The Giant's Fall

Thoroughbred racing coverage takes another hit. As sport giant ESPN has decided to cut its coverage of the Kentucky Oaks (gr.I) on Friday May 1, with its primary three networks, and opted for Bravo.

I am an optimist, and Churchill placed a positive spin on ESPN's decision. It is true that Bravo will bring in new eyes and primarily appeal to the female audience. Carson Kressley is also a large personality often seen on this channel, and he has been very eager to share his love for Kentucky, horses, and the Derby. Those are all pluses.

Alas, I am disappointed by the actual sport networks, I think the economy had a factor, since ESPN would trump Oaks coverage to "gain more eyes" with their standard gammit of programming than with horse racing. Heaven forbid they cut to one race of amazing talent in sports. An issue that flashes back to the Breeders' Cup coverage in many ways, I hope they think about equal representation of boys and girls.

The Oaks is more exciting than the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic (formerly Distaff) from last year for me...and that says a lot. I want to see Rachel Alexandra beat Stardom Bound. I want Medaglia d'Oro to be recognized for his first 3-year-old crop because I have been very impressed with them since their debut. Our Maiden Watch blog did a phenomenal job following Medaglia's offspring. The field in the Oaks will be as fun as the field in the Derby.

I whined enough about the BC coverage and changes, so I will not rant much on this change. Why? I'm not surprised. It is tough admitting that, but I have loss respect, again, for ESPN's complete coverage in sports, or lack there of.

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If you haven't heard yet, Blood-Horse web videos that we love so much, are now going to be broadcasting on Canadian Television. So if you live in Canada, be prepared to see the mugs of Lenny, Steve, Jason, Evan, and Tom. And They're Off as well as That Handicapping Show are set to air.

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So how are my Derby/Oaks picks still shaping up after this past weekend?


Photo: A. Duckworth
Caption: Friesan Fire

Still Strong:

Five of my early picks from last year:
Capt. Candyman Can - I am willing to give him another chance, he still has it in him, let's seem him prove it.
Chocolate Candy - I have enjoyed how he has handled himself every-time he has run.
Terrain - One of my very first picks from last year, I liked his recent run in the LA Derby, and think he will peak at the right time.
Imperial Council
- Will be my show bet...plan ahead for your exotics and finish positions.
Rachel Alexandra - winning the Oaks for sure, check out Fair Ground Oaks

Three of my picks from early this year:
Beethoven - I have a feeling, and I am an avid music junkie.
Hello Broadway - Not sure what I think, but I think something good..
The Pamplemousse - Has grown on me, like a grapefruit on a tree.

Respect, even if I did not, and probably won't pick them:
Pioneerof the Nile - Not one of my original picks, but a horse I have to recognize for skill.
Old Fashioned - Can he get it done? Possibly.
Friesan Fire - Not an early pick either, and he probably won't be a personal favorite of mine, but I have to admit now he is legit.


Photo: A. Duckworth
Caption: Rachel Alexandra

Now Doubtful:
Giant Oak - I still love Giant Oak. His closing move in his most recent race was huge, but not enough. After following Pyro and watching his talent, I don't think the Derby is structured for closers. One or two freak wins have happened from closers, but I just don't see it this year. He needs more time to develop, and he will be really good later on.
--amended--
It is apparent theories were right, he is not going to the Derby. I first heard rumors yesterday morning, but it has since been confirmed.
Notonthesamepage - I don't think he will get it done, so I have lost confidence.

Verdict Still Out:

Be Smart - Awaiting for a nice race and want an Oaks appearance
Atomic Rain - Just need to see a bit more from him.

How are your Derby/Oaks picks shaping up?


Photo: A. Duckworth
Caption: Terrain before the LA Derby

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Kodiak Kowboy gave some action recently, finishing second in Louisiana. He is one of the horses I follow, and I have not heard much on him recently. Here's a shout out to him.

57 Comments

Leave a Comment:

EKrueg

Rachel Alexandra is getting scary good, I have no doubt she could beat Stardom Bound. Especially on the dirt. Her last race was unbelievable, I thought Calvin Boral's head was going to fall off from turning so much to see where the other horses were.

