February 25, 2008

For the second year in a row, Offshore Dreams won the coveted Prix d’Amerique significant in that he like our own REVENUE is a son of former International winner Rev d’Udon from 100% prime American maternal family.

Revenue traces right back to Scotch Love, dam of the great Speedy Scot, while Offshore Dream’s 3rd dam is Seascape Lobell a full sister to Speedy Somolli.

In short, both Revenue and Offshore Dream are by the same French international champion stallion and both are from superior American maternal families.

The Revenue’s are training rather well according to numerous reports.

Our own Messenger and $900,000 plus winner Palone Ranger congratulates The real PALONE RANGER –namesake Dave Palone on winning his 12,000th race with the Perretti bred raised and sold Maltese Artist in the opening leg of the Isle Of Capri series at Pompano.

Palone Ranger’s dam Mercy Mercy Mercy will consign a Rocknroll Hanover filly DONTKNOCKTHEOCK to the Fall sales later this year.

Don’t know how many have thought of it this way but any potential purse cut at the Meadowlands has much deeper implications than just being a “New Jersey” problem.

After all, the track adds considerable monies to the lucrative finals in its major stake programs that could well be impacted by slashes in purses considering those funds do come from the purse account.

When questioned about the inconsistency of the cuisine the master chef explained how the clientele was unappreciative of his gourmet talents therefore the menu was toned down and tailored to what the traffic demanded-that being simple but well prepared items of generous portions.

Considering the establishment was always jam packed, it seemed a logical business model.

But he added, every so often the truly discerning palate calls for a table. This inspires me to concoct the proverbial meal for a king but unfortunately these inspiration opportunities are so few and far between. It’s not that I can’t operate a five star restaurant, there’s just no calling for it.

That said, one constantly hears how the racetrack has fallen so far from its previously lofty pedestal and no wonder why attendance is so sparse as evidenced by the dwindling handle.

Or have they dropped from this pedestal BECAUSE the level of customer attendance has so dwindled as to render the previous standard of excellence as unnecessary for an indifferent audience that no longer requires special treatment.

Courtesy of the Horseman And Fair World, I received a blown up archive of results from Yonkers Raceway on November 7th, 1964.

There were 35,000 people on hand that night and collectively they bet over $2.5 million- all on track as there was no simulcasting or OTBs back then. While there were the obligatory neighborhood bookmakers or turf accountants if you will- their “handle” remains in the realm of unannounced, unreported and unremembered.

Through the good offices of The Blood Horse’s news editor and prominent harness writer Tom LaMarra, I learned that day Aqueduct hosted some 49,000 attendees who collectively wagered a little over $5 million.

Those handle figures given today’s inflation would be equivalent to 10 or 15 times that number which makes it even more astonishing. Basically it meant that within the confines of Metropolitan New York, 85,000 people were on trackside to witness what was just a normal Saturday of racing on the fateful seventh day of November in 1964.

Tom also mentioned that some 80 miles southwest in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, 34,000+ fans wagered about $3 million at Garden State Park on that same day..

My best recollection is that temperature was in the 30’s at Yonkers that night, thus, we’ll tack on a few degrees for the afternoon events.

Interestingly enough, the Yonkers card featured a pair of Invitational events in which some major 3-year-olds went against their elders. In the first invite, the soon to be crowned sophomore divisional champ Race Time- as the 4-5 favorite- defeated a field that included noted FFA & JFFA types Cold Front, Adios Ronnie, Irvin Paul. Vicki’s Jet and Irish Napoleon. Another top five 3-year-old Vicar Hanover finished third in that event.

In the other invite, 4-year-old mare Harry’s Laura prevailed over star 3-year-olds Ripping Good and Lyss Hanover in a field that also included Chapel Chief, Sly Yankee, Rex Pick and Queen’s Mohigan neither of whom was a stranger to those elite FFA-JFFA levels.

Bob Marks



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