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Monday, June 11, 2007

Monday Musings

"Usually we're the one everybody is rooting against," Pletcher said. "It was nice to be the underdog."

So we love to hate the Toddster, but maybe he’s become just a tad bit more likeable these days. He entered Rags to Riches in the Belmont, and she won. Now it looks like Circular Quay is moving to turf, as one might logically suspect considering he worked on the Belmont grass yesterday. According to the DRF: “Pletcher said he was pleased with the breeze and said if Circular Quay continues to do well on the grass he would be pointed to the $1 million Virginia Derby on July 21.”

As for Keyed Entry, whose wacky antics in the True North cost Bordonaro any chance at contending, Pletcher is sending him to an Ocala farm to “get a mental freshening.” Thank god, because his behavior was down right dangerous to the other horses in the field. I held my breath through most of that race, hoping that nothing extremely bad would happen to hurt any of the runners (or those in the stands, as he started to bear out badly towards to outer rail). You can access the video replay here.

Yeah! We may yet get to see Hard Spun on turf too, as DRF’s Jay Privman reports: “[Larry] Jones said he would like to race Hard Spun on the grass at some point this fall.” I know a certain ex-archaeologist who will be very happy to hear this!

If you have not yet read Jessica Chapel’s provocative blog entry entitled “The Gender Gap”, please do. She very eloquently makes a case for the many ways in which the American thoroughbred racing industry is sexist. I totally agree that, unless they begin to embrace female fans, let alone female “officials, trainers, owners, journalists and handicappers”, the sport will not thrive. And I don’t mean by advertising the racetrack as a happening place to meet men, party with your girlfriends, or, god forbid, attend a fashion show!

Finally, while the television ratings for the Belmont slumped 14% from last year, I was very pleased to see that the leading viewing markets were Louisville (of course), West Palm Beach (makes sense), Cleveland (huh?), Baltimore (obviously), and…Pittsburgh, with 12% of the television viewers watching! Yeah! We western Pennsylvanians will gravitate to any major sporting event. I hope that people who liked what they saw will take the short drive up I-79 to the new Presque Isle Downs (with its Tapeta surface) which opens September 1. They have started to run a commercial advertising the thoroughbred racing there, although the new Casino opened at the Meadows harness track today.

Oh, one other thing...I wanted to correct some misinformation that I had reported back on April 1, with an update. I had read on Pedigree Online's Thoroughbred Database that a Dynaformer youngster that I admired, Dynacielo, had been euthanized after breaking down in a race at Gulfstream Park. A commenter later noted that she was entered in a race at Churchill Downs on May 11, and today, in my Virtual Stable email, it was noted that she worked 4 furlongs in 48:00 (11/54) at Churchill. I can't tell you how thrilled I am to learn I had it all wrong!


Superfecta said...

Hurrah for Hard Spun on the turf! And I could not agree more that the sport needs to embrace its current female fanbase and expand from there.

Hey, we're here giving our advice on the subject, they may as well follow it. I'm not even charging my usual consulting fee!

Nellie said...

If I can see a Rags to Riches turf race, I just might be able to die happy... but the Hard Spun news is great!

Let me just state publicly that if fashion shows start being given at racetracks, then you've lost my continued attendance. Don't need to meet men, and 'party' hasn't been in my vocabulary for, well, years.

Seems to me that it would make sense to take advice from those of us already hooked. But that would be too easy, I guess.

Patrick J Patten said...

monmouth park does have fashion shows, and they do pretty well, but I'd say they draw the older lady element, not like yourselves who are from the younger set obviously