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Sunday, February 03, 2008

Sunday Morning Notes - Feb 3

- His day of reckoning has been twice delayed by temporary extensions. But one of these days, quite possibly on February 13, Senator Bruno is going to be - or not be - the man responsible for stopping racing at the NYRA tracks. I believe that to be a fact - regardless of what your position is regarding the merit of awarding NYRA a 30-year franchise in exchange for it giving up the land, the fact is that the Senator is the lone opposition to the plan.

In his response to the criticism from Charles Wait, Bruno predicted a settlement within two weeks, and where have we heard that before? He said:

“We’ve made clear that the old racing model does not work and that significant changes are necessary to make racing even better for horsemen, for communities that host the tracks, for employees of the racing industry and for fans....That has been our consistent focus and it is a goal we will soon achieve.” [DRF]
Well, I think we can all agree 100% with what the Senate Majority Leader said here! Unfortunately, discussion of matters that would get right to the heart of it - overhauling the OTB's, banning steroids and cracking down on cheaters, physical improvement to the tracks - are not the ones that we're told are the points of contention.

And on we go. Sunday's card at Aqueduct is the kind that won't make many of us miss the racing if it does go. In the first, Legends Way (6-1) stretches back out for Contessa. Two back, against better, he was caught wide both turns, and finished with interest after being steadied in the stretch. Ready Enough (3-1) would be an obvious choice on the dropdown if his last race wasn't so horrible despite a slight stumble at the start.

In the second, Military Major (8-1) closed extremely well for third after having to alter course late, and did so against the grain in a race with a very slow pace. He moves up in class off the claim for sharp trainer Enrique Arroyo (20%), but can handle this level if he runs back to some prior form.

In the sixth, Let Her Be (12-1) ran into a buzzsaw at Finger Lakes in Sweet Lorena - you should see the running lines on this NY-bred - and returns off a freshening to the claiming level at which she wired the field off a similar layoff at the Meadowlands two back. That Big M race was a super-duper key race, producing four winners, a second and a third. There are a couple inside of her whom she may have to deal with early, but I think she should certainly outrun those odds. Suggestion Lisa (7-2) takes what looks to me like an honest class drop for Dominic Galluscio, and stands to benefit from any speed duel which should develop.

In the featured Glory In Motion for three-year old fillies, Pletcher has an imposing looking favorite in La Porta (Distorted Humor) (2-1), who fell a neck short in the Busanda in her first try against winners. But there's an interesting shipper in Veiled Reference (Louis Quartorze) (4-1), for trainer Tim Woolley. She comes off a close second against West Virginia-breds in a restricted stake; and prior to that a maiden win over males. Both came at sprint distances, but around two turns at Charles Town. That last race has produced three winners, all in open allowance company, thus far. She presumably steps way up in class, but the 81 Beyer in her last is the best dirt figure in the race. [UPDATE: Both of these horses have been scratched!! Oh man, what a feature this is..] Good luck everyone, and have a great day.


Anonymous said...

You forgot Lower Takeout.

Anonymous said...

One of the major reasons there has no resolution of the franchise is that Governor Spitzer unilaterally negotiated an agreement with NYRA, choosing not to involve the State Senate until releasing the Memorandum of Understanding. That was his prerogative, but no one should be surprised that the Senate refused to sign on the dotted line.

Perhaps the MOU would have been well received had it accomplished anything. It reduced the horsemen and breeders revenue share. It failed to make substantive change to the model of racing that Steven Duncker and Charlie Hayward repeatedly have stated was broken, it doesn’t resolve the video lottery gaming at Aqueduct (still waiting for that decision, aren’t we?), it doesn’t require NYRA to undertake any substantive capital improvement, it extends the length of franchise beyond that of the original 1955 franchise, it totally ignores the dreadful off-track betting system, there no requirement for increased transparency, and we get a grandfathered no-bid contract as an ‘integrity counsel’ to Getnick and Getnick.

The amazing thing is that it took nine months for Spitzer to come up with this dog.

Charles Wait confuses ‘compromise’ with ‘capitulation.’

Sean said...

Sorry to scratch Veiled Reference today. Post was tough and few in from Busanda made spot a bit saltier than we had hoped for. I wasn't keen to give up seasoning edge to so many, but hope with one or two more under her belt we can get up in these parts soon enough. With any luck, her being a WV-bred and all, maybe we can cash a ticket...

Anonymous said...

2nd anon commenter is quite insightful. Spitzer, as is his arrogant wont, has this annoying habit of presenting a proposal- the MOU- as a fait accompli rather than something to be discussed with, and perhaps amended by, the Senate. And, yes, also agree that the MOU failed to address the broken NY racing model, so, when are the really key business issues addressed? Or, are we just supposed to be eternally thankful the Triumverate kept us in business (for now) and not press too hard for the sensible reform which they apparently can't deliver? /S/Green Mtn Punter

the chalk said...


Hopefully you played Let Her Be. I was pissed you mentioned it here! Joking. But MNL at 12-1 would have made the score much nicer.

You remember what I told you about Greg Matties, don't you? :)