Happy Easter, Easter people.
I got a chocolate bunny this morning I see, but I will be eating chicken wings, not turkey tonight. Me and the dog are bacheloring and we ain't cooking.
However, all is not bad. Yesterday, instead of having to run errands and read a white paper on conversion rates and click attribution for Monday, I got to watch racing from 9AM until the last at the Meadowlands.
Yesterday had just about everything . I know racing is not overly popular, and if you follow it like we do, we wonder why it isn't more so. It was a sparkling day.
Here are some thoughts, bullet by bullet.
> I was going to write something about the performances in the Florida Derby, but I was on Paceadvantage.com and someone wrote mine for me. I don't disagree with virtually anything he wrote:
"I was disappointed in both Bobby and Itsmyluckday (didn't play the
race). It was obvious that Bobby might decline as the distances
stretched out, but he was struggling long before the race got to that
point. At one point Rosie was asking and there wasn't much there. I
don't buy that he couldn't relax/rate etc.. IMO he flat out regressed.
Had he made a run or been in serious contention at the 1/8th pole and
then gave way it would be different.
IMO, Itsmyluckyday also regressed off his recent win. This "could" be a case of a horse peaking too soon.
Orb was OK. Shug brings them along slowly. So he will probably get
better, but I think this win may have been more the result of the other
contenders not firing their "A" race than Orb running so well."
> Revolutionary won the Louisiana Derby, off a wide move into a glacial quarter. His Beyer should come back okay, and he looked fairly good to me. I read that one player (whom I like) thought he came back looking spent, but I liked his gallop out.
> I think Palace Malice might've won that race going away if he had room. That would've improved the Beyer of the race if nothing else.
> Dreaming of Julia won the GP Oaks by 22 lengths in a fast time. I have no real idea what to make of it for a couple of reasons. One, Live Lively, her main competition, raced her 9f in a raw time of about 153 and change, which is awful, so the margin is nothing that should amaze. Two, Pletcher horses have won with monster figs at GP (remember Quality Road's 121 in the Donn?) and we don't see it again. Maybe she'll be a superstar, who knows.
> Orb was 6-1 at Betfair yesterday, and seemingly that was probably a smart fade at anywhere near board odds. If the race played like it should, with an inside speed horse on a speed track running near their last number, he was up against it. Instead, the pace was slow, he was close, and he made the most of it, like a good horse should.
> Shug on going to the Derby with Orb: ""I never wanted to run the wrong kind of horse because I know what the consequences would be." I don't think Shug pays much attention to the modern mindset.
> I think Orb, unless a horse like Verrazano or Vyjack wins the Wood like Pegasus, will be the Derby chalk. Players don't trust Toddster horses in the Derby, and Orb has the pedigree, connections, running style and tractability that the crowd likes in a Derby chalk. He might be this year's Street Sense.
> Barry Irwin I, on Animal Kingdom : "I hope this horse doesn't bleed like every American told me he was going to do without Lasix."
> Barry Irwin II. Yesterday he heaped praise on jock Joel Rosario for the win with Animal Kingdom, while reminding everyone he hated the ride in his last, when Joel shot through an opening at the rail through slow fractions, obviously trying to get a tactical advantage on his main foe at Gulfstream on its inside speed favoring turf course. Irwin is like most owners and some handicappers in this game when it comes to jocks. If they win, they get praise, if they lose they get hammered, no matter whether the tactics chosen are fundamentally right or wrong. I'd give you one to nine odds that if AK backs through the field yesterday and comes sixth, Irwin says "Joel had him too close. He likes to come from off the pace. We are going to make a jockey switch for his next race"
> Without oil, the middle east would be populated by a few animals and National Geographic film crews. Instead, $93 oil has helped make Dubai a financial center and a hub of riches. And they sure know how to throw a party. 34 seconds of that pre-race show yesterday is pretty much the entire Beulah marketing budget for a year.
> Who's hot? Graham Motion and no raceday meds. Who's cold? The "racing horses without lasix is animal cruelty" crowd.
> Animal Kingdom has taken some lumps for not winning a big race after the Derby. That, in my opinion, was unfair. He raced awesome in the Preakness, looked great off a layoff in the Breeders Cup and always fires. He did a lot of it while coming off an injury too. If he wins at Ascot, he may become the most accomplished and respected Derby champion in some time.
> Toughness and grit is probably in the eye of the beholder. Revolutionary did look like he dug back in at Fair Grounds, but he was in the final half furlong in a route race against a horse with a sprinting pedigree after all.
> Kawartha Downs had their last day yesterday, kind of. Garnet was there and reported about it in Harness Racing Update here.
> An email, from the trenches, from a bettor who attended Kawartha's "last" day:
"Place was packed; couple thousand at least. They were parking in the mud
under the hydro wires. Most were horse people, not betting. If they were
gamblers there to bet they would have done 300K handle. They didn't 62K
was it. I did my share about $600 thru the windows. If they had only 100 people like me handle would be the same."
> "The fact is what we need to do is get everybody’s focus back on what should drive the industry, which is the consumer,”. That was not said by an industry insider, but by a member of the Ontario Transitional Panel. This is why, I believe, bettors are not as much in tune with participants with hammering the government in Ontario for racings troubles.
Enjoy your Sunday and if you've had a lot of chocolate, you can expend some energy handicapping the mandatory payout day for the Black Gold. The pool should be monstrous.