17 Mar 2009 4:44 PM
TerriV

I have to rant a little bit about the lousy way all the sports networks and cable channels treat horseracing in general (and not just TV, but also the newspapers)  I was trying to find something on the TV somewhere about the great races this weekend and lo and behold what exciting sport can you find - POKER.  Why why why do they show such a horribly boring thing as a group of people sitting around a table (most with sunglasses on), not moving and hardly talking!!  What kind of craziness is that!  Isn't there anyone out there in the TV/newspaper business who can get racing the coverage it deserves.  The country needs another horse hero.  Man O War after WWI, Seabiscuit in the Great Depression, Secretariat for post-Vietnam/Watergate.  OK end of rant.

On another note - I was so disappointed for Old Fashioned in the LA Derby.  He looked like he'd run exactly the race he needed - where on earth did Win Willy come from?  Though Win Willy sure looked spectacular.  I'm holding with Stardom Bound still for the ladies but can't settle on a favorite colt.  Love Larry Jones' horses always and am fascinated with The Pamplemousse.

17 Mar 2009 4:46 PM
Jay

Is capt. candyman can running in the florida derby. I have not herd anything on him since his last race.

17 Mar 2009 4:57 PM
aspradling

Jay: Capt. is nominated for the Florida Derby, but I have not heard if he is set to go or not. Scroll down this link until you see the Nominations...

www.gulfstreampark.com/.../StakesSchedule.htm

17 Mar 2009 5:04 PM
mburry

Medaglia D'Oro was a beautiful, fast horse so I can see his daughter doing big things. My derby horses are the Jones boys so we are doing okay so far Good luck all.

17 Mar 2009 5:09 PM
Slew.em.All

Adam:  Told you Giant Oak was not that good. If you love em',let em' go.And if it's meant to be..well,there's always the Indiana Derby.

I also think Beethoven will run big in the Fla.Derby,then into the Ky.Derby where he's 2for3.He's about due to pop a corker.

But,as of now I think Friesan Fire,POTN & I Want Revenge are heads above the rest of the pack.It's getting down to the nitty-gritty now.The pretenders are falling by the wayside faster than I can pound these pints of Guinness!  Happy St.Paddys Day!!

BTW: I'm not Irish,but I am Today.

17 Mar 2009 5:20 PM
Lonhro

Capt Candyman is as good as off the trail.  Wilkes did an excellent job with him keeping all his options open by sprinting in the Hutch and then going a mile in the Youth.  Was able to test his mettle at the distance and competition while still giving his horse every chance to pad his bankroll.  His lack of a rally in the FOY exposed him and that he can't match the big boys at a mile, and certainly not the Derby distance.  His dam was a sprinter with the same gameness and style as the Candyman, and his build and action are identical, so being able to go two turns against mature horses (winning a route as a 2yo is meaningless) would be a huge surprise.  Wilkes is a smart man working on turf this week, but it sounds like the results were abysmal.  Surprising considering his dam moved up on it, and the Candy Ride.  Would still predict his future is on the lawn, but in the meantime there are some good sprint races in KY and NY that he can do serious damage in.  Nothing more dangerous than a dead game stalker in a sprint.

17 Mar 2009 5:31 PM
Marcia

I am disappointed in ESPN's decision not to cover the Oaks, as well.  I find that I watch HRTV more and more and TVG only when the track is broadcasted through them (HRTV).  I enjoy the commentary from ESPN, I like Randy Moss, but will watch the Oaks with the HRTV folks. And I also am on the Jones Boys bandwagon!

17 Mar 2009 5:35 PM
Pollas

Capt. Candyman Can will be kept at sprinting for now according to his trainer.  The Swale I believe was mentioned as a possibility.

17 Mar 2009 5:39 PM
Mindy C.

I am still curious about a maiden winner in the Santa  Anita Derby...

Mr. Hot Stuff...  full bro to Colonel John and is still very green, but his works in the morning are tremendous...  I like a fresh horse and a fast one this time of year...  should be interesting...

17 Mar 2009 6:05 PM
neddy

Agree the TV coverage is very disappointing...Sport really needs a star. Still like theregoesjojo for derby. Dont like Desormeaux but I picked B Brown early on last year too so he won it for me there.

17 Mar 2009 7:20 PM
Kate

I am very very disappointed in ESPN. They are turning into the CNBC of sports.

The Oaks is going to be great this year! Rachel A., Stardom Bound, ?Evita A.? Is Evita Argentina going to be in it? Last I heard she was heading for the FG Oaks but she wasn't there. It would be a great mash up. ESPN is missing out! These girls mean business!

