Monday, January 21, 2008

Burgess (really) Tells All

Nice article by a good writer, Carol Hodes, over at Harnesslink on Blair Burgess and pacer Tell All. She tends to ask good questions and her interviews and pieces are fairly lengthy and informative. You can read it here.

Most of us who watched the Breeders Crown Final for 3YO colt pacers were left scratching our head. Brian Sears, driver of Always a Virgin decided to put the hammer down around the 3/8’s pole when Tell All’s driver Jody Jamieson was trying to brush for the lead. I felt, and most did, that Sears made a huge mistake. Tell All had soundly beaten him in the past and most felt that if a speed duel developed Always a Virgin would never end up getting the better of Tell All.

Because our sport is not covered too much by the mainstream press, it was barely a blip on the radar, so we as fans did not know what happened, why Sears did what he did, what Blair thought, or anything along those lines. Now several months after the event Blair gives us some interesting quotes.

“The drivers lost their senses in that race,” said Burgess, frustration still obvious in his tone and comments. “My driver [Jody Jamieson] certainly wasn’t under instructions, but he certainly wasn’t thinking straight. That was not a typical Brian Sears drive [with Always A Virgin]. Something had to be in his head to drive like that. It was such a stupid, stupid race.

This isn’t your run-of-the-mill “we are taking it one game at a time" set of quotes, that’s for sure.

“It wasn’t like they lost their minds the entire evening,” he said, referring to Jamieson and Sears. “It just happens that they did it with my horse and Always A Virgin that night, in that particular race. I don’t know where it came from or what was up. I’m not saying that Jody was blameless. They’re both at fault.”
Burgess let Jamieson, Sears and Always A Virgin’s trainer Joe Holloway know what he thought after the race.

I am a bit surprised that Blair lumped Jody in his thoughts. I thought he was making a move that 9 times out of 10 would work. Anyway, water under the bridge. But it is certainly nice to have some coverage on what many thought was the park out of the year. It made Tetrick's mind-numbing move in the Jugette look like a Sunday dinner at grandma's. Now if we could just get racings at-the-rail interviewers to ask those type questions after the race we'd really be getting somewhere.

Note: If you are a member of, pop over to the Eastern Canada topic. If not, sign up, it’s free. There is a topic called “Truro Bet” and they are discussing a small track and what should be done to try and raise handles. It is an interesting discussion. There seems to be an extra tax on wagering in Nova Scotia, where win rakes are around 27%. People are wondering if something should be done there to promote a lower take and get some folks to take betting on racing seriously.

Note 2: A gambling friend of mine had a baby boy on Friday. I have to buy a gift. I searched the web for a "Gambling for Babies" book, but I can not find one. For some reason people are telling me that idea for a gift stinks. I can't figure out why. If Tiger Woods can be the greatest golfer being weaned from birth, why not? I would be in better shape if someone bought me that present when I was a kid :)


Anonymous said...

Regarding the Breeders Crown and the Jamieson/Sears drives mentioned in your blog:

In my opinion Jamieson used the tactics that always win for him at Woodbine, namely intimidate other drivers. Due either to the weak driver colony OR due to the existence of certain cliques of drivers, Jamieson is rarely challenged when he makes a similar move at Woodbine.

At Meadowlands, he finally ran into superior drivers who got fed up with his "arrogant" driving style, hence the Breeders Crown incident. I watched without betting, and got the sweetest thrill when Jamieson got knocked off his perch. Hope it happens again.

Anonymous said...

I'm not familiar with the Woodbine driving colony but I watch the Meadowlands almost every night and I can assure you that stunt that Sears pulled isn't his normal way of doing things. I can also assure you that the same brush is made 4 or 5 times on a normal Meadowlands card.

I was actaully betting that night though I stayed out of this race and was in awe as these two raced down the backside taking each other out.

It was a head shaker.

Anonymous said...

You know. I loved that article. Sears and Jamieson are big boys they can handle it. And they deserved it.

Anonymous said...

Ok, "Phil", you are probably quite correct about Sears normal style, however, I firmly believe that Jamieson was being taught a lesson. Note that Sears & Jamieson have had more than several encounters on racetracks here in Ontario.

To me Jamieson is vastly overrated as a driver, and a flop in 2008 is predicted.

Anonymous said...

Well "anon" believe what you will and as I mentioned I do not know the Woodbine colony or Jamieson too well.

You may be very well correct in saying he was being taught a lesson but it isn't because that particular move was overagressive. Maybe he is overagressive more often than not and for whatever reason Sears had it out for him, but his brush isn't a move that would normally cause Sears to park someone down the backside through those fractions.

As you said, maybe they had another got together somewhere, maybe he was being taught a lesson, maybe Sears just knew he had no chance to beat Tell All if he cleared, but what I do know is that he didn't park him based on the move alone.

Pull the Pocket said...

You two guys certainly are the norm - as in anyone who saw the race. It sparked some serious debate. I do not think we saw a more interesting park job in a big race in a long, long time.

I would have really liked Sears/Holloway interviewed after the race to see if it was race strategy, or what was going through their minds. It would have been interesting to hear what Jody thought as well.

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