Friday Notes

Yesterday there was an article confirming the frog juice positives in New Mexico. That wasn't big news in itself, split samples rarely don't show a difference. It was what was buried in the article that was eye-opening. 
  •  the harshest regulatory penalty the trainers face will be a one-year suspension, a $5,000 fine and forfeiture of the race purse.
So, hypothetically, a trainer can use something that's 40X more powerful than morphine. He knows there is no test. He may have used to it score hundreds of thousands or millions of purses, because you are going to win races running horses on a pain killer like that. Because he wins, he gets more and more owners with big money, turning his small training business into a large one. He could, conceivably buy a beach house in Costa Rica and have a tax haven in the Caymans if he or she is good at business.

If he's caught he pays one purse back, along with $5,000. And, of course, he has to spend a year at the beachhouse, or on vacation, catching up by seeing old friends, or bar-b-queing in the back yard.  Then he can come back and train again.  That's not a bad gig, is it? Or am I missing something here?

 There's some Frankel chatter going on, and it's not of the good variety. He is skipping the Arc, skipping the Breeders Cup, and racing (it appears) one last time  on October 20th. Earlier in the week I read an article saying 'for the first time in his life he'll have to take a risk' by going to the Arc. These connections do not seem to like risk.

Zenyatta used to get hammered here in North America for being a ducker. No she wasn't a world traveller, she did not face the boys each month. But she did get the job done.

Some people (mostly) wanted to see her in New York, in a race like the Personal Ensign. Why, I don't know, because beating Persistently in 205 with a 27 last quarter would not do her or anyone else a lick of good, other than gain her airmiles™, but I digress. Regardless, over time she did do what she had to do, and she built a resume, not being compromised too much by overstepping month after month to ensure a long career. Each year we knew she'd race at the end of the year in the Breeders Cup, but in two of three years she raced in the Classic, the richest horse race in North America, not the Distaff. She did that twice, and she did it on two different surfaces, which for the latter people still thought they'd "duck" as most recently as the October beforehand.

If Frankel was Zenyatta, he would've done more in three years of racing rather than race 14 times in tailor-made spots. Certainly this year he would've been in the Arc - the year end spectacle that's tantamount to a Breeders Cup Classic here. But he isn't. Now that's ducking.

Things I don't much understand- "Horsemen want to race at Leamington"
  •   "The group has to convince the ORC that it can make a financial go of it,” said Bain, who also noted that the horsemen involved will have to overcome the obstacle of securing transitional funding from the province in order to do so and have met with the transitional panel.
For those who don't know Leamington, it's a fair track that can race in the day, and it does not simulcast, so handles are microscopic.   I think the government report released last week that said horse racing must be handle and customer driven didn't sink in too well. It does serve as a useful reminder that someone needs to control the purse strings of the transitional funding.

Bill Finley over at Harness Racing Update has been attending the Lou Pena trial. For updates sign up for HRU for free, or go to the website.

Have a nice Friday everyone.

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