Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday Happenings

What do Rachel Alexandra and See You At Peelers have in common? Many things, but the bulk of it is they are both animals, and animals can't speak.

For a lot of people, the beginning of the end for Rachel was in her first start as a 4YO, where she was, well, not Rachel. Despite some flashes of speed from there on out, the connections didn't want to cheapen her any longer, and she was retired.

See You At Peelers' beginning of the end happened at the Meadows last year. There were excuses, people blamed the driver, the track, the trip, whatever they could. But no matter what, most cappers knew that horses like her don't come home in 30 seconds, unless something is wrong.

Takter never found out what was wrong, and despite a few good miles this year, she was retired after two terrible efforts.

Those two fillies could not tell their trainers what was wrong,  and rather than keeping on looking, the connections did right by the horses.

They were two awesomely brilliant animals. 

This is one of the reasons why I, as a player and fan, hold horses like Somebeachsomewhere, Cam Fella, and Zenyatta to such high esteem. Week in week out, slugging it out and fighting, sometimes over several seasons, and they were still standing. Horses like that amaze me in so many ways, and I consider myself lucky to have seen them.

Peelers is bred to Somebeachsomewhere. If genetics truly worked in the real world like on paper, that colt or filly will likely be able to go as fast as a thoroughbred for a piece. If there are a handful of horses in harness racing history with as high a cruising speed as those two, I think you have a small hand.

More notes:

The New York Times took another shot at racing in an editorial yesterday. Insiders disliked it, mainly because they brought up Doug's TCO2 violation, and used the crux of the CHRB guy saying he didn't milkshake the horse as some sort of exculpatory evidence. That's weird, if you ask me. If some Tour de France guy got caught with a banned performance enhancer, but they found he didn't inject it, but he probably ate it, it wouldn't matter. It's a fallacious argument.

What I have trouble with, with the PETA folks and the Times folks, is counting all his class IV's as "drugging". That is misinformation, in my opinion. Most of those things were overages of things that are barely penalized. I am not excusing him - overages are a sign of bad stable management and are not nothing - but they sure ain't as bad as the Times alludes either.

Scott Ferguson (from the UK) looks at the decision made by horsemen regarding Betfair in California.

  • This was always coming in the States - the structure of stakeholders in American racing is considerably different to those they have faced previously in Britain and Australia. Everyone gets a say and there's no controlling body (government or administrator) who can push things through without approval at all levels. The horsemen's groups, in case the TOC, are as stubborn as they come. Racing in the US is dying big time, and yet anything which has a chance of moving the game forward has to jump through an incredible number of hurdles.
He's quite right. Can you imagine running a business where you make furniture, and to make a deal to sell it on you have to ask for approval from the guys cutting the trees down?

Have a great Monday everyone.

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