April 30, 2007

Mr. Muscleman has been invited to the Elitlopp this year and hopefully he’ll have his game face on by that point following a lengthy recovery from the injury sustained at four. When on his game the Adam Victor owned Muscles Yankee champion is very much of championship class caliber and certainly entitled to inclusion in so storied an event.

Citing Paul Harvey, its always good to learn the rest of the story before leaping to conclusion based on what are sketchy first hand reports..

Following last years Kentucky Derby one might have concluded that Barbaro was an all time great and a potential Triple Crown champion.

However, Bernardini did not contest the Derby though his prowess became rather evident in the Preakness, Belmont, Travers and thereafter.

Appropriately Bernardini went off as post time favorite for the Breeders Cup with horse of the year clearly on the line. Despite a substantial effort, Bernardini was upended by 4-year-old. Invasor- he too in the process of an extended winning streak

Thereafter Bernardini retired with much fanfare though his star may have been dimmed by his Breeders Cup setback..

Invasor meanwhile is still winning and was last seen demolishing the world’s best in the World Cup at Dubai.

Retroactively Bernadini’s star has brightened somewhat despite not leaving his stallion paddock given the enhanced stature now accorded his conqueror Invasor.

Just as Overtrick beat Meadow Skipper both heats in the 1963 Little Brown Jug though Skipper probably spent six of the eight quarters in his customary position on the outside.

Years later the rest of that story was obvious to all.

Jay Leimbach acknowledged thoroughbred and standardbred pedigree scribe observed that a noticeable number of milestone thoroughbreds like Man O war, Count Fleet, Native Dancer, Nashua, Forego, Affirmed and many others actually occurred directly one year after their respective dams had experienced a barren season. Some were second foals others third, fourth, fifth and even seventh but the common denominator was each arrived following a barren season for the respective dam.

Don’t know if it’s just coincidental or how it will correlate to standardbreds but one would think further research might be in order.

Ralph Succee’s comprehensive look in TROT at the feeding frenzy that was the Castleleton dispersal at Tattersalls was a superb piece of reporting regardless of whether the memories stirred may be a tad painful to some especially in the wallet department

There again, the rest of the story tells the real story as what may have been momentary euphoria has undoubtedly tempered with the passage of time.

When slots fueled emporiums like Woodbine are forced to cancel Sunday cards due to lack of entrants, one would think there could be some ominous implications.

While the Meadowlands had to abandon Wednesday programs due in some part to sudden and stiff purse competition from the newly slots enhanced Yonkers, Woodbine faces no such newly revitalized competitor.

Not sure we fathom the motivations of those nailed at one of the newer and successful Racinos for the simple reason it’s like biting the hands that feed. Suddenly opportunity is abounding in what seemed a depressed area as horses are now racing for purses supercharged by the slot subsidization.

Read something on one of the sites how Ohio lawmakers something called instant racing terminals in which players can bet on past contested races, Even though names and other pertinent information will be withheld from the public one has to question the necessity to keep breeding live horses if you’re going to encourage the public to bet on the recycled ones.

Breeders unite. This is not in our best interest.

Bob Marks



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