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Thursday, November 11, 2010


Integrity Left at the Post


SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY, November 11, 2010--If only I didn’t love this game, if only I had another means of earning a living, I, like so many others in the last five years, would walk away and never come back. In fact, if you’re not totally immersed in this, or make your living from it, you might consider doing the same.

This game, at least the way it was conducted in Kentucky last weekend, is an insider’s game rigged against you, the horseplayer. It’s not that Kentucky racing officials were not qualified or incompetent. To the contrary. They know better and apparently don’t give a damn about the people who pay the freight for all of us; the horseplayer.

Mainstream media treat us all as if we’re non-entities, as if we don’t matter. Our demographics just don’t skew the right way. We’re only a bunch of degenerate gamblers whose sport is going south anyway. What’s the difference if they get screwed. They deserve it. Open the gates and they will come. What choice do they have?

I don’t play poker online, but maybe taking two touchdowns with the Cowboys and their new coach against the Giants is a way for me to go this weekend. Then I can make my bet offshore, without any guilt, and when I make a deposit into my account, depending on the day of the week, I’ll get a bonus, too. They want me to lose, of course, but they treat me like a valued customer.

Unless Kentucky Racing Commission chief steward John Veitch and Commissioner Lisa Underwood lose their jobs or, at the very least, suspended without pay for, say, 90 days, and fined heavily, then this whole process is a charade, a sham. Life At Ten didn’t need to be scratched from the Ladies Classic? What we really need is a rule prohibiting jockeys from being interviewed on horseback pre-race?

They’re off! Screw you, loser!

While I enjoy it, I’m no fan of the pre-race horseback interview. As a player--and, I’m sure, a majority of owners, trainers, and jockeys would agree--I want my rider focused. In the case of the Ladies Classic warm-ups, kudos to Johnny Velazquez for telling the audience what he was feeling through the reins aboard Life At Ten. Too bad he would screw up royally later, but at least he had the guts to be honest. In my view, he was the only one who did.

Unless the powers that be, whoever they are, do something about this, never, ever tell me again how you have the racing fan’s best interests at heart. This utter and complete travesty of justice and lack of transparency cannot stand, cannot go unpunished. For $7-million-plus fans literally didn’t get a run for their money. So what? They’ve lost bets before; they’ll lose again tomorrow. Who cares?

When Allumeuse was wrongfully disqualified at Saratoga in 1986--an honest mistake--none of those stewards were allowed to keep their jobs. By what standard should Veitch keep his, or the rest of the Kentucky stewards and Commissioner for that matter. Being born into the business doesn’t give you the right to ignore the betting public.

Of course, the game doesn’t have a commissioner, a leader, an organization, or a league office with teeth. But unless those powers, whoever they are, act, and act swiftly, I can only infer that they don’t give a damn about their fan base. If the racing community keeps this up, the government just might get involved and shut the whole thing down. In this context, racing would get exactly what it deserves.

So, please, no more press releases from the Jockey Club or the NTRA bringing me up to speed on the newest member to join the racetrack safety accreditation program, or whatever the hell it’s called. Obviously the safety of the jockeys and Thoroughbreds are paramount. But what about the people in the stands, at the simulcasts, at their computers, betting? Who has their back? Certainly not Veitch or Underwood.

This game is one nationally televised breakdown away from extinction. Does anyone in this industry for the record believe otherwise? Does it really believe that bad news can be spun ad infinitum, that it can keep anti-racing zealots away from its doors forever? Every time the industry stands mute and fails to act, another nail is hammered into that coffin. For blame, try looking in a mirror.

Beyond the Jockey Club, the NTRA, breeders, racetracks--anyone and everyone having a vested interest in the health of the sport--who is it that would speak up on behalf of those bettors that poured more than $7-million into a sinkhole one week ago?

The culprits, ultimately, might not be Veitch and Underwood but a pervasive culture of permissiveness, deception and cover-up that holds no one accountable. In this, there is plenty of blame to spread around.

I love Johnny Velazquez to death and I think he knows that. But he screwed up big time here. Jockeys have the right to request that a horse be scratched if he or she believes that, for whatever reason, it is incapable of performing to the best of its ability. At minimum, he should have taken responsibility and refused to ride the filly. The wrong jockey apologized last weekend.

