October 13, 2008

Appropriately, the first sub 1:50 trotter in history is a Perretti Bred sold originally for just $7,500 at the New Jersey Classic.

Enough Talk (Enjoy Lavec-Fashion Setter-Donerail) proved a stunning eight length winner over Hambltonian champion Vivid Photo in the Patriot at Colonial Downs winning in 1:49.3.

Noticed in one of the glossies this little tidbit about Revenue where the author pondered if indeed this industry needed an “outcross savior” from across the pond. Exampled was a horse named Quel Veinard who proved a lackluster sire at best in the 60’s. It’s unclear how this reference applies to Revenue as by performance and pedigree the comparison seems more like apples and oranges.

Quel Veinbard was a horse of French parentage with questionable and virtually untraceable (according to pathway) maternal heritage while Revenue though French sired has a powerful American maternal line tracing back to Scotch Love dam of two Hambletonian winners in the immortal Speedy Scot and brother Speedy Streak.

Moreover, Revenue’s sire Rev D’ Udon is familiar not only for his International duels with Peace Corps but for other famous offspring including double Prix D ’Amerique winner Offshore Dream.. Furthermore Rev D’ Udon is a direct grandson of Kerjacques sire of superstars Une de Mai and Jorky.

In addition, Revenue was of championship caliber throughout his career spanning ages 2 through 8. Even at the ripe old age of 8, Revenue showed :27 quarters en route to a 1:51.3 mile.

If nothing else that’s indicative of the kind of enduring quality not nearly so prevalent on our side of the Atlantic as it used to be.

Some say, Revenue simulated our conditions more then most of his European contemporaries being a more of a “miler” than perhaps a “router”. Still, it can and should be questioned if indeed he’ll produce the early 2-year-old brilliance necessary to win American colt stakes.

Early reports from Europe indicate that those Revenue’s sired while in training there have shown dramatic improvement from ages 2 to 3 with Reven d’Amour attaining continental status in Sweden.

While it remains to be seen if the Revenue’s sired here will follow suit, the chances are they will show marked improvement with maturity.

Actually the Revenue impact will not be fully known for years to come though it is safe to speculate that while he may or may not eventually prove an outcross savior, he likely will be an outcross contributor and that in itself is beneficial..

So what would be so wrong with a program page disclaimer indicating that the horses about to compete in stakes eliminations are merely “attempting to qualify for next weeks lucrative final” and need only finish in the first four or five order to do so. Since this may diminish the actual urgency of going all out to win this particular race bettors are counseled to act accordingly at their own risk or some verbiage therein better able to document the realties involved.

Or are we so callous that we’ll continue to accept mutuel money in full knowledge that the customer is not getting a fair shake?

Can’t help but notice Soul Chaser p,7,1:47.3 (Kentucky Spur-Sentational Sherry-Dirk Almahurst) going as fast the contemporary breds much like Primetime Bobcat (Abercrombie-Emerald Girl-Most Happy Fella) did in 2006 when he paced in 1:47.2

Kentucky Spur was foaled in 1986 while Sentational Sherry came along in 1992 thus Soul Chaser could have been foaled in the late 90’s. Be that the case, would he have been proportionately faster than those contemporaries or commensurate with what a horse of his caliber usually accomplishes?

Primetime Bobcat’s ancient pedigree seems even more pronounced with Abercrombie a foal of 1975 and Emerald Girl born in1980. Therefore he could have easily been foaled in the late 80’s and if so, would he have been significantly faster than the milestone Abercrombie’s like Artsplace and Life Sign?

As most sires get their fastest though not necessarily greatest performers in their later crops perhaps advanced breeding is not the sole reason for continuing speed explosions?

So what is this elusive differential between the marketing of a spectator sport like horse racing and the other popular spectator sports like baseball, football, auto racing etc.

As Mal Burroughs rather eloquently articulated in Las Vegas more than a decade ago, in horse racing, the horses - the equine athletes are for sale to the general public. In other sports they are not.

Simply put, someone must purchase the next Hambletonian winner. A team may draft, trade for or sign its next quarterback but an individual owner must purchase a racehorse.

That said, the next question seems why would anyone choose to purchase a racehorse unless they are first and foremost a fan of horse racing?

Therefore it would appear that the mission is to recruit racing fans in the hope that some eventually evolve into horse ownership.

Not sure how it was received by the Vernon Downs public but couldn’t help but notice the classification terminology of miracle mile 1, miracle mile 2 etc. obviously a version of the old ABC racing classification popular at many tracks in the 60’s.

Not sure whether it’s an advancement or an improvement of the existing conditional system though it was rather comforting back then when regardless of time or earnings an AA pacer or trotter was an AA pacer or trotter and not a FREE FOR ALLER unlike the interchangeable and often ambiguous open-preferred-winners over levels

Basically, the encounter between Art Official and Somebeachsomewhere was simply an old fashioned horse race in which the here and now took precedence over tomorrow.

Ironically that’s what bettors feel when wagering on horse racing.

Therefore, why indeed would anyone knowingly wager on a horse whose primary mission may be to earn while conserving sufficient energy for next week in direct conflict with the player’s primary mission of here and now.

When the former standardbred handicapper converted to west coast thoroughbred player was privately asked at the seminar prior to Hambletonian day, if indeed his running horse brethren viewed certain races as cynically as seasoned trot players do, the response was a emphatic negative. The reason being that the infrequency of actual starts for thoroughbred horses mandates that individual races matter more.

In short, there’s significantly less “next week”! .



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