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Friday, July 9, 2010

Decisions Decisions

Decisions, decisions. What's a fellow to do. I'll never get that hour back that I wasted last night watching the LeBron debacle. I sure do feel for the fine folks in Cleveland, to be shat upon on national TV like that. All I can say to those good folk is payback is a bitch and your time will come.

This week's Wild hot Topic Friday (WTF) over at the TBA deals with whether reduced racing dates is the future for live horse racing? Funny, I think Jeremy Plonk must be a Russian spy and was tapped into the group's email conversations as he happened to blog about contraction today (h/t to Paulick Report). The consensus around our group seems to be that it's the way of the future and maybe the sport's only way to survive. I'd love to hear from some horsemen (especially those gracing the MTH meet) and their thoughts on the subject. My guess is the bigger houses would be all for it and the smaller ones will be thrown to the curb.

But I'd rather talk about all of the things that I could have been doing last night besides watching LeBratchelor (h/t to the Sports Guy)...

1. Watch Bethenny Frankel pee in a champagne bucket. Hey, Vic Zast loved it.

2. Read about the 10 coolest places in Saratoga.

3. Check out Amateurcapper's take on the Hollywood Gold Cup over at ThoroFan, sponsored by the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance.

4. Handicap the Knight Sky Racing Blog's DRF race of the week to stay ahead of the pack for July.

5. Endlessly tease the Space Gal that The Hills is scripted (always makes me laugh).

6. Dream about reaching Track Visit #284 some day.....that is awesome!

7. Make fun of one of the Bravo Housewives (particularly the Jersey ones).

8. Document some Stump the Guitarist questions, my 2005 stakes queries are starting to run dry.

9. Start a return the Braves to Buffalo movement....hey, a guy can dream.

10. Compare my Top Chef top 10 list to the pros.

Honorable Mention: Fantasize the kick didn't go wide right. (h/t reader Dan D from Toga)

Have a great weekend, may all your tickets be winners.


Anonymous said...

Three things...

1) Telling Cleveland sports fans their day is coming is like telling a starving man in the desert they can survive by eating cactus. It only prolongs the suffering, and now you're making them eat needles, to boot.

2) Thanks for the linkage!

3) As for the WTF Topic, my thoughts are such...As someone whose two home tracks would get the axe with 100% certainty in any kind of contraction, I am very biased in my opinion that this is not the way to go.

However, there are valid reasons aside from my own selfish self-preservation why the racing world needs smaller tracks. Look at the roster bios for the on-air talent at TVG (and hold your opinion of them for a moment for the sake of my example). Most of them didn't get their start at one of the big tracks. A disproportionate number of them came from Canterbury Park. Mike Joyce worked at Wyoming Downs, for crying out loud.

The same can be said for the Thoroughbred Times staff. For every staff member who considers a track like Saratoga home, there is one hailing from a place like Thistledown or Fonner Park. They have a surprisingly strong Delaware Park contingent, too.

Want to go outside of the media realm? Wayne Catalano, trainer of multiple Eclipse award winners, spent much of his riding career at the Detroit circuit. Mike Maker started out galloping horses on the Detroit circuit too, when it meant a whole lot less than it did back in Catalano's days there. For more modern examples, one needs to look no further than Rafael Bejarano, who rode out his bug at River Downs before moving his tack to the California circuit and national prominence.

What I'm trying to get at here is small tracks are nurturing to people who want to became a member of this industry. If I was based at Churchill Downs, I'm probably not going to run into the top five trainers or the track's owner on any given race day. At a place like MPM, two of them are my neighbors, and two more are siting in the bleachers next to me or will be at the track bar at the end of the day.

Is there any chance they'd let someone like me run the facebook page at a NYRA track? I had to send in a resume and cover letter for that honor and was unceremoniously turned away. At MPM, they were happy to give me the reins.

That kind of real access to the sport and its workings is the only way racing can hope to build new leaders in the industry, outside of the privileged few who are born into Kentucky horse farm royalty - and those are the types steering the ship in the direction it is heading now.

Simply put, if contraction happened, the sport would rot from the inside and collapse under its own weight. And that's not good for any of us.

EquiSpace said...


Excellent perspective and you make quite a few great points. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts...and you're welcome for the link...I thought it was an excellent piece. Thanks again for stopping by the Space Station.

Amateurcapper said...

Didn't get a chance to post the topic, will do so later tonight. The way of the future, yes. Beginning to the end? I agree w/ you and that goes for'll turn into the World Poker Tour with the usual suspects

Thanks for the link. Just 3 min. to post...we'll see what happens.

Lastly, how many tracks have you visited?

EquiSpace said...


At least you knew Rail Trip wasn't going to win...

In order of visits (12):

Churchill Downs
Belmont Park
Gulfstream Park
Monmouth Park
Fort Erie
Presque Isle Downs
Santa Anita

My wish list is here.

Thanks for stopping in!

Amateurcapper said...

Good in theory, poor in execution. Chose the wrong stretch runner on the day.

What do you make of the slow time? I thought it odd considering they went 1:21 in the Triple Bend.

The_Knight_Sky said...

7. Make fun of one of the Bravo Housewives (particularly the Jersey ones).

There are some really hot Jersey Housewives at Monmouth. They're the ones who should be featured.

Tell Ernie to fully recharge his cam-corder before landing at the shore. :P

Michael Cunnison said...

Very funny and cool.


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