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Friday, May 13, 2005

Friday News and Notes

- A winner for the Boss at Belmont yesterday; first time starter Sweet Symphony took the 6th at 17-1 for Bill Mott. She’s a homebred A.P Indy filly and get this: her second dam is Sharon Brown, the dam of Holy Bull, the sire of the Derby winner that defeated Steinbrenner’s Bellamy Road. What goes around comes around…

- In a desperate attempt to get slots back on track in Maryland with a special legislative session, Magna has requested a meeting with the three main players – Governor Ehrlich, Senate President Miller, and slots foe and House Speaker Michael Busch. But as usual, Busch is holding the line.

"I can see no issue that arises to the level of commanding a special session….. Magna is an international company that lost $200 million last year. Are we supposed to be held hostage by a company that's losing money internationally because they do not get a subsidy?" [Baltimore Sun]
As sympathetic I am towards the owners and breeders in Maryland that are seeing their business being cannibalized by neighboring slots states, I must admit that this guy makes some good points. With the Preakness upcoming and with the unspoken threat to move it to another state, this seems as good a time as any to restart the debate.
"We love the Preakness, and we love to brag about Maryland racing," Mr. Ehrlich said at a meeting of the Board of Public Works in Annapolis. "But because of various circumstances, particularly competitive pressure from surrounding states, the condition of our industry is poor and getting worse, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. A lot of the debate pertains to slots. It is part of the solution." [ via Albany Law School]

A Republican member of the Florida House is moving to quickly quash any move that Broward County might make to implement slots themselves, claiming that state action is required and that the legislature made a “good faith” effort to come to an agreement. [Sun-Sentinal] Oh please, don’t even get me started. Changing the definition of slots after the voters approved them is good faith?
Industry officials said they will file a lawsuit in the next few days asking a judge to clarify the issue and either order the governor to call a special session of the Legislature to write the regulations, or have the court draft guidelines until the Legislature acts. [Miami Herald]

- Trainer John Sheriffs on the Derby champ: He is really recovering well from the Derby….His coat looks great, and he is eating well." [Baltimore Sun] Kevin Modesti of the LA Daily News warns us to not dismiss him so quickly:
He won the Derby because his athleticism enabled him to weave between opponents in the homestretch at Churchill Downs. He won because his versatility allowed the colt who'd been mid-pack early in his Santa Anita races to drop to the back of the field in Louisville before launching his run. And he won because of jockey Mike Smith, who used his experience in 11 previous Derbies to judge the pace perfectly and let Giacomo run his race. He won the Derby because of his fitness, trainer John Shirreffs having prepared him to give the performance of his life on the day it counted. [LA Daily News]