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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Evangeline Down

- I handicapped the 7th at Evangeline but when I tried to get the bet in with my OTB phone account, the race wasn't offered, reminiscent of when I similarly got shut out on the Lane's End, and swore to open an online account. But this time I figured something was up, because I've bet Evangeline with them many times and now, the tote was reading 0 minutes to race 7 long past scheduled post time. Sure enough, they announced on TVG that the card was cancelled because the jockeys refused to ride. A check of the charts reveals that in the last three races, 2 horses broke down and another pulled up lame.

You may recall there was an inordinate amount of breakdowns during the quarter horse meet that preceded this one. The track was pronounced fit after further maintenance, but apparently there's still a problem with it, or at least that's what the jockeys think. We'll be reading more about this for sure. Looks like I'm done betting tonight before even getting started.

- Monmouth opens Saturday! One of my very favorite tracks. Without traffic I can make it in under and hour and a half on weekdays, but that's rarely the case driving through Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and the ever present slow crawl past Monmouth Mall to the track. Nonetheless, it's well worth the trip. They're running there on weekends only through Memorial Day weekend. I'm still reading that Governor Codey is determined to bring night racing there in an attempt to increase handle.

- Looks who's back for more punishment in the Preakness.

Lukas intends to run Going Wild even though he was 18th in the Derby, and the Hall of Fame conditioner can make a solid argument to owners Bob and Beverly Lewis. His youngster won the Sham Stakes at California's Santa Anita on Feb. 5 while Giacomo ran third. [USA Today]
Of course, Going Wild was beaten by more lengths in the Derby than Giacomo has been in all his races put together. (Maybe, I'm too tired to go look that up.)