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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Morning Notes

Big crowd of over 17,000 at Monmouth, and the combined handle from all sources was $9,357,444 [DRF]; a bit below the $10 million that Steve Crist figures it needs to do on a daily basis to support, on its own, the $1 million dollar a day purse structure ("only" $812,000 on Saturday, so there must be some really big days to come). Seems to me that this purse level is just an arbitrary and, in some cases, unnatural number; and if "success" or "failure" of the meet is based solely on it being "self-sustaining," as Governor Christie (who made an appearance, as I'm so sure Governor Paterson will be doing on Belmont Stakes day, perhaps with a check for NYRA in hand) would like it to be, then they may have set the bar too high. You can't have $30,000 purses for $5,000 claimers; if those horses can win $18,000....I stand corrected, hmmmm, not sure exactly what the winner's share is, but....still a lot! in a single race, then they're really worth far more than their tags. Those numbers don't make sense from a free market standpoint; Tea Partiers would be confounded if they were smart enough to understand horse racing. And New Jersey-breds are New Jersey-breds no matter how much the purse might be. Watching them running for $80,000 is like watching the Flyers and Canadians playing for a spot in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Less than half of the Monmouth crowd, 6,403, at Belmont for a card which was a pretty good one from a betting standpoint in its own right. I did bet one Monmouth race - the Decathlon Stakes run as the 5th - but otherwise passed on this particular day for reasons discussed in the prior post. Seemed kinda odd to see NYRA prominently hyping those races on its website and throughout the day on its simulcast feed considering the way Monmouth has been portrayed as such an existential threat! But again, NYRA collects its full on-track share for those bets (whether placed on-track or through its wagering platform), so it stands to gain from the excitement as well, especially with NYC OTB shut out. Didn't seem to be all that much more interest than usual though, at least based on the volume level of the crowd during those races.

There was a buzz over the (live) performance of Afleet Express with his dominant win, in 1:21.72, in the third, for trainer Jimmy Jerkens. This is a three-year old son of Afleet Alex (who seemed to like Belmont pretty much himself), out of a Distant View mare...and he's a half brother to the Illinois Derby winner Reporting for Duty. The dam is a half to the graded stakes winner Eye of the Tiger, and this is the distaff family of another Illinois Derby winner in Sweetnorthernsaint, as well as the G1 winner Snow Ridge. Afleet Express earned a gaudy Beyer of 115. Monmouth next?


Tinky said...

Don't forget, the handle yesterday, and for the foreseeable future, was/will be WITHOUT any wagering from NYOTB.

Anonymous said...

The winners share is less than 60% and every horse that stepped on track at Monmouth got at least $1500. Nice way to run a horse into shape.
I would think in today's 1st(5k clm) 1,2,8 and 11 would be potential claims. Build your stable for a Finger Lakes campaign.

bob s said...

Yes, no NYCOTB, but it was also opening day with all the hoopla. Let's see how they do on the second day with two less races?

Anonymous said...

Let's Go Fly-ers!!!

Anonymous said...

Once again, you tripped over your left-wing agenda and fell flat on your face when you questioned the intelligence of tea-partiers, when your Democrats are the ones who control Albany and are destroying New York.

Jim O'Sullivan said...

"Tea Partiers would be confounded if they were smart enough to understand horse racing.

I've said it before, I'll say it again. This is a great blog. Too good for a New York racing fan to miss. But the gratuitous insults to people of my political point of view are a continous annoyance.

ljk said...

What was Saturday's total handle at BEL? Can't find it on Brisnet.

Oh, and I agree with Jim O'Sullivan. Things are sure going smoothly in Democrat dominated, highly unionized, and heavily taxed New York.

alan said...

>>Things are sure going smoothly in Democrat dominated, highly unionized, and heavily taxed New York.

And I've been consistently and appropriately critical of those Democrats, particularly those in the Senate who screwed up the last round of racino bidding. Just shows that I'm really fair and balanced. :)

Anonymous said...

Had the same question about Belmont handle, the charts seem to indicate about 11M, but not sure how to read the totals.

Figless said...

In the interest of fairness, wanted to point out a bad job by NY Horsmen.

NY Breeders are always complaining about purse reductions etc, and most of the complaints are legit.

But Sunday NYRA scheduled two 100k Stakes races for Progeny of NY Stallions going 7f on the turf, segregated by sex.

A logical person would expect the breeders to be jumping at the chance to run and these races to be fully subscribed, yet only 5 entered for each event forcing the merging and rescheduling of these events on Wednesday.

This is why there were no Stakes on Sundays card.

Bad job by horsemen. You have to support these races when written or they will not be written next year and you lose the right to complain.

Horsemen today are way too picky when deciding when and where to run their horses, some trainers are more concerned with their winning percentages than the game.

steve in nc said...

