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Monday, February 21, 2005

Out of Place

- When Royal Place splashed under the wire at Santa Anita yesterday in the off-the-turf Daytona Handicap, it capped a huge week for his sire Out of Place (Cox’s Ridge). If it were up to me, these grass stakes that can’t be run on the turf due to weather shouldn’t even be run no less count as stakes wins, but a win’s a win, and it’s the second stakes winner in 8 days for the 18 year old stallion who stands in Kentucky for $7500. Sort it Out took the Whirlaway last Saturday at Aqueduct, and then made more headlines when he was sold and transferred to Bob Baffert’s barn. In between, Out of Place picked up two more first time winners, as well as three more repeat winners to boot; seven times his genes have been first across the wire in a bit more than a week, not bad. He has 22 lifetime stakes winners, listed here, via the Claiborne Farm website. As a racehorse, he won 8 of 25 and over $700K at 3, 4, and 5; his only graded win was the G3 Clark at Churchill, but as a 5 yo in 1992, he missed winning the G1 Whitney at Saratoga by a nose to Sultry Song.

- Under tack show yesterday for the Fasig-Tipton select 2 year old sale at Calder coming up on March 1, and three fillies by Tale of the Cat, Cat Thief, and Grand Slam took the fastest times. The Fasig-Tipton website has all the times from yesterday's breezes and the sale catalog.

- More controversy for Penn National Gaming in addition to its troubles in Maine about which I posted the other day. The company’s lucrative sale of the Pocono Downs harness track is coming under scrutiny for reason that they profited too much on the sale by way of the state’s approval of VLT’s.

Penn National Gaming Inc. pocketed a 500% return on a decade-old investment when it unloaded Pocono Downs to the Connecticut-based Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority.
But questions have arisen about the nine-digit sale price, particularly because a provision in the law was designed to avoid gold rush profiteering off the sale of racetracks, which were practically guaranteed a slots license by the law.

At issue is the law's Section 1330, which directs the gambling commission to reject the sale of a license-eligible facility if the price is more than what an independent appraiser would have considered to be its fair-market value a month before the law was adopted over the July 4th weekend. [Bloodhorse]