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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Food for Thought

Just a few random thoughts for a wild and woolly weather day, where here we went from freezing rain to bright sun, and now to blowing snow. Here’s hoping that damn groundhog Phil is right about the early spring!

Could mating with Zenyatta actually make Bernardini more famous than his own racing and stud career did? Seriously, videos are being made to introduce him to Zenyatta fans and her blog followers (yours truly included) tune in for daily updates, photographs and videos. Dare we dream the actual mating will be recorded and uploaded for posterity? I jest (but don’t doubt there is a populace out there who crave that kind of intimate knowledge). Maybe Darley should pay the Mosses for breeding her to him rather than vice versa. Zenyatta: the new Oprah? Everything she touches is golden.

Have New England horsemen learned nothing from the closing of NYOTB? If they continue to thumb their noses at Suffolk Downs in hopes for a currently non-existent alterative venue in Massachusetts in which to conduct thoroughbred racing, do they seriously believe anyone outside of their little circle will care when the lights go out for good there? Sorry, Jessica and others who cherish beloved memories of Suffolk Downs—this isn’t a slight on the track. It’s just that, with the tenuous financial situation the sport finds itself today, it hardly seems prudent for horsemen to take such a militant stance—especially for a product that has, unfortunately, seen much better days.

As superficial and self-serving as it may be, being accredited by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Safety and Integrity Alliance is a worthy first step to improving the sport and creating some unity in practices. What appalls (but doesn’t surprise) me is that none of the three Pennsylvania tracks—Penn National, Presque Isle and Parx (formerly Philadelphia Park)—has yet bothered to apply. Does anyone in Harrisburg give a damn that tax-payer dollars, not to mention lucrative gaming licenses, have been handed out to entities that fail to even pay token lip-service to the state’s race horse industry? Hello?


Jessica said...

No offense taken, Val. The horsemen are frustrated and angry, but their "militant" talk is completely at odds with the reality of the situation. As a fan, I'll mourn if live racing doesn't return to Suffolk; I'll be one of very few.