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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Odds and Ends - April 16

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..


Anonymous said...

Don't like hockey?? In 1967 the Leafs beat the Canadians at the Gardens to win the Cup the TUESDAY before the Derby(Proud Clarion). Next year after the expansion Dancer's Image won and got dq'd(bute) even before the Cup Finals started. This year the playoffs have started and probaly won't be over till after the Preakness. Talk about dragging something out.


alan said...

>>This year the playoffs have started and probably won't be over till after the Preakness.

The Preakness? It won't be over until after the Belmont.

Anonymous said...

Alan- right on, hockey is a great sport, especially playoff hockey, right up there with handicap division racing. B's beat Montreal 4-2 in the opener, the real Stanley Cup Playoffs have begun. For Bruins fans, the Stanley Cup Playoffs must go through Montreal or we feel we haven't really been in it.

Funny, Les Habitants haven't been all that consistently good for some time, just like the Yankees, but for Boston fans it is evening the score with old rivals that counts most. It's the Irish in their blood!

And in the NHL, there is no greater rivalry down through the years than Bruins-Canadiens, unless it was Leafs-Canadiens. Just don't take your eye off the ball, er, I mean puck, boys, so we can get the job done this year.

Look forward to it going 5 or 6 games so I can get in my annual spring visit to Montreal and hang out with the fans outside the Forum, er, I mean Bell Centre, on a warm spring evening soaking up playoff fever in the hockey capital of North America. Nothing like it anywhere else in the NHL.

Scalpers get at least $250 for the worst seats in any Bruins-Canadiens game so it's off next door to watch le match du hockey en francais with the young, 20 and 30-something Montreal fans in the magnificently restored, 19th C Windsor Station, sipping a Labatts or 2 in a delightful pub amidst old photos of the 19th C Canadian Pacific Railroad spannning the vast continent. Doesn't get any better than this!