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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tuesday News and Notes

I was far too depressed after the Jets game on Sunday to bother watching races when I got home. And when a reader (and fellow Gang Green sufferer) alerted me to Blind Luck's win in the Hollywood Starlet, I merely babbled unenthusiastically about synthetics and her having an uninspiring pedigree. But seeing is believing as they say, so check it out if you haven't already. Vic Stauffer almost fell out of the booth as she quickly bolted away from the field in the stretch. She came home in 30.52 seconds for the final 2 1/2 furlongs (a pretty good time, but perhaps an indication that there was an illusory element to her dominance attributed to the others tiring after a quick pace), and earned a Beyer of 93; that as opposed to the 83 earned by Lookin At Lucky on Saturday. (Though I wouldn't jump to any conclusions given the drastically different paces in those races...and we've seen how meaningless these figs can be on the artificial stuff anyway.)

Blind Luck is the only graded stakes winner for the first crop sire Pollard's Vision, currently ranked #3 on the rookie stallion list (with this filly accounting for roughly half of his $1.4 million earned). Here's one stallion whose stud fee is actually holding steady for 2010, at $10,000. About that pedigree, a speed-favoring dosage of 5.22; and the only familiar name under the first three generations of her distaff side is Chas Conerly, a popular sprinter in the early 80's here who won the Fall Highweight when it was a Grade 2 stakes. You have to go back to her sixth dam to find classic names such as Honest Pleasure and his full brother For The Moment (plus that dam herself, the Irish Oaks winner Suntop). Still, we can certainly look forward to her next start, perhaps in the Las Virgenes in Feb.

Discreet Picks emailed me about Tiz Chrome, who won a 6 1/2 furlong two-year old stakes on the Cash Call Futurity undercard (and has now won on dirt and synthetic in two career starts). Baffert also trains this one, and he called him a "pretty serious horse." Tiz Chrome earned a Beyer of 97. He's by Tiznow out of a Woodman mare (in turn out of the Grade 1 winner Fantastic Look). who's a half-sister to the G1 (turf) winner Designed For Luck.

Baffert also unveiled Clutch Player on Saturday, an impressive winner in his debut, also earning a 97 Beyer. This is a two-year old son of Malibu Moon, out of an unraced Awesome Again mare. And the barn had a 4th juvenile winner on the day in Quiet Invader, who ran a virtually identical time to Clutch Player, but yet earned a Beyer of only 85. If someone can please explain that to me I would appreciate it.

- According to the New York Times, Steve Wynn was the anonymous buyer of a painting by Rembrandt for a record $33.2 million at a Christie's auction in London last week.

This time around Mr. Wynn has gone quiet. Reached by telephone on Thursday, he said only, “I’m not discussing it, I’m not acknowledging my paintings anymore.”

On Dec. 8, the day of the auction, though, Mr. Wynn called several old-master dealers and Rembrandt scholars to ask their opinion of the work, “Portrait of a Man, Half-Length, With His Arms Akimbo” (1658), experts said. [NYT]
Maybe the reason he withdrew from the Aqueduct bidding was so that he could invest his money more wisely in this way. And perhaps he'll be more careful with this one.


Anonymous said...

I wonder if we will find out one day why Steve Wynn actually pulled out of the Aqueduct VLT Franchise?

Somehow I think we will as he is known to speak freely about such things.

Anonymous said...

Ummmm.....Does anyone have an update on the fact that here in the mid-Atlantic states we are about to go through winter racing without access to simulcasting on Gulfrstream, Santa Anita, Golden Gate, and Fairgrounds due to dispute with Magna tracks over simulcast fees. That is Ridiculous!!!!! I understand that Magna/Tracknet is asking for a Much bigger piece of the pie than the last contract and they are being unreasonable. But Magna has a monopoly on Winter racing and they are holding all the cards here. Both the mid-Atlantic tracks and Magna are giving up a lot of money here being so stubborn in this dispute ! Anybody else have any thoughts/ updates on this. ????

Anonymous said...

Another wagering note, not sure if it was because it was Sunday but NYCOTB stopped showing the odds, and from the crawl apparently wagers too, on the second half of the HOL card.

They were showing only harness tracks, but did show the replay of the HOL race apparently on tape delay although not indicated as such.

Assume this is due to the dispute with the fart sniffers?

Anonymous said...

As the reader that originally touted Blind Luck, upon further review I do believe it was in part an optical illusion.

This was essentially a two horse race on paper and the other contender did not fire (injured?), so she ran away from a bunch of pretenders.

Still very impressive, but something to remember if she faces stiffer competition in her next.

alan said...

>>Does anyone have an update on the fact that here in the mid-Atlantic states we are about to go through winter racing without access to simulcasting on Gulfrstream, Santa Anita, Golden Gate, and Fairgrounds due to dispute with Magna tracks over simulcast fees.

Matt Hegarty has an article this evening regarding a dispute between TrackNet and TVG which could cause the Magna tracks to be unavailable for wagering on the latter. Of course, TVG doesn't televise those tracks anyway, and as far as I can tell, it would only affect those who wager with TVG.

According to Hegarty, the dispute stems from a lawsuit filed by TVG against Magna's Xpressbet which claims that the former owns the patent for internet wagering.

DiscreetPicks said...

What i found kind of strange about Blind Luck's performance was that she was storming away from the pack while failing to change leads. Seemed very unusual, but there's no denying she looked fantastic in doing so. Hollendorfer said after the race that his long-range goal is the Kentucky Oaks, so let's not bother with any Derby speculation just yet (though she's already been added to the Vegas Derby sheets, of course; 100/1 at Lucky's).

dan said...

Can anything good come out of the WEST? It would have to be Blind...