Monthly Archives: February 2008

Hey Ladies! New Poll…

I’ve been locked in a conference room for the better part of two days so I haven’t been able to weigh on the Breeders’ Cup marketing revamp… but now you can with the latest poll!

As for the last poll, the majority of you were just glad to see the whole Green Monkey era come to a close and many of you thought it was a shame he was the equivalent of a child star, dogged by the press and not able to come into his own. Farewell Green Monkey… for now.

As for the Breeders’ Cup goings-ons, my esteemed colleagues covered it well…

Superfecta gets my vote for Racing Commish

Alan discusses equal billing and the problems with a two day card that starts on a Friday

Jessica shares an instant reaction that was very similar to mine + great convo in the comments

Michael has the best one liner about the Distaff rename

John laments marketing as dumbing down

And Patrick reminds us that not all steps toward growth are easy + there’s a great conversation in the comments, check it out.

Marketing is super easy to poke fun it… I do it all the time! But like most things, it’s not as easy as it looks, everyone “thinks they can do it” and it usually takes a lot of trail and error. My guess is that we’ll see these ideas tweaked along the way. I wonder what kind of market testing they did, if any. I’m happy to volunteer for that!

My personal wish list of changes:

1. Change the 2 day card to Saturday and Sunday if you want to split the Championship races across the days… some of us work! (although I’ll be taking the day off, but they already have me as a fan).

2. Change the name back to Distaff! I appreciate the sentiment of trying to equate it to the “Mens” Classic… I didn’t know what the hell a Distaff was when I first got hooked on racing, but I learned… don’t mess with tradition here.

I have a suggestion for the “programs focused on women’s health”… quick, what’s the leading cause of death of women? Heart Disease. Why not educate doctors on how to take this as seriously as they do with men. A friend of mine in her early 40s had a heart attack that probably could have been prevented if her doctor hadn’t dismissed her persistent indigestion and shooting pains in her arm (classic symptoms). If a man had presented these symptoms to his doctor he’d be on his way to the cardiac unit faster than you can say Ladies’ Classic! My point? Maybe it’s not the women who need to be educated about “women’s health issues”.

I’d actually love to see more a educational bent with a tie-in to racing. Perhaps something similar to the Women of the Backstretch luncheon as a “interested in learning about the industry?” kind of thing. And let’s not forget handicapping seminars! Unlike men, women wouldn’t be too proud to take them! Pardon, was that my sexism showing?

I leave you now with the last (at least for awhile) BC Distaff… and in this Lady’s opinion the most exciting race on the card.

Slew’s Tizzy, in for a Tag

My beloved Slew’s Tizzy is running in the 7th at Santa Anita today… a 100k optional claimer for 4yo & up. He’s the only one entered for a tag. Giant Gizmo and Warning Zone are the others that are familiar to me.

I’m interested to see if he’s claimed, I feel like he just needs to find the right situation to really flourish. Getting him on the artificial surface is a step in the right direction but he didn’t do anything last out. Today’s race is at his best distance. Well, fingers crossed for a good outcome for him, perhaps there’s someone out there who sees his potential and can bring it out.

Update: After making my initial post I noticed that Doug O’Neill was listed as the trainer, not Greg Fox but Slew’s Tizzy was still wearing the Joseph LaCombe Stables silks. Very interesting. Garrett Gomez also had the mount, I also think that was a first.

He actually ran a really nice race and showed some signs of life. He sat mid-pack, came on in the final furlong to place to Giant Gizmo… and he looked good doing it. It looks like he didn’t get claimed. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what Doug O’Neill will do with him!

Can’t Touch This

Nick Zito at Saratoga (Sarah K. Andrew)

It’s great to see Nick Zito fully loaded (and not only because I have him in all of my various Derby fantasy stables!).

In keeping with my “this year’s 3yo’s have really fun names” recap style…

That Cool Coal Man took a trip to Elysium Fields and had an excellent Court Vision.

A Touch of Madness

As you may have noticed, I’ve been messing around with my new “Derby Madness” section. I don’t need as much of an attention span to code as I do to handicap and no one loses any money!

I made the news from widget myself. I used Widgetbox so anyone who wanted to grab it could. And of course, you should grab The First Saturday in May widget to keep up to date on screenings, the DVD release and so on. Also, another big shout out to Jessica at Railbird for her excellent stat compilation via google docs.

