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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Belmont Zone

- Three winners in a row for trainer Paulino O. Ortiz with Unique Citizen ($15.60) taking the first on Wednesday. I left the office for OTB with four minutes to post, and I think that Queenofalldiamonds was around 5-2 at that point. By the time I got to the parlor across the street (after the race; great elevators in this building), she was the 7-5 choice. Well intended, but Unique Citizen won easily.

The first timer from Robert Ribaudo was dead on the board at 35-1 and ran 5th; but the barn's Bribon absolutely romped in the 6th. He was going effortlessly as he drew away on the turn, and went on to win by ten; not sure what those late smacks of the whip by jockey Sabastian Morales were all about. This horse seems to really love Belmont; check out those figs, and I imagine he'll get a good one for this race (and whatever he does get, the race was really better). Favored No Reply was awful at 7-5; McLaughlin has been quiet of late. He's 0 for his last 23 here going back to his last winner, Golden Artemis on June 5. That was two days before the Belmont. It seems like ages since that day, and almost nothing good has happened since in our little world.

In the 4th, Ouchy Night (Cactus Ridge) was 10-1 morning line making her debut for trainer Tom Bush. She went off at 7-2 and won by four. It's a great game, ain't it? I find it reassuring to see that kind of stuff in these troubled times; it gives me belief that the racing universe is still basically in order.

- Saw a TV ad for the Empire City Racino at Yonkers Raceway. A man encounters a VLT upon his arrival in Manhattan; is startled by another in the mirror as he's getting a haircut; sees several more on the street, and then in increasing numbers until they start to stretch as far as the eye can see like at the end of Field of Dreams. OK, not quite that far, which would certainly extend straight from downtown to Yonkers. But we're told nonetheless that there are 5,300 machines right here at home. OK, not quite right here, but pretty darn close. The Jackpot Next Door is the slogan. Might have been clever and appropriate to have had a few machines come rolling down the street in a sulky but I guess they didn't think of that.

The ad reminded me of that Twilight Zone episode when that nice couple wins a trip to Las Vegas, and the guy, who didn't want to come, gets hooked to the slots; in fact to a particular machine that he knows just has going to pay off some time. "Franklin....Franklin," it drones as it appears in his hotel room and makes him fall out of the window.

Mr. Franklin Gibbs, visitor to Las Vegas, who lost his money, his reason, and finally his life to an inanimate metal machine variously described as a one-armed bandit, a slot machine or, in Mr. Franklin Gibbs's words, a monster with a will all its own. For our purposes we'll stick with the latter definition because we're in the Twilight Zone.
Seems almost like the episode serves as a metaphor for today's situation, with the states and tracks alike addicted to slots revenue. I know Rod Serling was a genius....but he couldn't have foreseen this, could he?

Or could he?


SaratogaSpa said...

Liked the maiden race with Ouchy Night as well as the payouts for 1st and 2nd. Love to see these races where no one knows who will win and it is everyone on an even plane trying to predict how 1st time runners and other 2 yr olds will finish. Too me , in these races, my guess is as good as the best handicapper in the world. None of the "best" handicappers had Ouchy Night winning.

Anonymous said...

PaulieWalnuts says

RE: not sure what those late smacks of the whip by jockey Sabastian Morales were all about.

Thats all u do is criticize jocks. Why don't u put a call into Sabastian and ask him why he smacked his horse late with the whip before u crucify him. Maybe in your next life u can become a jock and be able to answer yourself why jocks do this and do that. Your pathetic already with your jockey attacks. Oh yeah and don't forget Prado gave Rap Tale a butcher ride didn't he.Did u ask him what happened or u jumped to your own conclusions as always. How about Kent D u want to hang him like they did to Sadaam. Get on yo hoss and ridem yo self Alan with no whip, just use a feather in yo hand.

Anonymous said...

"PaulieWanuts says

...Thats all u do is criticize jocks"

Umm... all you do is criticize Alan. Maybe in your next life you can come back as a blogger and put out the point view you would like to see.

Anonymous said...

The fate of too many horses: the bleed tank.

Get the Facts about Horse Slaughter

What types of horses are being slaughtered? Aren't these old, sick horses?

According to 2001 field studies conducted by Temple Grandin, 70% of all horses at the slaughter plant were in good, fat, or obese condition; 72% were considered to be "sound" of limb; 84% were of average age; and 96% had no behavioral issues. Slaughter plants do not want old, sick horses for obvious reasons.

How many horses are slaughtered each year?

Prior to the closure of all three foreign-owned plans in the U.S., over 100,000 horses were being slaughtered in the United States and processed for human consumption. Now, tens of thousands of live horses are transported across the border to Mexico and Canada for slaughter. After these horses are killed, their flesh is shipped to Europe and Asia for human consumption. Their owners are often unaware of the pain, fear, and suffering their horses endure before being slaughtered.

What kinds of horses are auctioned at these sales?

Thousands of horses are auctioned each year, including healthy pleasure horses and ponies, racehorses who didn't make it at the track, draft horses, donkeys, mules, and others.

Horses are still being crowded into trucks, enduring hours without food, water and rest, and driven to Mexico and Canada for slaughter. The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 503/S. 311), introduced in the U.S. House by Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), John Spratt (D-SC), Ed Whitfield (R-KY), and Nick Rahall (D-WV), and in the U.S. Senate by Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and John Ensign (R-NV), closes this loophole and prevents the exportation of American horses to slaughter plants in foreign countries. It also ensures that horse slaughter is permanently banned in the United States. People need to take action and stop this brutality

Watch Our Undercover Footage of U.S. Horses Exported to Mexico for Slaughter -- Then Take Action

Watch Our Undercover Footage of U.S. Horses Exported to Mexico for Slaughter -- Then Take Action

Sites of Interest:

Watch Our Undercover Footage of U.S. Horses Exported to Mexico for Slaughter -- Then Take Action

End Horse Slaughter Permanently

Grisly End for American Horses

Supreme Court of the United States Declines to Hear Appeal on Illinois Horse Slaughter Ban

Horse Slaughter Facts

Anonymous said...

I made my maiden voyage to "Empire City" about a month ago. They have done a nice job. The slot parlor is very nice if that is your thing. There are a few options for horseplayers. I was there during the day so it was NYRA and other simulcasts. You can watch and bet outside from the apron as the standardbreds jog by. Upstairs there is a simulcast room with open seating and another room with individual desks and tv's. Not bad really especially when you compare it to what Yonkers Raceway used to be in its later years. They have a buffet which looked like cafeteria food, I passed. Admission and parking are free.

Anonymous said...

Alan said...

"It seems like ages since that (Belmont Stakes)day, and almost nothing good has happened since in our little world."

You are the master of understatement. Big (but last) Brown, drug suspensions for Dutrow and Asmussen, Jeremy Rose, and still no Aqueduct VLT decision.

And I, too, saw and questioned what the hell Morales was doing hitting the horse after the race was clearly over. If it was my horse, I would have taken the whip from him and hit him with it after the race.

Anonymous said...

PaulieWalnuts says

hey brian at the next NYRA meeting for stewards I will recommend you for any openings in the future. Then you can bring the jocks into your private room and grill them yourself. You can even bring Alan along to sit on your lap and ask the questions. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Ouchy Night, you may notice that in Race 3 today, Thomas Bush has another 2yo firster named Fiddlers Afleet who appears to have bee working in company with Ouchy Night all the way back to May 14.