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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Catching Up

Busy busy busy these days, so excuse the light and succinct posting. A couple of comments from the weekend:

Nicanor had to be the deadest-on-the-board 5-2 shot in racing history. If he wasn't Barbaro's brother, he would have been just another 20-1 first-timer who runs up the track, excuse or no excuse. Dubinsky, on the other hand, was incredibly and absolutely pounded to 6-5, and was just awful at that price, obviously finished around the turn.

Gulfstream is just a joke - how can you read anything into these nine furlongs supposed Derby preps when the outside horses have as much chance as the eight horse at Yonkers? And now, after the Holy Bull, they'll turn back to a mile for the Fountain of Youth and then back to two turns for a Florida Derby just as dependent on the post position draw. The only real conclusion one can draw is that a horse, such as Big Brown or Barbaro, who overcomes the bad post stands to run well at Churchill. Otherwise, your guess is as good as mine.

Really catching up, I've been meaning to link to a comment from reader Erin, in which she relays an email exchange with NYRA's Vice President Director of Racing PJ Campo regarding Underground Hero, the Nick Zito horse who broke down after dropping drastically in claiming price, and even more so from his auction purchase price. And as Erin comments, Mr. Campo is missing the point. We know that horses are examined, and we know that Nick Zito is a compassionate and thoughtful horseman. But in a case like this, a more detailed stewards report of why the horse was dropping in class so sharply, preferably straight from the trainer's mouth, the results of the morning exam by the vet, and the exact reason for the breakdown would do wonders in establishing the betting public's trust.

- Great post here by Handride regarding the industry's (latest) missed opportunity.

- I had a dream the other night that I was Henrik Lundqvist. The Rangers had a game on Long Island, but I, or Henrik, misjudged the time and was stuck on a train somewhere (going to Aqueduct)? I tried to call a teammate to let him know, but I could only remember that each one's cellphone number ended in his uniform number, and couldn't remember the rest. I missed the game, and the Rangers lost 7-6, with Gilles Villemure in goal. If anyone knows what this means other than I need to get a life, please let me know.

14 Comments:

Handride said...

Thanks for the link, and I'm guessing the dream means the Rangers are on the wrong track. Just like Dubinsky

Frank said...

Good God... Villemure?!?

What, Cesare Maniago wasn't available?

Anonymous said...

Great blog Handride, excellent point.

And excellent job by Erin, even if it just lets Campo know someone is watching. The more publicity this gets the better.

It IS true that Zito is an advocate for unwanted horses, and this particular incident was just a tragic accident, but nonetheless there are reforms needed both from an animal welfare and a consumer confidence perspective.

yeah, yeah, the track vet gives a thorough exam to all 90 horses on the card, I am sure they do their best with limited time and resources, but the exam lacks the appearence of independence when the employee stands to lose revenue from every vet scratch.

Anonymous said...

should read EMPLOYER (NYRA).

Anonymous said...

no question huge dropdowns should be investigated by the stewards; breakdowns, winners or off the board finishers.

Anonymous said...

From Sunny Jim in Jersey -

Wait a minute. Campo's response - "each and every horse is checked out from head to toe" - flies in the face of what was said here the other day when we were talking (again) about what Dutrow and others may or may not be doing to their horses.

Several posters here made the same claim (and some were people that have been in the game for a long time): That there are ways that cheaters can bypass every detection measure now in existence.

So which is it? Either the horses are fully checked out or they're not, because it is not possible to do so. Somebody should put the question to Campo and let him go on record.

Excuse my soapboxing, but except for independent bloggers and their responding followers (like those here), there is really very little investigative journalism going on in a multi-billion-dollar industry that cries out for some.

People here were pretty hard on Beyer the other day but I think that's what he was trying to do when he raised the whole issue with Dutrow. I give him points for trying, at least.

Anonymous said...

or how about Andy Aitkenhead, the Glasgow Gobbler? He's most likely over his phobias by now.

alan said...

>>Good God... Villemure?!?

Yeah, Villemure. I'd been watching harness races from the Meadowlands before I went to bed.

Anonymous said...

jogging a horse down the shedrow after it's been standing in an ice bucket certainly doesn't count as "checking it out from head to toe." Insider horsemen and racing officers protecting their own is more likely the intent of PJ's remarks. perhaps Congress can at least mandate a national police force with full investigative and enforcement powwers in all 38 racing states. You can depend on current state regulators, commissioners, racing officials to do the same because they have already most likely been corrupted.

Anonymous said...

last sentence last post should be "you CAN'T depend on.....

my bad

Anonymous said...

Here is what I find tough to swallow about Nick Zito.

Anyone remember Noble Causeway? Jerry Bailey told the vet that the horse was not right when warming him up at Saratoga. The horse was scratched.

Two or three days later, here he comes again, entered by Zito.

What happens?

He is PULLED UP less than a furlong into the race.

How the hell was the wagering public protected for this?

jk said...

Ranger fans always have Islanders on the brain, they can't shake the image of Potvin's Cups after all these years!

Anonymous said...

Zito and the NYRA are attached at the hip. I still remember Nick making excuses for the old NYRA's corruption during the racing franchise award process. Zito even chummed up to Richard Fields from Excelsior Racing when it looked like that group was going to be the NYRA's "partner."

Anonymous said...

And Gump Worsley is spinning in his grave at the thought....