July 7, 2008

Triple Crown champion Windsong’s Legacy may be gone but like the proverbial candle in the wind, his legacy endures.

Already he’s accounted for some impressive first croppers like Ray Schnittker’s Tad The Stud the 9th foal from the well bred but thus far moderately productive Chocolate Layered. Tad The Stud opened managed a rather eyecatching season’s record 1:59.4 in a Meadowlands baby race and may be much faster than that by now.

Other impressive first crop “Legacy’s” include Rapsong (Rap Girl), Stunning Delight (Armbro Stunning), Meyer Winsky (Myolin)

There are two full crops by Windsong’s Legacy remaining available at the yearling sales this fall and in 2009.

Saw what might be a noticeable Red River Hanover colt named Redneck Riviera (Cape Matteras) winning the Hanover at Balmoral in 1:54…. Notice too that the Revenue colts and fillies are “showing up” tempering skepticism about not having early speed…

On Wednesday September 1, 1976, Yonkers Raceway offered it’s customary Wednesday night program consisting of assorted B3 trots, $18,000 claimers and some C2 pacing events.

Precisely the same menu offered at the Hilltop for countless Wednesdays prior to this particular Wednesday.

That same evening the track across the Hudson made its long awaited and long heralded debut with a power packed program featuring a FFA pace for Rambling Willie and friends and a strong undercard comprising many of the top standardbreds active at that time.

Basically, the Tri-state metropolitan harness fan had a choice and we all know where he chose to be.

Fast forward to Sunday June 15th, 2008, Harrahs Chester presented the Franklin Memorial for Artistic Fella, Mr Big, Mr Feelgood and company in addition to it’s now traditional strong Sunday afternoon undercard featuring many of the better standardbreds active on the Eastern seaboard.

That same day The Meadowlands countered with a Fathers Day presentation comprised of cheap claimers and pedestrian conditionals in which several trainers actually were forced into driving their own stock as the bulk of the driving colony were occupied across the river- The Delaware river.

Basically the remnants of what used to be a huge reservoir of harness fans once again had a choice.

Déjà vu?

Have no idea who this proposed commissioner person should actually be but do suspect he or she had better come equipped with the wisdom of Solomon in order to navigate the ever widening conflicting interest gaps between those putting on the show and those needed to finance and participate in what has eroded to a spectator less sport.

This commissioner must thoroughly comprehend that racing cannot be marketed like other sports. Unlike the other sports, the actual athletes, the equine athletes are for sale and must be purchased by a diminishing segment of the population known as owners.

Commensurately comes the second part of this complex equation. Why would anyone seek to own a racehorse unless they were fans of horse racing?

Sounds like a huge and possibly thankless task indeed!

Looked in the Friday Post for the Thursday Meadowlands results and couldn’t find them.

The sad part is that they probably weren’t deluged with a torrent of calls complaining about this inadvertent or apathetically advertent omission.

Those vocally clamoring for media coverage might take note of what can happen when it occurs as what we consider important suddenly becomes open to interpretation to those who may not see things as we do.

The following graced the sports pages of perhaps the most widely circulated metropolitan daily under a bold 10point column subhead entitled LAUGHABLE

“Why does harness racing allow things to happen that are embarrassing? And they never change.

The writer goes on to document how one of the Rooney eliminations was reduced to four horses due to the late scratch of Atochia-tardy to the paddock for his lasix administration.

Consequently no horse would be eliminated from this Rooney elimination.

Named him Achilles Heel as bone cysts on both knees rendered him unacceptable for the yearling sales and a marginal racing prospect at best.

In addition his conformation was far from being the greatest but then his mother Anklet Hanover is not exactly perfect and what a warrior she was.

Above the knees he was impressive with the size and stature of many of the good Muscles Yankees but given the medical prognosis, he was one that the lookers would just shake their heads at.

Still in the field he could trot some and actually didn’t put them down all that bad but holding up to the rigors of training seemed precarious.

Gary Baker actually tried him a little as a late 2-year-old but stopped before it got serious.

Greg Peck tried him a little bit at three and other than once telling us Wellington wanted no part of him on the straight track indicated those knees would not hold up when the going got tough.

We sold him as is in the Blooded Horse Sale.

He didn’t bring much.

About a year the phone rings and there’s this gentleman inquiring about this great looking Muscles Yankee horse he noticed pulling an Amish wagon in Illinois. We put him in touch with Greg Peck and they talked trainer to trainer.

Some months thereafter, noticed the name Achilles Heel in to qualify at Balmoral and he actually won his qualifier in 59.3.

Noticed the other day that Achilles Heel won a race in 1:59.1

Bob Marks



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