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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Queens, Crowns and Plates

I was watching TVG this afternoon to see if anyone would hit the Pick 6 carryover at Hollypark (one ticket alive for $522K - another carryover tomorrow!) when Emilio Estevez joined Ken Rudolph on screen. I guess his dad, Martin Sheen, used to drag him to the track as a yute to play the ponies and he has been enamored ever since. What interested me more about the interview was that he mentioned that he was directing a new movie called Johnny Longshot with a harness racing theme. I guess it's been in the works for several years to be his next film since he shot Bobby in 2006. "He equated the new screenplay both with the sports drama aspects of The Mighty Ducks and with his life over the last ten years. It will be a family film about harness racing that he describes as inspirational." I love the name of the movie, and I know the Saratoga Resident will too.

I'm with John of Not to the Swift blog on Rachel Alexandra running in the Goose next Saturday. While I'm happy for the folks in New York that will get to see her live, I think there are bigger fish to fry for Team Rachel. What's the upside? Beating three or four other outmatched fillies? Say she loses, doesn't that really hurt her chances at HOY or legendary status? Seems like a no-win situation to me. Beats me why they picked this spot, other than to give NYRA a mulligan for passing on the Belmont Stakes. Can the Triple Tiara (not that anyone outside of racing knows what that is) be the goal? Anyways, I'm perplexed to say the least. Let's hope they come back to their senses and show up at the Spa in August for the Travers.

Speaking of the Tiara, the wiki site has a section title "possible future of the tiara" stating that over recent years prominent filly owners have petitioned the NTRA (?) to change the races making up the Tiara. The proposed races would be the Kentucky Oaks, the Black Eyed Susan and the Acorn to make them coincide with the colts' Triple Crown. Interesting thought. Since there's not a lot of tradition established with the current structure (they've already switched out the Acorn for the Alabama) who outside of racing purists care? I would think if they changed this and moved the Acorn to Friday and built another big racing day, Belmont and NYRA would benefit for the bump in attendance. Guess what attendance was on June 5th this year. A whopping 3,563. Are you kidding me? Seems like a no-brainer. Apologies in advance to the purists, just callin' it like i see it.

It's a big weekend for our neighbours (note the CDN spelling) to the North, so keep an eye on Triple Dead Heat's coverage of the Canadian Derby (err Queen's Plate) up through the big event set for late Sunday afternoon. I'm sure CanGamble and Pull the Pocket will both chime in with some opinions before the weekend's over on the first leg of Canada's triple crown. Of course, I'll chime in with some American thoughts.

I've found another addicting website that's had me busting a gut, beware, you could spend hours there.


Colins Ghost said...

Good stuff. Agree with you on RA -- why not stick with the boys. She is the best 3yo in the country and should be running in open company.

Awkward Family photos -- unbelievable funny!

Glenn Craven said...

I absolutely love the cartoon. I've downloaded it for posterity. Or until my hard-drive croaks.

As for Rachel, I've decided they're going to take the conservative route with her. Sweep the filly G1s in New York and go into the Breeders' Cup (where I DO think Jess Jackson will take her, his comments about not running on "the fake stuff" aside) with a winning streak to try and take down Zenyatta, as a friend of mine says, in one swell foop.

But I could be wrong.

I also spent about 10 minutes at the family photos. Some of those are pretty funny, but if I don't quit now, I'll waste my whole life away there. And wasting it on horses is probably more worthwhile.

Teresa said...

For what it's worth, the Alabama was part of the Triple Tiara series for only two or three years; the series returned to its original configuration in 2006.

Until last summer, the NYRA website had the configuration incorrect, and apparently, the person who copied and pasted the information from there to Wikipedia didn't verify the information.

Hard to believe, I know, that Wikipedia could be wrong.

Teresa said...

Oops, sorry for the double comment. But the day before the Belmont this year isn't a great test case for attendance--it poured and was cold the entire day.

Not saying that good weather would have brought out 50,000, or that a reconfiguration might not create destination Friday (though I'm not sure that it would--I think that the multiple stakes on Belmont day are what make it so terrific)...but this year's Friday not a great example, especially as one of the stakes races was rained off the turf.

EquiSpace said...

Kevin: I think Glenn's probably right with his prognosis above about her current track. AFP is hilarious (but addictive).

Glenn: I wouldn't bet against your thoughts. I posted a warning sign about the family photo site!

Teresa #1: Funny, I wrote and rewrote that sentence a couple times cuz i remember your post on the topic about this time last yr. Of course, the kid was crying so I let it rip without double checking (my bad). Thanks for the clarification. Maybe someone can fix the wiki site. But it just goes to show you how obscure it is, that even I can't figure out which races comprise the Tiara.

Teresa #2: Keep em coming. All I'm saying is that if they put a good program (including stakes races) on the Friday w/the Acorn as the feature it could draw 50% of Belmont day (say 25,000) and some folks who travel in (once a me) would make a weekend of it.

Thanks all for reading and commenting.

John said...

Thanks for the link!

Keith - Triple Dead Heat said...

Thanks for the link! Will I be seeing you Sunday?

Send me an email and let me know!

Grat card of racing and the weather is going to be beautiful. 28 and Sunny. (Celsius...calm down!)



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