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Friday, October 04, 2013

Cherry on Top

Eric Snyder, the Brooklyn-based bankruptcy lawyer suing the Cuomo administration over the casino amendment ballot language, is also challenging its placement at the top of the six referendums up for vote.

Normally, the questions to voters are placed in the same order that the Legislature approves the measure for the ballot. In this case, the casino referendum was adopted last, but given the prime top spot, Snyder argues. [Associated Press]
It's not just the fact that it's first; it stands out like a cherry on top.  As persuasive in favor of a yes vote as the authors obviously attempted to make it be, at least it's succinct.  At a mere 51 words, it's easily the shortest of the amendments; and the only one with only one paragraph.  The second shortest clocks in at over twice as many - 128.  And besides, who's going to even get past its subject matter:  Exclusion of Indebtedness Contracted for Sewage Facilities.  Proposal One is entitled simply: Authorizing Casino Gambling.  If Proposal Two (248 words) reads: Additional Civil Service Credit for Veterans with Disabilities Certified Post-Appointment, then why wouldn't Proposal One read something like:  Authorizing Casino Gambling in Certain Locations Outside New York City to be Determined Post-Approval?

As opposed to the question of the wording, which Snyder is arguing violates the constitution, the placement seems more a matter of tradition. So it may not be challengeable in court; but it certainly may be useful to demonstrate the hypocrisy of the whole exercise.  This gambit is just so blatant and shameless, it boggles the mind that they would think they'd get away with it without anybody speaking up to question.

 - Given the lack of rain around here, one might think that the grass courses at Belmont would be rock hard and speed favoring....the way they seemed to be at Saratoga for awhile late in the meet.  But that doesn't seem to be the case.  There was a front-running winner in the 1st on Wednesday, but none since then. And a couple that came out of the clouds on Thursday, one on each course; including Bluegrass Springs ($12), who bested stablemate Abra to give us, as per the last post, the winner and a $73 exacta with two 5-1 shots for Linda Rice.

In the 9th, Christophe Clement continued his uncanny success in two-year old grass races; Scoria ($11.80) was his 7th such winner since Saratoga started (from 16 starters).  Maybe the most amazing thing is that none of them have paid less than 4-1!

The 7th on Friday is a high-priced maiden claimer for two-year old fillies. As I believe I've mentioned recently, trainer Gary Contessa, who isn't particularly known for either two-year olds or turf, has had some success in this category of late, most recently with Carolinian a couple of weeks ago. Also had a debut winner in Fancy Boss on whom I cashed during the last week of Saratoga.  Great Cross (12-1) is a first-time starter by Kitten's Joy out of an Indian Charlie mare who comes into her debut off a steady series of works.  She has a three-year old full sister, Sassy Kitten, who won her debut at Kentucky Downs last month.  Her second dam, Bemissed, won three graded turf stakes at two in 1982 for her trainer Woody Stephens (and jockey Frank Lovato Jr!).  Figures to be overlooked with first-timers from Chad Brown and Pletcher scheduled to go; and Contessa himself has one of the morning line favorites in Camden Jane, another of his first-timers who ran well in her debut, finishing a close third at 16-1 at Saratoga.  So may be worth checking the tote and listening to hear if Maggie has any comment in the paddock (unless you're proficient enough to evaluate them visually yourself, which I surely am not).

In the 9th, Lisvernane (6-1) comes back nine days after being eased when her saddle slipped. Lightly raced five-year old daughter of Arch returned to the races in March off a layoff of 845 days. Give her a pass for her return, throw out a race on a yielding track as well as the last, and you see her progressing quite well.  Two races back, she mounted a nice wide rally into quick closing fractions to finish third behind a couple of nice three-year olds in Concise (next times out finished a close 4th and 3rd against her own kind in the Lake Placid and Garden City) and White Rose (a respectable 5th against older in the G1 Flower Bowl), earning a career high TimeformUS figure of 85.  Shortens up and will need some pace, but looks as if she fits here with continued improvement for trainer Jimmy Toner, who's been sneaky sharp of late with some double-digit odds runners. Morning line favorite Sally's Dream (5-2) seems the one to beat on the TFUS figs, but always hard to get too enthused about Randi Persaud horses making their 6th start in 58 days.  Best of luck and have a great day.