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Thursday, May 21, 2009

All In A Day's Claims

Quite the spending spree for owner/trainer David Jacobson at Belmont on Wednesday. In the second, he claimed Half Metal Jacket for $60,000 from trainer Paulino Ortiz; and in the 8th, he nabbed One Step Ahead for $50,000 from Levine. Not like this guy is burning up the racetrack here, though he is hitting at a perfectly fine 16% thus far this year, and thus far at the Belmont meet. Still, he's spending money like the federal government, and has never been shy about digging deep into his pockets. Unfortunately, we sometimes see the same horses running for half of what he paid for them not too long afterwards.

Trainer Ortiz may not shedding many tears about losing Half Metal Jacket here; he claimed the 4yo gelded son of Yes It's True for 25K in March. Since then, the horse ran second and first in the rich starters allowance class, and won an entry level allowance. With his second place finish yesterday, plus the claim proceeds, Half Metal Jacket had gross earnings of $131,400 under Ortiz' care in 2 1/2 months. Not too shabby at all, eh? And if he was upset, perhaps his win in the 6th with Gamblin Fever helped to soften the blow. A pretty profitable day, I'd say (especially if he bet that horse at 10-1).

- Since Dan Silver took over as NYRA's director of communications, there's been a vast improvement in...well, communications. My inbox has been filled with daily barn notes, Belmont stakes news, and detailed previews of stakes races such as the Sheepshead Bay, scheduled for the turf on Saturday amidst another shaky weekend weather forecast.

Whatsmore, much to Silver's and NYRA's credit, we're getting the bad news along with the good; a release yesterday regarding the unfortunate death of City On Line prior to the 5th race. I haven't received such information in the past regarding even higher profile incidents. The Allen Jerkens trained horse "ran loose down the tunnel leading to the paddock" and "ran into a bronze statue located at the center of the paddock." Yikes. The horse was euthanized on the was, apparently, the statue of Secretariat.

The base, which weighs more than a thousand pounds, collapsed and caused the statue to fall.
The statue was a copy of the original, which was sculpted by John Skeaping in 1974 and stands now at the National Museum of Racing in Saratoga. It was moved there from Belmont in 1988. [NY Daily News]
- Chip Woolley wants a rider for Mine That Bird by Monday. Personally, I'd tell Borel to stick it and hire someone before he/she ends up on a pretender like Luv Gov or Brave Victory.

- And just a toot-my-own-horn moment here: I received an email the other day from the NY State Racing and Wagering Board announcing the resumption of LIRR service to Belmont (which apparently still has to be approved by the MTA board). There were four recipients of this particular message; in addition to yours truly, they were Ben Liebman, Bill Finley, and NY Times Albany political correspondent Danny Hakim. Little did I ever imagine when I started this thing that I would ever be included in a select group with three gentlemen as esteemed as them (though sometimes I need to put Finley in his place). So thanks again for your readership and comments; as I've always said, this site is only as good as the wisdom and knowledge that I've gained from you.


Colonel Jessep said...

sour grapes towards Borel? someone has been ripping up a lot of tickets lately. Rachel Alexandra was a steal at 9-5.

Anonymous said...

I needed something-Well lets say I wanted something and had no way to get my desired goal- Between Andy the little guy Serling & Dan Silver it was accomplished.
And they have no idea who I am- They did it why? Because they are good guys.

jk said...

NYRA should put all of the barn notes on the web so we can all read them.

Anonymous said...

Whoa, Alan that's an impressive list: Liebman, Finley, Hakim and yourself coming from the Racing & Wagering Board. Good stuff! I knew this blog is boss.

Does Hakim have a flavor for horse racing?

jk said...

For the train junkies, the Big A subway stop is the least used in the entire system. Lets hope the consultants do not get wind of this.

The least-used station in the entire system is, unsurprisingly, the northbound station at Aqueduct Racetrack, which might as well be on Pluto. The outpost, only open on race days, serves a whopping 30,000 patrons per year. That’s roughly how many people enter Times Square station every 4 hours.

Anonymous said...

Went to track Friday, buddies sit in clubhouse, near paddock, said they saw a woman yelling and waving her arms which spooked City on Line, they are VEry close to horses at that point..hope outrider not saddled with blame.

Anonymous said...

I finally agree with Kerrison on an issue;

"Birdie and Rachel are potential starters in the Belmont for one good reason -- they are talented, sound horses with solid foundations built up over two seasons of racing over distances of ground. They have restored sanity to the training regimen of America. The new craze that dominates so much of the business -- fresh-is-best and less-is-more -- took a thrashing in this run at the Triple Crown.

The sparingly raced, well-bred aspirants either fell by the wayside or crashed in the running.

Mine That Bird began his racing career last July at Woodbine and went on to run in no less than six races as a 2-year-old.

Rachel Alexandra matched him. She started out at Churchill Downs last May and ran in six races as a 2-year-old.

In recent years, we have had a rash of gifted but lightly raced horses pitched into the Triple Crown races --Barbaro, Smarty Jones, Big Brown -- and not one of them went the full distance.

Trainer Larry Jones is an exponent of the fresh-horse theory. He brought two good colts to the Derby -- Hard Spun in 2007 and Friesan Fire this year -- off almost identical training patterns.

Neither had raced for seven weeks before going to the Derby. But both were given blazing workouts in place of competitive racing, whistling through five-furlong drills in 57 seconds and change five days before the race. Both lost.

Spaced races and fast workouts just don't seem to cut it.

All the evidence indicates a horse needs a strong foundation of racing, preferably across two seasons, to withstand the hard demands of the Triple Crown chase. In that regard, no horses came to the Preakness as well equipped as Mine That Bird and Rachel Alexandra."