Monthly Archives: September 2008

Guru in Search of Chantal Sutherland

People come to my site in search of Chantal Sutherland all the time. In fact, she’s my most frequent search criteria (ok, currently tied with ‘green but game’, but that’s a recent development). Usually, they’re looking for photos but today’s inquiry was a first.

My mid afternoon malaise of error message writing (don’t ask) was pleasantly interrupted by an email from an employee of Guru Energy drinks. It seems as though Chantal Sutherland has become a fan of Guru and they’re trying to get a case of it to her, but not having much luck. Something about a wrong apartment number.

The best advice I could give was to contact Woodbine. But after looking at their site, I have some more advice… do an ad campaign featuring lady jocks!

Aside from Chantal, there’s Shannon Uske and Dierdre Panas at Monmouth, Maria Charles at Philadelphia Park and Jacqueline Davis at Belmont to name a few. And these are just the ones I could easily track down pictures of/think of off the top of my head.

Give it some thought Guru, nothing says organic and natural energy drink like lady jockeys!

Friendly Reminder, Zenyatta is Impressive

Don’t get me wrong, I love Curlin… I schlepped my exhausted self out to Belmont specifically to see him on Saturday and he did not disappoint. One of the many things I love about him is that he always shows up, a real pro.

I thought all of the stakes races at Belmont were great. I really liked Cocoa Beach but had her with Lemon Drop Mom instead of the gamely Ginger Punch. I discounted Dynaforce in favor of Communique over Mauralakana. Fab Strike was still impressive fighting back against Black Seventeen (E – I wish you were right!)… and I think Kodiak Kowboy (my choice with Fab Strike & First Defence) might have gotten there at 7F.

Last but not least was the performance that impressed me the most at Belmont, Grand Couturier in the Joe Hirsch… wow! And all this time I thought he was a yielding play against (which is why Shamdinan was my long shot in last year’s BC turf, and not Grand Couturier).

Curlin was the chestnut cherry on the excellent racing day cake. Swifty and I double high-fived as he crossed the line and let out a simultaneous and emphatic “YES!”… along with the rest of the smallish celebratory crowd.

But let’s not overlook the 50 ft woman, as Ernie likes to call her or Stardom Bound… her 2yo protege in the “Little Ladies”* Division who’s sometimes called Zenyatta Jr around the barn. These two put on one hell of a show and should not be overshadowed by Curlin’s transformation into racings 10 Million Dollar Man.

Zenyatta staying perfect while making the impressive Hysterical Lady look like an allowance level entrant trying to jump in class:

Stardom Bound, going 8 wide to show those other Little Ladies a thing or two:

Get your check books out, Stardom Bound will be part of a liquidation sale come November, but she’ll come with a reserve. I don’t suppose Fasig-Tipton accepts esnipe?

*Editor’s note: I’m going to call the Juvenile Fillies the Little Ladies as long the Ladies Classic name stands.

Additional editor’s note: while I know this post is not at all timely, I’m trying to get back in the habit of posting and this was a heck of a lot easier to start off with than trying to do the Marketing Summit and Task Force justice. Not to worry, I haven’t forgotten!

Thank You Evening Attire…

Fan favorite Evening Attire at Aqueduct (Sarah K. Andrew)

No doubt the blogosphere and racing sites in general will be regaling Evening Attire with well deserved retirement send offs in the next couple of days.

Until then, just wanted to say a simple “thank you” to Evening Attire and his connections.

His last out, a win on the road in the Greenwood Cup at Philadelphia Park:

The announcer couldn’t have said it better, “Evening Attire, amazing!”

No, Thank You!


You may have noticed it’s been a virtual love fest across the internet and blogosphere today what with all the thanking and congratulating going around. While it’s gonna take me a few days to do some proper posting full of insight, observation and wit (ok, maybe just posting) I wanted to post a little something so you don’t think I’m still stuck in the casino wearing the same thing I had on Monday (but I could be posting this from my phone, couldn’t I?).

Seriously, it was a really great trip! Everyone was incredibly nice, genuine and excited about what we had to say and the summit in general. I met so many great, dedicated and engaged folks, to say it was eye opening would be an understatement. There were too many great moments to note here and now, particularly when I have laundry, unpacking, bill paying and, in general, “normal” stuff that I’ve been ignoring for at least the past 2 weeks.

So, until I get around to some real posting about “what happened in Vegas”, many thanks for all the well wishing and congratulations! Plus a big BIG shout out to all the task force members for what only can be described as a marathon of intense discussion frequently veering into intense debate and often ending up as intense arguing… all in the name of improving racing, something we all obviously love.

I don’t think there was any topic we didn’t discuss and I’d be hard pressed to think of a topic we all agreed on! But, we’d be fools to think that wasn’t by design. Guess this would be a good time to thank Social Sphere as the masterminds of the whole operation! And, last but not least, many thanks to the NTRA for having the fortitude to invite us! They had to be at least a little nervous, no?

More to come!

