I saw Figless' comment about the objection in the Gotham, and that was the first I'd heard of it. I actually didn't stick around for that race, the 10th on Saturday. 2 1/2 hours is about my shelf life at the Big A this time of year, especially in the new crowded version. Of course, when the weather's nice, twice, even three times that time period just flies by at favorite tracks like Belmont, Del Mar, and Saratoga (strictly in alphabetical order). But I'm done after a limited time at the Big A; good thing it's close enough to warrant the trip for an abbreviated stay.
Not much controversy as far as the Gotham though in my opinion; some light mutual bumping before Stay Thirsty crossed over in front of longshot Norman Asbjornson while drawing clear late. On the pan shot, it looked like a bit of acting on the part of jockey Julian Pimentel. Pretty nice return for the winner, who earned a Beyer of 89, in his first start since the Breeders' Cup; and of course, the Mike Repole - Todd Pletcher team will try to replicate that on Saturday with Uncle Mo. Reading this article by David Grening in the Form, an overpowering return by the two-year old champ could produce something akin to a walkover in the Wood.
I have to agree with Figless' comment about Sunday's third, and the total non-explanation provided in NYRA's Stewards' Corner.
..it serves solely as a list of inquiries and objections without providing any enlightenment in which case it is useless.Can't put it any better than that.
Back for a moment to the Big Cap; I mentioned Baffert's quote dismissing the hecklers after the race as harmless compared to those at Belmont. Some readers not familiar with the tracks might have thought he would cite Aqueduct instead. But trainers there never have to come in close contact with the crowd, which is either indoors behind glass or kept at a safe distance overlooking the sunken paddock. They can walk in and out through restricted areas in the building. But at Belmont, there's only one route from the paddock to the track, and at one point the path bottlenecks at a point where the grandstand paddock viewing area hangs directly above. It can be way too close for comfort for trainers and jockeys alike. Wait until we have some of the colorful OTB characters added to the mix.
- Harness horsemen are touting the "stretched stretch," - the 1 and a 1/16th mile races at Yonkers that were instituted last month. Standardbred Owners Association of NY president Joe Faraldo noted that there were a "possibly unprecedented" four winners from the dreaded eight post on Saturday night.
Clearly, the word is out: outside post horses at Yonkers are no longer to be discounted as outsiders at the mutuel windows. This new competitive racing phenomenon has assuredly helped Yonkers once again approach 7-figure handle numbers unseen since the recent closure of NYC's Off Track Betting Corporation. [$934,000 on Saturday night.]I would think that the addition of Yonkers (and it's live stream) to NYRA's wagering menu has helped as well.
- A couple of follow-ups to my post from Sunday morning. I mentioned there that our friend DiscreetPicks had an excellent day on Saturday; he followed that up with a one-for-one Sunday when Hard to Resist ($12.80) rallied from far back to take the 6th at Santa Anita.
And the Rangers, wearing their road white uniforms, crushed the Flyers 7-0. jk wrote that I had some splaining to do; but this is a very young team that competes hard every night, and has lost a lot of close games. The main splanation for their recent woes is that they don't score many goals, particularly with Marian Gaborik having an off season even when he's not injured. Still, they are very good defensively - second in the conference in goals against despite having played the most games - have solid goaltending and have shown grit and character throughout the season (I believe they still lead the league in points earned when trailing after two periods). I think they could make for a very dangerous first round opponent should they get in, which I believe they will.