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Friday, October 24, 2008

Filly Friday Live Blog

3:47 PM - Walked in just before the F&M Sprint, and here's my very first complaint of the day. Why would a race which, beforehand anyway, looked competitive and had some fillies with some relative name recognition, go off a mere 7 minutes after coming on the air? To spend more time on the Juvie Filly Turf? Maybe I shouldn't be doing this after all. I'm probably just going to go negative.

3:53 PM - Which Highness is this Juddmonte guy?

3:54 PM - Looks like they've relegated Hank Goldberg to stand up comedy. Oh, I guess not. "Listen to Hank, and send it in," says the, er, know, the smug ESPN guy who thinks he's really funny.... Well, that is really funny.

3:59 PM - ESPN1 has NFL Live on from 4 - 4:30.

4:01 - Kenny Mayne, that's right. Meanwhile, it sounded from his description that Jeremy Plonk might be using that cool live blog program that the USTA used for the Little Brown Jug. But it's just the same basic crap as I used there last time. There I was, in the pressbox, sitting at a table with Davidowitz....and Plonk pressbox food and drink, a dedicated seating section reserved right on the finish line. And now here I am a year later sitting in my basement. Life can be very cruel.

4:05 - I'll admit here that I didn't really even look at the Juvie Fillies Turf (JFT) until on the subway home just before. So it's like I handicapped like a regular race. And I have to say that I can't imagine how those who spent hours poring over these horses could possibly have any more of an idea than I have. This is a guess, pure and simple.

4:09 PM - Gary Player provides some product placement for Sentinent. Grass is very important in his life. I have no idea what that was all about.

4:10 PM - Oh yeah, Ventura won the F&M Sprint if you missed it. Got hammered down to 5-2 for Frankel. I've been hearing "Frankel loves his horse" a lot lately, but this one backed him up. Plonk called it one of the most visually impressive performances I've ever seen. Looked more to me like a race in which most of the horses just didn't run very well.

4:14 PM - Randy Moss and Jerry Bailey both like April Pride at 27-1. Here's Hank, and he has this Pacheco chick helping him out here. Who is she? Hank goes for favored Laragh, what else is new? I mean, what's the point of having your TV handicapper pick a horse like this in a race like this?

4:18 PM - Great finish. I thought it was Heart Shaped, but Denman called Maram. Where's Jeannine?

4:20 PM - Bailey called Heart Shaped too, but Denman knows best.

4:22 PM - Chad Brown, and what a debut year this guy is having.

4:23 PM - Maram ran for a 75K in her debut, and remember what Chad Brown said after her Miss Grillo win: "I ran her in a maiden claiming race at Saratoga because she's got a marginal pedigree and I thought I could get away with it." I can't imagine he had any clue he could have a Breeders' Cup winner (albeit in a minor event) when he took that shot.

4:27 PM - Hmmm, don't know about this BC live Plonk blog, it doesn't seem very live. Hey, I could have sworn that it said before the race that's Donald Harris liked the looks of Beyond Our Reach, who was out of the money!! And now it's gone! Oh man!! What is up with that???

4:33 PM - This guy Harris liked Tiz Elemental in the first, and she was out of the money too. I can't believe that. Somebody should tell him that at least one person is actually watching.

4:35 PM - Now Plonk says he had Maram at 11-1. Why the fuck should I believe that? Oh man, his credibility is out the door. Is Paulick live blogging this thing?

4:36 PM - Caton Bredar says that track is 145 degrees.

4:39 PM - Paulick and reader RG say there's no one there, which I would have noticed if I was paying attention.

4:42 PM - Donald Harris checks in to marvel at the raw physicality of east coast raider Sky Diva. Mark that down.

4:47 PM - Bailey asks Dominguez if Sky Diva is a little nervous, and he said yes. So maybe Donald Harris' comment isn't there anymore.

4:50 PM - AGAIN, they catch Moss talking off mic! "I kinda like her!" Is he talking about Jessica Pacheco?

4:57 PM - Denman said that Sky Diva looked great on the track. Plonk said she wasn't handling the surroundings. Huh?

4:59 PM - I have no idea where they are on the track with these camera angles.

4:59 PM - I think Smith moved a bit early with Stardom Bound, but she was much the best. Tessitore falling out of the booth.

5:00 PM - Actually, I don't really know exactly when in the race Smith moved, so I should take back that remark. Zenyatta Jr. indeed!

5:01 PM - I don't think that Jeannine Edwards was outfitted by Sarah Palin's shoppers.

5:03 PM - Nice second for Dream Empress, who'd run well on turf and Keeneland Poly before this. So it was a turf/synth horse exacta, with the turf horse Ventura taking the F&M Sprint.

5:08 PM - ESPN1 has Around the Horn. Sportswriters from around the country discuss sports issues.. It's the Bill Nack essay. That was it? More like multiple choice.

5:12 PM - Tessitore trying to justify the Filly Friday thing It's a celebration of women in the sport. Feature on Carla Gaines and Helen Pitts. No offense girls, but a good time to hit the bathroom.

5:14 PM - Belmont is stretching out their post times so that their races fall roughly in between the Breeders' Cup races. You see, it's not so hard if you try.