Jim O:

Clearly you're no ninny. But to lots of us, the Tea Party's analysis seesm a tad unsophisticated. It warns that our nation won't survive health care reform, ignoring the fact that all the other democracies haven't crumbled because of big govt health care.

The Tea Party also seems ignorant of the fact that the Obama administration has cut the taxes of low/moderate income people.

I heard a radio journalist confront a tea party leader on tax day with the fact that moderate income people had gotten a tax cut. She said she didn't believe it (wasn't reported on Fox?). I don't think she was being cagey. I don't think she's very smart.

Tea Partiers here call themselves Tea Party Patriots. Clear implication that people who disagree with the Tea Party are not patriots. And then Tea Party golden boy Rand Paul calls Obama unamerican for criticizing BP: ""I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business." I guess this is moderate compared to all the Tea Party's signs equating Obama with Hitler.

So if you don't like insults, I hope you're also complaining to the Tea Party. Alan was being gentle, no?

I disagree with Obama about lots of stuff and agree with Rand Paul about the war in Afghanistan. But it is obvious to anyone not blinded by hate or fear that Obama cares deeply about America. I for one believe that many Tea Partiers are blinded by fear and hate, and can't see that Rush & Beck are and the corporate contributors to the right wing are gaming them and laughing all the way to the bank. ions gaming them.

Anonymous said...

Tea Party is a fancy way of saying No Nothing. This is just another version of nativism, racism and stupidity that we've seen time and again in US history.

ljk said...

Belmont handle was $11.9M all sources on Saturday and $7.8M Sunday. Both days exceeded Monmouth handle.

Tea Party, a tad unsophisticated and not very elite.

steve in nc said...


Tea party followers, not elite. They'r being used. As for the media mouthpieces, thinktanks funding them, and political campaigns, no, not elite in terms of brains, but in terms of $$, power and influence, well go follow the money flow.

Wall St was very happy with tea party opposition to financial reform. Rush is doing corporate diry-work opposing 'Net neutrality. There's big money from the cable companies attacking Net Neutrality as a gov't takeover and you can bet the tea party pols will run with it.

The financial and oil industries are now abandoning the practice of lavishing most $$ on the party in power and sending more to the GOP. You think Rand Paul is going to turn that down? Tea Party Palin will scoop it up you betcha. You really think they give a damn about the little guy?

ballyfager said...

I ignore the political and social commentary on this blog but it's really getting out of hand.

When feeling the urge to make such a comment please remember, as horseplayers, we are all wrong frequently.

I will now violate my own suggestion.

@Steve in NC - "it is obvious...that Obama cares deeply about America"? There are an awful lot of people to whom that contention is not obvious at all.

Furthermore, the tenor of your remarks indicate that you see yourself as the soul of reasonableness and representative of mainstream thought. Therefore, anyone who disagrees with you must be a bigot or a bombthrower.

As the song says, it ain't necessarily so.

Alan Mann said...

>>This is just another version of nativism, racism and stupidity that we've seen time and again in US history.

Well put, though I might have added "paranoia" to the list.

>>@Steve in NC - "it is obvious...that Obama cares deeply about America"? There are an awful lot of people to whom that contention is not obvious at all.

bally, you are probably, and quite sadly, correct about that. Which, in my opinion, makes it so obvious that racism is behind so much of the rage that we're seeing. Oh yeah, and stupidity too.

Anonymous said...

Steve - how is that socialism working in Greece? The rest of Europe is not far behind. You are delusional if you think you can make everything "free."

ballyfager said...

So Alan, Obama gets a four year base on balls because if you disagree with him, you're a racist?

alan said...

No bally. I think there's a big difference in disagreeing with him, and questioning his commitment to the country....not to metion whether he's really an American citizen, if he's a Muslim, etc., As much as many of us disagreed with Bush, I don't recall his critics questioning his patriotism. Do you think we'd be seeing the kind of ferocity and rage we see now if John Kerry or Hilary Clinton had passed healthcare?

ballyfager said...

Alan, I don't differentiate between black and white politicians. They are all (sweeping generalization coming up) self-seeking, self-serving parasites.

I'm still somewhat grateful to Obama because he's the only thing that kept Hillary Clinton out of the White House. IMO nothing could have been worse than that.

But, there are a lot of people in this country who are not racists, or birthers, or teapartyers who are starting to look askance at Obama.

He's looking more and more like a community activist who's in way over his head.

Alan Mann said...

OK bally, that's a perfectly fair and rational criticism. Believe me, I've had my own askance looks at the guy. But fair and rational is not what we hear from the fringe elements, and those are the people I have a problem with.

Anonymous said...

There was pleny of opposition to Hillary Care, so much so it was DOA.

Were all those folks racist?