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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Notes: Mar 17

- The New York State Racing and Wagering Board has suspended jockey Robert Messina for six months for “holding a horse” at the Finger Lakes in 2003. The horse finished fifth, and then won his next race with Messina by a Bellamy Road-like 13 1/4 lenghts. Though Messina’s attorney claimed that the tape showed “nothing egregious,” a board member disagreed.

"You can see at the top of the stretch that the horse was being held, and that the horse wanted to run….In my opinion, Mr. Messina did not make his best effort.” [Thoroughbred Times]

- Entries in for the Rebel, the San Felipe, and the Gotham. Only surprise I see is that Greater Good’s trainer Bob Holthus has also entered Copy My Notes in the Rebel. The San Felipe is wide open; hard to determine even who will be the favorite. Roman Ruler was not cross-entered in the Gotham, though some rain is still in the forecast for Southern California.

- More on the meeting between the Jockey Guild and the Teamsters Union. Teamsters president Jim Hoffa, though he admits to having “little experience” with horse racing, had this to say.
"Our empathy is with the jockeys who are underpaid, work under inhuman conditions, have no insurance coverage, are in the most dangerous sport in the world and really are hurting for support to better their lives," Hoffa said. "What better way (for them) than to come to the Teamsters Union, the largest and most progressive industrial union in America…..They're almost like slaves or servants that work on these large plantations.." [SignonSanDiego, via Albany Law School]
Hoffa also found time to issue an official statement entitled Teamsters Hail Bipartisan Senate Vote Supporting ANWR Oil and Gas Development, referring to the Senate’s move to insert into the budget bill a provision allowing oil drilling in the Arctic Natural Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. This “bipartisan” vote was 51-49, with 7 Republicans joining the Democrats in opposition. By inserting it into the budget bill, it denies the Democrats the chance to filibuster the provision, part of the Republicans’ continuing attempt to deny any voice at all to the party that drew 48% of the vote in the presidential election, an effort that is expected to lead to a virtual shutdown of the Senate over judicial nominations next month.