Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Couple of Neat Stories

A few neat things happening out there today, that I found interesting.

First up, Dave Palone won.... nine races. Nine! In one day, at one track. I don't think I have won nine of anything in my whole life. I see that he is one behind Anthony Morgan for the North American win lead. He is on pace for over 1000 wins in only 2800 drives. He is winning at 36%. I can not believe one guy could possibly be so dominant. links us to neat Beyer story at the Washington Post about his trip to South America. Do you think our rakes our bad? Theirs are worse. They can't seem to figure out why bettors are not flocking to the action. Is the Racing Commissioner Homer Simpson?

I loved this story. I am a sentimental fool. At Bay Meadows racetrack last weekend a horse named Autism Awareness stunned the crowd to win a Derby prep. He was 62-1, he cost $1000 as a yearling, and he is named for the owners son who suffers from autism.

This is what makes Thoroughbred racing such a great sport. On Saturday, in one corner of the country, the mighty Pyro, whose name and powerful stretch kick conjure up images of fires and explosions, once again crushed his foes, winning the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) in grand style.

On the same day, in the opposite corner of the country, a humbly-bred colt who sold for meager $1,000 as a yearling in Northern California and was given the unusual, but well-intentioned name of Autism Awareness, mowed down his field to win the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) at Bay Meadows.

Pyro was given his name to signify an unstoppable force of power. Autism Awareness was given his name to raise awareness for the disorder that the owner’s 8-year-old son was born with. Pyro is trained by super trainer Steve Asmussen, who commands a 300-horse stable and who won 488 races last year for a .21 win percentage. Autism Awareness is trained by Genaro Vallejo, who won 13 races last year for a .07 win percentage. Pyro went off as the 4-5 favorite in the Louisiana Derby. Autism Awareness went of as the longest price in the El Camino Real Derby at odds of 62-1.

Steve Haskin is right. It is what makes racing, racing.

Give me that story over 100 bells and whistles and little red cherries any day.

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