Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Recanting Barbaro

It was interesting during the time of Barbaro's shattered leg and his recovery, that people's opinions varied. I had heard many thoughts relating to the fact that the owners were "in it for the money", because the horse surviving could stand at stud. Others spoke about how inhumane it was to keep a horse like that alive. Everyone can have an opinion, but mine was (I'm not one to mince words) that they were full of it.

I always found the owners of Barbaro to have hearts the size of Secretariat's. They cared about that horse. Frankly, who wouldn't care about that horse. We all did. I was sad when he passed on.

Equidaily.com, upon scouring the news like they usually do, came across a good article by Tim Smith. Apparently he wrote a nasty article about the Jackson's around the time of Barbaro's recovery. In a new piece, he recants much of what he said.

I have had a lot of time to reflect on the situation and I do believe I have a newfound respect for what the Jacksons did to try and save Barbaro - even though the horse did perish after their best attempts. Especially after the fact, its hard to put myself in their shoes ... hard to determine exactly how I would have handled the situation if those decisions were left up to me.

I know what I would have done in that situation. Exactly what they did. I have a personality streak in me which never wants to give up, even when it is stupid not to give up. Plus I like horses. I don't know how you could have looked into that horses eyes and sent him off to be euthanized when it looked like he clearly wanted to fight for life. It is inherent in us as mammals to fight for life. It doesn't matter if you are a dog, a person, or a horse. We never want to give up.

Anyway, I just thought that was a good article from one of the people who disagreed with the Jackson's and their fight. Something that I thought about today, on a slow Tuesday morning.

Note: Our trainer, Nick Boyd was interviewed tonight on the Score, during Woodbine Racing Live. He did a good job. Not bad for a punk :) I am going to place a post up soon about Nick's trials and tribulations on being a young person in harness racing. As many know, established trainers get horses, young people really have to fight for owners. I think it would be cool to explore that phenomenon with Nick.

I ran my numbers today for my betting the past month. I had a 38.6% hit rate, on 378 bets. These have been good. I am clicking on a few angles, and sucking on a few angles. I need to somehow now turn that data into making a pile of money. Sheesh, if it was only that easy, huh? Somehow I still have this belief I will be sitting on an island, sipping a Corona with a laptop betting races before I am 50. What a doofus. But I will keep trying.

Lastly, our stable had a first and a third tonight. I think the last time I had a first and third in one night was a double-leg spelling B in grade three. I lost the second leg on the word exercise. Or excercise, one of the two. Regardless, the blind squirrel proverb comes to mind. But it was sure nice to have a good night.


Anonymous said...

I've been branching my harness play out a bit and tried my hand at Woodbine tonight and did fairly well. Didn't make a pile of money, but had some winners and most of my horses ran well enough for me to be content.

Couple questions though ...

I posed this question at harness driver, but not sure I'll get an answer. Why do the races shape up so differently at Woodbine in comparison to the Meadowlands? It seems like it is much easier to steal the early part of the race and it also appears no one wants to move down the backside? Rarely does anyone start the outerflow until the mid part of the 2nd turn, basically rendering the 2nd half of the field eliminated.

2nd question, I've noticed they let Jaimeson do whatever he pleases pretty often. If he brushes to the lead, no one re-takes. No one comes first up on him etc. I remember we discussed this a little bit awhile back with regards to Tell All/Always A Virgin I believe, but I've really noticed it Saturday and tonight.

3rd question, Jonas Stutzman won with a horse that was first time in his barn tonight, I've cashed on this guy before off the claim, on the advice of a friend of mine. Seems apparent he excels with new aquisitions, am I right?

I also noticed trainer Yates seems to do well off the claim.

4th, would the ratings for the "b" tracks as you call them in your post a few days ago be relevant for trying to compare horses shipping into Woodbine? And how steep is the class rise to the big track?

Take Care

Anonymous said...


