ascot aug08
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Tuesday, October 30, 2007


(RIDE'M KOWBOY: Above - KODIAK KOWBOY, who has clocked in at 99 on the Beyer Figure scale and won Woodbine's Victoria Stakes, had a good effort when 3rd in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
The Posse colt will likely win champion 2yo colt honours at Canada's Sovereign Awards in December. His trainer Steve Asmussen was denied stabling at Woodbine this year but the colt made the required 2 starts in the country)

Thanks to the Drake for offering up the contest..we'll do a bigger one next year (hey, my picks weren't THAT bad!).

Questions and thoughts offered up today - is the following Breeders' Cup story too harsh?

Should Polytrack be the only surface the Breeders' Cup should be held on now?
Another reader asked if there are indeed some different types of breaks/injuries on the Polytrack especially with 2yo's.

The latter question can be answered with a 'yes' - there have been a great deal of different types of injuries to horses, young ones in particular, a lot higher up on the body such as hips etc.



Jockeys (Mts, 1 2 3 $$)

Patrick Husbands 556 111 113 75 $7,531,304

Tyler Pizarro 789 110 107 88 $4,728,040

Emma-Jayne Wilson 797 109 119 114 $6,876,776

Emile Ramsammy 654 101 69 70 $4,765,663


(No race here, Casse is long gone and he’s already some $700,000 ahead in earnings as he was when 2006 ended)

Mark E. Casse 295 69 61 37 $5,033,100

Sid C. Attard 281 49 49 28 $2,642,918

Robert P. Tiller 262 45 35 24 $2,111,863

Reade Baker 326 43 40 41 $2,779,230

Horses (by wins)

Yolie 10 5 3 0 $179,484

Rahy's Attorney 9 5 1 2 $307,365

Gigi's Charm 10 5 1 2 $168,700

Jacknows 8 5 0 1 $80,042

Dashing Admiral 8 5 0 0 $153,013


(Cloudy’s Knight – could be Canada’s Horse of the Year (Sealy HIll has a shot) , should be champion turf horse – lands in top 10)

Curlin 9 6 1 2 $5,102,800

Street Sense 8 4 30 $3,205,000

English Channel 6 4 2 0 $2,640,000

Hard Spun 10 4 3 1$2,572,500

Kip Deville 7 3 1 1 $1,965,780

Ginger Punch 8 5 2 1$1,827,060

Cloudy's Knight 9 3 3 1$1,762,868

Lahudood (GB) 5 3 1 0 $1,560,500

Lava Man 6 3 1 0$1,410,000

War Pass 4 4 0 0 $1,397,400


He’s being sold as a stallion prospect…

From the News today..



These days, when even egregious offenses against the Ten Commandments bear no remorse, telling a small lie to make it through a rough patch or covering up to protect your job is not an embarrassment.

The Scooter Libbys of the world undertake obfuscation by calling it “spin.” But no amount of spin can change the description of what took place at Monmouth Park on the weekend. By all reasonable standards, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships were sub-par - well, make that abysmal.

Mother Nature takes the blame for much of the acrid aftertaste. Yet, racetrack officials should “man up” and admit that they could have done a better job despite the inclement weather. After all, the circulation of a race by race weather forecast proved the rain wasn’t unexpected.

For example, the ban on umbrellas could have been lifted. Cheap plastic panchos could have been offered for purchase, or, in an unprecedented display of customer appreciation, given away free of charge. Folding chairs should have been put down in the large wagering tents in back of the open air seating to give people a place to await the clearing.

“Over four days, we put 80,000 people through those gates. We fed them. We kept them as dry as we could. And we gave them great races,” said Dennis Dowd, senior vice president of racing for the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, to the media at its traditional post-Breeders’ Cup breakfast.. He claimed to have heard only one complaint about the food service and another about how difficult it was to make a bet.

Well, what should be expected when the 41,781 attendance for Breeders’ Cup day was the lowest since 1995, the second lowest ever? When there are no people to get in the way, the betting lines should move along quickly. And was that lone complaint from someone who hit the Pick-6? Equibase reported the initial payoff incorrectly.

Nevertheless, it’s a good thing the gamblers on the third floor grandstand, where the grumbling was louder than Krakatoa, weren’t invited to the breakfast where Dowd spoke. For their liking, the clerks should have known more about wagering. But that was just one minor inconvenience, and it’s occurred for as long as the Breeders’ Cup’s existed.

More to the point, the fans suffered through conditions that made the Jersey Shore racecourse a Cape Cod cranberry bog. More importantly, what kind of message did these World Championship races communicate to the television audience?

For the most part, top European runners avoided Monmouth, thus making the claim that the races were an international face-off a farce. The Euros weren’t the only no-shows, as owners of the Classic winner were in jail, identified by the court to be flight risks. Ouch.

