RSS Feed for this Blog

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Of Horses and Fox

- Modest prices at the first day of the OBS select 2 yo sale today, with the average and median prices down a bit from last year; but the buyback rate, a concern at the Calder and Barretts sales, dropped significantly, to 23% from 32% last year. No fireworks; the top seller, a colt by current leading 2005 second year sire Yes It’s True, out of a Pentelicus mare - here’s the catalog page (pdf). Not much in the way of black type the first two dams, but he had impressive breezes of :10 2/5 and :21 1/5. You have to go all the way down to $360,000 for the second highest, a son of Silver Charm.

- Harsh penalties for drug positives are being considered in Kentucky, including suspensions for the horses involved. For example, this is the penalty being discussed for the highest offense:

For Class A drugs, which are known to impact performance, a first offense would bring loss of purse, a $15,000 fine and 1,095-day suspension for the trainer, and a 90-day suspension for the horse. A third offense would trigger loss of purse, a $50,000 fine and lifetime suspension for the trainer, and a 360-day suspension for the horse. [Bloodhorse].
Claiming that they have little control in such situations, some thoroughbreds expressed dismay over the proposals. “Equine athletes should not be subject to forfeiture of their sole means of livelihood due to transgressions committed by trainers,” read a statement released by some disgruntled maiden claimers at Turfway Park.

- John Servis has a nice 3 yo filly to go along with the resurgent Rockport Harbor. Round Pond (Awesome Again) won the Honeybee Stakes at Oaklawn on Sunday, in only her third start, and in her first try around two turns in her stakes debut, drawing away to win by almost 6 lengths. She's a possibility for the G2 Fantasy at Oaklawn on Arkansas Derby weekend. Her dam is a half to millionaire Nasr El Arab as well as to European stakes winner and current first year sire Black Minnaloushe (Storm Cat), standing in Kentucky for $7500, down from $10,000. His yearlings sold for an average of $32,000 last year.

Black Minnaloushe won three G1’s in England and Ireland in 2001, and you can see the stretch runs of two of them on this page here; you should check them out, they’re great races, and he was a runner with an exciting late burst, and I mean late! But also, listen to the calls, and in particular the cheesy dramatic music behind it that builds to a crescendo as the horses cross the wire. They don't play that stuff during the race over there, do they? It’s like when FOX a few years ago was ridiculed for playing dramatic music in the bottom of the 9th as Armando Benitez blew another one for the Mets, remember that?

Speaking of FOX, the people who made the documentary Outfoxed, which shows just how fair and balanced the network really is, posted the text of a column by Bill O’Reilly on their blog, though apparently not in a flattering context. As told by Stanford Law Professor and noted authority on cyberspace law Laurence Lessig in his blog,
The company syndicating O'Reilly's column wrote them a nasty letter, telling them to take the column down. They did, and replaced it with a link. The same company wrote again, insisting that the blog was guilty of "unauthorized linking."

Dear syndicators of Bill: Me thinks there's no such concept as illegal linking....Indeed, I think that I, like anyone else, am perfectly free to link to the column, as this link does. And indeed, I'd invite anyone else out there who thinks that we still live in a FREE LINKING world to link to the same. [Lessig Blog]


(You see, I've actually linked to a column by Bill O'Reilly! I'm fair and balanced, right?)