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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday Morning Notes - June 24

- Back home in Queens after a refreshing break; a make-up honeymoon of sorts for the Head Chef and I. I never wrote about how sick the two of us were during our real honeymoon in March; nor about the canceled flight, nor the first night spent in a Holiday Inn in Atlanta... So this little trip was partial compensation, as we were both healthy, other than the sore and swollen ankle I'm still nursing from my Belmont day injury. It was also basically our summer vacation, as, unfortunately, we won't be making it to Del Mar this summer, and don't have anything more than a long weekend or two planned for Saratoga. Hot town, summer in the city...

Following up from the last post, the only one I could manage from down south, Edgar Prado reported that Rap Tale handled the grass just fine, but that he had nowhere to go, trapped on the inside. She was out of the picture during the late stretch run, but I"m told that she finished well once clear. So she gets another shot on the grass. I got the live call from Bob while wading in the Gulf of Mexico (89 degree water temperature). His initial despair was soon followed by the usual optimism after seeing the replay and speaking with the rider. The comments in the chart take no note of any stretch trouble, so I'll look forward to her next start.

The big news here today is the announcement by Senator Joe Bruno that he will not seek re-election this fall. The Senate Majority Leader cited personal reasons, saying that it is time to move on. However, they'll be plenty of speculation that the continuing FBI investigation into his business dealings, and the apparent writing on the wall regarding his party's chances of retaining power in the Senate come November, were the real reasons for his stepping down. Given Bruno's knowledge of and affection for the racing industry, his departure will no doubt have consequences as we move forward into the "new era" of NYRA's fresh franchise start, the alleged VLT parlor at Aqueduct, and the surprising interest currently being shown in restructuring OTB. We'll be trying to figure out what those consequences will be as we follow the events leading up to November's election, and the new legislative landscape that is now absolutely certain to follow.

But for now, it's back to work. Ugh.


ljk said...

Surely you've seen the Rap Tale replay by now? She definitely had some trouble. has a great replay archive that alone might be worth the effort of signing up.

I'm a little surprised you were able to wade in the Gulf Saturday. I'm just a few miles east and we had lighning, thunder, and 4 inches of rain.

Alan Mann said...

ljk - Yes, I've seen the replay, and she definitely had trouble. The head on angle is better as far as seeing that she did eventually get loose and finish well.

The race was actually on Friday, when the weather was nice. We had quite a bit of rain on Saturday afternoon as well. But other than some drama and wind on Sunday as a huge storm passed north, we fared quite well with the weather there.

Anonymous said...

Alan, I think you are too kind to Edgar Prado.
Rap Tale was perfectly placed for six furlongs with no other horse coming up to challenge.
I thought that one of the hallmarks of turf races is that the horses tend to bunch up at the top of the stretch much more often than in dirt races.
Prado must have known that closers were coming to him on the outside, yet he did not take Rap Tale outside when he had the opportunity to do so. He gambled on a hole opening up. He lost that gamble.
I am only an amateur but a friend who really knows racing saw the race on TV and said that Prado made a very poor decision given that it was aturf race and not a dirt race.
Rap Tale was much better than her jockey on Friday.

Anonymous said...

SL Green Proposal to Revitalize Aqueduct Racetrack Wins Support of Major Labor Unions

Monday June 23, 8:00 am ET

Plan and Bidder Lauded for Record of Working with Labor Unions
Master Plan Includes Hotels, Dining, Retail, Gaming, Memorabilia and Music

Anonymous said...

Rap Tale was stepping up to allowance company after being claimed. Maybe some class relief is in order.

Alan Mann said...

>>Maybe some class relief is in order.

JK - I think she deserves another shot in this allowance class. She wasn't badly beaten, and even without considering any excuses about her trip, it was after all her first effort on the grass. So she might have needed the race. Whatsmore, we have good reason to believe that she'd be claimed even if she was in for as much as 50K; and we don't want to lose her just yet.

Anonymous said...

Joe Bruno is going to be sorely missed by the NY racing community, especially the Saratoga Springs community which has received many benefits as a result of his many years in the State Senate leadership. I've been a Joe Bruno fan for years; he understands NY politics like few others, knows how to craft and pass legislation, and delivers the goods to his constituents, in short, the very definition of an old time political pro and public servant. Hopefully Joe will continue to be associated with NY racing in some capacity during his retirement. /S/Green Mtn Punter

El Angelo said...

GMP, I'm an NYC guy, so I'm going to have to disagree with your take on Bruno. Bruno to me exemplifies everything wrong with politics: he's corrupt, he's crooked, he puts himself above the good of the state, he's antagonistic for no reason, and doles out pork like there's no tomorrow. I will not miss him at all, and while I don't particularly love Dean Skelos either, he has to be an improvement. And I know Bruno's been a god to those in the greater Saratoga area, but I can't see anything he's done in the last 20 years to help racing outside of those 5-6 weeks in Saratoga.

Thankfully, the Republicans will almost certainly be out of power in the Senate after November, and we can hope that new leadership will help the State and racing.

Anonymous said...

El Angelo, surely a Big Apple, savvy guy like you recognizes that ol' Joe is just another example of criminalizing Republican politics and politicians by Democrats in Albany and Washington, it's the only way they can beat this tough old champ. Even in the Bush Justice Dept lurk these embedded career prosecutors, Democrats all.

Are we talking about the same Joe Bruno about whom the NY Post editorializes today "...steps down with the very real affection of New Yorkers- on both sides of the political aisle." That Joe Bruno? This same editorial which goes on to say that NY State could well be left with one party rule come 2009, "With Speaker Silver- the one man, arguably, Albany most needs to be rid of- calling the shots".

Joe Bruno has a long resume of accomplishments in improving the lives of average NY'ers, upstate and down. Joe is a successful entrepreneur who brought his understanding of business and the real world to the unreal world of Albany politics, a leavening influence amongst unreal expectations. If you would examine his entire record with an unbiased approach you, too, could see why his legacy of accomplished leadership is assured.

And just keep in mind that Sheldon and crew see racing as nothing but a means to generate more tax revenue to feed the monster they created. NY racing had no better or more effective advocate than Joe Bruno, a politician who actually breeds horses, loves horses, and loves racing and the people involved in it. Hopefully he will stay actively involved with NY racing in his retirement. Would be great to see Joe start a small stable of NY breds for starters!
/S/Green Mtn Punter