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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Tuesday Notes - July 5

- Veteran jockey Craig Perret has for quite some time now been selective about his mounts and has become more and more of an afterthought in the big picture of late. Recently, Perret has limited his riding to the just-completed Prairie Meadows meeting…and only on weekends. He finished up the meeting with a flourish on the 4th.

Perret, whose 4,300 victories include the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes, won all three of his races at Prairie Meadows. He swept three straight races, winning the $100,000 Saylorville Stakes on Injustice in the sixth race, then taking an allowance race aboard Patricia's Secret, and finishing up by taking the $125,000 Iowa Sprint for the second straight year on Coach Jimi Lee.

Now a grandfather at 54, Perret has cut back on his riding and is spending more time breeding and raising horses on his 14-acre farm in Shelbyville, Ky.

"This is my weekend job," Perret said. [Des Moines Register]
The numbers at Prairie Meadows were unfortunately a familiar refrain.
Overall betting for the meet dropped 28 percent.

Betting averaged $512,136 per day, compared to $711,528 in 2004. The on-track average was $77,768, a 2.5 percent dip from last year's $79,777 average.
Don Steinberg of the Philadelphia Inquirer has a column today about some hypothetical sports mergers, and takes a look at one which could possibly help avoid numbers like those at Prairie Meadows.
NASCAR acquires horse racing. Years ago, professional auto racing was like horse racing is today: a patchwork of unaffiliated tracks running their own events, with little reason for fans to follow the sport year-round. Then came NASCAR.

Auto tracks still have various owners, but there is an organized race circuit with an easy points system. Millions of fans know the schedule and plan lives around it. Sponsors and broadcasters spend billions of dollars to reach those fans.

Horse racing has different economics - its money comes almost entirely from gambling - but a NASCAR-run tour, with horses running in established and new races in a national points series, could be a winner. And there's plenty of room for sponsor decals on the horses.
With that in mind, please note that the Blog Standings have been updated to reflect the weekend’s action. Offlee Wild’s victory in the Suburban was not sufficient to boost him into the top 3 of the older horse category, and his owner seems to have a grassy detour in mind for him.
"I know (trainer Richard Dutrow) doesn't like the idea," said owner Lansdon Robbins. "But we're thinking of running him in the Arlington Million (Aug. 13). His dam is a half to Dynaformer. Now that we have a Grade I win, a good way to add value as a sire would be for him to win on the grass." But he said the Whitney at Saratoga on Aug. 6 also is a possibility. [UPI]
The latter (at a mile and an eighth) seems like a good spot for him, considering the way he tired in the final eighth in the Suburban. Not only is the Million a mile and a quarter, but the purse generally attracts the top grass horses in the country and sometimes beyond; tough spot.

- Lost in the Fog is at Calder preparing for the $300,000 G2 Carry Back Stakes on Saturday, part of the Summit of Speed program, and he'll be reunited with jockey Russell Baze. But he won’t be the only horse putting an undefeated record on the line that day. Louisiana-bred and based sensation Happy Ticket (Anet) is 9 for 9 after taking the G3 Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap at Arlington last month, and is pointing to the $500,000 Princess Rooney Handicap at 6 furlongs, where she could face Madcap Escapade.
"She came out of the Chicago in perfect shape, almost as if she hadn't raced at all," [owner Stewart] Madison said Sunday. "We may not have run her back this quick if we had had to van her all the way down there in this hot weather, but the Calder people offered to fly her down and that played a part in the final decision." [Shreveport Times]
NYRA would no doubt hear it in the next audit report if they did something like that.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

NASCAR horse racing? You think they would hold still for the paint jobs and sponsor stickers?

What about that competitive "kissing" of cars (i.e., bumping?)

Wonder how they'd do "donuts" on the track....