Joe Drape checks in on the Indian Tale situation in the Times today. Funny that this filly, who I did point out after she was entered for a tag, under curious circumstances, and then claimed by Dutrow, has made it to the Paper of Record with her very own article!
If you don't know the story, in brief, Dutrow ran her back in short order three times, so that she had raced four times in 12 days. She was eased and walked off after the last one, and is now on the steward's list, requiring her to pass muster with the stewards via a timed workout before she can race again. And of course, everyone is all up in arms about it, especially considering Dutrow's record - "a medication violation for every 343 starts by his horses — the highest among elite trainers," as reported by Drape.
For his part, Dutrow maintains that the filly got bumped early, simply didn't like the turf, and “the rider took care of her real good.”
“She was in very good shape before and she still is....“and if you went back and saw her now, you’d see she is fine." [Edited and condensed quote, blogger's license]I have no doubt that she is fine. She surely showed no sign of wear in her prior two starts for Dutrow, a win and a second, following the close second in her last race for Martin; and the turf excuse is reasonable. And I actually rather like to see a trainer challenge the now-conventional wisdom that horses need more time than ever to recover between their races. However, for this particular trainer, at this particular time, as his license, and his very livelihood, are under review by the State Racing and Wagering Board, to implement such an unusual regimen for one of his horses is just beyond the realm of stupidity; and irresponsible to the clients who still have faith in him. Proper or not, why would he possibly do anything to call attention to himself at this time? Just boggles the mind.
- Speaking of Drape, finally got the chance to read his piece on Pletcher, the man, the family man, the businessman, the myth, the Toddster, and here's the link. You should definitely check it out if you haven't already, just a fantastic read.
- Today's Saratoga card may not be the highest quality program, but, once again, a great betting card....particularly the races one might label as 'cheap.' (Though what's cheap really about low-priced claiming horses running for $25,000 purses?) Didn't come up with any selections for the blog, but it wasn't for lack of trying. (Don't know how guys like Serling keep it up every day.) Will mention the two Tom Bush horses, since we've been following the hard-luck barn here. In the 6th, Gone At Once (12-1) drops in class after showing speed in her first race with blinkers. Would feel better about her chances if the speedball Dean Avenue wasn't in the race. In the 9th, Grace and Courage (7-2) also drops in class, and stretches out; had a nice effort at a mile and a sixteenth on the main course last year. Looks tough here, but don't think we'll see odds as high as 7-2. Also giving a look to Dracup (6-1), dropping in class after a no-shot try against better earlier in the meet. No pace for her closing style that time, and not sure if they'll be one here. Best of luck and have a great day.