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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wednesday Morning Notes

- A reader wrote in and cited Wednesday's card as an example of how the quality of racing in NY ain't what it used to be. And while the point is well-taken, I'm thinking that this card is actually pretty good in comparison to some of the stuff we've seen around here lately. And just wait until the 3rd or 4th week of Saratoga, you'll be dreaming about programs like this one, featuring full fields if little else. But that's a subject for another post.

Big Pick Six carryover today, and good luck figuring out whether the crazy storms that zipped just south of me here in Northern Queens drenched the grass courses at Belmont Park [UPDATE: Fast and Firm]; four of the six races in the sequence are scheduled for the turf. Also, if you're looking at the Pick 6 opener and thought Reyana's Jet looked very tough, she's also very ineligible for the race and will be scratched.

In the sixth, scheduled for the grass, Sumphin makes his first start off the claim for trainer David Jacobson. This barn has a record of 46-10-11-8 off claims this year on the NY circuit. Sumphin is coming off a win against restricted claimers in which he defeated Sly, who was also claimed out of the race and won his first start, for Bruce Brown, with a Beyer of 95. Two races back, Sumphin was defeated narrowly by Romp, also in this field (also trained by Brown). Romp is part-owned by my buddy Bob's Kasey K Racing Stable, though I'm not in on this particular one. The horse slipped and fell at Monmouth in his last race. You may have read the complaints about the turf course there being too short and therefore slick; and Romp is Exhibit A. The horse is fine though, and should be a contender here if his head is still on straight.

Best of luck everyone and have a great day.


Wind Gatherer said...

How does that work with Renyata Jet? If she is ineligible, how does she get on the program?

Alan Mann said...

Winston - I do see this happen occasionally. In this case, I'm guessing that it has to do with the fact that the entries for today were taken early due to the Belmont and the lack of racing on Sunday. She was eligible at that time; but since she won on Friday, that's no longer the case. The only way she could have run here is if she was entered for the optional claiming tag. She's run - and won - on five days rest before, so I have little doubt she would have run had she not won on Friday.

Anonymous said...

From Sunny Jim in New Jersey

That guy criticizing today's Belmont card must not have played too many Wednesday Aqueduct cards over the winter months.

And for years Monmouth Park has failed to present cards that will entice two-dollar bettors. I have more than once bitched at management that Monmouth is a nice place to visit but a lousy place to bet. The fields are too small and there are only three Pick 3's on the whole card. Off-the-turf days are pitiful - there was one day last week in which 6 of the 9 races had 6 horses or less, including one with three and another with four.

And if he really wants to see bad cards, let him bet the night simulcasting tracks with their racino inflated purses handed out to so many poor-win-percentage horses running at Penn National, Mountaineer and Charlestown.


Anonymous said...

Looking ahead to Saturday I see that the Curlin connections have somewhat stopped their crying and will suck it up for the Stephen Foster. Finally they appear to be ready to walk the walk instead of just talk the big game of wanting an American racing hero.

B*tching in public and to the media about 128-lbs as a handicap in a $1M Grade 1 race is downright insulting. He’s the number one ranked horse in the world and Steve sat on the fence and said 126-lbs was a more suitable assignment. Are these guys for real?

Forget about going far back into the archives for a Kelso, Dr. Fager, Exterminator, et al. Spectacular Bid twice set Track Records while carrying 130 pounds. Yet people rally around Curlin like he's the May Poll or Messiah for reflecting 'the way racing should be'. Yet this is the backroom reality of expecting deals to be cut.

Curlin - if he does race in the Arc - will have to tote 131-lbs in a maiden turf start. If they get cold sweats with just 128-lbs on dirt they'd better pack up shop.

El Angelo said...

On Curlin I respectfully disagree. Weight differentials don't belong in Grade 1 races.

I agree with Alan & the earlier commenter that Wednesday's card is pitiful, but I'm not sure what can be done to improve it. It appears that NYRA & the racing secretary are under marching orders to card a third or more of the cards for NY breds, which are full fields but terrible horses. Beyond that though, you can only card for the horses that are available, and if there aren't sufficient horses to fill allowance races, they're sorta stuck. One would think this might improve with a purse hike from the slots....ah, never mind.

Anonymous said...

And you don't think that Carl Hanford and Johnny Nerud didn't moan about the crushing weights put on their tigers? By the way, those two won more than once at 135 + giving away lots of weight to their rivals. Of course, it's just part of the pre-race ritual, sort of like bitching about the refereeing when you're down in the the NBA finals. Maybe Asmussen is the Obama of horse racing, or Obama is the Asmussen of presidential politics? I, for one, am thrilled to hear trainers complaining about high weight in a handicap race, that's the way it's s'pposed to be, that's why they're called handicap races, right?
/S/Green Mtn Punter

Alan Mann said...

Hey Green Mtn - It's like the old days, eh? Frank Whiteley bitching about 135 pounds on Forego. That stuff used to be back page news in the NY Post around here. I agree that it's nice to read for a change.

Anonymous said...

I thought yesterdays card was a fun, exciting handicapping challenge.

If you are seeking 5 horse fields with 1-5 shots, god bless, but racing ultimately is about wagering, and the P6 without a single maiden event was a blast.

This was Wednesday, not Saturday, after all.

What were the Wednesday cards at Belmont like in the glory days?

I doubt they were any better than yesterdays.

Anonymous said...

You know what Glimmerglass, this is the 21st century and horseracing is a different game. I think it was a compliment to Curlins competition that Asmussen is hesitant to run him at 128 against them. Curlin is still running races which allows you to keep running your mouth.

Anonymous said...

Romp belongs with your friends cheap horses in philadelphia.