17 Mar 2009 8:09 PM
Sharon

TerriV: I agree with you on the way horse racing is generally treated by all forms of media like it's the ugliest of the ugly ducklings. I work for my local paper in S.C. and the "reasoning" I get from the sports editor is that no one watches it, there's no interest in it, and there's no connection here (meaning he just wants to print football, baseball, hoops, golf and NASCAR).

But that argument is ridiculous since -- just off the top of my head -- we have the following connections:

* Robert and Janice McNair, who raced the terrific Congaree, have ties to our state

* two-time Derby-winning jockey Chris Antley, who grew up in nearby Elloree

* the Carolina and Colonial Cups in Camden

* the Elloree Trials this weekend

* Dogwood Stable based in Aiken (which means we are the proud "owners" of a Preakness winner in Summer Squall)

* Belmont-winning trainer Scotty Schulhoffer -- based in Aiken

* Secretariat wintered here

* Ruffian spent time in Camden

* Derby winner War Emblem spent time at an S.C. training facility and

* the owner of Canadian Triple Crown winner Wando has a farm in the state

While we may not have a national or global presence in the sport the way Kentucky, Florida, California and New York do, we HAVE a connection and we're foolish not to nurture it. Yet I have to fight tooth-and-nail to get the Derby mentioned ONCE in the week before the race -- and I don't work the sports desk. Unless there's a Triple Crown on the line, I have to fight yet again to get any additional coverage for the other two Classics, then again for the Breeders' Cup. As for TV, I don't care if they run the Breeders' Cup at 3 a.m. -- I know plenty of people who'll sit up and watch it, both days.

But our sports editor complains when we get scooped on a local horse racing story by one of the larger papers -- well, why should anyone in our coverage area tell us about a connection when we so obviously don't care enough about the sport to publicize it? If you want to grow your coverage, you have to give people something they want to read and it isn't always NASCAR! Several years ago, I read an article stating that the most-viewed sport on television was football, followed by ... figure skating. Gee, I wonder who could possibly be watching that? Certainly not the folks inhabiting the sports desks at most media outlets.

And, yes, we need an equine hero -- one whose owners are not in pursuit of the all-mighty dollar and have the courage to race their horses and not shirk a fight when the competition gets tough. Given the state of the sport right now, I really, really miss Seattle Slew, Personal Ensign, John Henry, Alydar, Secretariat and Cigar. And I don't think we'll see the likes of them again any time soon.

17 Mar 2009 8:24 PM
Tammy

Giant Oak was my Derby hope I love him, but In retrospect it may not be a bad thing.

I think this is going to be A VERY good horse as he matures and it would be a shame to ruin him for one race - even the Derby.

17 Mar 2009 8:26 PM
DONNA

Love Larry Jones and his two horses. I was alittle disappointed with Old Fshioned this weekend though. Hopefully we will see better of him next time.

Madaglia D'oro was a favorite of mine in 02 and 03 so any of his offspring I route for. He is becoming quite a fine sire. Good luck to him and his offspring.

17 Mar 2009 9:14 PM
Wanda

Serious Adam on Canadian TV? Wow thank you good old USA, throw us a bone up here in the Great White North.lol.(I'm getting all teary eyed)

17 Mar 2009 9:22 PM
Anna

I still think Stardom Bound should run with the boys and Rachel Alexandra should stick with the girls.  Even though Stardom Bound's last win left some wondering if she could take on the boys she definitely proved that she has the will to win.

17 Mar 2009 9:34 PM
Tiznowbaby

I realize it's economics, but it seems shortsighted to cut the Oaks. That's shaping up to be a tremendous race with some extremely popular horses running.

On a side note, cool blaze on Rachel Alexandra.

17 Mar 2009 10:00 PM
Millreef

Jay...do you know which Canadian network is going to be broadcasting the Blood-Horse web videos?

17 Mar 2009 10:41 PM
black mamba

Yes, I was surprised by old fashioned's defeat but wild willy is bred by monarchos. Remember monarchos' move in 2001 derby following a hot pace. Of course he wasn't the best horse that year. Point given was. With that being said, pioneer and friesen fire did their job. Just win and don't peak too soon. If the pamplemousse and old fashioned hooked up early in the derby. You can see a horse like pioneer or friesan fire winning it.

