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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Aqueduct Notes

A bleak day at the Big A; an ugly spill which I think I'll pass on watching. The death was the seventh racing-related fatality of the year at Aqueduct - six resulting from breakdowns. [NYDN] There were four maiden claimers and two gate scratches; and we have another whole month on the inner track. Used to be that the main would have reopened on this, the first racing weekday of March. (I imagine that would have been delayed this year because of the snow in any event.) But the condition book which commenced on Wednesday and runs through March 29 is written entirely for the inner track. The Aqueduct main track needs a new base and is unable to handle too many April showers. NYRA will hold its breath for the ensuing four weeks before Belmont opens, quite prematurely, on April 29. Brrr. I'll have to bring both of my Rangers blankets - the one I got for my 30th anniversary as a season ticket holder, and the one I got last week as my annual the-playoffs-bill-is-coming-soon gift last week for that opening.

Boy, that slots money would sure come in handy when it comes to things like fixing the main track. It's been a week now since Matt Hegarty's article in which a Delaware North vice-president whose name doesn't possibly matter said that "there are still a lot of major steps to get done before we can put a shovel in the ground." How many of those steps you think have gotten done in the last seven the governor scrambles to save his skin? If the subject was discussed at Wednesday's leaders' meeting in Albany, it hasn't yet been reported. (Afterwards, Assembly Minority Leader and Republican Congressional candidate James Tedisco told of his plans for the stimulus money that he refuses to definitively say whether he would have voted for or not.)

Three winners for Contessa. That's out of five races, a big time percentage for this guy. He's the leading trainer at the Big A by far; the hat trick gave him 32 winners, while runner-up Bruce Levine has 18. However, Contessa has started an astounding 240 horses since Jan 1 (giving him a win percentage of 13%), more than twice as much as Levine, and more than the second through 4th place barns combined. So I think his training title should come with an asterisk.*

One bright spot on Wednesday's card was the win by Noble Sound ($3.80) in the feature, making Darley's $2.8 million son of the late Vindication three-for-three. This was another game effort, as he held off Jacobson's tough Southern Missile after a long duel. The four-year old is a son of the stakes winning (on grass) Serena's Tune, a daughter of the great Serena's Song, and the dam of the stakes winning (on grass) Serena's Cat.


Anonymous said...

I have seen plenty of spills in my lifetime, that was the worst visually.

Simply a miracle (and i do not use that term lightly) that there were no serious injuries to the jocks or the other four horses.

I was thinking the worst.

Two of seven finished, triple paid off as 4-3-all.

jk said...

Magna Entertainment filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy....

MEC also announced that it has entered into an agreement with MID to sell its interests associated with the following assets (the "Stalking Horse Bid"): Golden Gate Fields; Gulfstream Park, including MEC's interest in The Village at Gulfstream Park(TM) (a joint venture with Forest City); Palm Meadows Training Center; Lone Star Park; AmTote International, XpressBet(R); and a holdback note associated with the sale of The Meadows.

alan said...

jk - thanks for the headsup. MID however as a Magna company, the controlling shareholder of which is Frank. So I'm interested to read further as to what exactly this means.

jk said...

I think it means they are shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic.

alan said...

On a more significant note, are your boys ready for the new and improved Broadway Blueshirts tonight?

jk said...

The Isles have played .500 of late and it seems the Rangers have done the same.

It is hard for me to stay interested when they trade their Captain for a 5th round draft pick. I will spare you my Isles rant except to say someting stinks bad over there (Snow).

I have shifted over to the Devils for now and I am looking forward to the Avery-Brodeur rematch.