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Friday, May 27, 2005

Friday Night Notes

- The strangles problem seems to be spreading, and the effects are being felt here at Belmont. Already facing short fields, NYRA has had to prohibit shippers from Churchill or Delaware; and now there’s a possible case in the Belmont-based barn of trainer Steve Kappes. [Bloodhorse] In addition, Afleet Alex’s scheduled arrival tomorrow has been delayed at least until Tuesday. The colt expressed disappointment on his website that he would miss Sunday’s Yankees-Red Sox game. Don’t Get Mad overslept and worked out in the evening after the Churchill card, but Ron Ellis said he’s "only a remote possibility" for the Belmont.

- Andromeda’s Hero is working in Saratoga for the Belmont, and went 5f in 1:01.70 on Friday. Zito said: "He wants to go long. That's the main thing. I just hope it's not like an old-time trainer told me. 'Yeah, he wants to go long. All the way to Suffolk Downs.’” [Daily Racing Form]

- Steve Crist has more on Sen. Kyl’s bill to ban account wagering, which he says is “still a longshot to pass in any form.” He feels that racetracks should be focusing on the big picture, and not offshore betting shops.

Some track operators continue unreasonably to blame a phantom menace of offshore bookmakers for their business woes and want some kind of government intervention, despite seeing year after year that any attempt to carry out the fool's errand of regulating the Internet is likely to backfire and jeopardize existing business and future growth.

The Internet is not some organization that can be bargained with or subjected to rules. You can sooner negotiate a settlement with the wind. Instead of trying to support any version of the Kyl bill, racing should be exploiting technology to offer superior proprietary services such as an integrated nationwide account-wagering system that would allow people to play all tracks and receive multiple video and information feeds. It shouldn't be 10 times more difficult to bet on horse races online than it is to buy a shirt or join a poker game, but currently it is. [DRF sub. only]