18 Mar 2009 12:29 AM
EMD

I'm not the least bit surprised Meg'doro's offspring are terrific.  He was terrific!  It thrills me to no end to see him succeed as a sire as I loved him when he raced.  Only saw him once live -- in the Donn at the Gulf. If you could see him in his paddock at Stonewall -- he exudes studliness!  

18 Mar 2009 7:50 AM
nina

Watch for Win Willy . He was just awesome.

18 Mar 2009 8:16 AM
draynay

I don't see a Derby winner anywhere in your picks. Where is Quality Road, I Want Revenge, Theregoesjojo, or Desert Party?

You mention Imperial Council but have him as a show bet only. Watch his coming out party in the Wood and think again. If Imperial Council doesn't win the Wood I will never handicap another race in my life. Last year I was all over Big Brown and look how smart I turned out to be. I knew how weak the others in the race were.

This year is far more difficult to handicap in that last years Derby turned out to be the weakest field in history. I don't see that happening again. I have it down to 5, I'll give you the winner after I see how they train over the Churchill Track. If the track comes up wet I'm going with Desert Party. The fools who pick Old Fashioned, Pioneer Of The Nile, The Pamplemousse, Friesan Fire, Dunkirk, Captain Candyman Can, Chocolate Candy, or anyothers are just going to inhance my odds with the winner. Keep the money coming on your losers, I'll be there to rake it in when my pick romps!!

18 Mar 2009 8:26 AM
RACE DAY MARC

What racing has failed at is getting TV coverage of the sport and that is why it is dying.  As the gentleman said we can watch a stupid game of poker  but no racing.  The NTRA needs to realize it needs racing on TV every Saturday like it was years ago.

18 Mar 2009 8:31 AM
DARLA

I TOO WANT TO SEE MEDAGLIA D' ORO TO BE SUCCESSFUL AND HE IS WELL ON HIS WAY!! I LOVE THIS HORSE!!! I WILL BE ROOTING FOR RACHEL ON OAKS DAY TO BEAT STARDOM BOUND [SORRY MIKE SMITH} ESPECIALLY NOW THAT DUTROW HAS STARDOM BOUND...........

18 Mar 2009 8:37 AM
aspradling

I see a lot of new Win Willy fans out there now =)

slew.em.all: Yeah, you have some good insight. Thank you for the great commentary and feedback, its fun...I do have some Irish blood, but we can all be Irish for a day.

Lonhro/Pollas: Good points, yeah I like Wilkes. He is the trainer for one of my horses, Jedi Code. If you read any of my old blogs you'll see what I mean =) Thanks for the info on the pointed to sprinting.

Mindy C.: I liked, and still do, Colonel Jon a lot...I think there is a certain horse who is doing well on synthetic right now, pretty hot, but I am afraid will be the Colonel Jon of this year...and not finish strong in the Derby. I will have to start watching for M.r Hot Stuff!

Kate: yet another Candy Ride eh? Yeah, I like Evita, I am not sure if she will go to the Oaks or not. I think she would be an interesting pick for the race.

Sharon: I truly appreciate your passion for the sport and I am sure it is very frustrating to try and gain media support for it. South Carolina does have rich history in racing and I think a lot of sports writers don't get the magnitude or history of horse racing, and how many terms used in all sports coverage, actually have origins in horse racing lingo. I know I was impressed as I continue to learn how much of our culture has the racing lingo ingrained in it. So here is to you and the good fight of covering our great sport.

Wanda: you crack me up.

draynay: That is why I like you, you know what you like. You are right that this year is more challenging to handicap than last year...it is more fun too. I'll stick with my picks, but I don't usually go with all the hype in who I follow. Now when it comes to strictly handicapping, that changes. Did you win any money on Giacomo?

18 Mar 2009 8:46 AM
aspradling

Canadian TV station the shows are airing on is HPI tv.

18 Mar 2009 9:02 AM
aspradling

hehe, Well I think Beethoven is going to be there in the end, where exactly? In the money. I am afraid Pioneerof the Nile is going to end up like Colonel Jon, but I do like him.

