March 19, 2007

Pivotal year for us here at Perretti Farms given the intriguing quartet of FIRSTS we’re responsible for this year.

Currently on the training tracks are the FIRST racing crops for celebrated pacing stallions Red River Hanover and McArdle. In the farm fields are the FIRST sales crops for Triple Crown Champion Windsong’s Legacy and International Champion Revenue. And last but certainly not least in the foaling barns are the very FIRST youngsters by Horse Of The Year Rocknroll Hanover.

Preliminary reports on the Red River Hanover and McArdle training prospects are indeed encouraging as one might expect in the case of Red River given the already established siring prowess of full brothers Richess Hanover and Rustler Hanover.

McArdle too should rather be precocious being by Falcon Seelster whose first crop featured a celebrated damsel named Shady Daisy.

The Windsongs Legacy yearlings are noticeably “trot” in their respective fields just as he was repeatedly powering by Tom Ridge and Cantab Hall

The Revenues are uniformly handsome and it’ll be interesting to see how they’re received at Harrisburg and Lexington later this year.

We’ll have choice selections by Windsong’s Legacy and Revenue in our sales consignments this fall.

As for the baby Rocknrollers, suffice to say the most look just like him!

Ray Brienza, Dean of the NY-NJ based harness writers reports in the Newark Star Ledger that betting numbers at Yonkers Raceway for a Saturday Night will be about $100,000 on track and $800,000 total which given takeouts results to approximately a $15,000 net for the on track and maybe a $30,000-$50,000 net for the incoming simulcast. Traditionally tracks receive something like 3% on monies bet off their premises though they may get more from NY OTB. Either way, when you consider that Yonkers will allocate approximately $225,000 to their 11race Saturday night program, it’s not hard to gauge just where this sudden prosperity is actually coming from.

While Bob Hollywood Heyden's report in his latest column concerning Ben Webster deaf ears insistance concerning the scratching Tarport Hap from her final Meadowlands start, may seem like a needless dredging of the past, there is a poignant and inherent message here.

Bob Heyden is a highly credible reporter well known for getting his facts straight. He cites that Webster after determining that the mare was a shell of herself in the warm ups and scores requested she be scratched only to be overruled as that would have designated a short betting field even shorter- something track managements notoriously frown on.

As we know the great mare died on the racetrack that night. The subsequent autopsy indicated she was terminal regardless of whether she raced but that essentially is not the issue. The ultimate ISSUE was the callous disregard for the betting public demonstrated back then as disallowing the scratch resulted in tens of thousands of hard earned dollars innocently burned on an ailing probably 2-5 superstar who had no longer belonged on a competitive racetrack once it was determined she was unfit to compete.

One has to wonder how many other equine careers have been similarly impacted- subtly forced to compete when they really should have been scratched.

“The year went exactly as we wanted to, seven races, we didn’t test the horse at all-and he still was no worse than third etc. We plan to put the pedal to the metal this year”
Duh… Go ahead-YOU rationalize this line of thinking to those with useless pari-mutuel tickets on the untested last year superstar. And wonder too why the betting handle has evaporated to such anemic proportions.

Bob Marks



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