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Friday, November 17, 2006

Notes - Nov 18

- It took Todd Pletcher 31 tries to get his first winner of the Churchill meeting. But since then, he's now he's won four out of his last five, having taken the late double on Friday. He took the 8th with Terrific Storm (Storm Cat), who has been mostly disappointing since winning three in a row last winter. And he took the 10th with Maizelle, graduating at 2-5 in her third start - she was beaten at the same odds in her last race.

Pletcher is 0 for 1 at Hollywood thus far, having been beaten with even money favorite Forest Code in the 7th race on Thursday.

- The Jockeys Guild has sued its former attorney and amateur comedian Lloyd Ownbey.

"The errors and omissions of Ownbey and the others were all actions that fell below the standard of care for licensed attorneys in California, and constitute professional negligence," said Michael Grobaty, whose Newport Beach law firm filed the suit on behalf of the Jockey's Guild. [Bloodhorse]
But what about Dr. Wayne Gertmenian? Whatever happened to the police investigation of his writing outsized checks to himself and to Albert Fiss on the day that they were removed? The Guild's former treasurer Eddie King, in explaining the reasons why he has spurned the organization's overtures to return, said, "Here's a man who lied to them and stole from them and they are just going to let him go. That doesn't set well with me."

Here's a story from last March in the Bloodhorse saying that the Guild did indeed file a federal lawsuit against Dr. G. However, I've seen nothing about any such case since then.

- It seems as if absence truly makes the heart grow fonder in the world of horse racing. The Journal News of Westchester reports that the excitement could be felt almost anywhere as Yonkers Raceway reopened after a 17 month absence. Nine races were run for $53,000 in total purses, but that amount is slated to double next week, and again once more slot machines are added.

And the Fair Grounds will reopen on Thursday after being closed last year due to Katrina. The AP reports that when 1200 spots for dining reservations for opening day became available, “We sold out in 35 minutes,” said Fair Grounds president Randall Soth. Horsemen are excited too; 3400 applications were received for 1800 stalls.

Unlike at Yonkers, at the Fair Grounds it's the racino which is being delayed - it will not be ready until next year. However, brisk business at New Orleans' off-track wagering sites will allow the track to offer $350,000 in average daily purses, up from $275,000 for the last meet held.