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Friday, July 02, 2010


Charlie Hayward didn't mince words regarding Rachel Alexandra next racing in the Lady's Secret at Monmouth.

"We are puzzled and disappointed that Rachel Alexandra, who performed so well at Saratoga last year, is passing up the Grade 1 Ruffian to run in a non-graded race at Monmouth over the same distance." [Daily Racing Form]
Well, Charlie, I can give you some reasons....around 150,000 of them. That's the difference in the purse money between the Ruffian and the Lady's Secret, whose purse was sweetened, and date was changed in order to appease Her Majesty. Perhaps they'll send a private plane for Jackson and bring in Chris Christie to shine his shoes while they're at it.

Can't blame NYRA for being pissed. Rachel is currently stabled there at the expense of some other owner who can't get stall space, and she spent quite some time there during and after the meeting there last year too. Not that that obligates her to race there, but c'mon, the Ruffian is a Grade 1, it's perfect for her, and so is the stage, no offense to our friends in Jersey. How obvious that the purse is the main consideration? I would think they would be tempted to tell Jackson not to bother bringing her back.....if, that is, the Saratoga meet wasn't (too) long enough to make an appearance at the Woodward a possibility. In that way, NYRA will be playing the appeasing game too.

The matter of tracks offering extra incentive to pry a star such as Rachel away from another track or, in even more jaded terms, owners extracting those incentives as a condition for them going there, is the topic of the day at the TBA homepage (, the best place on the internet to link up with the latest racing news and opinion.

My take is that business is business, and Monmouth is certainly free to do whatever it wants, however bad a precedent it sets by appeasing greedy owners who will go strictly where the money is. The competition is keen in the present era for the very few horses who have any kind of star power, and these tracks are fierce competitors, not cooperators as we know. As far as whether it's a good idea, I wonder if it does pay off. Assuming other purses aren't cut to compensate, it will cost Monmouth an additional $250,000 in purse money. Let's say they'd have to handle an extra $1 million to make that up (of course, there's admissions and concessions too). That seems possible if you figure an extra 10,000 who may show up, not to mention a boost in the online horse betting with the card being featured on TVG. On the other hand though, many of those who show up may not be bettors at all, and a short field with Rachel 1-5 ain't gonna generate much. So we'll have to wait and see.

- In the 4th at Belmont on Friday, Rollofthetundra (12-1) returns to the one-turn mile distance after two unsuccessful tries on grass for trainer David Adel (unfamiliar to me). That last dirt race, in which this three-year old gelded son of Tomorrows Cat rallied quite well for a close second, was a maiden claimer, and a fairly cheap one, so he moves up significantly off that one here. It proved to be a pretty strong race though; not only did the winner, 3rd, and 4th place horses win their next races, but all three have now beaten winners. This is the only horse in the field with any success at this particular route (on a fast track) and he figures to be running well late. Winning Token (6-5) blows these away on the 75 Beyer he earned in a narrow loss in his last (and third place finisher Wise Stop dropped and popped by 7 in his next race), but tries an extra quarter mile here. Raffinator (7-2) ran well in the slop at this distance two back, finishing third behind two next-out winners (albeit on the grass).

In the 5th, Hello Gold (4-1), the one horse stable of trainer Michael D'Amelio, takes a drop in class off three solidly even efforts against better. Five-year old daughter of Gold Fever seems to have found a niche in these grass sprints and this could be a winning spot in a flawed field. Lorraine in Spain (3-1) also drops and ran pretty well at this distance two back; race produced two good seconds and a winner. Been rather disappointing considering her odds of late though. Come From Away (5-2) takes a steep class drop off a long layoff, no thanks, at least at those odds.


Anonymous said...

If I owned the mare, I'd rather win a $250,000 Grade 1 than an ungraded $400,000 race. Plus, an ungraded race simply isn't going to earn any credit towards another Horse of the Year bid.

Anonymous said...

If it's all about the purse, why not run a week earlier in the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap for $750,000?

Anonymous said...

I really hope Crisp stays at 5/2.


Anonymous said...

Heard that NYRA is changing the words on the Saratoga giveaway hat from Rachel Alexandra to Zenyatta :-)

Nihilator said...

Jess Jackson is the sleaziest fuck I know.