18 Mar 2009 12:08 PM
Kelly E.

I have not been overly excited about ESPN's coverage recently.  I understand the need to try to attract new fans - but I just have felt that it all seemed a bit too "gimmiky" (if that's a word)  You know, I began as a horse racing fan back in '83 when I first snapped on the TV (ABC, I believe) by chance one fine Saturday in May to see Sunny's Halo and his bright white blaze thundering down the stretch.  Holy cow!  There is this cool sport that I've been missing out on???  I was 9 years old so I had my mom help me write to the three Triple Crown tracks and to Santa Anita hoping to get some more information on this fabulous "new" sport (this was of course way before the internet).  I received tons of responses and books, etc., from those tracks.  (Pimlico and Santa Anita were especially welcoming.)  I was hooked and have been in love ever since.  I think the strategy of going for the college/young professional age fans is good - but I think you've got to hook 'em earlier.  With so much out there to compete with for their attention, I think that any early advantage we can get is a good idea.  My son was at the Derby with me in utero - so I feel I have done my duty to hook HIM early! LOL

18 Mar 2009 12:27 PM
Slew.em.All

Mikey Relva: it's common knowledge you're lacking in this realm.Seriously you're out of you're element here.You bring nothing to the table.

Beethoven is my pick-up-the-pieces Ky.Derby shot.

Friesan Fire is just too slow?..ask Draynay.  lol That says it all right there.

18 Mar 2009 1:31 PM
Ezbee

I suppose it is surprising that ESPN doesn't have the saavy to appreciate how spectacular the Ky Oaks is shaping up to be. On the other hand, why should we really care? That's the great thing about modern times, we have lots of channels to choose from. Frankly, it just as easy for me to tape it from Bravo as it would be ESPN. Let them be losers!

18 Mar 2009 2:17 PM
longtime racing fan

Sharon, and everyone else here who is disappointed or disgusted with ESPN, network, and newspaper coverage of horse racing--- why moan about it here?

Why not write and/or email to the newspapers (your local as well as the major ones in your region); ESPN/ABC; NBC; and whatever other entities COULD provide coverage. Tell them, and show them, that there is interest, and a need, for them to cover horse events. Remind them that racing, and the horse industry in general, are a tremendous economic force, providing many jobs and products and much business all around the country. If you are silent, you will not be heard; the proverbial squeaky wheel WILL bet the grease--- even if it takes a while.

If you are in business in the horse industry, support local and national horse sport events and broadcasts. People interested in show jumping are interested in horses; they watch races too. Fans of QH racing often support their local rodeos; why not get them exposed to more TB racing...

The current and recent racing interests and organizations seem to have essentially dropped the ball in regards to supporting and promoting the sport... it has gotten to where when a person refers to "racing" it turns out to be NASCAR auto racing. They don't even use the definer of "NASCAR racing" as opposed to "motorcycle racing" or "go-cart racing" or "terrier racing" or hmmmm? oh yes, HORSE racing.

I am an avid watcher of the horse racing networks... have been a fan since I was a little kid watching Citation and Native Dancer... and it is so sad to see the REAL racing be so focused on solely the bettor. Bettor are a vital part of the picture, but if you don't get the fans interested in the sport they will not be motivated to place wagers either. Too many only hear of the Barbaros and Eight Belles ... and the Ruffians... let's DO something, at the grass roots level, to wake up these media morons who just listen to the lowest common denominators for their demographics. Write, call, email, write again... get your horsey or racing fan friends to do the same.

Otherwise we are just crying in the wilderness and our words and sobs get blown away in the wind.

Thanks for reading this far.

18 Mar 2009 3:04 PM
Wanda

Yo Slew you pegged it!

Adam: No man YOU crack me up way more!

18 Mar 2009 3:23 PM
DONNA

Draynay, is that a promise or a threat about not handicaping another race if your afore mentioned win? LOL. You are quite a character.

18 Mar 2009 5:01 PM
BlueHen

I like Beethoven because he's got a great name and Affirmed lurks in his pedigree :) -- hope he'll keep coming along well.

TV broadcasters took the Travers off the networks and put it on ESPN, even here, where it's run up the Northway a few miles.  I.e., it's a big local event, but they don't run it on the local networks.  

There must be a perceived lack of interest in equestrian sports on the part of TV execs.  Did anyone see ANY equestrian Olympic events last summer on the regular networks?  I had to watch them on my computer.

18 Mar 2009 5:07 PM
DONNA

Perhaps Giant Oak might be better suited for the 1 1/2 mile Belmont. Seems it takes him a long time to get up to full cruising speed with that amount of  ground he might be able to catch and beat the front runners. Seems to be a nice horse just needs luck and time.