When asked several minutes before being loaded into the gate if Life At Ten--clearly acting and failing to stride out in a manner suggesting she was ill prepared to give optimum effort--was warming out of her discomfort, Velazquez frankly answered “not really.”

Trainer Todd Pletcher told two different stories: An earlier one about the filly’s being lethargic, perhaps suffering from an adverse reaction to the legal medication Lasix or, as she appeared to all who watched her in pre-race warm-ups, “tied up,” severely cramped. The following morning we were to learn that her temperature was well above normal and she had an elevated white blood cell count.

Velazquez tried to do the right thing by the trainer and the owner. Pletcher tried to do the right thing and protect Velazquez. Did anyone--especially the stewards, who were informed by ESPN that something was amiss with the Ladies Classic second favorite--think about the public, the integrity of the game, racing’s image or, ultimately, the filly herself? The answer is a categorical no.

Arguably, these horsemen were only making business decisions; bad ones, but business decisions nevertheless. The last line of defense, then, must be the racing official. And despite what they were being told by a creditable source, why did they not at least delay the start sufficiently to investigate further?

Dr. Larry Bramlage said the filly was observed by three veterinarians at the gate and again after the race and that “no physical problems were observed.” So then Velazquez simply wraps up immediately after the start and eases his filly to the finish for no reason. In light of what had just occurred, his response was an insult to intelligence and reason.

There was a Hall of Fame jockey and a world class reporter on the ESPN set. Does Jerry Bailey, one of the great race riders of all time, and Randy Moss have no credibility with them? A minute or two after Velazquez made his “not really” observation, ESPN reported that none of the veterinarians were aware of the situation involving the rider and his filly.

Of the people immediately contacted by the stewards when their investigation first began, Velazquez wasn’t one of them. Where was he, in Italy with Frankie Dettori? Life At Ten was not drug tested after the race, though TCO2 testing was performed. Ironic that “milkshakes” are an illegal antidote for severe cramping. So why not err on the side of caution? Where was the concern, the urgency? If actions speak louder than words, there was hardly a whisper. Need we always follow the money?

The media needs to step up here. I have confidence that some members of the mainstream media will do just that and demand a measure of justice for their constituency, the racing fans. But industry media need to take a position on this, too, stating one way or the other where they stand; with industry members who acted so capriciously, or the public. Unless, of course, they decide to make a business decision and stand mute.

The late Joe Hirsch, a founding member of the National Turf Writers’ Association, rarely wrote editorials for Daily Racing Form but whenever he saw rank injustice, he spoke out. Hirsch never would have let this pass without commentary. One of the best friends this industry has ever had, Hirsch’s words meant something. Who will take the lead now?

Or will it be, as the new DRF ownership group clearly has demonstrated, business first?

Further, it’s time for grass roots organizations such as the Horseplayers Association of North America and Thoro-Fan to stand up and demand a better explanation. They should poll membership and send the results to the industry leadership they deem appropriate. If the response they receive is inadequate, then they should forward their findings to the feds.

Richard Hamilton, a retired official, started that phase of his career at the New York Racing Association in 1979, first as a paddock and patrol judge then later as NYRA steward from 1988 to '95, said this in a phone interview Thursday:

“This situation must be resolved. Somebody has to be held responsible for the [horsemen’s] actions and the lack of a reaction [by racing officials]. The public has suffered and someone needs to take responsibility for that.”

Written by John Pricci - Comments (49)

 
 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Zenyatta: In Their Own Words


SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY, November 10, 2010--The great Winston Churchill had it right when he said: “There’s something about the outside of a horse that’s good for the inside of a man.”

Women might be included in this, too, of course.

Among the arguments made here several weeks ago about voting for Zenyatta as 2010 Horse of the Year regardless of what happened in the Breeders’ Cup Classic; that transcendent horses need to be recognized.

Recall that there is no Horse of the Year guidebook to consult.

There will be no expounding further on what a Horse of the Year resume is; voters need to settle that question within their own conscience and let the heavens fall.

I’ve surfed the Internet for Thoroughbred storylines in the wake of Zenyatta’s “Quest for Perfection,” and it’s been heartening to see all the positive reaction following such heartfelt disappointment.

Because of Zenyatta‘s hulking presence, the lead-up to this year’s Classic was unprecedented.

