Monthly Archives: September 2008

Maiden Race as Magic 8 Ball?

Hello Broadway, half to No Biz breaking his maiden at Saratoga (Bud Morton)

When I saw this today, I remembered immediately that I recently asked if they had announced the inevitable regarding War Pass yet.

Today was the day… they finally came out with it and announced that War Pass has been officially retired and will stand at Lane’s End, a deal that was put in place after last year’s BC Juvenile. No surprise, just check it off the “when will they announce it” list.

Within a half an hour I notice that No Biz’s stud fee has been announced… $7,500. As Jessica put in in her reply to my email question “Is it just me or is No Biz a huge bargain?”

What a great price on a horse that won stakes at two and three, on dirt and turf.

And what do we think the fee for War Pass will be? (Upcoming poll alert!!) Much more than $7,500, that’s for sure.

Just last weekend halfs to No Biz and War Pass duked it out it a classy baby race with No Biz’s little bro, Hello Broadway, gamely defeating Imperial Council (no relation) by a nose while War Pass’s little bro was in the mix for show.

What are the odds of that coincidence? And too bad I didn’t have a few bucks on it!

Contest! DIY NTRA Marketing Presentation

Here’s your chance! (MilkaWay)

In honor of our upcoming 2 month anniversary, SAFC is running our first contest. Create your own marketing presentation for the NTRA!

Seriously, why should we have all the fun? Everyone has great ideas, so put ’em together and we’ll send them all regardless of who wins (ok, you don’t really “win” anything but framing it as a contest will drive more traffic… you know, marketing!).

Details can be found here, and keep those submissions coming!

Now That’s Refreshing

Visionaire & Alan Garcia winning the King’s Bishop (Bud Morton)

Team Valor has announced that Visionaire, excellent surprise winner of the Kings Bishop, will not be pointed to the Breeders’ Cup this year.

“It has taken us awhile to figure out exactly what this colt is most effective in doing, and he is a terrific one-turn runner at distances just past a sprint,” said Barry Irwin of Team Valor. “We look forward to following a traditional tried-and-true path toward a career as a stallion while shooting for the Jerome (Breeders’ Cup Handicap, gr. II) and (Hill ‘n’ Dale) Cigar Mile (gr. I).


“Next season, we look forward to racing him in the Carter (gr. I) and Metropolitan Mile (gr. I). This colt possesses the ability to be very explosive on the turn, and we feel he will get even better with age. He is a very exciting prospect and is lightly raced, having run only 10 times.”

Go Barry Irwin… how refreshing is that? I wish Notional’s connections had taken a page out of that play book and kept him at a mile. With early retirement season upon us, it’s nice to count Visionaire as one who will be returning. Thank you Barry Irwin!

Leaders of The Pack

Leading riders Alan Garcia and Rafael Bejarano at Del Mar (~ RAYMOND)

Congrats to Rafael Bejarano for winning the Del Mar riding title this year!

Raymond took a little west coast excursion recently and captured this rare shot of the east and west coast Peruvian-born boutique meet title holding jockeys. As you can imagine, he took a ton of other great shots worth checking out!

In other west coast news, GbG fav Lava Man finally has his retirement plan set, he’s off to Old Friends. No doubt Old Friends will see an uptick in visits with this beloved gelding settling into his new home… good for them!

Ideas & Rants, Now in Pictures!

That’s right, now you can peruse the SAFC’s July reports in handy charts and graphs! Although, if you’re a Safari user there will be a few oddities here and there (like how all the post headlines are now tiny here at GbG… it gets even weirder at SAFC).

Looking for something to do this week? Our “official” timetable for monthly reports is now the 15th of every month and the cut off time for inclusion in the previous month’s reports is the 7th (this coming Sunday). So, there’s still plenty of time to get over there and share your ideas, rants or even notes of praise!

Long holiday weekend have your rant-o-meter out of sorts? Here are few things that I’ve noticed lately…

Lack of coverage national TV coverage for the Woodward… I was able to watch it locally (although the NYC OTB channel aired taped interviews instead of the parade…. arrrrrr) but I know a few folks had a bone to pick. Go pick it at SAFC! And thanks to Geno for getting the ball rolling!

California now has a new fund to assist with rescue and safe retirement of any horse that has raced in California. Submit ideas that other racing jurisdictions should follow suite or that the NTRA should look into spear heading a similar national effort!

Early retirement season is quickly approaching… start submitting your ideas about how to change the economics of the game! You surely have some great ideas about how to create more incentives to race older horses, such a high profile racing series for 4yos & up or even changing conditions of current races, such as Derby preps, to favor entrants who’s sires are at least 5yos.

The Breeders’ Cup is right around the corner! Everyone seems to have a bone to pick with them… even if you’re ok with the name change, you might have an issue with the two day format or the outrageous ticket prices… and there’s always the completely untested surface. This is one event where there’s something for everyone to complain about!

And how about the never ending racing season or just plain old too many races on the card? I saw a cite today (while researching a rant I have in the making) for total races in 2006. The US was top ranked with 51,668 races while the next closest amount was Australia with 19,963 races! According to the Jockey Club we had 1% less racing last year with a total of 51,304 (1989 had 74,071 races!). Think winter racing at Aqueduct is over kill? Or, like Robert, that there should only be 9 races on the card? Great… submit it!

I see valid complaints and great ideas all over the place, there’s definitely no shortage of either! But beyond making the bright idea haver or annoyed customer feel unburdened they’re not doing anyone any good sitting around the internet waiting for someone from who can act upon them to find them.

We offer a 2 fold strategy for getting issues addressed 1) we compile the issues in reports and send them to the folks who can act upon them and 2) by collecting all the information in one place and making it accessible to all, we can start to compile stats and/or build cases for the various issues out there.

Sounds great, right? It’s only great if people with ideas and complaints submit them… so what are you waiting for? It’s not like there’s much else going on this week!

Win Some, Not Win Some

Alan Garcia, Saratoga’s 2008 title holder, after winning the Belmont (~ RAYMOND)

Alan Garcia and Kiaran McLaughlin held on to win the Jock and Trainer titles for Saratoga… congrats to both of them!

I’m also happy to report that I’m exiting the meeting on a winning exacta ticket! I couldn’t believe it when Cribnote blew the turn in the Hopeful and came back to place! I wasn’t originally planning on including him but he looked great in the parade. While I remain down on the meet, the last three days were (modestly) in the black… John Kimmel wasn’t the only one on a roll!

Anak Nakal finally got a win in the PA Derby! I always felt he had a slightly worse wrap than he deserved and that he had been quietly improving all year. I’ve certainly been putting little bets on him since the Wood. I also liked Acai, one of my Saratoga picks, and Smooth Air (you know, the high paying trifecta).

At the last minute I made my way to Twinspires prepared to make a little $2 exacta box of Anak Nakal, Acai and Smooth Air but didn’t see Acai in the selections. He was listed as 14F at DRF for the program number and 12 in the gate. There was no 14 to select and when I moused over 12 it said it was Wishful Tomcat. Naturally, I thought Acai scratched.

Imagine my surprise when the race started and not only was Acai running, he was looking like the winner! They also listed the result as 12. Only after looking at DRF a couple of more times did I put it together that Wishful Tomcat, Alaazo and Acai were all rolled into #12… but why?

I’m trying to let the fact that I picked them override my annoyance at Twinspires for not making that more clear. Arrrrrrr!