I have a couple of other things I’d like to add, namely my standings in the various RTTR leagues and perhaps a few other things.

My apologies to folks who have their monitor resolution set to 1024×768 (48% of my viewers!), according to BrowserCam you’re getting an annoying horizontal scrollbar, even though the content is contained within the window!

I wrestled with the layout for quite a while to try and get rid the annoying scroll bar to no avail. Also, my apologies to folks at monitor resolutions higher than 1024×768 because I had to mash everything in Derby Madness far too close together, so it looks smashed and busy. See, no one wins!

At any rate, please feel free to leave any feedback re: annoying scroll bars, smashed and too busy content, now the site takes long to load or anything that might be helpful (or not).

Perhaps it’s for the Best

I haven’t had much luck with weekends as of late, what with my heat being out all of last weekend and now this weekend with annoying head cold. So, I’m taking a pass on the festivities at Gulfstream today. Since I haven’t cashed a ticket yet this year, perhaps it’s for the best!

I did manage to put a couple of small bets on yesterday on the Gulfstream Park Turf Stakes to no avail. But Einstein looked great and I’m so happy for Helen Pitts that no one has swooped in taken him from her. Dancing Forever looked pretty great too and it’s always nice to see a decent exacta payout ($126.20)!

As for the Fountain of Youth, any of the following would be great for my various RTTR stables: Court Vision, Anak Nakal, Z Humor, Make the Point, Monba and Cool Coal Man. That’s pretty decent coverage.

Good luck everyone!

Shamdinan, a Big Old Softie

Shamdinan in the paddock at Belmont for the Man O’ War (Sarah K. Andrew)

I love Shamdinan. What’s not to love… he’s handsome, talented and his name is really fun to say. Shamdinan, Shamdinan. I could say that all day!

However, I have one word of caution about the handsome and talented Shamdinan, he likes his turf soft. Knowing this about him is one of the only reason why he was one of the only tickets I cashed at the Breeders’ Cup.

In addition to his very nice performance over the soft turf at Monmouth, his win in the Secretariat was over good turf. His two 5th place showings came over firm turf. Currently, the turf at Gulfstream is listed as firm.

Mind you, I’m too sniffly, sneezy and eye watery to handicap right now or would be looking at Gulfstream Turf Stakes to see who I think has the best chance today. I do love that Thorn Song and would imagine I might just put a little sentimental money on him.

Best of luck to all!

You Know You Want It!

A DVD of the incredible documentary film The First Saturday in May, that is! And now you have a chance to win one…

The First Saturday in May Film DVD Giveaway Contest!

Have a RTTR stable? Perfect! Then join the TFSIM league for a chance to win a DVD of TFSIM. But hurry up because the prep season is already under way …

The top 10 winners will each get a DVD of the TFSIM when it is released this May.

The Fine Print: Enter as many stables as you like but each individual can only win one prize.

Point your browser to

League Number: 1632808932

Activation Code: 865779870

Also, check out the updated Hennegan Brothers blog and grab their new widget to help promote film!

I’ll be adding it here within the week as I have to make room for it, but while I’m at it I’m going to add a Derby Madness section as well.

Softer Landings?

Surf Cat, far left, wins the San Carlos. Circular Quay, far right, doesn’t. (Charles Pravata)

It’s curious to me that many of the 4yos returning from pre-Derby injuries last year are coming back in kind of tough spots. If it were up to me, I’d ease them in with softer landings.

Circular Quay, pictured above did nothing in the San Carlos, but should be expected to? Great Hunter is finally starting to show signs of life after 3 starts. He debuted in the Malibu and came in 11th, just ahead of another returning colt, Cobalt Blue.

I can’t remember what spot Ravel debuted in, but he certainly hasn’t come out swinging and I don’t believe Belgravia has done much either (please feel free to leave a comment if you remember the details of their debuts, Google couldn’t really help me).

Notional is set to debut in a handicap in about an hour, I’m hoping he’ll do as well as Doug O’Neill thinks he can. Dominican has also put in a couple of works in the past month but doesn’t seem to be working regularly just yet.

Is it just me or does it seem like there are some unrealistic expectations here? Most of these horses only have only raced a handful of times, it’s not like they have a TON of experience under their belt. It would be nice to see them set up to excel, not fail.