This 7/8's excuse is about as lame as they come. The sole reason the flow is different at WEG compared to M1 is the driving colony.
If you were to transplant the m1 colony to WEG you would see the same flow. By the same token, if you were to have the WEG colony drive on M1's surface you would have the same guys taking back to let others into the hole,etc.etc.
Actually Brewer re-took on Jody in the 10th, it was kinda surprising, but Jody was right back out with his second move before 3/4. Brewer is still considered an outsider though, so it doesn't really count.
Stutzman used to be GOLDEN off the claim, in fact, in this part of the winter he used to hover around the .500 range. Not sure what has happened to Joe, but his numbers are nowhere near what they used to be for the last 2 years. That horse last night was coming from a live trainer at WR, not really a big tr change, but I'll contest that the horse was given the race as Tony Kerwood would have won, had he been trying to win, instead of trying to keep Cowboy in the NW2 ranks forever. Watch that replay and driver demeanour, very sickening if you ask me.
Yates used to be #1 on a list... #1 on the list to cross off when racing out of detention. His off the claim numbers are high and usually is a good bet no matter what class he has his horses at, as long as the D isn't attached to the race.
I think the ratings for the B tracks would be different if you were to rate them coming into WEG to race. Sounds like a job for guest poster Fridays.
While on paper last night that class hike looked huge, if you looked at the horses in the race, it really wasn't that big of a jump. There were a lot of horses in that race that were racing lower than 8k, and those that were racing at the class or higher were struggling(woof woof, Southwind Academy)

best regards,


Pull the Pocket said...

Hi Phil,

Nice to see you give the Bine a shot. The pools are decent and the horseflesh quality is not bad.

First, your perception is reality I think. My theory is it is a couple of things. One, with a 7/8th mile track there is a huge sprint on the straightaway and the first quarters are really fast. Most of the horses are pacing all they can in a 26 flat quarter, so pulling while sprinting is not gonna happen. When we see a 26 first quarter at the M, the movement comes later there too. Second, the drivers are less aggressive in that second quarter. It seems to pull first up and grind is preferred to using your horse in a brush move. It has been like that for a long time. Zeron and Luc seem to do the second quarter move more than others. Mark M does it with some frequency, imo.

WDB does not play dissimilar to BLMP, another 7/8 track. The drivers there seem to use the same strategies.

With Jody? I dunno, a bunch of people feel the way you do. He is getting live drives that's for sure. A couple of years ago when Casie was winning with authority with almost everything, Mark M had that respect. No one would challenge him ever.

Joe S still does well with new horses. He has been around a long long time. Sometimes you will see him acquire one and be off a month, come back with a whole new whack of equipment and do well.

A couple to add to the list with new ones, Casie still is good, Tony Montini. Isaac Waxman's horses are worth watching first start too.

Anonymous said...

Balmoral's a mile track, Mr. Pull The Pocket.


Pull the Pocket said...

Well is my face red :)

They race the same as WEG, so hell, I thought it was the same as WEG ;)

Nothing better than 2000-2005 Meadowlands racing. With deep fields it was constant movement.

Anonymous said...

A first and a third, great,

couldn't happen to a nicer



Pull the Pocket said...

Thanks A.

The catch phrase last night was "could not have rained on a drier spot".

No luck lately, but maybe this will change things. We sure hope so.

Nick's stable has been doing well with his new horses. I hope he keeps that up. He deserves it. He works very hard.

Anonymous said...

You need not worry my friend....one day in the near future you will be sitting on that beach drinking beer and betting horses....you'd just better hope I'm not with you, cause then we will eventually diverge from our betting gameplan and end up refugees or sumptin...

Congrats to you and the others on the big night....


Anonymous said...


Thanks for the answers guys.

The racing seems pretty good and I seem to do better with the big tracks than I do the 5/8 and 1/2 milers.

Pull the Pocket said...

Editors note: The Bart post above is from a gambler who once said to me this:

"You know I would love to live in Vegas. I would wake up about 8AM, go to the door of the hotel room I live in, get the racing form. Then head back in for breakfast, go downstairs, play all day. Then back upstairs for steak and Heiniken."

I wanted to argue with him by saying there is more to life and all the other paternalistic, societal norm talk, but I couldn't. It sounded too damn good :)

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