Saturday, June 28, 2008

Positive Experiences

In Kentucky Dutrow has taken responsibility for a barn error in administering clenbuterol too few days out from Salute the Count's race. Mistakes happen and I certainly believe that is what this was, a mistake. In the Blood Horse article on the subject what I found most interesting was not the report on the incident but the quote by IEAH's Mike Iavorone:

"We had serious thoughts of taking all the horses out of the barn. But IEAH has won over 400 races since its inception and Rick has won over 200 of them..."

This seems like an odd statement to me considering the 'love in' that took place during the Triple Crown run. Isn't there any sense of loyalty anymore? I mean if he has won half of all their races and the way the stable so vociferously defended Dutrow, in the hardly distant past, isn't it a little disconcerting that they would even consider unceremoniously dumping Dutrow because of this event? Especially without even talking to him about it first? It would be to me if I were Dutrow. IEAH seems like a runaway horse; so erratic that you never know what they are going to do. Their statement that their horses would no longer run on any meds following the Big Bungle is a laudable announcement but in light of this most recent news it makes me think perhaps they protest too much! If they were so aware and sensitive to these issues to begin with they would probably not have singled Dutrow out as their go-to guy to begin with. I would like to have seen a little more unity demonstrated by team Brown under these circumstances. It would have made me feel a little better about all involved. As it is, Dutrow got colicky instead of testifying in front of congress, his barn screws up and gets him a suspension for a drug infraction and IEAH seems to running the wrong way around the oval. I give Dutrow credit for addressing the media about his suspension and the circumstances and I give owner Michael Dubb credit for doing the right thing from the start.

As long as I'm talking about loyalty let's look at someone who gets it right. I'm talking about Maggi Moss deciding to help defend Steve Asmussen in his case with Texas Racing Commission. This case has got to be worrisome to anyone reading about it. It seems as though Asmussen is being railroaded down the tracks without any recourse to defend himself. Again mistakes can and do happen, but this is a detail oriented man and with all that's at stake with Curlin the remainder of the year it's unimaginable that he would make such a mistake. Also the handling of the samples seems a comedy of errors. I'd like to believe that the TRC is a fair judge on such important matters but the deck sure seems stacked when Steve's only recourse to have a sample re-tested is a laboratory that the TRC determines. That is not to say that all parties involved are not operating honestly but it certainly can give the impression of impropriety. And as anyone who has read my blogs knows I think the issue that is most important for racing to survive is that of integrity in every aspect of it's operations. The TRC's handling of this issue is just wrong. Maggi Moss thinks so also. And she sees the larger picture involved here as well.

“I think this is much bigger than Steve,” Moss said June 27. “I am taking it on for the love of racing because I don’t like the way things are going. This is getting very big. I think there a lot of misunderstandings.” [Bloodhorse Article]

All I can say is good for her! I hope that the truth is served here and I hope that the truth is on Asmussens side.

We're all getting ready for the penultimate meets of the year, Saratoga and Del Mar. The track will probably be the biggest issue once again for Del Mar and perhaps California racing overall. Here in the East NYRA has been stumping about their 'new' and 'improved' meet. I think Marilyn Lane's article, in Saratoga Today is right on target with her observations about the meet and it's problems.

Monastic Springs (*GB) runs today in the 7th at Belmont. A 1 -1/16 (T) open 56K Alw. contest If you didn't get to see him break his maiden you might remember the Alan Goldberg trained colt from a past blog entry of mine about that race. The first foal of Ipi Tombi he was more than impressive in his debut. This is just the type of spot I like to see a colt like him return. I think it's much better than going to run in a weak stakes race just to get black type. We'll get a much better idea just how good he may be.

While on the subject of weak stakes races the GI Mother Goose at Belmont is a perfect example. Proud Spell will face just three opponents, none of which have any graded stakes experience. Is it possible she gets beat? - In racing anything is possible. But the point I would like to make is that so many of these Stakes are woefully short on talent and field size. How can a race like the Mother Goose retain a G.I designation with this type of field? I would be in favor of automatically dropping a Stake a grade if it doesn't have at least 5 entrants and doesn't start at least 2 entrants of graded stakes experience. A race needs to have some form to be a contest! Of course this can't be imposed on the 2 and 3 year old races but maybe the conditions for those should be tougher also. In my opinion there's too much chaff getting black type in those categories.

As a final note is, Kindling in the 9th at Churchill an 8ok OC 1mile T event. She was a filly that had impressed me in a run not long ago but has never seemed to move forward as I thought she would. I'm hoping today might be the day she makes me feel better about my past assessment. If she doesn't I think I'll just give up on her.

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