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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Belmont Notes

Wins at Belmont on Wednesday for a couple of trainers who seem to be coming alive after enduring some rough stretches upstate. Khancord Kid ($10) graduated in the third, on the grass, for Kimmel. This barn was 1-for-32 at the Spa - with most of those at single digit odds - before winning on closing day with Billions Boy in another maiden turf event. Khancord Kid made it two out of the last three. He's by Lemon Drop Kid, out of a Storm Cat mare who's a full sister to the dam of Half Ours, now standing at Taylor Made for $12,500....where it will take 4,880 488 (thanks) successful matings to make back the $6.1 million that was paid for him.

Dominic Galluscio took the second with Only A Vision ($8.20), his second winner in as many starts at Belmont after enduring a 1 for 28 stretch at the Spa. I was really gonna pick this one here, I swear, but I didn't have time to I'm counting it based on intent. (After making fun of Teresa when she told me she was going to the Rangers' first preseason game, I ended up going myself.) The July 24th race from which this horse emerged was a super duper key race, producing four winners, a second (and that horse won its subsequent race), and a third from as many starters.

The 9th race chart is one of the most unusual you'll ever see. Gravitational was 3-5, Hard To Explain was 9-2; and the next shortest price in the full field of 12 was 12-1. Yet the two clear choices ran 11th and 12th, with the favorite fading after setting the pace, and Hard To Explain getting vanned off after pulling up early. The hard to explain superfecta, with Imperial River ($32.40) on top for Tom Bush, returned over $33,000.


Teresa said...

I hope that you managed to stay awake for that game...have you ever seen the Garden emptier?

I'll be there Monday, too, God help me.

Anonymous said...

488, not 4880

jamesp said...

It looks like a slow news day, racing wise, especially if it rains with 5 Belmont turf races carded. And since 'crap' and 'hard-to-explain' race results seem to be the themes here this week, thank you for letting me submit this rant about a peripheral racing topic - this being my favorite blog and all:

On Tuesday Sept 15 I observe from afar a harness race - Race 7 at Pocono Downs for $12,500 claimers - with the following results: Co-favorite/Winner pays $5, place horse pays $21 (longest shot in the field of 9 at 57-1) and the exacta - only $28.

How, I wonder, could a 57-1 shot make for such a low payoff? A fifty-dollar wheel in a small exacta pool? But wouldn't that mean that some guy would be putting out $400 and quite likely not even get his money returned if the exacta pays under $20? Now I am not one who quickly goes in for conspiracy theories, although I do wish that Teddy Kennedy could have had that JFK/Warren Commission evidence unlocked before he kicked off, but no, this race is giving off a bad smell.

So, what the hell, I did ask. I have free time. I contacted the Pennsylvania Racing Commission to see if this sort of thing raises any eyebrows? Do they even bother to do anything since, after all, this IS a sport that has had a credibility problem or two over the years? To my surprise, they contacted me within the hour to say they were already looking into the betting patterns for the race and will get back to me when they find out more. Hell, in the old Yonkers/Roosevelt days this guy could've been the one cashing the ticket. But I will report back here if and when they do. Don't hold your breath, though.

Now I realize that most of Alan's readers don't pay attention to harness racing and many think the sport is about as honest as pro wrestling. And if all harness tracks - epecially the minor league ones - went out of business at noon tomorrow it would matter not one bit to most people.

Further, this all pales compared to REAL criminal activity that, say, wrecked the U.S. economy, as carried out by thieving pirates like Mozilo, Prince, Thiel, Rubin. (And they put fucking Martha Stewart in jail for what? An insider trade?) But the distubing thing - and my ultimate point here - is that the whole sport of racing right now is totally out of whack. Pocono has always been a dump for cheap and lame-assed horses one off-the-board finish from the Amish cart. But the place is now newly refurbished as part of a Mohegan casino. The Meadowlands, OTOH, rescued U.S. harness racing in its first 20 years and paid the rent for the Giants, Jets, Nets, Devils and the damn Ringling Brothers Circus for a long time but which now may go the way of Tracks That Didn't Last Too Long in This Century.

All while Pocono thrives. Pocono even harbors two drivers - Howard Parker and Herve Filion - who left New Jersey under storm clouds of suspicion a few years back. I don't know if either of these guys was driving in the above-mentioned race, but the winning and second-place drivers happened to be brothers, George and Anthony Napolitano. A co-ink-a-dinky? Somebody just had a hunch bet? I will write back with the response from this commissioner.

ballyfager said...

Apropos of nothing, I just want to call to everyone's attention that Philly Park has an $84,000 MdSpWt on Saturday.

It wasn't all that long ago that they only had two stakes races all year with purses bigger than that.

Anonymous said...

The Commonwealth of PA is broke, no budget 80 days into the fiscal year, non profits closing their doors, the City of Philadelphia closing libraries, laying off cops and fireman, and charging $20 to visit previously free health clinics, yet VLT revenues subsidizing $84K MSW races. Can you really believe this can continue much longer???