Monmouth Park executives sure like to suck the cock, don't they? They probably gave Jackson a common courtesy reacharound while they were at it.

You don't see Zenyatta's connections bilking racetracks for cold hard cash.

Jess Jackson: The old saying still holds true...

"No matter how rich you are, it doesn't buy you "class".

He bilked Monmouth Park out of an extra $250,000 last year in the Haskell. Remember?

Now he wants another $250,000 in the ungraded "Ladies Secret" and he wants the date changed.

Think about those trainers that had already mapped out a plan for their horse in the Ladies Secret and now they find out this fuck has changed the race date.

Doesn't this remind you of another date that he changed (ex: 2010 Apple Blossom when he told Charles Cella that he needed another week and then told him to go pound sand).

This clown is a fuckin sleazeball.

Anonymous said...

It works both ways. Granted, very few are in Rachel's class, I believe Monmouth loses out on the Haskell when Afleet Express goes the Jim Dandy -> Travers route. He won the Pegasus at Monmouth and they were expecting him back for the Haskell but, a little bird told me that he won't be going there. Anyway, the Travers just has too much prestige. How do you pass that up? I happen to believe Afleet Express is the best 3year-old in the country but, he still has to convince others. He's a late bloomer but, we've seen those types before. And of the 3year-olds that we have seen in the Classics, they look just downright too slow. Stay tuned. The show is about to begin shortly.

alan said...

>>If it's all about the purse, why not run a week earlier in the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap for $750,000?

Fair point, but probably because of the distance of a mile and a quarter.

Figless said...

Jess Jackson is an ass.

Business IS business, NYRA should yank her stalls like they would any other horse that ships to MTH and in addition carefully scrutinize any other horses Jackson plans to stable upstate.

Deny stalls to any that are not ready to run at the meet. Like Monmouth so much? Stable your horses there. Well bred two year olds with no worktab? Take'em to the shore.

I would consider including all of the trainers horses in the ban but that would be unfair to his other owners, but I would call him an in and strongly point out that they expect his horses to run here, like they do every other non-super trainer.

The attempt at an Afleet Express comparison is silly.

I happen to agree with the author that this is a serious horse, but no casual fan has heard about him, yet. And I believe he is stabled at NYRA and is running at NYRA as he should which voids any comparison to the subject at hand.

The_Knight_Sky said...

Rachel is already behind in the Graded stakes won race this year.

All that matters is to be at her best on Breeders Cup Day. That is her best shot at a repeat Horse of the Year honors.

If Asmussen/Blasi needs 5 weeks between her races and Monmouth Park allows for that why not do it. At the very least The Lady's Secret stakes will serve well (hopefully) for an objective race at later date at Saratoga.

That's the plan as of now.
The negativity from Spa fans and the Zenyatta fans is completely unwarranted at this time.

El Angelo said...

This happens frequently with "star" horses. The clowns at IEAH made them make up a race for Big Brown. Sonny Hines did it with Skip Away--he even made them change the distance of a race. Jackson's doing nothing different. And why not? He has all the leverage with the rarest commodity in racing: a horse that people actually would want to see. His mare is already immortal; her legacy doesn't need another Grade 1, he's probably chasing the title of highest earning mare, and this gets him further than the Ruffian.

Jackie said...

First off, I live 5 minutes from Monmnouth and support them on 95% of the things they have done the last few years. But I think they are wrong for changing the date of a stakes race less than one month in advance, and increasing the purse. There is no way they will get that $250,000 back in takeout that day. There on track handle has only reached $1 million on 3 of their "Elite Meet" days so far. Yes, their other handle has increased significantly but they are only getting 3%-4% of that money. I do think getting Rachel to run there gives them some credibility but I don't think they'll make the $250k back. I could be wrong.

For Jess Jackson, I don't see this as something he is being greedy about. Monmouth has treated him, his trainer and his horses great the last 3 years. Curlin won his biggest race there, they named a race after Curlin and then last year Rachel won the Haskell. There seems to be a friendly bond with Monmouth and Jackson. I don't feel it's all about money like you guys do because the Grade 1 Ruffian would increase Rachel's value monetarily and historically by more than and extra $150,000.

I think Jackson wants to run his horses at as many DIRT tracks as possible to show as many racing fans the best horses in the world. I'm sure Rachel will run at Saratoga later in the meet. She also gave Saratoga the best race they've had up there in years last year. They have nothing to complain about.

