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Friday, May 16, 2008

Sloppy and Sealed

- The track is sloppy and the turf races are off at Pimlico today. It's supposed to be sunny tomorrow morning, and I'd guess that the track will be fast....certainly it should be for the Preakness. I'm listening out for any comments about the track by Jerry Bailey on ESPN. You may recall that he nailed it two Fridays ago, when he emphasized that the track would be very hard due to all the sealing taking place.

Like NBC, ESPN will have a "roundtable" discussion tomorrow; they're calling it a "frank discussion." They also said that Jerry Bailey will have some interesting things to say about use of the whip tomorrow, and I have no doubt that those remarks will be pretty fascinating. The roundtable participants will be Veterinarian Dr. Scott Palmer, NTRA President Alex Waldrop, Larry Jones, and Randy Moss. In an excerpt, Jones was asked if Eight Belles would still be with us if the track was synthetic. And though he pointed out that she stumbled and could have done so on either surface, he admitted that his experience is that horses are less likely to stumble on the synthetics while pulling up.

Bailey earlier said that all of the jockeys from the Preakness, "except Tyler Baze" will be contributing $7500 towards equine research. Sounds like Baze must have once tried to put Bailey over the railing.

They showed a replay of Big Brown's debut, his runaway on the grass at Saratoga in September. I went back into the archives, and this is what I wrote at the time:

If it looked like that 14-1 first-timer Big Brown was motoring down the stretch at Saratoga yesterday, that's because he was. After getting to the 3/4's in 1:11.84, he got the subsequent quarter in - get this - 22.62 seconds, and the final sixteenth, when Jeremy Rose finally stopped whipping him - in 5.87. As I mentioned yesterday, he has some interesting inbreeding for turf, and we'll certainly be interested in following him down the road.
(Funny, just as I'm writing this, Rose just got caught on MJ's Enchanteur by Termsofengagement in the Woodlawn.) I certainly wasn't thinking about him in terms of the Derby. I guess we'll never see him on the grass again, something they could have explored if he was a gelding and returned to race next year. The Arc could be fun, but I'm sure they won't do anything out of the ordinary with him. Do you think he'll race more than twice after the Belmont?


Harl said...

Travers and BC Classic and that's it for BIG BROWN.

I am thinking about a trip to Elmont for the Belmont. Any advice on accomodations or must-dos while spending a couple of days outside of NYC?

Anonymous said...

Jerry's remark about the jocks riding tomorrow kicking in money "except Tyler Baze" caught my ear too. It doesn't look good to be cheap on that subject ;>

Nice to see that the ESPN on-air crew were in support of having a fillies series, but did the Triple Tiara cease? I know folks want to tinker with what races compose that but the Acorn is still held, Coaching Club and Mother Goose too - or am I mistaken? The $2M bonus ceased in 2005 for the Tiara but so too did the $5M for the Derby-Preakness-Belmont.

harl, if Big Brown wins the TC he'll pull a Smarty Jones and walk away from racing the next day. I doubt he'll still be running (on the synthetic track no less) at Santa Anita for the BCC

Superfecta said...

I always stay in my old neighborhood in Brooklyn - sure, the LIRR is more crowded picking it up at Atlantic Ave on the way to Belmont, but at least you get off early on the way back from the track. I'm probably going to do it this way again so that I can eat at Sheep Station.

El Angelo said...

if youre staying on LI, the bohemian beer garden is a must.

Anonymous said...

Good writeup by Bill Nack at SI on breeding issues:

Anonymous said...

Garden City Hotel near Belmont is the only place to be- if you can wangle a reservation. I am already rooting against Big Brown because of all of the talk about retirement after a few more races; I really hate being an unwitting tool/fool of the Dubai oil sheihks and their allies in the Blue Grass. Will we ever again see real Triple Crown race horses a la Affirmed vs Alydar? I see Dutrow already being trashed in the press to the point where a Big Brown Triple Crown would be bittersweet at best and then an asterisk candidate. These one hit wonder phonies are just pissing many long time fans off. Be realistic, demand the impossible! /S/Green Mtn Punter