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Sunday, February 06, 2005

Not Super

- To me, unless the Jets are playing (I know, ha), Super Bowl Sunday is a bit of a nuisance. Early post times, and the last race on TVG is the 11th from Sunland, a maiden claimer that goes off at 6:15 and ends the pari-mutual day with a sickening thud of finality. You’ll not find even Balmoral Park or Los Alamitos tonight. But perhaps instead of cowering from the big game, the industry could find a way to take advantage of it. After all, people love to bet on the Super Bowl, for many it’s the only game they’ll bet on all year; even if it’s just an office pool on the last numbers of the final score, it’s still action. So shouldn’t it be a natural fit? It seems like a racetrack would be a fun place to watch the game on big screens, and why not throw in a few live races (anything to detract people from the commercials or from the embarrassing shell of a former Beatle would be doing a public service), and run a contest like NYRA’s Bet the Pros and Ponies, tying in the races with the game. Better yet, maybe somebody smarter than me could figure out a way to link televised races (on networks!), perhaps like yesterday’s Donn and Rock Hard Ten’s electrifying victory in the Strub to the big game itself; say if you pick both races correctly you have a chance to win a million dollars and a trip to Disneyland with Tom Brady by predicting the final score? Just a thought, something to think about when the game gets out of hand and there’s nothing else to do.

- The biggest winners in the Derby picture yesterday I thought were Bandini and Going Wild, both stretching out in a big way. As I mentioned before, Giacomo and High Fly turned in gritty performances with horrible trips, the latter in his first two turn try. Closing Argument has to be considered a contender after his first route and graded win, though the 150K purse was small by his standards. Proud Accolade was game overcoming trouble, but didn’t really prove anything at 7 1/2 furlongs, and Defer could be off the list. And I'll also mention Sis City (Slew City Slew), whose 16 length romp was achieved in a faster time than Bandini, and just .06 seconds slower than Closing Argument.