RSS Feed for this Blog

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Here Comes The Sun

- Given the clouds and rain that seemed to blanket the east coast all weekend, one might think it was the wrong weekend for a horse named Sun King to make his return. But with blinkers on, Nick Zito's one time Derby hopeful got his first win since the Tampa Bay Derby with his triumph in the Leonard Richards at Delaware on Sunday.

"You saw the real Sun King again," said Zito.. "He sort of redeemed himself, although I don't know if you want to say that about horses.

"The blinkers were a minor thing that made a big difference. He was on his game today. Did you see him gallop out after the wire? If the race was longer he would have won by a pole [a furlong]." [Delawareonline]
High Limit was made the 7-10 favorite; perhaps the crowd was influenced by the horse’s past success at Delaware, where he easily won his first two career starts. He got off to a bad start, and rushed up wide on the turn to challenge. Edgar Prado said, "We wanted to go to the lead and set a good pace. We weren't able to do that. I had to check him at the start, and that hurt." In the end, he wasn’t even able to hold off Golden Man, making his second start in two days after running third in the Long Branch at Monmouth on Saturday. Making High Limit the odds-on favorite was not the worst decision by the betting public however. Sort It Out was sent off at 9-2, and not surprisingly finished dead last. Bob Baffert, will you please give this horse a break?

- As the bureaucracy of turning Pennsylvania’s slots laws into action plays out in leisurely fashion, the four existing tracks that stand to benefit from the machines are chomping at the bit. On Thursday, Pocono Downs harness will hold a press conference to unveil their building plans. The unveiling will also include details of new restaurants and stores and the Downs' new name and logo.
[Track CEO Robert] Soper said the earliest the Downs could receive a conditional license to operate slots is January or February. Mr. Hays agreed that is likelier now than a December date commission members discussed earlier.

A full-blown slots parlor will take a year to 14 months to build, Mr. Soper said, but Downs officials are hoping to operate slots in a temporary facility before then. [Scranton Times]
I imagine that once the tracks are granted permission to house slots, they would operate them in the parking lot and that Mr. Soper would surrender his reserved spot if that’s what it takes to get the money flowing. From the sound of things, it could be quite some time before they can operate the machines anywhere. The commission must still finalize rules for licensing suppliers of slot machines.
Without licensed suppliers, manufacturers have no suppliers to buy and re-sell their slot machines. Besides that, the state slots law says no licenses to operate slot machine venues may be issued until at least three months after the commission decides on the first applications for licenses to manufacture and supply slot machines.
The article goes on to describe the tangled web of politics and corporate lobbying that you would expect to be associated with such a process; it’s 2-5 that this ordeal of merely selecting the suppliers before licenses can be issued will take on a life of its own.

- Neil Drysdale sent out two British imports for the mile and a half G2 Sunset BC Handicap on closing day at Hollywood. Yours truly thought that One Off had the edge based on his experience at long distances overseas, but it was instead Always First who got a great rail-skimming ride by Victor Espinoza had held off the fast closing Runaway Dancer, who put in another explosive Megahertz-type move in the stretch, but settled for a dead heat for place with TH Approval. Drysdale commented: "We've been aiming for this. Sometimes getting those European horses are a little like Christmas. You aren't quite sure what is in the package." [LA Times] This package is by Barathea, a son of Sadlers’ Wells, and out of a mare by Dilum, a daughter of Tasso (Fappiano). Her distaff side features a plethora of major European stakes winners including Royal Palace.