Photo spreads in two national magazines plus a “60 Minutes” love-in does something for your image. Even in the best of times, presenting racing in a favorable light to the masses is a challenge.

And these are far from the best of times.

All this preamble led to 6:45 pm last Saturday. The latch was sprung and in less than an eighth of a mile most feared that this time it might end differently.

Even the Hall of Famer on her back was having doubts. The Classic wasn’t a quarter-mile old before Mike Smith briefly considered easing her, protect her. She was traveling uncharacteristically poorly, clearly uncomfortable with the going under foot.

But out of loss came not despair but adulation, the kind of feelings that Churchill understood enough to try to describe. And it came from everywhere.

A sampling, then, from all who were touched by Zenyatta’s class and courage, moving those owning word processors to tell her story in only the most glowing terms. So, it begins:

“As the horses were about to be loaded into the gate Saturday for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, three light blue and reddish bands of light took shape in the sky directly overhead.

“It didn’t require much imagination to associate these bands with Zenyatta’s salmon and teal colors, and to see them as a sign that perhaps the hopes riding on her extended further than people knew…” --Jeff Scott, for The Saratogian

“My interest was piqued and I tuned in to watch the chance for history to be made. As I watched Zenyatta "dance" on her way to the track, weaving her way through the massive crowd in the paddock area, I was mesmerized…” --Blogger Al Stephenson

“Her most important success probably came off the track, as she single-handedly revived the flagging interest in U.S. racing...” --Sam Walker, for The Racing Post.

“If horse racing had a Mount Rushmore, [Zenyatta’s] image would be there, alongside Secretariat’s and Man o’ War’s and Citation’s...” --Gary West, for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“Zenyatta was a gift from heaven and God further blessed us by giving her to John Shirreffs…” --Art Wilson, for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune

“Zenyatta endeared herself to millions of Americans and helped raise the profile of racing in the same way that Seabiscuit and Secretariat did before her.” --Reuters

“She’s the greatest filly I’ve ever seen. She may be the greatest of all time…” --Steve Haskin, for The Bloodhorse

“She is a once-in-a-lifetime athlete, not merely a superb racehorse… It is hard to imagine that a [Horse of the Year] vote could go any other way. Zenyatta hasn’t just won lots of races and attracted lots of interest to a sport whose piece of the general fan pie is a sliver, she has created a buzz that made its way to mainstream America…” --Bill Dwyre, for the Los Angeles Times

“So ends a truly great career for the most talented older race mare I have ever seen…” --Steve Davidowitz, for GradeOneRacing.com

“Rarely, if ever, has a thoroughbred so thoroughly exuded greatness while enduring such a monumental defeat…” Ed Gray, for the Boston Herald, retired

“Zenyatta demonstrated in a clear, unequivocal manner she is the best Thoroughbred in America…” --Nick Kling, for the Troy Record

“Her legend was enhanced in defeat…” --author Bill Nack, for ESPN.com

“Zenyatta’s first defeat served to complete the legend rather than diminish it...” --The Independent [United Kingdom]

“…The weight of the loss was on us… I heard turf writers whom I would have sworn didn’t have a sentimental bone in their bodies say in bewilderment, ‘I can’t believe how bad I feel…” --Blogger Teresa Genaro, Brooklyn Backstretch

“She was--and is--far bigger than her one defeat…” --Tim Layden, for Sports Illustrated

“I saw people crying at Churchill Downs Saturday evening, I saw middle-aged women wiping tears from their faces. I saw college-aged girls doing the same… --Tim Wilkin, for the Albany Times-Union

“I didn’t cry until Sunday morning… It wasn’t because Zenyatta lost; it was because an era was at an end…” --Blogger Jessica Chapel / Railbird v2

“I’ll say that I saw Zenyatta…” --Chapel

Written by John Pricci - Comments (18)

 
 

Saturday, November 06, 2010


Looking for Blame


LOUISVILLE, KY., November 6, 2010--When storybook endings don’t turn out the way you want them to, you start looking for someone or something to blame.

An emotional Mike Smith, with his face mud-speckled and chin quivering, was the first racing luminary to arrive at the press conference following one of the most memorable stretch runs in Breeders’ Cup Classic, or any other race’s, history.

