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Monday, December 18, 2006

Notes - Dec 19

- Hollywood Park closed with an 11 race card on Monday, including the Grade 2 Dahlia for fillies and mares. Christophe Clement had five winners out of nine starters coming into the day, and his graded winner Naissance Royale was 4-5 as the only triple digit Beyer horse in the race. But Frank Lyons, on TVG, took note of the fact that Grande Melody, 15-1 morning line for Patrick Biancone, just one for 14 at the meeting, was bet down to 6-1. This three year old French import, a daughter of the late Grand Lodge (Chief's Crown), had a lot to prove after running third in an ungraded stake earlier in the meet.

And when Naissance Royale effortlessly passed horses around the final turn ("without really being asked," according to Vic Stauffer), even saving ground in the process, she truly looked as if she would be home free. But Grande Melody just kept coming and coming and, as winning rider Julien Leparoux said, "That leader wasn't stopping, but my filly was the best today." Wow, that was really an impressive and most unexpected rally. They came home in 29.59 for the last 2 1/2 furlongs; final sixteenth in 5.86.

- Todd Pletcher was planning to start his vacation on Monday. "My attorneys told me to start the suspension today." [Daily Racing Form] The New York Racing and Wagering Board says 'not so fast.' They'll take up the matter during their next scheduled meeting, on Thursday; and "it is anticipated that the board will set Dec. 27 as the start date for his 45-day suspension," said board spokesman Daniel Toomey.

With the Big A on hiatus until that day, Monday was an opportune time for Pletcher to start his suspension - that's ten days right off the bat that he wouldn't have missed in New York. So I wonder if the board is deliberately countering that strategy and making him serve his time at their discretion, and not at his.


Greg said...


Do you know anything about the ban that Calder put on Rene Douglas and the Ban that Tampa Bay Downs put on 7 jocks today. m Sounds like something big might be going on down there ? race fixing ?

Patrick J Patten said...

nobody knows nothing and that means somebody big is probably walking around keeping everyone quiet.