Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Random Notes

Match Race
How Jess Jackson saying no to a match race between Curlin and Big Brown is headline news is beyond me. Did anyone believe that there was a real possibility? Even Iavorone and IEAH had to know it was a no-go when they made the offer. They all know that a speed horse has a distinct and certain advantage in a match race. Curlin would undoubtedly be disadvantaged. Having said that I still think Curlin is so much better that he would win at any classic distance. I almost wish Jackson had said yes to see how IEAH would squirm to extricate themselves from the duel. The offer was disingenuous from the start and made only because it was certain to be turned down by Jackson.

“I was hoping (Jackson) would accept the match race, but he turned us down,” Iavarone said. “We’re very disappointed. The date we were looking at for the match race was Nov. 29, and I didn’t realize that was the same weekend as the Clark (Nov. 28), so I’d run there. Churchill Downs could crank up the purse. We’re good to go, so we’ll see what happens.” (BH 46763)

And how distasteful is it that everywhere BB runs IEAH expects to extort more money from a track? $500,000 isn't enough of a purse? I guess for IEAH if it's split more than one way it's not enough. I wonder how much they will want to run in the B.C. Classic $12 million? He isn't the next coming of Man O' War!

There's a lot of good news on the drug issue. Between California's self imposed ban and the news out of Kentucky and Louisiana this week change is finally here. Racing will be so much the better for it.

Biancone's suspension extension until Oct. 31 falls short of an imposed severity one should incur when they blatantly disregard the rules. Biancone accepted the settlement but did not acknowledge any guilt. I guess cheating isn't really cheating if you don't believe you cheated!

"All disciplinary agreements approved by the commission are expected to be carried out by all parties and Mr. Biancone is no exception," said Lisa Underwood, the commission's executive director. "The commission will take the actions necessary to make sure its orders are followed. These actions are taken to ensure the integrity of horse racing in Kentucky." (BH)

It's bad enough he didn't take responsibility for the venom now he doesn't take responsibility for the arrogance of subverting the intention of the suspension. Kentucky should just flat out refuse him a license to train, period.

The news that Keeneland is looking into remodeling that will accommodate more fans, deal with access problems and perhaps even result in hosting The Breeders Cup will probably be met with a lot of concern and resistance. Keeneland is what racing is about. They do it all the right way, from the facilities to customer service. When I was in Kentucky I spent as much time there as I possibly could, and it was always a pleasure. I can't imagine any other facility that has the best interest and intentions for racing at the its' heart. Being from NY Saratoga will always be extra special to me, but it has nothing on Keeneland, except three extra weeks during it's meet. But to any traditionalist both tracks represent the apex of the sport. Change is always hard even when it's welcome. But it is also inevitable and necessary to move forward to keep up with the times. As much as I would like to see Keeneland remain as I know it I have faith that whatever changes they make will only make the facility better and better able to face the challenges of the future. I would also love to see Keeneland be able to host the Breeder's Cup. Their fall meet blends beautifully with the BC and already attracts the creme de la creme in racing. It would be great for horsemen to have their BC hopefuls stable at the same facility that the races will take place. Acclimation for a few weeks for so many of the horses will bring out their best and likely result in even more contentious racing in the BC. I can think of no better facility to host racing's annual penultimate event.

No comments: