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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Excuses, Excuses

- Here’s something we’ve all been waiting for; it was only a matter of time: the official Excuse for Wilko’s 11th place finish in the Malibu. Thoroughbred Daily News reports that Wilko “emerged from the race with a blood count that was ‘a little off’ and ‘he tied up on me a little bit,’ Trainer Craig Dollase said..” The article goes on to say that pending the colt’s condition, he may next race in the San Fernando on January 14.

- As racing continues at the Big A, NYRA officials are mulling their next move in the wake of Governor Pataki’s proposed bailout.

"We have made what I think is a very fair and appropriate offer to have the state advance funds against their VLT revenues with state oversight because we want to continue racing in an orderly manner as we look to the future of what happens after 2007 when the franchise is up," Pataki said. [Albany Times-Union]
Of course, it would help if Pataki would see to it that NYRA finally gets the go-ahead to actually build the VLT parlor at the Big A. NYRA VP Bill Nader still held out bankruptcy as an option: ”The Macy's parade went on despite Chapter 11, and the airlines keep their planes in the air when they're in bankruptcy.” [The Saratogian]

Pataki also reiterated his support for Bernadette Castro to head the State Racing and Wagering Board because "she's just a tremendous public servant who would have that open mind as she looks at the future of racing." I suppose that anyone who knows as little about racing as Ms. Castro would certainly have an open mind – or perhaps a blank slate would be a more appropriate way of putting it.

- Far more impressive for Bobby Frankel than Ramsgate was his two-year old Latent Heat (Maria’s Mon), a close second to the highly-regarded Cindago in last Saturday’s hyped-up maiden race at Santa Anita. Dick Powell of Brisnet points out that Latent Heat won't be a maiden much longer for Bobby Frankel and has the deep pedigree one would expect from Juddmonte Farms. He’s out of True Flare, a grassy stakes winner by Capote, and his 5th dam is Bebop, the dam of Bebopper, who in turn is the dam of a couple of my personal handicap favorites from the 70’s, Stop the Music and Hatchet Man.