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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Notes: Feb 24

- HERE's something you don’t hear everyday. Santa Anita trainer Adam Kitchingman is the 4th conditioner there to have his horses quarantined due to a positive test result for milkshakes, and, unlike others, who have blamed overzealous testing methods, he says that he did it!

"The racing officials were very kind to me," Kitchingman said Wednesday. "I got caught playing with fire, and I'll have to reconsider what I was doing. I'm not going to deny it like everybody else who got caught. It's not going to happen again. Unfortunately, because this is a competitive business, you do stuff you've got to do to try to win races." [Daily Racing Form]
Well, that’s a change…and also implies that he was just trying to stay competitive with others doing the same.

- DEFENDING Horse of the Year Ghostzapper working out in Florida; the Oaklawn Handicap on April 9 is a possibility, and would be an appropriate reward for the fans attending races in big numbers there.
"He worked really great," said Brian Lynch, assistant to trainer Bobby Frankel. "It was his first work back at three-quarters and we were very happy with it." [Thoroughbred Times]
Oaklawn announced a purse increase based on the success of its Instant Racing slots game. And here’s an update on the Hot Springs Derby contingent, link via Albany Law School.
Servis said he will probably work Rockport Harbor seven eighths of a mile Friday morning with jockey Willie Martinez aboard.

Rockport Harbor could work the same day as Afleet Alex, also scheduled to make his 3-year-old debut in the Rebel.

Trainer Tim Ritchey said he will work Afleet Alex, his Grade I winner, today, Friday or Saturday.

" It depends on what the track’s like and what the weather’s like, "Ritchey said.

Ritchey said if the track is in good shape, Afleet Alex will breeze five-eighths of a mile, possibly 6 furlongs. If the track isn’t good, the colt will work no farther than five-eighths of a mile. []
Servis says of Rockport Harbor's miraculous recovery from a foot bruise that he hasn't been this happy since last Derby Day. In California, with the weather finally drying out, TDN reports that Declan’s Moon will breeze on Saturday, preparing for the following weekend’s Santa Catalina.

- OBVIOUSLY, everyone isn’t happy about the possibility of slots in Maryland, as spelled out in this editorial in the Baltimore Sun. For one thing, the paper says:
This is a vote on Maryland's future. Pennsylvania last year approved slots: Even before the machines arrive there, licenses are being flipped for vast sums, every week brings new signs of shady dealings, and there is growing skepticism that slots will bring promised tax relief. By contrast, Virginia last year opted for a bipartisan tax hike, one that will finance an ambitious roads plan for its high-tech Washington suburbs. Maryland's own high-tech leader, Montgomery County, is right to see no role for slots in its economy, and Maryland's future ought to look a lot more like Montgomery's than Pennsylvania's.

- AND FINALLY, back to Maine, a spirited defense by the head of Casinos No! of the proposed law to require that ATMs not be placed in the propsed Bangor Raceway racino, again via Albany Law School:
A 1999 report by the National Gambling Impact Study Commission - still the most comprehensive analysis of legalized gambling in America - recommended that states ban ATMs from casino floor.

Their reason was simple: An ATM in the presence of slot machines is like a bottle of whisky at an AA meeting.[Portland Press Herald]