A few minutes after explaining his trip, one that took place before 72,000 fans who had come to historic Churchill Downs to see once and future history, Smith, now choking on his emotions, put it all on his own shoulders.

“If I had to blame anyone, it would be me,” Smith said. “It’s my fault, now choking on his words, and hesitant, before adding, “she should have won.”

Smith cupped his hands over his face and broke into tears. “I just wish I would have been in the race a little earlier. Without a doubt I’m disappointed. She’s my everything.”

And an eerie silence fell over the press box, before Smith began seeking even more answers.

“I was just having a rough time of it going underneath the white wire the first time. She just wasn’t leveling out like I wanted to. The dirt hitting her in the face was a lot of it. She just wasn’t used to that part.

“I just left her with too much to do. I truly believe I was on the best horse today.”

And anyone who watched two days of main track racing could empathize. Many of the contestants simply didn’t handle the cuppy surface well, the loose ground breaking away beneath their hooves. It’s the way Churchill can get in the fall.

Consequently, there might be some who would put the blame on trainer John Shirreffs, who didn’t give his mare very much experience on dirt. She only had two runs on the natural stuff.

And that came on one track, Oaklawn Park, where the horses that do well are said to sometimes “hear their feet rattle.”

Maybe there’s something to that. And maybe if it weren’t for Shirreffs’ judicious horsemanship, the racing world would not have had Zenyatta for as long as it did, perfect as she was, before falling a short head behind a late developing, totally professional, gritty four-year-old colt named Blame.

The irony escaped no one.

The first thing a sports journalist learns is that the loser is not the story; that only does a disservice to the winner.

But editors who teach that can't be racing fans. “This game rips your heart out,” said Dick Jerardi of the Philadelphia Daily News. “And that’s why we show up.”

When I offered that all Zenyatta lost Saturday was a horse race, and that a long-nose defeat while in search of perfection is the kind of poetic injustice that so often happens in this game--that it might even add to her legend, when the honored Bill Nack added, “like Seattle Slew in the Gold Cup.”

Considering the moments leading up to the Classic, the result didn't make sense. It was the Queen’s show right from the start.

When she made the long walk from the stable area, one that fans have seen a million times before the big race that’s run here every May, Perry Gastis, private clocker for new racing website GradeOneRacing.com, followed her through binoculars as she made the walk over.

“I saw her gallop twice this week. Each time she came out to train, she did so in routine fashion. Today she danced all the way over. She knows. She really knows.”

And then all the horses were led into the paddock and Zenyatta walked in. She made the bend, taking a few goose steps before entering her stall to be saddled.

She walked out of the slip, made a half circumference as the field was being led post-ward and began dancing again. In the parade, she swished her tail for a moment, not usually a good portend for horses on their way to the starting gate.

But this is Zenyatta, who followed up the tail swishing with a kind of back-leg rumba step. It was the damndest thing you ever saw.

The tote board was showing 2 MIN now, and she was perhaps several hundred yards from the starting gate when she began pawing with her right fore. Not being from California, I assume she had saved her entire repertoire for last.

Now all have seen Zenyatta lonesome last before but this was different.

She was not reaching out, so much so that race caller Trevor Denman, as she straightened away into the backstretch, informed the crowd that Smith was urging her to get a little closer now.

She did, but while getting closer it didn’t appear she was making up ground. It was unsettling.

Then as the field entered the final turn, Smith asked in earnest, cutting the corner some and she as beginning to roll.

The fact that she would be brought outside for her rally surprised no one, and she began to pick it up as the furlong pole approached. She was running, trying hard, but not lengthening the way she normally does.

Meanwhile, Garrett Gomez, who began his weekend lying on the turf course following a Thursday spill; prepped for the biggest victory of his career with two Breeders’ Cup wins, one on the day and one on Filly Friday and engineered a beautiful ground saving trip on the surface loving winner.

Go Go won it when he angled Blame off the inside--dead both days--into the five path and into the breach, Blame gamely and with class shouldered his way between rivals, opened a clear seemingly insurmountable advantage at the sixteenth pole and lasted by a gut wrenching margin that ripped the heart out of the whole place.

But all Zenyatta lost yesterday was a horse race, nothing more, because, yes, they all get beat. Only the truly great ones lose in a manner that racing’s best audience would never forget.

