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Monday, April 27, 2009

Friesan Fires Bullet; No Matter

- Friesan Fire burned up the track at Churchill, working five furlongs in 57 4/5 seconds, with splits of :11 1/5, :22 1/5, :33 3/5, and 45:1/5. Friesan Fire galloped out six furlongs in 1:14. Since I'm firmly committed to standing against him off seven weeks off on both principle and in hope of saving what's left of the Derby prep season as we know it, I don't really care if he worked faster than an Ovechkin wrist shot. We heard the usual defensive rationalization from the connections afterwards - he was "well within himself," the rider thought he went in a minute, it "didn’t look like he was working that hard," etc., etc. Whatever, if he wins, I lose, and so be it. And he'll of course be an even lower price now with Quality Road, another I was eagerly looking forward to leaving completely off my tickets, out of the race; too bad.

-, a Connecticut-based website, reported late last week that Mohegan Sun has yet to decide whether to resubmit a bid for the Aqueduct racino....or whether or not Capital Play will again be a partner if they do.

”We're running models of the competitive landscape and haven't decided whether to provide a bid,” Jeffrey Hartmann, chief operating officer of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, which manages Mohegan Sun, said Thursday. He added, however, “We believe we have the best understanding of the Northeast gaming market.” []
Hartmann added that the new RFP does not provide an option for bidders interested only in building and managing the casino as opposed to owning it; and that will apparently dissuade at least one other potential bidder.
”New York contemplates that the winner (of the bidding process) would own and operate the facility,” Armentrout said. “They're looking at a $3 million upfront payment just to be considered, as well as the upfront licensing fee and effectively a 78 percent tax rate. Based on that, it's not likely that we're going to participate this time around.”
Indeed, it does not sound like a very appealing proposition.

- I may certainly be missing something somewhere, but it appears as to me, as confirmed by the NY Post, that the MTA's cancellation of the Long Island Railroad's service to Belmont, is the very first doomsday-plan service cut. Considering that the MTA plans to completely eliminate two subway lines - the W and the Z - as well as dozens of bus routes, I'd also guess that it's the one that affects the least amount of people NYRA is reportedly spending $100,000 of its own money to provide the bus shuttle from the Queens Village station.

- Well, it comes down to Game 7 for the Rangers, now outscored by an embarrassing 14-5 in losing three of the last four games while blowing a 3-1 series lead; the Caps shot, skated, elbowed, and bit their way to a 5-3 win. After stopping 37 of 38 shots in providing one of the more spectacular goaltending displays that I've seen in winning Game 4, Henrik Lundqvist has surrendered nine goals on 34 shots. The first two goals yesterday were quite similar to the goals given up by Jose Theodore in Game 1 which caused him to be benched. The King has to be much better if the Broadway Blueshirts have any hope against hope tomorrow night.

They will also have to do without Blair Betts, their best penalty killer. 18,000 fans and millions thousands of fans watching on NBC saw the thug Donald Brashear take Betts out with a vicious and very late elbow to the face; but apparently, all four of the on-ice officials missed it. Betts suffered a broken orbital bone. Instead of getting a major power play at a time when the action had tilted in their favor, the Rangers soon had a cheap call go against them and fell behind for good. Given the goal disparity in the last four games, no doubt it is not because of the referees that the Rangers find themselves in this position. If this were a hockey blog, I could go on about what ails them for quite some time. However, I will say that the officiating in this series has been a fucking disgrace ever since the opening seconds of Game 1 when a bogus penalty to Dan Girardi was assessed. I hope the NHL will be very happy with their treasured Ovechkin-Crosby Eastern final that few outside of those relatively small viewing areas will watch.


Patrick J Patten said...

He finished 2nd and it was another 5 3/4 lengths back to third. I'm still on the FF bandwagon, now if only my Devils can keep it high gear for all 3 periods.

Anonymous said...

Below is from The Day paper as quoted by Alan. I think the journalist may have meant to say "interested only in building and managing the casino as opposed to MANAGING it."

Hartmann added that the new RFP does not provide an option for bidders interested only in building and managing the casino as opposed to owning it; and that will apparently dissuade at least one other potential bidder.

I had heard that the Foxwoods group, perhaps in conjunction with MGM like at it's CT facility, wanted to just manage the facility for a fee if the State was going to be responsible for building it along with keeping ownership of the casino itself. The Day newspaper article may have confused this?

Anonymous said...

Blaming the Refs Alan? you're better than that. The NHL does want a Crosby/Malkin-Ovechkin matchup but The Rangers were up 3-1, no excuse there

Alan Mann said...

>>Blaming the Refs Alan?

What I wrote was: "no doubt it is not because of the referees that the Rangers find themselves in this position." Is that not clear? I can still think that the officiating was a disgrace though, and I do...starting with the obvious and unprofessional bias when it came to calls in plays involving Sean Avery - both calls made against him and calls not made on infractions committed on him.

jk said...

