In the new world, where information and opinion have a free flow, businesses have to be extra vigilant. Companies like Domino's Pizza have embraced the 2010's, going to the nth degree to be open and honest with their customers, and potential customers. We might be adding the Meadowlands to that list.
Last evening the Hambo Oaks and Hambo Elims took center stage at the Meadowlands. The most talked about storyline on the net, and inside racing circles, was the addition of super-filly Crys Dream to the Oaks field. The connections, after the horse received a positive, went straight to the Jersey Supreme Court to get an injunction so she could race, and they won.
Not long ago the races would have went off as scheduled, the interviews would have been filled with the usual pablum of "how much did you have to use the [horse]" or "is she the best you've driven/trained". Today, the Meadowlands met the issue head on.
In the pre-game show it was talked about, and a huge kudos to Hollywood Bob. In the post race interview the owner clearly wanted to talk nothing about the injunction, but Bob did not let him off the hook:
"This filly was off 42 days before this race, can you tell us what happened?"
Good for Bob, and good for the Meadowlands. It's not their job to paint a picture that does not exist, it's their job to speak to their customers with respect and meet the stories head-on.
I'll lead with the biggest story, in my opinion: 2YO sensation Mel Mara threw in a total clunker! Why should we respect horses like Somebeachsomewhere and See You At Peelers? That's why. His qualifiers and his one pari-mutuel win were more impressive than either of those horses, yet last night he lost. If he was at his best, he rolls easily, under a strangehold off that trip, but he was not at his best, and even sharp trainers like Tony A can't tell when they are going to throw in a clunker beforehand. It takes a special horse - a total freak - to do what horses like Zenyatta, Beach and Peelers do.
Crys Dream won her elim, as noted, and did so in a total grind with a slow last quarter. What did you think? Tightener and a nice springboard, or should we look elsewhere next week in the Final?
I wasn't sold on Jezzy and I am still not, but boy did she race great off the break. Tetrick said she wanted to pace before the gate and that was that. In a bad case of bad luck for me as a bettor I went deep there in the pick 5's, looking for a bomb and thought I was in good shape. Of course, Iron Lady, the lesser half of the entry got the job done.
The rumored sickness of Blue Porsche was a reality. He had zip, nada, nothing last evening. Stablemate Chapter Seven was good again and has some serious flash. Broad Bahn went gate to wire. I noticed in the post race interview driver George Brennan said he got fractions his own way. He likes speed, and I guess that makes sense to him, but to me not really. The back half was slower than the first half and he could have walked.
Manofmanymissions won the second elim in a less than tidy fashion. I *think* he will be the chalk in the final, but he has little speed, has to be babied, and looks like he is ready to bust at a moments notice. Chapter Seven has to take huge cash. In this elim Jim Campbell's colt was about the only one I saw who showed any zip.
Next weeks super card will include the Nat Ray, where San Pail tries the best on their own Turf. With the Hambo Oaks Final and Hambo Final looking bettable, this is going to be one hell of a racecard.
Other notes: Rumors continue to swirl about Yonkers giving the boot to Lou Pena. It's hit the chat boards.
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