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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Question for Terry

- West Point Thoroughbred's Terry Finley is doing the Bloodhorse chat thang today, and I submitted the following question:

Terry - The recently released report by the New York Inspector General on the integrity of the bidders for the New York franchise states that it's not clear whether or not you had disclosed your financial stake in Empire at a time when, as a member of the NYTHA board, you participated in a key conference call regarding the organization's possible involvement with Empire. Would you care to comment on this please? Thanks.
He'll answer that, right? Empire had said last week that it would dispute some of the report's findings. Jeff Perlee said:
"We're in the process of putting together a list to correct the record."
"Much of the information on our company was provided by, and attributed to individuals who are associated with competing bidders....There were a number of factual errors in the Thacher submission which, left unaddressed, could paint an inaccurate picture for decision makers going forward." [Saratogian]
Empire has not released any further statement publicly as of this writing.

- An anonymous commenter wrote:
I was informed long ago by my trainer that standing in the paddock to view potential a claim was both illegal and unethical.
I put the question to Richie from Castle Village, and he wrote: "At the NYRA tracks, I'm not sure if it's a written or unwritten rule, but if we want to claim a horse, no one from CVF can be in the paddock before that horse's race." I was with a friend up at Saratoga this past summer who was running a horse in a claiming race, and I recall that they really just assumed that some of the people in the paddock were checking out the horse, which was not claimed. It's an interesting question I think; the West Virginia trainer who said that he indeed had a sufficient business interest to justify his presence in the paddock seems to have a point. But on the other hand, he's free to do his inspection from the outside, just like anyone else who might be considering a claim; and by barring him from the paddock, I suppose it levels the playing field. I guess that makes me undecided for now, and I'd be interested to hear more opinions.

Another anonymous commenter wrote that if there was ever a track that DOES NOT need the Poly Track its Calder Race Course. There was no further elaboration, but I would assume that he/she is referring to a good safety record at the track. Belmont is another track that is widely considered to be safe, and Charles Hayward did not mention that track when he discussed the possibility of Poly at Aqueduct and Saratoga sometime down the road. I was just referring to the vagaries of the weather in Florida during the spring and summer, and the fact that it seems a shame that so many of Calder's special programs seem to have been marred by rain. But I think that sloppy tracks bother me a lot more than they do most other people.

- Hunch bets for July 12:
Firetruck - 9th at Ellis
A Slick Chic 9th at Arlington
Man I'm Pretty - 1st at EvD
Redneck Lover - 1st at EvD
Binlookingforyou - 12th at Thistledown


Anonymous said...

When I worked for a East Coast-based trainer (no runners at Mountaineer, though), we were looking at claiming a horse that was in a race that we were ALSO IN. I recall him commenting on what a distinct advantage it was to be in the paddock with the horse. "We can do everything but feel the horses legs," he exclaimed. We certainly couldn't get that close when we went to Delaware three weeks later to halter one (without a runner of our own). We watched the horse make her way from the barn to the paddock from a distance, stood outside the paddock while she was in there, and had to make the claim with at least 10 minutes to post. Thus, from my experience, you can't just "be" in the paddock, especially if you are going to claim a horse. Alan, it is true, however, that you can almost get into the paddock at will in NY, where I was taught the "racetrack wave" that has provided me access to so many paddocks, backstretches and press boxes.

Patrick J Patten said...

your question was somehow left out, travesty.

Anonymous said...

Alan, I saw Charlie Hayward's comment about polytrack at Saratoga in 5 years and nearly fell off my chair. Let's not rush into polytrack as I think the jury is still out on it. I don't think Saratoga is especially rough on horses in training and races, would be interesting to know what the statistics say although I don't think they keep accurate records of occurrences such as breakdowns and injuries sustained while in training and in races. What do the horsemen say about the Spa main track and Oklahoma? I just think polytrack at the Spa is an unecessary change, it's change for change's sake, and the Spa is the last track in America where loyal, traditional racing fans want to see an artifical surface! Spend the money to have the absolute best and safest dirt track in America and preserve the irreplaceable Spa tradition. Polytrack to me would seriously taint the historic authenticity of the Spa. What saith LATG readers? /S/ Green Mtn Punter

Anonymous said...

My latest bold but probably accurate predictions on the Franchise front

1. Do not be surprised to see artificial surface mandated in NY a la CAL.

Simple to make it mandatory to any new franchise holder.

2. WHEN the Big A is closed, you will see one of Belmonts turf course converted to an all weather surface, even if not mandated.

Mr. Ed