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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Notes - May 26 (Wow!)

- Now comes word that Wilko’s ankle chip will sideline him for the rest of the year. Craig Dollase said of his Preakness, "Obviously it affected him in the race, because that finish was not like him.” [Thoroughbred Times] I’d agree with that; it would have been more like him to loom boldly on the turn and hang for 3rd or 4th.

- Wow, trainer Joe Woodard saddled his 8th and 9th straight winners when Native Bull won the 6th and Quick Blend took the 7th at Churchill today! Wow!

- Two standardbred groups, the US Trotting Association and Harness Tracks of America have joined NRTA Purchasing. It’s always nice to see cooperation between the breeds. I recall a few years ago the Meadowlands, during their harness meeting, tried an early daily double with a thoroughbred turf race and the first race of the harness card. Nice idea, but I haven’t seen it repeated since.

- Perhaps some in Maryland can take some solace from the fact that things are not going very well for Pennsylvania’s slots program. Rife with suspected scandal and bad publicity over commission members earning outsized salaries and perks, the plan is also being met with big fat thumbs-down from school boards opting out of the program. I posted a lengthy explanation of this process in this post here. School boards are rejecting the program by a 3-to-1 ratio. Out of 500 districts, 223 have opted out and 74 have joined, according to the latest tally by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association. [Philly Inquirer] The deadline is May 31, and there are no second chances after that date. Now some lawmakers and the beleaguered Democratic governor Ed Rendell, who made the program a key element of his election campaign, are threatening bills to force participation, or at least let voters decide rather than the boards. To make things worse for the governor, he’s being criticized by Republicans for raising money from gambling companies, some of whom are competing for casino licenses in the state, in his role as fund-raiser of the Democratic Governors Association.

- Our Vicar filly was not sold privately, and is now at EQB’s farm in Pennsylvania. He’ll be sent to the barn of a trainer, perhaps Rodney Jenkins or John Servis. The plan is still to try to sell her, this time off of workouts or a race.

- Only 2,726 at Belmont today as Castle Village Farm (and Billy Turner) had yet another winner in Raf and Ready, who has now gone through his state-bred conditions with his third win. It seems that all their partnerships are winners except for mine - so far. Hopefully, the Tactical Cat colt, which someday soon will have a name, though I'm not hopeful about its quality (the name, not the colt) will get us back on the right track.

Pletcher had a maiden winner at 1-2 in the 3rd - a 3 yo filly named More for Me (More Than Ready). Her dam is a half-sister to millionaire sprinter Richter Scale, standing for $10,000 in Kentucky. If you're familiar with the Stallion Register, you know that if you go to a stallion page of a sire like Richter Scale who is in his third crop year, and the best they have to say is "Outcross for Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector Bloodlines," then the stallion probably hasn't done much. He had only 41 foals in his first two crops, with just 9 winners and 1 stakes winner. He does have 52 2 year olds for this year, but if he doesn't pick up the pace soon, he could be packing his bags for a different locale some time soon. More for Me is also from the family of $5 million plus earner Best Pal.