A bit under the weather this evening, but I'll babble for a bit until the Nyquil kicks in.
Fortunately, Steve Zorn posts about the Magna bankruptcy on his Business of Racing blog so I don't have to. As he points out, perhaps the best resource of information on the situation is on the Magna site itself. Zorn marvels at the audacity of Frank's ploy.
The effrontery of it all takes one’s breath away. Stronach runs his race track operations into the ground, props them up with money from the real estate company, MID, that he controls, then puts MID in a position to emerge with a bigger share of the debt than outside creditors and with a substantial chunk of the assets. If he succeeds, it’ll become part of bankruptcy lore that will be taught in the casebooks for years to come. [Business of Racing]I just love when I write about a trainer who I think is getting hot, and then, for whatever reason, I look in the results charts and see that he or she scored at a big price. Seventeen Love ($36.40) took the 5th on Thursday for Joe Imperio, his third winner from his last five starters. It's even worse when you look at the pp's and think that he had a shot and that you might have had it. Although, they almost always look like they had a shot when you look after the fact.
- The Gotham on Saturday is quite the intriguing stakes race. But it's not a Derby prep. A prep for a specific stated goal is a race in which the horses are actually preparing for that goal. In the Gotham, they are merely trying to prove themselves worthy of being in a real prep; the Wood for many in this case. The race contains some real promising looking horses, but there's not a single one without far too many questions to be considered a lock to make the Derby starting gate.
I Want Revenge is, in my opinion and despite the surface question, the most legitimate classic candidate in the race. Very interesting ship-in here by Jeff Mullins. According to Formulator, Mullins has had a total of three starters in the last five years on the NYRA circuit; and those were all on Breeders' Cup day in 2005. One of those was Wild Fit, who rallied for second in the Juvie Fillies that day. Shortly afterwards, she sold for $3 million to Coolmore, failed to go on at three as we so often see with fillies, and then died of colic in 2007. (As I said, I'm babbling.)
This son of Stephen Got Even missed by a nose to Pioneerof the Nile, who I have ranked quite highly, and finished third, just 1 1/2 back of that one in the Lewis. He's never run, or trained as far as I can see, on real dirt. One might say that we can get a gauge on Baffert's colt from how I Want Revenge does here. On the other hand, given the surface question, it may not matter at all. But Mullins feels that the Cushion Track is relatively similar to dirt.
"The thing about the horse is he seems to be getting better with every start. He's bred to run on dirt; I don't think he was bred to run on synthetics." [DRF]Now, if you think I'm babbling, Haskin checks in on the subject.
I Want Revenge could very well be one of those horses who actually is better on the dirt, in which case he will continue on the Derby trail possessing all the attributes you want in a Derby horse. [Bloodhorse]That's a totally meaningless statement as far as I'm concerned. What is it based on; how does he know? I could write that about any synthetic horse. Oh, never mind.
He's easily the class of this field in my view, and, as a three-year old coming off a career best Beyer, is way eligible to improve. If of course he takes to the dirt.
- And yes, another fatality at the Big A, as Sigh You broke down in Thursday's 8th. This horse was beaten a combined 86 lengths in his last two starts; pretty ugly stuff. It was the 8th death at Aqueduct this year.
- Better Again ($14) took the 2nd for Mark Hennig, his second winner in two days after going three for 50 here. His Brad's My Hero was a good 4th after trouble in the 3rd at 20-1, so could be a barn worth watching.
- Well, that's about it for me, here on a night on which the Rangers won their second in a row, defeating a combative Islanders squad stacked with minor leaguers 4-2 (with some big help from Henrik Lundqvist). On this goal by Scott Gomez, check out the neat pass right between the defenseman's legs by Nikolai Zherdev.