18 Mar 2009 5:20 PM
Alan

Not to beat a dead horse, but what is going on with Mr. Fantasy?

18 Mar 2009 7:39 PM
Julie L.

My two choices, the California based horses, Pioneerof the Nile and I Want Revenge are still looking very good. I am also watching Take The Points, his second to The Pamplemousse in the Sham makes me believe that with a little time this horse could get real good.

18 Mar 2009 9:35 PM
Racingfan

LONG TIME RACING FAN: You are right on target!  Whining on here wont help but some action will!  I started writing to ESPN and my local providers last year about the lack of coverage.  Unfortunately they didn't bother to respond but I wont give up. How bout it everyone?  As for my picks - still Old Fashioned although a bit disappointed.  Real unhappy about Hello Broadway - hope he gets another chance!  Friesan Fire was awesome though!

18 Mar 2009 10:23 PM
needler in Virginia

I REALLY, REALLY want Larry Jones to give the finger to everyone who made those foul accusations about Eight Belles. I hope he wins the Derby this year period..... and either of his horses will do; if, God forbid, he really does retire, he can do so in style..... as if he had ever done anything without style and class. All that said, no one should underestimate John Ward and Beethoven. If anyone can train up a Derby winner, it's Mr Ward, so don't count him out, folks. Remember, Beethoven's 5th begins with that famous "dot-dot-dot-dash" for a reason!! Anyone know what that means????

As to ESPN and the rest of the BS laughingly called "sports" today, I'll stick to TVG and suffer Matt What's-His-Face on .58 Flat. To hell with what the networks think....who needs poker and billiards?? I'd rather watch paint dry..........

18 Mar 2009 11:20 PM
black mamba

hey draynay! I was wondering. When was the last time a horse came from dubai and won the derby? None! I'm not convinced especially if the connections rate him as a sprinter.

19 Mar 2009 12:41 AM
aspradling

needler: it's true, I love Larry Jones and he is one of the best in the industry.

donna: yeah, he was still gaining at the end of his run, I just think he had a bad trip or a bad ride, not sure which...

19 Mar 2009 8:35 AM
needler in Virginia

Adam, Larry Jones' leaving would be a tragedy (in the TRUE sense of that word) for horse racing. When we seem to be in this swamp of problems, Mr Jones rises above his detractors and the stinkers and keeps on being classy! I've NO idea how he manages that, as I would be seeking some pretty serious revenge; obviously Jones is far more elegant than I. Possibly we could construct a plot to keep him training forever?? I'm thinking kidnapping and leaving him locked in his office or better yet, attaching velcro to his saddle and just sticking him there until he comes around?? What a loss it would be if he never trained another horse............

19 Mar 2009 3:14 PM
Ranagulzion

needler in Virginia: Giving the finger to his detractors would be out of character for one renowned to possess class and style.  Therefore the suggestion to Larry Jones amounts to bad advice.  I do share your sentiments though about his value to the sport.  He's a good man and will do what's best for his family and his career.  I too wish him all the best in the Derby even though at this point it looks like Quality Road, Win Willy and I Want Revenge are going to be very tough nuts to crack, not to mention Rachel Alexandra if her connections succomb to the Derby fever epidemic.  Friesan Fire will be his best shot.

19 Mar 2009 4:22 PM
Kelly E.

The "Derby Gods" have already decided on the winner of this year's Derby...Larry Jones.  You can bet on it ;)

19 Mar 2009 4:23 PM
Ranagulzion

Needler in Virginia: Without belaboring the point, I think that you'll agree with me that it would be a winning gesture for Larry Jones to offer "Old Fashioned" courtesy rather than take the "I Want Revenge" approach over his Eight Belles accusers.  Unless you believe that there is much to be gained from pushing the "Fire" (you know what I mean?).

19 Mar 2009 7:17 PM
Mike Relva

TO: DRAYNAY

Please disregard the first blog that someone had the nerve to sign my name to it!

19 Mar 2009 8:49 PM
needler in Virginia

Ranagulzion...you got me there, my friend! You are SO right; but I WOULD give 'em the finger for him 'cause I'm not so classy. The things that were said and written about Mr Jones, his barn and his methods were venomous, and I'm just nasty enough to want to take a little revenge for him because I know he never will. I will miss his hat at morning works......... and hope that he might return some day.