I knew there would be some tension between NYRA and Monmouth on who is stabled where and who races where but NYRA has to settle down. They look like cry babies in a case like this.

Anonymous said...

Listen to you hypocrites pointing your plastic finger at Jess Jackson. Gimmee a break, Nialator. The guy paid, what $10 million for RA? He's a businessman and he's trying to pick the best path for her. Overall I think he's done a good job. If you're going to blame anyone, blame the cronies at NYRA etc who have f'ed up a good business so badly that the mecca of horseracing, Saratoga Springs, can only afford to cobble together $250,000 for a grade 1. -jp

Anonymous said...

>He bilked Monmouth Park out of an extra $250,000 last year in the Haskell. Remember?

Yeah, I remember. The people at Monmouth were treated to a filly going 3-wide around the track and defeating a 3-time G1 winning colt (Belmont, Travers, JCGC) by six fucking lengths in 1:47. Again, WTF? -jp

Anonymous said...

Isn't the main reason most fans want to see Rachel is to see her in a race with Zenyatta? What else matters?

Reports say that Zenyatta is not a good shipper but Rachel is. Does that mean that Rachel must travel to the Coast to meet Zenyatta on plastic?

A Rachel-Zenyatta match up at the Spa would certainly generate more interest than we've seen in any race at Saratoga in a long time. And Zenyatta has the built-in excuse if she loses. Rachel would have no excuse.

Seems to me that Charlie Hayward should be working hard to make it happen. I can remember back in the '80's when Monmouth was going strong they were stiff competition for the Spa for Grade I stakes and allowance level horses. Competition is a fact of life in racing and should improve the sport overall. /S/greenmtnpunter

Anonymous said...

If Rachel can't handle the Delaware distance as easily then Zenyatta only has to finish ahead of her in the Breeders Cup to make match point and game.

Anonymous said...

I recall the Chris Matthews-like thrill- down- my- leg after spotting a small piece in the NYT sports section back in mid-August, 2001 which began:

"The Mid-Summer Derby got an unexpected blast of star shine today when Bob Baffert announced that Point Given was shipping here Saturday for the 132nd Travers Stakes. Point Given, the Preakness, Belmont and Haskell Stakes winner, had a blistering workout at Del Mar this morning prompting the California-based Baffert to ship him East for the $1 million Travers...."

Now, substitute Zenyatta for Point Given, and Jerry Moss and John Shirreffs for the connections, and announce that they are shipping East to the Spa pointing Zenyatta for (pick one or two): The Whitney, The Ruffian, the Travers, the Woodward, the (fill in the blank), and a showdown with Rachel Alexandra. Wouldn't the town be buzzing to kick off the meet? This coup would vault NYRA back to numero uno. C'mon, Charlie, make it happen! /S/greenmtnpunter

Nihilator said...

The Knight Sky,

Are you one of those "south of the border" types?

Take your leaf blower and your gardening equipment and get the fuck off this blog and fuck out of our country.

Do we understand each other?

Nihilator said...


How tall are you?

...because I was told they didn't stack shit that high.

Listen Sand Donkey,

You got your head so far up Jess Jackson's ass that I don't know where his body ends and yours begins.

Nihilator said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alan Mann said...

hey, harness horse guy, could we please keep it civil here?

Anonymous said...

Lol. At me never getting the teacher's warning. I would have if I posted my rant about Crisp's trip last night.

ballyfager said...

Firstly, she's still a filly, not a mare.

Secondly, she ran her best race ever at Mth. Don't you think that has some bearing on it.?

At Equidaily it says that Moss "graciously" declined an offer from Mth managementto run.

Moss and gracious, that's pretty funny. Zenyatta trying to catch Rachel at Mth is even funnier.

Nihilator said...

Ballyfag (AKA "Shit for Brains"):

Who the fuck are you?

If we wanted your opinion we would ask for it. Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one.

Now go back to that hole you crawled out of and get the fuck out of here.


I promise. I'll behave.

Exterminator said...

…and of course, Zenyatta’s next victory will set the all-time record of 8 consecutive Grade I victories (surpassing “Rock of Gibraltar’s” world record of 7 consecutive Grade I’s).

…and of course with her next victory, she’ll go past the legendary Ouija Board (for the world record in female earnings).