**********************************************************

Right Church, Wrong Pew

The European turf runners continued to dominate the Americans as expected in the Breeders’ Cup Turf. But it wasn’t the horse most handicappers were expecting.

With clear aim and a huge opening on the rail, troubled Arc de Triomphe fourth Bekhabad burst through burst through to challenge but hung when the real running began.

Dangerous Midge, with blinkers added and the legendary Frankie Dettoriin the boot, won down Champ Pegasus in the final strides to win going away. The latter led throughout under extremely clever rating from Joel Rosario, nearly stealing the 12 furlong marathon.

The brilliant young California won the Dirt Mile with longshot Dakota Phone a half hour earlier, catching the very game Morning Line in the final jump, the three-year-old running too good to lose. It was yet another agonizingly narrow loss for trainer Nick Zito in 2010.

The winner’s only previous stakes win came in the G3 Arc Trial in September. It was trainer Brien Meehan’s second Turf win, having won with Red Rocks four years ago. It was Dettori's 10th Breeders' Cup victory, second only to Mike Smith, who desperately wants to win the upcoming race, the centerpiece Classic.

One More for a Baker's Dozen

The great European turf miler Goldikova threw her hat into the 2010 Horse of the Year ring with a commanding and historic victory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, becoming the first horse of either sex to win three consecutive Breeders’ Cup events.

Indeed, the great Goldikova is one of the more accomplished horses ever regardless of sex. The Mile was her 15th victory in 21 career starts, 12 of those Group or Grade 1, eight of those against males.

And her third Mile might have been her best. Clearly, it was against the toughest competition she’s faced in her three trips over. Either way, she is extremely special, the victory an emotional one for her trainer, Freddie Head, who, as a jockey, became the first rider to repeat in a Breeders’ Cup race with the great Miesque, over the same course as today’s.

“My English is not good enough,” said the French horseman. “I was feeling so many things. Winning a third time at Churchill Downs after Miesque repeated here. I’ve been thinking about this so long that it doesn’t seem real. I must be a very lucky person.”

As this is posted, it’s less than an hour until the Breeders’ Cup Classic. If history is made again in that race, Breeders’ Cup 27 would rank as the best of all time. Racing fans can hardly wait.

All Shook Up

A star is born. Uncle Mo, under supremely confident handling from Johnny Velazquez, was content to stalk the early pace of longshot Riveting Reason, engaged the leading with three eighths of a mile remaining, took command entering the stretch and opened up on Boys At Tosconova and all the rest, securing the juvenile Eclipse championship.

Boys At Tosconova was expected to provide the undefeated colt his greatest challenge, and that’s the way Ramon Dominguez played it, keeping the competition in his sights, moving on the turn as Uncle Mo was asserting himself for the lead.

For an instant it appeared a battle would be joined as the two straightened away into the stretch. But approaching the eighth pole, Uncle Mo found another gear and powered away, opening an insurmountable advantage.

Boys At Tosconova finished well for place but was overmatched. Rogue Romance, well regarded while making his dirt debut after two strong turf victories and bet down from 30-1 morning line to 8-1, finished well for third in a promising effort.

It might turn out that the son of Officer might have distance limitations come Kentucky Derby time but that didn’t seem to be the case yesterday, not in the slightest. It just might be that he’s one of nature’s equine freaks.

“I usually don’t get too excited when I watch my horses race. Johnny’s won a lot of races for me and when I saw him look around, I got a lot of confidence ,” said trainer Todd Pletcher. “I actually started shaking, that’s not really happened to me before.

“To have a horse with this kind of natural ability with the kind of mind he has is exciting, it’s the whole package. He’s already running fast enough to win some three-year-old preps.

“All I need to do is keep him happy. We’ll take him down to Palm Meadows in a couple of weeks, hopefully to prepare him for a run at the Derby.” Pletcher won three of the four juvenile races this weekend.

After making the middle move, Uncle Mo reached the lead after six furlongs in 1:11.92. After reaching the sixteenth pole with a mile in 1:36.33, he ran his final sixteenth of a mile in :06.27, stopping the timer in 1:42.60.

Only 182 days remain until May’s first Saturday.

Today, the industry wasn’t so lucky.

Upon further inspection it was learned that Rough Sailing suffered a fracture humerus, an injury Dr. C Wayne McIlraithe described as “not repairable.”

“The owner requested euthanasia. It’s been done.”

