a full-time employee at both the Racing Board and the Olympic Regional Development Authority.

Anonymous said...

the old NYRA only transfered $5 million in cash to the New NYRA, essentially right after the Newco was formed in late september. Chances are that in Oct/Nov/Dec the NYRA lost more than the $5 million available in cash for operating expenses, this based on historic data for these three months. if this is true, then the new NYRA is broke and my bet is Laura Anglin knows this and is reluctant to approve any budget going forward until NYRA shows all its finacial information as of today. Per the Franchise Agreement, the state of NY is obligated to pick up certain NYRA exenses if VLTS aren't operating by March 31, 2009,(obviously the case) but if the NYRA goes broke before then, a rather gray area subject to lawerly interpretation of the Racing Franchise Law.