…and of course with her next victory she will tie the legendary “Eclipse” (Ch.c Born: 1764) for 18 consecutive victories without defeat.

It goes on and on…doesn’t it? The records are falling and the east coast turf writers “cannot” do a thing about it.

Don’t you just love that?

I love it when the east coast has to sit “on their hands” and watch this.

Isn’t it great?

Figless said...

Whatya know, a pretty nice rendition of The Suburban Saturday. But of course no one gives a damn since the race was not on RA or Z's radar.

There are other horses out there folks, the debate is nice on the rare occasion it meanders toward civility, but perhaps a comment or two about the return of last year's best three year old is warranted.

I have no idea how bad he really was injured, and some of the layoff was likely due to litigation, but I am very interested to see how he runs even while probably wagering against him.

And yes I have an asshole so I also have an opinion and will post it, awaiting witty reply from our new friend.

Anonymous said...

Message to Jerry Moss and John Shirreffs: Time to roll the dice and call Jackson's bluff. Let's cease with the pas de deux's and let's get into the same race.

Announce early next week that you are shipping Zenyatta East because you want to run at The Spa, America's most historic and glorious racetrack. A statement like: "Win or lose, we want to become part of the Saratoga and American racing legend", would be just perfect.

You'll have the time of your life spending 3 or 4 weeks of summer vacation at The Spa. Jackson and Asmussen could not duck. It would make NYRA's day and meeting. We can always hope that Charlie Hayward will accept the challenge and make it happen, can't we? /S/greenmtnpunter

El Angelo said...

I didn't realize the corpse of Huey Long had been resurrected and he was posting on horse racing blogs under the nom-de-guerre Nihilator.

Anonymous said...

Alan - This 'Nialator' sleazeball got his ass thrown off Pricci's blog, and you should do the same before he soils more of your comment sections with his bile.

Belmont said...


Is that you John Pricci?

Spell "Nihilator" correctly and we might listen to you.

Now disappear.

Anonymous said...

Figless, he had a tendon injury in his ankle, not the brain injury like you have.

Anonymous said...

'Nialator' sounds like one of Alan's Union buddy.

Who cares where Rachel Alexandra runs.

I enjoy Monmouth and there 15% takeout,keep betting into that 26% takeout in NY.Fools!

ballyfager said...

Where is your judgment Alan? If you allow that cretin to post here, he'll ruin your blog.

Anonymous said...

No. He makes me look like a nice guy. Zenyatta is the best horse in the history if horse racing. Imagine if she ever even tried.

Today's double: Hollywood Park Race 8
6,8/4,5,2. $12

Taking a stab with 2yo's. Baffert horse probably very tough in the last (working with the older Irish gypsy), but I'm game to take a shot with a few others. Really wanted to bet Jenny Jenny Emily, but I'll wait till she runs again.


Anonymous said...

And that nice win by Twice Over flatters you know who as well. I was starting to hear about how the horses from that BC hadn't been winning races. Some horses have been, injured, retired, and others are rounding into peak form. It's a long season guys.

Anonymous said...

That worked out well. Alive many times in the chalky pick 4, and I tossed in Bejarano in the last. Now I left out Flores, oh no. At least I won't bet the double.

Nihilator said...


Cry me a river.

Dar Re Mi said...

I weep daily that morons like Nihilator have the right to vote.

Nihilator said...

Dar Re Mi,

We'll listen to you if you rename yourself to "Twice Over".


Nihilator said...

Dar Re Mi,

We'll listen to you if you rename yourself to "Twice Over".


jk said...

SL Green and Penn National are DQ'd from the slot bidding. Genting is the last man standing.

Anonymous said...

RE***Plus, an ungraded race simply isn't going to earn any credit towards another Horse of the Year bid.
Rachel already won one Horse of the Year Award she did not truly deserve. With the voters we've got these days, maybe she'll win again anyway. -- Mike D.

Anonymous said...

****Re: All that matters is to be at her best on Breeders Cup Day. That is her best shot at a repeat Horse of the Year honors. ***

Well, then, if that's "all that matters," why was undefeated Breeders' Cup Classic winner last season a loser to Rachel in Horse of the Year voting? Does Rachel win again whether she wins or loses, runs or stays in the barn? -- Mike D.