Rough Sailing fell heavily after slipping on the turf entering the clubhouse turn during the running of the Juvenile Turf. McIlwraithe explained he wasn’t sure at this point how the injury occurred and that there would not be a determination until an autopsy was performed. Consequently, it is unknown whether the fall was the cause of the injury or the other way around.

In the Sprint, won convincingly in wire to wire fashion by Big Drama, giving jockey Eibar Coa his first Breeders’ Cup score after 18 rides and trainer David Fawkes with his very first Cup entrant, Atta Boy Roy sustained suspensory damage in the right fore. The injury is not life threatening and it is probable that Atta Boy Roy would race again.

“Calvin [Borel] felt some sensitivity in the right fore leg upon returning and jumped off the horse. At this point, the injury appears very minor and that’s all good news.”

Here Comes Chamberlain Bridge

Right down the center of the course. And to think he was troubled with physical isuues causing him to skip a final planned workout last weekend.

But he showed his affinity for the sand-based Churchill turf course, winning his fourth race in five starts with one placing, running down a very speed, and very game Central City, the pacesetter who re-rallied but could not hold the winner safe.

It was the second Breeders’ Cup victory of the weekend for trainer Bret Calhoun and local product Jamie Theriot, who broke his Breeders’ Cup maiden aboard Dubai Majesty in yesterday’s Filly & Mare Sprint. The time was :56.53, no threat to the course record of :55.45 for the 5 furlongs.

It Was Rough Sailing Alright

And so another offspring of More Than Ready, another juvenile that prepped at Woodbine for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile races, trained by the same Todd Pletcher, ridden by the same Garrett, and a pair of youngsters that trained together at Churchill for the big day, got the job done.

And it wasn’t easy. “Another time you stumble and go to your nose at the start then have to go around a fallen horse on the first turn, you have to be the best horse,” Pletcher explained.

The fallen horse, Rough Sailing, went down of his own doing entering the clubhouse turn, seeking to lose his action and sliding to a stop after falling and unseating jockey Anna Napravnik.

“It was an injury to his right fore,” explained Dr. C. Wayne McIlwraithe. “The horse has had trouble extending his leg. He’s been taken back to the barn to undergo further testing.

“The injury has not been localized, we don’t know if it’s a bone or ligament injury at this point.” Napravnik walked off under her own power.

Just as he had done with a wide draw aboard while riding More Than Real to victory in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, Gomez came strongly from off the early pace to win going away with Pluck, a son of More Than Ready, one of the first good horses Pletcher trained after striking out on his own.

“I talked with Rosie (Napravnik), she’s fine,” said Rough Sailing’s trainer Michael Stidham. “She said his hind leg just slipped.”

Pletcher trains the winner for Team Valor.

Timing Is Everything

I knew I should have taken the 9:20 shuttle from downtown out to the track. Missed all the fun, Ed Fountaine of the New York Post told me:

“We were passing one of the old broken down watering holes downtown. Out in front, five Hell’s Angels were sitting on their bikes. All of them were wearing Zenyatta sweatshirts. Couldn’t get my cell out fast enough to take a picture.”

“Glad I wasn’t there.” “Why? Fountaine asked.

“Because I’da stuck my head out the window and yelled: “ ‘Hey, I voted for Rachel. Screw you.’ ”

* * *

They’ve run two undercard races and the rail is still not the place to be at the Downs. Worth watching that develop throughout the day. Speed, on the other hand, is holding very well. Looks like they tightened up the surface a bit.

Want some old school handicapping philosophy? Speed in routes; closers going two turns.

Hmm.

* * *

It Could Have Been Much Worse

“I’ve said it before,” Todd Pletcher said. “You stay in the game long enough and you see everything happen,” referencing the controversial incident involving Ladies Classic second favorite Life At Ten, who failed to officially finish the race.

“She kind of basically had a typical ‘tie-up’ episode (severe cramping) after the race where she was just cramped up.”

This scenario was played out before a national television audience. Jockey Johnny Velazquez said in a remote interview with analyst Jerry Bailey.

“Is she warming up any better, Johnny?” Bailey asked. “Ah, no, not really.”

The speedy Life At Ten walked out of the starting gate and Velazquez immediately wrapped up on her. The industry dodged a major bullet yesterday.

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