5:15 PM - Oh man. Dutrow says that he couldn't learn anything from a woman trainer. Is he on steroids or something?

5:17 PM - Tessitore on Dutrow: "What was he possibly thinking to say something like that?"

5:21 PM - OK, there could be a pause here, because I actually want to bet on the F&M Turf here. I don't like Wait A While. Just don't have that old time Toddster feeling here. Wait, here's Jeannine talking to Iavarone. He says his life is incomplete. And his suit fits kind of funny.

5:24 PM - Don't like Halfway to Heaven either. I dismissed Folk Opera's EP Taylor on the basis of the slow pace. But 35-1? {oops, was looking at the wrong race on the tote board. Could have just erased it like Plonk, but I have live blog integrity here.

5:27 PM - I like Forever Together, Mauralakana, and Pure Clan.

5:33 PM - Paulick asks Iavarone: Why do you have a bodyguard at the track all the time?

5:35 PM - ESPN1 now has the absolutely unwatchable Pardon the Interruption on now. They couldn't do these races because of this?

5:37 PM - Visit will stay in the US and race for Frankel next year as a four-year old. An odd little tidbit for us to be told about a 17-1 shot as the horses went into the gate. (OK, that's a bit nitpicky I guess.)

5:41 PM - Oh man, Denman got tongue-tied at the wire. "Forgethyer Together.....Forever Together has won a thriller!" I had him in my exacta box but not the others.

5:51 PM - Zenyatta is 1-5, as Tessitore, in full-throated form, compares her quest for perfection to that of Big Brown and the New England Patriots. Maybe Michael Phelps would have been a better choice.

5:56 PM - My buddy Steve in NC tries to talk me off Carriage Trail.

6:01 PM - If Tessitore says "perfection" one more time....

6:02 PM - Moss says that the Race Formerly Known as the Distaff "deserves a day of its own." How about Sunday?

6:06 PM - Bailey's been watching a lot of golf it seems.

6:10 PM - This feature on Zenyatta is talking about how victory is even sweeter when they are "comeback wins." Seems like an odd term. Come from behind maybe, but a comeback win? Am I nitpicking again?

6:16 PM - The "doorstep of perfection for Zenyatta." Oh man..

6:19 PM - "Undoubtedly now, a living legend!" Denman makes up for the last race.

6:23 PM - Zenyatta will race again next year. Great news and also why these comparisons to Personal Ensign's Distaff ring false.


Anonymous said...

Maybe the people will show up later?

steve in nc said...

Alan, you maybe the only one paying close attention to the broadcast. I suspect I'm not the only horseplayer that has it on softly in the background while I concentrate more on handicapping and the on-line toteboard.

My frustration is with the results. Two of my three earlier posted longshots -- Heart Shaped and Sealy Hill -- had really decent shots in midstretch and ran 2nd. Had either won, I'm nicely ahead for the weekend. Had both won, Henry Paulson would have been seeking my assistance. This is my year of seconditis.

Your blog today is a good reminder that I should do my freelance work in between races tomorrow and pay no attention to the broadcast other than the post parades and races themselves. Randy Moss just acted like no one ever heard of giving a horse Guiness. I remember Leo O'Brien being famous for that decades ago, back before he went oh for this decade.

This race, I'll try to capitalize on seconditis -- Bear Now under Zenyatta in the super with Carriage Trail and Ginger Punch off the ticket.

Erin said...

Zenyatta's walk is crazy...

Anonymous said...

I love Curlin,but Zenyatta just showed me a Horse of the Year performance. Ladies rule!

Alan Mann said...

That was a wacky walk, wasn't it? If I saw a claimer walk like that I'd throw it out.

Erin said...

They trotted out all the Guinness jokes during Tapit's TC season as well.

Anonymous said...

Thankfully they all came back well today.

After all the Zenyatta hype, then the shot of her walk, my wife gave me a knowing look and said "she better not get hurt now".

Thankfully, she lived up to the hype, just hope there was actually someone watching other than us hard core fans.

If Curlin loses she is HOY.

Anonymous said...

ESPN caps another lame broadcast by not even showing the pay outs on the Distaff.

C'mon "worldwide leader"...this is fundamentals we're talking about here. The only people watching this stuff at 6PM on a Friday are probably those with some tickets in their pocket.

They wouldn't hesitate to show the point spread on the scroll for an NFL game, but on their HORSE scroll, you'd never know the primary function of those that follow this sport is wagering.

I'd actually take Ken Rudolph over Joe Tessitore at this point...seriously.

El Angelo said...

I'd take Ken Jennings over Tessitore.

Anonymous said...

They have tons of stats when they do any sport other than horse racing, they spend more on production for beach volleyball.

Shame is the one thing they do put money into, extra cameras and angles, is unecessary.

All you need to know about where our favorite sport stands in ESPN's pecking order is that our female "championship" day, broadcast live, was scheduled around a weekly Euro soccer update, a stupid daily studio show that gets no ratings, and a preview for a minor league Nascar race.

As Steve Crist has already posted, handle was WAY down compared to last year's same race stats, the BC folks in charge should be fired, but of course there is no one with the power to fire them.