Lucky ChuckyMuscles Yankee

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  Perretti Farms Stallions

 Standing at Cool Winds Farm of Ohio!
LUCKY CHUCKY 2,1:55.1 3,1:50.4 $2,099,973

Standing at Winbak Farm of New York!
MUSCLES YANKEE 2,1:56.3; 3,1:52.2 ($1,424,938)

Trotlines 104

Friday the first of May commenced with the annual and futile 6AM journey to Beckmanns, an old time cigar and newspaper store familiar to all horseplayers in the area for it’s daily stockpile of racing forms and programs and other assorted paraphernalia for the sporting crowd.

Almost every town in the vicinity of a Racetrack or OTB has such a place and the clientele tend to be familiar to each other as they share a common pursuit.

Like clockwork every morning we count on The Daily Harness Program being there save perhaps for a major blizzard or statewide power failure.

That is every morning but those mornings directly preceding a major thoroughbred happening like Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont Stakes and Breeders Cup.

On those fateful mornings scores of extra thoroughbred programs arrive in bundles while the harness programs tend not to be delivered. Not that they’re not printed, we’ve been assured they have been, it’s just that being last on the totem pole, they tend get to press too late to make the milk run delivery trucks. This invariably leads to further and farther journeys to similar news stores in other towns knowing full well these detours are not likely to bear fruit but we make them anyway.

Unfortunately there’s a painfully obvious reason the harness absence on big event thoroughbred days- called supply and demand.

Since the forms are all printed at the same place in Hightstown the biggest sellers warrant press preference relegating the weaker sellers to the bottom of the pile. If they don’t make the delivery truck, it seems no one other than a handful of us harness dinosaurs seem to care. The same dinosaurs that knew to converge at loudmouth Tony’s Times Square newsstand by 10:30 each morning before the coveted Doc Robbins Tomorrow’s Trot’s got sold out…

Instead of lamenting the lack of media coverage perhaps if more of us patronized our own existing coverage, a vital booklet containing past performances of such feature events like The Dexter elims, Berry’s Cup elims, Classic series, Levy and Matchmaker finals, Mohegan Sun final and Diplomat series might not be treated like the proverbial afterthought on the eve of Derby day.

Footnote: Can look forward to the same scenario this coming Saturday on Preakness Day.

With the ongoing and/or stalled construction on the bridge directly past the exit 16W tollbooths getting to The Meadowlands via the New Jersey Turnpike has become a hassle even at 9:30 in the morning on a qualifying day.

One can only imagine what it must be like for the shippers trying to make paddock during anything that even approaches rush hour.

Hopefully this work will be completed before the major stakes season begins.

After watching Drop Red’s near miss in the Berrys Creek, it appears Red River Hanover will work out just fine in Indiana. Erv Miller has an interesting Red River in Redneck Riviera from Cape Matteras. Two for two this year and headed for the New Jersey Sires Stakes.

Kinda proud of Red Granger (Run The Ball) noticeable in Canada these days. Every $4,000 yearling should have his speed.

Coupla more Revenues are showing up these days. Pricevalleyrevitup was rather handy at Mohawk the other night wiring some decent colts. My Back Pages, the Revenue brother to Wind Surfer strong in 1:56.2 in a Meadowlands qualifier as was Caviart Annie (Revenue-Toss Up) after shipping from California.

Noticed that Mohawk found a race for returning Shadow Play and the end result was the Jug winner prevailed in a useful effort in versus other 4-year-olds in a 4-year-old open.

Too often, big name returnees get buried in the highest possible class level automatically creating a betting dilemma as most likely it’ll be an out for the exercise conditioner.

This way the horse GOT needed trip over the track and while probably a tad short showed where he’s at for whatever happens next week.

The track deliberately scheduled the elimination feature at the tail end of the program, suspecting if not totally convinced that it would make a poor betting race seeing as how a starter need only finish 9th or better in order to qualify for the lucrative final next week.

They were right as it was virtually non-competitive won by perhaps the only entrant with a reason for trying as the other major name competitors languished in the middle of the pack and were never in danger of entering contention.

Nevertheless, the same track’s publicity department sends out this glittering release documenting how the winner prevailed in a “clash of titans” which gets picked up and printed verbatim as NEWS by all the major trade websites, though not one bothered to verify the accuracy of what was a publicity release.

Was anybody watching?

Bob Marks

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