|A giant handicapping chipmunk|
According to a twinkie from Canlumbo: "Tampa Bay this year 4,459k versus 4,448k last year. They ran 10 races versus 11 last year. Santa Anita last year 5,570k, today 4,270k -23%."
The chipmunks ain't buying Santa Anita's walnuts.
Bill Finley's Harness Racing Update had several great quotes of late. First he interviewed Jeff Gural. Not one to mince words, Gural called out driver George Brennan for abandoning the Meadowlands for Yonkers, because purses are higher at Yonkers. As everyone knows, Yonkers could fall off the face of the earth tomorrow and harness racing would be better for it, because the horses and drivers would be back at the high handle Meadlowlands. For his part, Brennan did not take the bait and simply replied that Gural was entitled to his opinion. Bill also had a look at Betfair's take on owning a piece of the Meadowlands. It is some good reporting.
Gary West has a bang on article about the Derby chase. Hat tip to Equidaily for the link.
St. Elmo Fire is racing for a charity this weekend, looking for 24 in a row.
The Dan Patch Awards are being streamed at the USTA site. It starts Sunday evening at 7:30. We're all sitting on pins and needles on who will be horse of the year. My inside contacts tell me that it will be a horse whose name rhymes with Bock n' Toll Seven. The Horseplayers Association of North America is receiving an award at the big dance and Abe Diamond is there to accept it. Abe is a long-time fan, long-time HANA member, a daily player and a nice fellow.
Jessica is hot on the case regarding the horsemen and track fight at Suffolk. I think her last name is Fletcher. Also of note, on twitter we find out she'll be a guest on the Capital OTB show. Wish I could watch. She's sharp.
Craig Walker reports on California racing (the link is now dead. Hmmmm) and asks that they do something - and quickly. He could not be more correct, in my opinion. A lot seem to think that we can turn on and off customers like we turn off and on a tap. No business is like that; customers just get slowly annoyed, and slowly leave. Takeout increases (or for that matter decreases) do not change things overnight more often than not and never have, and neither do most other branding changes. They have a lot of work to do there.
It's taken awhile, but the ROMP Handicapping league is growing. Excellent work by that crew.
For everyone (including me!) who was left scratching their heads after Rock n' Roll Heaven did not fire off second over in the Cup last year, that question is answered. He was quite the colt. If it was five years ago he probably would have been standing for more than $12k.