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Thursday, June 25, 2009


We spent far too much time last year debating whether Jess Jackson would or would not / should or should not run his Horse of the Year candidate in the Breeders' Cup, so I'm not playing that game again, homey. Rachel Alexandra is his horse, run her, don't run her, I couldn't care less. But, of course, just a few comments before we move on from this permanently.

A friend made what I think is an excellent point: By so derisively shunning the Santa Anita racing surface ("plastic"), and framing his decision (at least as of today) in terms of Curlin's failure over it in the Classic, Jackson is protecting the value of his stallion by blaming his loss on the surface. Perhaps he feels that holding his filly out of the race could go a long way towards enhancing that perception.

Secondly, just maybe, a part of Breeders' Cup officials could actually feel relieved if she really doesn't run. If she were to go in the Classic, it would make a mockery of Filly Friday. If she were to run in the Distaff, they'd face pressure to move the race to Saturday, lest it be run on a late Friday afternoon/evening on ESPN2.

And finally, God I hope she gets beat on Saturday.

(I can just see the tweet now: Left at the Gate blog says he hopes that Jess Jackson chokes on plastic and that Rachel Alexandra is struck down by God.)

- Reader Mister Ed, seeing that I'm distracted by events upstate, sent along this link to Jerry Bossert's column in the Daily News.

All six OTBs regions in the state - Capital, Catskill, Nassau, NYC, Suffolk and Western, were supposed to answer a questionnaire given to them seven weeks ago by the Task Force [on the Future of OTB], and while the other five did comply, NYCOTB came up empty again.

"The task force members were rather disappointed that they did not receive any comment whatsoever from NYCOTB," New York State Racing and Wagering Board spokesman Joe Mahoney said. "They were the only OTB that didn't provide a comment."
Nice to see that they're taking the process seriously! Bossert quipped that NYCOTB's lobbyist Dan Wray used the "dog ate my homework" excuse, which would imply that they actually did their homework. So that might be giving them too much credit.

- And OH BABY, I scored a ticket on Craig's List for tonight's sold-out Dinosaur Jr show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, which has quickly become my favorite music space in the city. Their new album, Farm, is now out on Jagjaguwar Records, and it's as astoundingly good as advertised. (You can help support cool labels by buying direct.) This and the new Sonic Youth album (on Matador!) are two of the best releases of the year thus far. Nothing revolutionary, just two great bands - both veterans from the 80's - doing the things that make them great. So score one for!!

However, in terms of longevity, neither of these bands have anything on Ian Hunter. I saw the former frontman of Mott the Hoople in a free concert down by the Hudson River last night...and this guy recently turned 70!! Oh man, are you kidding me?!? I remember unwrapping the first Mott the Hoople album like it was yesterday...


jk said...

Panel on OTBs to query AG on out-of-state bets

The state Task Force on the Future of Off-Track Betting resolved at a meeting Wednesday to ask AG Andrew Cuomo's office for a legal opinion on the role of advance deposit wagering providers -- which includes on-line facilities that accept horse betting once the bettor's account has been funded.

The request is made, according to the resolution, "in regard to whether any existing or contemplated practices violate the anti-trust laws" and the legality of out-of-state ADWP's "accepting wagers from residents and other persons located within...New York."

Anonymous said...

I so enjoy it when you digress to rock n' roll.

Thanks for the links.

Bob said...

And making sure that Zenyatta keeps her winning streak alive by trouncing the same CA. fields over and over is any better?

El Angelo said...

Fair or not, the onus is upon Zenyatta to come after Rachel Alexandra and beat her, because without doing so, she'll never win HOTY.

ballyfager said...

"God, I hope she gets beat Saturday".

Did you look at the PP's? Who in there is going to beat her? Looks to me like the others are running for second money, which is $60,000, which is the equivalent of winning a $100,000 race.

I'm with Jess Jackson on plastic, and when did you become a supporter of it?

alan said...

>>Did you look at the PP's?

Actually, I haven't. Don't want to get depressed. If I really thought she could get beat, I wouldn't have invoked the name of the Almighty, would I?

>>..when did you become a supporter of it?

I think I've always been in the 'give it a chance' camp....though I agree that it's stupid that the BC is there two years in a row.

Amateurcapper said...


I agree that JJ can do whatever he wants in this racing landscape. However, as sporting as he was last year w/ CURLIN (despite not realizing the poor boy was a shell of himself last summer/fall), he's the opposite this year w/ RACHEL. I thought that truly great horses could run on broken glass? Does JJ think RACHEL is not that good?

As for CURLIN's stallion value (fee $75k), I'm not sure any broodmare owner should take the risk to breed to him over an established stallion like MEDAGLIA D'ORO (fee $60k). There's that steroid thing that makes me wonder if CURLIN's boys can send enough oomph to the broodmares he services. After all, I believe he wasn't the same horse after his scintillating Dubai World Cup win. That fatigue which made him life and death over PAST THE POINT in the Woodward and WANDERIN BOY in the Jockey Club Gold Cup could be more of the indication of the colt he would have been as a 3y.o. if not for the juice. He may get a very good horse or two, but I'd be surprised if he was 1/2 the stallion of RACHEL's papa.

Bob Lee said...

El Angelo has it wrong. The onus is certainly not on Zenyatta, in fact, the opposite is true. Zenyatta is undefeated and the reigning BC champion. The champion doesn't travel to meet the challenger, rather the champion dictates the terms.

I'm a huge fan of RA but Jess Jackson is being arrogant in thinking that he's the one calling the shots in a potential duel between the two horses. Unless or until Zenyatta gets beat she's the boss, plain and simple. Jackson is so used to being the top dog that he's lost perspective. If he really has the best interests of racing at heart then he should ship RA to Southern California and tee it up against the champion.

Handride said...

you are the oldest man alive.... Mott the Hoople, is he related to Bill?