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Saturday, March 26, 2005

Saturday Morning Odds and Ends

- The Jockey Guild filed a countersuit against Churchill Downs in their dispute over the jockey insurance protests last fall.

"Churchill and the other racetracks have been engaged in collective bargaining with the Guild for years," Guild president Dr. Wayne Gertmenian said in a release. "Now that the Guild is aggressively attacking some of the overwhelming problems in this industry like the scale of weights and the lack of catastrophic injury coverage, and making strides for the jockeys, Churchill wants to shut us down with this lawsuit.” [Bloodhorse]
Dr. G of course didn’t mention that it was the Guild who cancelled the insurance they had maintained with payments from racetracks.

- Saratoga County (Valid Expectation) took the $2 million sprint race at Dubai, which is 6 furlongs down a straightaway. His last was that thrilling nose win over Don Six in the General George, and this was his 4th in a row.

This is really fascinating watching the stewards’ inquiry into the running of the race, with Alex Solis claiming foul against Javier Castellano, the rider of the winner. The jockeys are sitting in the room with the stewards, watching replays and answering questions. Now they are showing the stewards informing the riders of their decision to leave the winner up. While they acknowledged that Pico Central was indeed impeded and likely cost second place, the rules there do not call for a disqualification unless the stewards feel he could have won the race.

- Looking back at how it was a half-century ago, from 1948 to 1958, eight of the 11 Derby winners ran in the Derby Trial, four days before the Derby, and another ran seven days before the Derby. [Bloodhorse]

- Upcoming for Greater Good:
Holthus said Greater Good will breeze five-eighths of mile in about a week, then work three-quarters of a mile approximately a week before the race.
Unlike Rockport Harbor and Afleet Alex, Greater Good hasn’t had a training hiccup for months.

" So far, he hasn’t missed a beat, "Holthus said. [Arkansas Democrat Gazette]

- Valiant try by Whilly in the Dubai Duty-Free, but he couldn't quite catch the Australian winner Elvstroem (Danehill).