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Sunday, March 20, 2005

Sunday Night Odds and Ends

- The stallion ad for Intidab in the 2005 Stallion Register proudly trumpets:

“Among North America’s Leading Freshman Sires:
Highest Percentage of Winners (60%)
Highest Percentage of Stakes Horses (60%)
Wow, all this for just $3500? Upon closer inspection however, one notices that Intidab’s first crop consisted of just 6 foals and 5 runners. Of those, 3 are winners, one of them being Greater Good, and the other two placed in stakes in England. According to, he only has 4 foals in this year’s 2 year-old crop, but I suppose business could pick up for him at Gallagher’s Stud in New York.

As a racehorze, Intidab (Phone Trick) won 7 of 36 starts in the US, UK, and UAE, for $531,000; including wins in the G2 True North and A Phenomenon Handicaps, beating Artax and Yes It’s True in the latter; they were both at 6 furlongs. He won as far as 1600 meters, which is nearly a mile, once, on the turf in the UAE. Greater Good is a Kentucky-bred, and if he were to win the Derby it may be a relief to Kentuckians dismayed by the sight of New York and Pennsylvania-breds winning the roses the past 2 years. But he’s certainly a far more obscurely bred horse than Funny Cide or Smarty Jones is.

- Roman Ruler is off the Derby trail.
"He needs three weeks off," Baffert said from Santa Anita Park. "We've got to remove that quarter and let it heal up and grow back. He's got that bad spot and you're taking a chance when you run him. I told Gary (Stevens) to see how he goes, and if he wasn't handling it to take care of him, and Gary was real good about it. Now, we'll just give him time and clear it all out." [Bloodhorse]
It bothers me to read stuff like this; that they would take any kind of a "chance," in Baffert's own words, with a horse that showed so much promise last year just to get to the Kentucky Derby. It’s just one race after all (and I say that even though I’ve probably devoted about 95% of the posts here to the subject)!

The Santa Anita Derby shapes up as basically yesterday’s San Felipe, minus Consolidator, assuming he does go to the Blue Grass, and Roman Ruler and whoever else drops out, and plus Sweet Catomine. With Declan’s Moon out, Going Wild headed to the Wood, and Spanish Chestnut to the Lane’s End, the cast from the Santa Catalina is gone from the cast.

- Besides Sun King, another impressive winner at Tampa Bay yesterday was the 3 yo filly R Lady Joy, who destroyed the field in the Florida Oaks in 1:44.2, a stakes record and just 3/5ths slower than Sun King; and she won for fun, under less urging than the colt. Trainer Kurt Ziadie said``This filly is unbelievable. She is a monster.'' [Tampa Bay Online] She’s the first stakes winner for her second crop sire Vicar (Wild Again), who is red hot this year with 9 winners, plus twice stakes-placed Vicarage, and 2005 earnings just behind second year crop sire leader Yes It’s True. And he’s also the sire of one of the 2 year-olds I own in partnership that we hope to sell at auction, this filly targeted for the Fasig-Tipton Timonium sale in May. Or maybe the new one added there for June due to unprecedented demand.

- Another stakes win for the 3 yo turf filly Cape Hope (Seeking the Gold), who I posted about last month.

- Next time you’re at the track or racino, perhaps you should take note of where the fire exits are. The Chicago Sun-Times reported today (link via Albany Law School) that Balmoral Park harness track has been charged with over 300 fire-code violations. The paper also reported that prior to the administration of current Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, the fire marshall may have been willing to overlook such problems.
"The word was don't make any moves at the racetracks and the [river]boats because those are the governor's pets," said one of the fire marshal sources, who requested anonymity, referring to Blagojevich's predecessors. "That's where his money comes from, and he wouldn't appreciate any additional costs to those people. Accommodate them any way you can. That's what was told to the guys who were doing them." [Chicago Sun-Times]
Recent inspections revealed a very different picture, so much so that the Fire Inspector assigned two firefighters to the grandstand each racing night (though only after the Sun-Times obtained Balmoral inspection reports from the fire marshal's office through a Freedom of Information Act request).
The problems noted included having an alarm and sprinkler system that did not appear to have been tested, sprinkler pipe joints secured by duct tape, barns and a worker residence building with doors that locked from the outside and inadequate sprinklers in the track's grandstand area. [Chicago Sun-Times]
And, at the Finger Lakes racino in upstate NY, officials say they are in compliance with fire code laws, even though a Farmington town official said firefighter access had been delayed to a kitchen during a fire there in February; and despite the fact that there have been so many false alarms there, that "when the alarm has gone off, they have not evacuated the building." [Rochester Democrat and Chronicle]