NYRA is spending 100k on bus service so the LIRR can save 100k on train service? Fuzzy math.

The Brashear hit was cheap and the NHL has to put an end to those hits. Hollweg has his share of cheap hits when he was skating for NY and Avery is the poster boy for cheap play.

Alan Mann said...

Brashear gets five games for the hit on Betts (plus one for the pregame incident). That's five games for a hit that the Caps coach called a "clean shoulder hit," give me a fucking break.

El Angelo said...

I can't fault the MTA for canning the Belmont Special. Reports are that a whopping 100 people used it on an average day, for crying out loud.

DiscreetPicks said...

I believe Hard Spun had a similarly fast 5-furlong drill heading into the Derby a couple of years ago. No doubt this was by design.

Personally, he's not my top pick, but i think it would be foolish to underestimate Friesan Fire. Don't forget, he was very much flattered when Papa Clem came back to win the Arkansas Derby. And of course Jones has saddled the second-place finisher each of the last two years, one of whom was coming off a similar layoff.

Anonymous said...

Look for a Godolphin exactor on Saturday. I love the way the race sets up for both of them. I will be salivating if Regal Ransom goes off at 25-1 or better. Maybe I can get a repeat of my day at the windows last year.
Andrew (30for60)

Anonymous said...

Signing Avery was the beginning of the end. The Penguins had more intelligence not to. Speaking of the Pens they were up 3 games to 1 and we're losing AT Philly 3-0 and showed the heart of a champion coming back to finish the Flyers. I see no heart in the Rangers, it is a foregone conclusion they lose this thing. And yes you blamed the Refs, you called them quote, "an F'ing disgrace" That is unacceptable

Anonymous said...

Only way the Rangers win this thing is if they sign Andre "Poodle": Lussier on Defense. Andre, as you know, has been living in semi-seclusion in Northern Quebec ever since the unfortunate Denny Pratt tragedy. On the Derby front, I see all things pointing in Todd The God's favor now that QR is scratched. Dunkirk is just that damn good

Anonymous said...

Brashear took a page out of Sean Avery's book "Hockey For Dirt Bags." What goes around comes around. Washington is the better team and deserves to move on. The Rangers choke like they always do. Maybe the coach can throw water bottles at the Washington fans. The ranger fans pride themselves on being degenerates. Hockey schedules 2 game 7's on the same night for 2 teams in the same area. Way to go.

Anonymous said...

So what if the NYRA showed up in the new Aqueduct VLT bidding with their old pals MGM and maybe even the Shinnecock Indians and the Detroit family that was backing them?

Alan Mann said...

>>Brashear took a page out of Sean Avery's book "Hockey For Dirt Bags."

Excuse me, but say what you will about Avery, and I agree that he can be a real jerk and punk. But he has NEVER been suspended for an on-ice incident. Never. Only for his comments earlier this year. How many times has the thug Brashear gotten the boot?

And let's see, in the NHL's version of justice: Talk nasty about your ex-girlfriend - six games. Break a guy's orbital bone with a blind-side hit that would have had him arrested for assault if he did it on the street - six games. Nice.

Anonymous said...

I've heard that the NYRA has been trying to figure out a way to run racing and control gaming. Background checks on the organization should easily disqualify the NYRA, whether or not the incriminated individuals are still with the company. The reason the franchise was split was so that when Spitzer got forced into granting the NYRA racing, the state could make a reasonable determination to grant some gaming operator the VLT rights in order to maximize revenue for the state, horsemen and racing operations, and education.

Let's hope Governor Paterson, Smith and Silver remain focused on what's best, not just awarding the games to some combination of special interest groups with high powered lobbyists.

Anonymous said...

Backround checks should disqualify NYRA? Which NYRA?

The current organization is a completely different legal entity, anything that occurred prior to its formation can not and will not be held against it.

Anonymous said...

Who in their right minds would believe that the New NYRA and the Old Nyra are different organizations? Just look at the key NYRA board members appointed by them and the new look just like the old. This different entity arguement, although perhaps legally correct, is insincere at best. Can't wait to see Paterson trying to convince the citizens of NY that turning over the gaming at Aqueduct to the NYRA is a good idea! They better have the "goods' on Paterson in order to pull part (2) of their franchise retention scheme off.

Anonymous said...

Alan, why so down on Quality Road? I see him coming back in the Belmont, knocking off this year's Big Brown-type, Triple Crown pretender. QR has great connections who are long overdue.

The Derby continues to be the Circus Maximus- NYRA marketing needs to take note and cash in on the Belmont's credentials as the better predictor of greatness and value in 3 YO's, and in future at stud. /S/greenmtnpunter

Alan Mann said...

>>Alan, why so down on Quality Road?

Not down on him....but given his quarter crack and expected low odds in the Derby, was looking forward to betting against him in this case.