* How is Fabulous Strike, a 6-year-old gelding who has won two Grade 2 races this year, ranked three spots higher in the latest NTRA Horse of the Year poll than Zensational, who’s won three Grade 1 races as a 3-year-old against older horses? I mean, c’mon. Zensational this year became the first 3-year-old to sweep the Bing Crosby and Pat O’Brien at Del Mar.
* Isn’t it a bit hypocritical of Jess Jackson to skip the Breeders’ Cup this year with Rachel Alexandra, citing Santa Anita’s synthetic Pro-Ride surface as the sole reason why the 3-year-old filly won’t run, and in the same breath not completely rule out running the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro in next year’s Dubai World Cup over a proposed new Tapeta artificial track?
Said Jackson on an NTRA teleconference recently: “That (Tapeta) would preclude the appearance of Rachel unless something changes my mind about the risk that false tracks have to the horse itself.”
Would a World Cup purse of $10 million be enough to change his mind? Jess doesn’t need to worry about where his next pay check is coming from, but he does have a fondness for the bigger purses.
* Maybe Santa Anita, Hollywood Park and Del Mar need to take a page from Fairplex Park’s book in regards to the latter’s policy of free admission and parking for off-track wagering at the Barretts sales pavilion. When the Southland’s big three are off-season, they need to take a hard look at their policy of charging fans to come in and bet. I can understand the tracks’ argument for charging general admission for live racing, although I don’t agree with it. But charging for off-track betting, in my opinion, is ridiculous, especially for a sport clamoring for new fans.
I can hear it now:
Wife: “But George, they don’t charge us to go in and play the horses when we’re in Vegas.”
Husband: “I know Phyllis, but just think — we can sit here and imagine the horses are in the paddock, and when we hear Jay Cohen play Call to the Post, well, it’s almost like we’re really there.”