Sunday, June 16, 2019

NA Cup & Assorted Sunday Stuff

Happy Sunday!

Last night's North America Cup was a pretty neat affair, with Captain Crunch getting the job done in a super-fast 147.2. The strapping son of Captain T was the best horse on this night and he paid 7-2 after last week's shadow jump. We don't see that very often.

Although the tarmac didn't look crowded and the weather was not the best - as we've seen almost all year in the Northeast - bettors slammed $3.8 million through the windows. That's a good number.

On the curious side, Woodbine (as I understand it) pays TSN a few dollars a year to show some of their major stakes, including the Cup. At the scheduled time, the coverage was preempted by the CFL game going over (the race was joined after the post parade). What flummoxed me was TSN has five channels, and had the CFL game on three of them. I'm no TV exec, but it seems to me one of the channels could've shown the whole show? It feels like someone dropped the ball.

Woodbine (and Ontario) implemented some pretty draconian whip rules on June 3rd and it was bad for the chicken littles. No, handle didn't tank (it was up), no the horses didn't go slower (147.2 was a track record), and no, no one complained. Although the drivers probably have some work to do with the "wrist action", last night went off without a hitch.

There's a lonely place in horse racing - those of us who are mostly agnostic on the lasix debate.  Although I think looking at things in a more fatalistic manner like this often often opens up the forest and the trees, it's difficult to share this more opaque opinion. In all my years of writing I have only been (more or less) questioned for an opinion piece twice - once because I was too middling on the lasix topic because I focused on the positive arguments from each side. I don't think that's the way it should work. In the end, I doubt anyone comes to a meeting of the minds on this issue, but one thing I do know - whatever happens, horses will race and the game will go on.

I'm watching the U.S. Open this weekend, and I'm trying to figure out if my lack of interest in it is because most of my bets have sucked badly, or it's something else. I'm leaning to something else.

Branding means a lot for an event, or business, and the Open's branding is a brutal golf course with a score near par. Maybe that's unrealistic, and it does often result in some pretty goofy stuff, but it is on brand. This year the players love the set up - I hope so, the leader is at 11 under and the cut was +2 - but the rank and file fans are restless. When you are conditioned to see something and it doesn't happen, it sticks out.

In horse racing parlance it's kind of like half of the sport's reaction to the Derby DQ. You expect to not see a DQ in the Derby, and when you do you're gonna hear about it.

Have a nice Sunday everyone.

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