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 spot....as was, apparently, the statue of Secretariat.
The base, which weighs more than a thousand pounds, collapsed and caused the statue to fall.- 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.
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]
- 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.