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Monday, January 25, 2010

Greek From Nowhere

I can't believe how far back Ron the Greek ($17.60) was at the top of the stretch in the Lecomte; did you see that? The race chart has him 15 lengths out after 3/4 of a mile; according to Formulator, he ran the subsequent quarter-mile-plus-40 yards faster (25.27 seconds) than he did the preceding quarter (25.28). Some serious late running there to earn a Beyer of 90, by far his career best.

This colt, by the AP Indy sire Full Mandate, is closely related to last year's Illinois/Tampa Bay Derby winner Musket Man, third in the Derby; their dams are full sisters, both by Fortunate Prospect out of Flambeau, an unraced Dixieland Band mare. Ron the Greek is judged, at least by his dosage index (3.0), to have more distance ability than Musket Man (by Yonaguska) (4.0).

Full Mandate stands for $5,000 at Hartley DeRenzo in Florida, also home to The Green Monkey. This is apparently a stud farm with a sense of humor. Note the blurb on The Green Monkey's Stallion Register page:

World Record Setter.
I wonder how many want him now.

Another winner for Pletcher at the Big A on Sunday. The Toddster now has 21 winners from 49 starters (43%) since racing switched to the inner track in December. Hour Glass ($5.50, 93 Beyer) was making her first start for the barn; nice looking four-year old now has three winners and two seconds from five starts. She's a daughter of Petionville out of a Tale of the Cat mare who's a half-sister to the graded winners Miss Indy Anna and Time Limit.

Got emails from a couple of people who were suspicious about the little break in racing at Aqueduct this week; no racing until Friday. But no, it's not an austerity budget. It's on my New Year Day calendar, and it makes up for the racing conducted on the Wednesdays after MLK Day and Presidents Day, when the track would normally be dark.


Anonymous said...

I see Penn National wrote a letter to the governor that was mentioned in the press this morning crying about the Aqueduct VLT process and their stellar qualifications.

In another piece from today highlighted above:

They have known about the issues with Gill for some time now and turned their back, so they are finally forced to act because the jockeys take a stand.

ballyfager said...

I had him (and the ex). Check his PP's. Note particularly his sprint close which was outstanding. Good works too plus,IMO a pretty weak field.

The good 3 y.o.s will be spread thin as they are every year. Too many opportunities, not enough legitimate candidates to fill them.

This race reminds me of last year's Ark. Derby. I had Summer Ice at 26-1 coming off a maiden win. Ice allowed the same jockey ( a relative unknown)to ride him back. IMO not a good ride - too far back and wide all the way, got up for third. As soon as he put Desormeaux on the horse he blossomed.

ballyfager said...

@Anonymous 9:08 Thanks for calling attention to this. This guy has been controversial for a long time.

He was one of those guys who think they're going to take this game by storm. Yes, he won an Eclipse but I think it cost him a lot of money to do so. As a result he virtually left the game (wanted to spend more time with his family, he said).

So, why did he come back? Good question.

Anonymous said...

Penn National and AEG have always been my picks for Aqueduct. I certainly hope the leaders in Albany don't pick SL Green because of The Seminole Indian Tribe. We don't need The Hard Rock and another Indian Gaming venue in our midst when we will soon have the Shinnecock's and who knows what will happen in the Catskills.

alan said...

bally - What did you think of your chances at the top of the stretch?

Anonymous said...

Paterson is not suicidal and so I suspect he wont pick SL Green. He has taken the high road on ethics reform and so wont allow his enemies to throw corruption allegations at him because of the Bill Lynch/SL Green connection.

Anonymous said...

I suspect that in the end Albany will not choose an out of state Indian tribe for Aqueduct. It is a step too far for them to take.

Anonymous said...

I hope the VLT decision at Aqueduct is made soon. These constant delays are incomprehensible.

steve in nc said...

I complained last week about a betting coup at AQ by Edward R. Barker, who was profiled a few days later in the DRF. Here is the apparent explanation:

"Hazaam's Back recently won a low-level claiming race, which followed throat surgery and some work on her back."

As a bettor, don't you think disclosure of all surgeries in the program or PPs should be mandatory, just like castration, bar shoes or aluminum pads? Public disclosure of trainer castration should be left to the trainer's spouse's discretion.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I do believe all surgeries should be disclosed.

I also believe a 1g should appear somewhere in the PP's to permanently indicate the date of gelding for future reference.

jk said...

Add the OTB shutdown threat to NYRA's. Can another Albany investigation be far behind?

NYC Off-Track Betting threatens shutdown

By Aaron Elstein

Published: January 25, 2010 - 2:41 pm

The New York City Off-Track Betting Corp., which filed for bankruptcy reorganization last month, said it would close its doors by March 30 unless it gets financial help soon.

Anonymous said...

Lets hope they come to their senses in Albany and find a way to merge the OTB's and NYRA.

ballyfager said...

Alan - not good at the top of the stretch. But I knew he'd be coming and FG has the longest stretch in America.

At the sixteenth pole I thought he'd get up.

Anonymous said...

Its not just a NY thing:

Contending that the "status quo is not sustainable," a draft report from a committee examining the finances and future of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority has recommended that Monmouth Park hold a 50-day Thoroughbred meet and that the Meadowlands cease hosting Thoroughbred races altogether.

The recommendations, if implemented, would pare the live racing schedule in New Jersey by 91 dates. The report indicates that the 2010 budget for the sports authority's racing operations estimates losses of $13 million under the current racing schedule, which, under an agreement with horsemen in the state, calls for 141 live racing dates a year through 2016.