Jeff Mullins has another week to make up a good reason for getting caught giving Air Power to his horse in the Aqueduct detention barn.
- Garrett Gomez replaces Mike Smith on Stardom Bound.
"This is by no means a firing of Mike Smith," IEAH's Mike Iavarone said. "Mike has obviously done a great job on the filly. This is related to the long-term picture in that Mike is committed to Zenyatta (Street Cry [Ire]). [BRIS]Yeah, I'm so sure he would have been replaced had she won the Ashland. Gomez has yet to decide between Pioneerof the Nile and Dunkirk. "Well, it's either Garrett Gomez or somebody from Los Alamitos," Baffert said. [NY Daily News]
- Harness racing returns, and a new slots facility opens at the Meadows in Pennsylvania. The racino created 500 new jobs and contains nearly 2,000 additional slot machines, bringing the total to 3,700.
Officials of Cannery Casino Resorts, which owns The Meadows, yesterday repeated praise they have frequently offered for the local workforce's quality and attitude, deeming it a big factor in their success. And the number of employees will grow again -- to as many as 2,000, they said -- if Pennsylvania allows poker, blackjack, craps and other table games in the casinos. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]Lucky for all the new and prospective employees that Magna managed to sell the track a couple of years ago.
The Meadows is one facility which will at least attempt to expose all of its patrons to the live racing taking place.
There are eight restaurants, ranging from a deli to a high-end steakhouse, and seats in every one of them have a view of the racetrack. In addition, there are new outdoor seating and dining areas that should be at a premium when stakes such as the Adios, on Aug. 1, draw crowds. [US Trotting Association]Speaking of which, those of you folks watching one of the sports cable networks here in the NY area might have noticed, at least during the few times when a Bloomberg campaign ad isn't on the air some seven months before the election, the new ad for the Yonkers casino which actually features a talking harness horse strolling through the slot machines.
- Old Fashioned is officially retired. Owner Rick Porter explained on his website: "Dr Bramlage told me that it would be almost impossible for him to return to anywhere near his level as a racehorse." Which really means: "I have no incentive to even attempt to bring him back because his value as a stallion is at its peak."
- Florida governor Charlie Crist is reported to be "quietly negotiating" a new compact agreement with the Seminole tribe; one which would involve more money being paid to the state in exchange for their being allowed to keep their table games...that according to the Palm Beach Post. The state Senate and House are advancing vastly differing proposals; the Senate would actually permit even further expansion, allowing craps and roulette, while the House would scale the tribe back to slots only, and grant some relief to the tracks.
- Republican Jim Tedisco was counting on Saratoga County to help push him ahead of Democrat Scott Murphy, but it was not to be. Murphy now leads the special election in the 20th CD by 167 votes. And we're coming down to the contested ballot portion, an exercise in which Republicans seem to specialize these days.
- The Rangers jumped to a 1-0 series lead over the heavily favored Capitals with their thrilling 4-3 victory last night. Seriously, you don't like hockey?? Caps goalie Jose Theodore lived down to his advance billing as he failed to stop a single serious shot that I recall. The Broadway Blueshirts played without their captain Chris Drury, suffering from the most undisclosed injury I've ever seen; we don't even get the "upper" or lower" body designation. Some feel that it's a leg injury. But there's tape of him being struck by a puck in the arm against the Flyers last week, so I think he has a broken arm. That's a relatively minor injury for a hockey player in April, so he should be back soon. I have lots more to say about my favorite hockey team, but perhaps I should wait until if and when we get three more wins. That's still a big if considering that Alexander Ovechkin is the most consistently dominant player I've ever seen; he's an absolute force every single time he steps on the ice.
- Just Zip It out of the money in her seasonal debut..