A trainer who accepted a plea bargain instead of facing trial for possession of illegal cobra venom tried to crash the party, but was asked to leave. After 19 previous tries at winning a Breeders’ Cup race, his horse won and the assistant whose name will appear in the record books showered him with praise. Shame.

Fillies and Mares with credentials more suited to a Grade II competed in a forgettable $1 million Breeders’ Cup race on Friday. George Washington, an infertile 4-year-old bred by the owners of Barbaro, was euthanized on the track in front of the grandstand. What sort of questions does that bring about from the ill-informed about which horses are kept alive and which are not?

TV ratings dropped (again). The few TV viewers complained that they didn’t see post parades. The pretty images associated with thoroughbred sport were rare and overwhelmed by the ugliness. This was one Breeders’ Cup to put behind us.

Often, to their detriment, racing fans are enormously endowed with patience. Hope is what drives the sport and allows people to think things will improve, when, in fact, they merely deteriorate. Now can’t just someone admit, “It wasn’t one of our top events, but we’ll do better at Santa Anita next October?”

In a bizarre twist of fate, perhaps officials were fortunate to have the excuse of the weather. Such issues as the rightful rank of the Breeders’ Cup among leading international horse racing events will probably pass without scrutiny. There will be little made of comparing the World Championships to two festivals on the ascendancy like Hong Kong and Dubai. Once the sun popped out on Sunday morning, it became easy to remember the rain of the day before as the flood that floated Noah.

“The reality is, if we had this weather the last four days, our numbers would have been significantly higher,” said Breeders’ Cup president and CEO Greg Avioli at the breakfast. His assessment, of course, was the wrong way to look at things.

The World Championships, despite all their inherent stumbles, created an investment of $30 million in Monmouth Park and gave hope to New Jersey racing that there can be a future. Fancy folks with access to warm covered spaces and members of the press with privileges ranging from free beer to nearby parking will proclaim hosannas to their hosts, and rightfully so.

But with crowds down 43.5 percent and handle down 20.3 percent from last year, and with the Classic winner owned by two jailbirds, no foreign-based horses winning a race, and an infertile colt put to rest in the finale, the post mortem should be that the 24th Breeders’ Cup gave the sport a black eye and plenty for bruised fans to squawk about. Thank goodness, it wasn’t a coronary.


  • At 8:38 AM, Anonymous Vicki Pappas said…

    I just wanted to say thanks to The Drake for thinking of LongRun when he started the BC contest. We and all the horses in the program really appreciate his help and the doantion will be put to good use.

    Thanks again,
    Vicki Pappas

  • At 9:05 AM, Blogger Tom McHawk said…

    I don't think that all Breeders Cup races should now be held on Polytrack. As a racing fan watching this past weekend, I thought the weather and the sloppy track added a little bit intrigue to the races. Hey you know what? The best horses can overcome adversity and win in any conditions. Look at Curlin. Not only did he overcome the questions about his suitability of the tight turns at Monmouth, but he also overcame the adverse conditions of the day. To me that is the mark of a champion.

    I think the problem was the way that organizers handled the event, as the article above stated. They could have allowed umbrellas and made sure there was a plan in place to have more covered seating areas in the event of rain.

  • At 12:29 PM, Anonymous johnhenry said…

    The writer let them off easy.
    Let me count the ways this was a subpar BC (and I was there, from Thursday to Saturday):
    Food prices: $12 for a sandwich that was Fort Erie-standard, little more than a couple ounces of lunch meat in a kaiser roll.
    Variety of food: If you didn't want the gold-plated sandwich, there were hot dogs and vendors selling croissants and sushi. $5 croissants. Didn't ask about the sushi price. Oh, and bottled water? started at $4.
    Ignorant mutuel clerks: After Thursday, when the crowd was light, i opted for vouchers Fri. and Sat. These people at the windows were either way out of practice (Monmouth reopened for four days for the BC), or never were in practice. My buddy, who plays tris and supers ( stick to W and exactas, and the odd Pk3 and 4), was particularly critical of them - and between us, i shudder to admit we have about 70 years of playing this game.
    Back of house: I seriously think they got a break with this weather. I shudder to think what it would've been like if they got the expected 45,000-plus. Monmouth can't handle this event.
    We ended up on the third-floor grandstand, pulling up chairs and tables in front of a couple of lonely TVs showing the feed, flanked by five circa-1985 mutuel machines that weren't being used (and looked like they hadn't been used since John Henry was a 2-year-old). The washroom ran out of paper at around noon, and was never restocked. At around 3 pm, someone brought about half a dozen plates of those $12 sandwiches that were going to go uneaten. That was about what they were worth.
    The umbrella comment is bang-on - yet i saw a lot of owner types wandering around with umbrellas. This was one "ban" that wasn't uniformly enforced.
    From talking to some horsemen there, it was even worse if you happened to have a horse: not so much as a complimentary program.
    What an utter dud.


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