The Only Thing Staying in Vegas is my Money


Super early tomorrow morning yours truly will be on her way to Vegas for the NTRA marketing summit. I have the good fortune to be flying out with Jessica on Jet Blue where, in addition to being in good company, I can indulge in all sorts of non-low rent snack foods, watch TV, have more leg room and possibly be seated near someone with an emotional support animal!

As you may have guessed, both Jessica and I will be discussing matters related to the internet. We’ll also be giving a few little demos to keep things lively and hopefully more insightful than just explaining twitter or widgets.

Speaking of twitter, you may have noticed the tacky new widget prominently featured over there on the upper right. I plan on “live twittering” (is that a phrase?) the trip. Mind you, it will more than likely just a be series of my failings in the sports book + what snack foods I’ve indulged in (I’m kicking off the trip with a blueberry cake donut from Dunkin Donuts in the Jet Blue terminal!) but who knows, I might be able to impart some insights from the conference or some juicy tidbits (but don’t count on it).

You can also follow along here, grab the RSS or sign up for a twitter account and “following me”.

As I settled down in front of the idiot box last night good fortune smiled on me again. One of my fav movies, Casino, was on. I couldn’t think of a better way to get in the mood for this trip as I’m sure my trip will totally parallel the film.. minus the violence, large amounts of money, more violence and stealing. I guess that just leaves gambling and wearing giant glasses… both of which I’ll definitely be doing.

It’s Time to Vote!


The entries are in and it’s time for you to choose your favorite. That’s right, our little DIY Marketing Presentation contest has been loaded in the gate and is ready for the start. Now it’s up to you to go vote!

Mind you, we’ll send them all the NTRA but we want you to choose your favorite. Feel free to leave thoughts on them here (since we haven’t gotten around to getting SAFC on a content management platform yet).

Many MANY thanks to all of those who put together presentations… they’re all great!

Noooo! Tough Tiz’s Sis Retired

Tough Tiz’s Sis at Belmont prior to her career ending work out (EASY GOER)

All I have to say is UGH.

According to trainer Bob Baffert, Tough Tiz’s Sis took an awkward step at the end of the workout. Baffert said an exam revealed the “beginning of a condylar fracture” in her right front. “It makes you sick to your stomach; she was peaking at the right time.”

More info here

New Poll, HOY So Far

Zenyatta after winning the Clement Hirsch (Charles Pravata)

After bitching yesterday about how boring it is read about Curlin vs. Big Brown for HOY I decided that I wanted to see how many other people would pick Zenyatta over them.

In our last poll, 31 of you said that the NTRA should market to any and all groups of people (a point of view I share), 14 of you said they should market specifically to sports fans, 3 of you said that they should market to known gamblers as well 3 for puzzle solvers. 2 of you said they should go after day trippers and not one single person said they should market to millennials.

As always, thanks for participating!

Back in the Saddle

Philadelphia Park (~ RAYMOND)

I had the feeling that I might return to blogging tonight as I crabbed to someone in an email that I’m already sick of hearing all the droning about Curlin vs. Big Brown for horse of the year. It’s about as interesting as incessantly following who’s up in the presidential polls.

I’m somewhat surprised (and somewhat not) that no one has seemed to mention Zenyatta in the same breath as HOY (disclaimer, if you have, I may have missed it as I’ve not been keeping up with reading!).

Undefeated? Check. Won on multiple surfaces? Check. Beat an impressive reining champion? Check. Beat the impressive reining champion while making first start on new surface? Check.

Let’s face it, the Filly & Mare Classic division is making a mockery of the boys this year. I loooove Curlin and think Big Brown is pretty great but Zenyatta has been turning in consistently impressive performances all year. And her nemesis Tough Tiz’s Sis demolishing the field in the Ruffian also speaks volumes about her talent.

Speaking of the Breeders’ Cup, Kennedy has an excellent set of observations about inconsistencies with the BC. Just when I thought I had heard it all!

I’ve been too busy to compile the August SAFC reports just yet, which might be a good thing because we got a fab submission today (or possibly sometime in the past few days… I’ve been really out of it!) that has many, many great ideas/issues. One of them, which I want to point out while we’re still on the subject of the BC, is the damn saddle cloths. They’re a serious scourge for those who actually want to be able to tell which horse is which without memorizing hat and silk colors. Please, go to SAFC and complain about this one!

A juicy blind item was revealed over at Moran’s today when he finally got to tell us which NYRA official said ‘Fuck the Horseplayers’. Now I’m sort of wishing I had a done a poll when the original item came out.

GbG horse of interest National Pride won his 3rd race today at Belmont in the third, a $50k OC N2X. He had Coa aboard for the first time and caught a strong On Board Again at the wire. I also thought Goldsville was impressive for the show. He had some traffic trouble in the stretch and had to swing wide but came on nicely as well. As always, looking forward to National Pride’s next start.

And if you’re still reading, I should remind that you the deadline for the SAFC DIY Marketing Presentation Contest has been extended to this Saturday at 7pm EST. So stop farting around reading blogs and get your presentation together! We’ve already gotten a handful of great ones and are expecting a few more… c’mon surprise us with your great ideas or clever harangues! Need some ideas? Start here.