19 Mar 2009 10:28 PM
Driftin Sage

The reason horse racing isn't watched much on tv is...it is rarely shown on tv. Yes, we must write the networks and bombard them with our views...then hopefully we CAN view the races.  I also like to read, see, and hear the stories about the horses and their connections.  Knowing all the nitty-gritty stuff...the histories of the animals and connections is oh so interesting and encourages you to WANT to actually see them...like movie stars, singers, sports players,etc. And our horses ARE stars..athletic and beautiful.  

20 Mar 2009 11:01 AM
Mike Relva

TO: ADAM

Thanks!

20 Mar 2009 2:44 PM
mr.ruffian

Lets see, first they get rid of the horse racing show " Wire to Wire" a few years back and now this??   Way to go ESPN!!  Makes my life even easier, I won't have to keep your cable number memorized in my head any more since I'll never have a reason to go there any more!!   THANKS!  

20 Mar 2009 4:55 PM
wowhorse

I never had Friesan Fire in my barn, either, Adam, but he's done nothing wrong in his past few races, and only persuaded me of his deserving of being there now. As for Old Fashioned, he's only lost one race in his career, and it was a second-place finish to a longshot. This sort of thing  happens to great horses all the time. (I'm also convinced there were a couple factors that led to this loss, it wasn't strictly OF's fault. Notice the jockey change...) And frankly, I'd rather him lose the Rebel than the Kentucky Derby. My biggest concern with OF is being able to relax in the first half of the race. But Larry will get him ready come the First Saturday in May, and I will be there at the Arkansas Derby when he gets his revenge on Win Willy. Besides these two, I Want Revenge and The Pamplemousse are looking spectacular. I am looking forward to the Florida Derby so people will shut up about Dunkirk. His last race was fantastic, but that doesn't mean he's a freak like Big Brown. I wish people would quit trying to make it out like he's the second coming. Brownie had weak competition and if he would've been 3 this year, would have had a much harder time winning.

As far as the ESPN/televising issue goes, it seems we are in need of an organized group of people who can speak for the whole and can promote our sport to the best advantage. I hate to say it, but I don't think the state of the game will change even if we do have a superhorse come along. Think about it. If we DID have a Triple Crown winner, would networks suddenly try to latch on to airing the summer Derbies to grab viewers? They probably have contracts that can't be changed in spur of the moment situations. So, even if a hypothetical Triple Crown winner was in the Travers, say, ESPN would still have the rights to broadcast the race. And we would also have to have luck on our side that whoever owned the horse wouldn't retire it immediately if it did win the Triple Crown. It's a team effort, and we're going to have to work on all fronts to make this sport progressive--fans, owners, breeders, tracks, TV networks, and the rest of the media.

22 Mar 2009 7:34 PM
2 time valley player of the year

ESPN, is run by a bunch of stiffs, take HRTV anyday with Jeff and Laf.

24 Mar 2009 3:35 PM
NOLA

I was able to see FF all three runs at the FG.  The minute he comes out of the stall you can tell he's got it.  Giant Oak was never a threat.  The first time I saw him I was dissapointed and knew he wouldn't do anything.  FF went from a goofy unfocused, but fast, little boy to a serious colt who needs little guidence and urging.  The first time I saw them side by side I knew FF was going to dominate.  He's an impressive bugger.  Giant Oak has made me a ton of money, I can pick from the field for place and show and not worry about him being in it.

Cindy and Larry deserve FF.  

Rachel?  She's spooky.  That goofy face is misleading.  She is imposing and confident and regal.  I felt sorry for the other girls.  Rachel never even kicked in a gear and her jockey pulled her up long before the race was over (whole other story).  I'm almost afraid to see her go wide open.  Nothing seems to phase her.  Creepy.

25 Mar 2009 12:08 PM
Wanda

Sorry to hear about Beethoven Adam. Who are you going with now?

25 Mar 2009 6:59 PM
aspradling

Thanks Wanda, I will be posting a blog today with my new line up that I will most likely be sticking with through the derby.

Giant Oak was ify, but I really did like Beethoven...wanting him to make enough to get in, but that dosn't seem to be the case now.

I still have a lot of hope in Chocolate Candy, Imperial Council and believe it or not Terrain.

27 Mar 2009 8:27 AM
kk

WIN WILLY can upset the derby for sure he has pedigree which nobody had monarchos and marias mon believe me if he is in the gate he win the derby chance for the life time

30 Mar 2009 5:37 PM

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