Pleased, Thrilled and Excited to Write This Column
Monday, July 16, 2018

    Haven't written this for a long time - one of my all-time pet peeves. For decades, industry stake-holders have complained that the people who put on the shows at the nation's racetracks lack vision and imagination, the vision and imagination needed to find ways to put bodies back in the seats.

    For a while, Betfair crowed that it had implemented exchange wagering in New Jersey, a supposedly innovative idea that I constantly rapped because I knew it had no chance. Where is exchange wagering now, many months later? I don't hear a peep about it.

    I always said that the lack of imagination always pops up in the various types of press releases emanating from the tracks. Whenever there's a new employee announced, or a new position, or any kind of novel idea, the track publicity offices always resort to the same old tired cliches. Actually, I don't know if it's the publicity offices or the speakers themselves who write in cliches. They all love "thrilled, delighted, excited and pleased," when describing the event.

    Recent case in point. A few days ago, Blood-Horse reported the news that Fasig-Tipton was stepping in to the California sales ring as Barretts goes out of business.

    Here are the quotes from the principals. From my friend Tim Ritvo, The Stronach Group COO: "We're THRILLED to have Fasig-Tipton back in California . . .  etc." 

    From Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning Jr., "We are very EXCITED to be returning to the auction marketplace in California."

   From Miguel A. Santana, president and CEO of Fairplex, where Barretts used to hold its auctions. "We are PLEASED that Santa Anita and Fasig-Tipton are joining the auction arena . . . etc." 

   If there was one more exec making a statement, we could have added "delighted" and hit the superfecta. 

  Surely there's somebody out there who's sharp enough to bury my pet peeve forever. Please.  

   ALMOST A DEAD-HEAT - The general sire leader in Florida has been bouncing back and forth all season between Double Diamond Farm's First Dude and deceased Wildcat Heir, former Journeyman Stud stallion who led the list for so many years, even after his passing in 2015. As of today, the pair are less than $1,000 apart for 2018 and it looks like it will go down to the wire.

    In third place is Songandaprayer, who took up residence at Journeyman this year after a career in Kentucky. He's 20. Fourth is High Cotton, who is now pensioned at Ocala Stud Farm.

    That means Two Step Salsa is in fifth place, but Get Away Farm's son of Petionville is second among those still active, and who have been here since the beginning. Two Step is remarkable: he had his best year in 2017 - more than $1.9 million, and he's closing in on $1.2 million already this year, so a record is on the horizon. In addition, he has 23 runners who have surpassed $100,000 in earnings, and his colt, Fully Loaded, is headed for the $100,000 Dr. Fager in the Florida Sire Stakes series and it looks like he'll be the favorite. Exciting times for Manny Andrade, who also has seen freshman sire Drill get off to a good start with three winners, one of them stakes-placed. 








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