Sunday, December 31, 2006

Adios, Sionara, Shalom, Hasta Luego.....


As the final post of 2006, I would like to wish everyone out there; friends, family, neighbors, bloggers, readers, fans, haters, trainers, jockeys, agents, horses (of course!), writers, journos, editors, ex-lovers, past flames, future partners and everyone else in-between - a very happy, healthy, prosperous, friendly, exciting, and enjoyable 2007.

The past year has been a roller-coaster ride of fantastic highs, tempered by the occasional lows - all a part of the journey through life. I am truly thankful for the opportunities I've been lucky enough to come across via this blog, as well as the relationships that have been forged.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me over this past year. I am truly looking forward to an amazing, limitless 2007.

Please be safe tonight...
"I cant seem to see you baby
Although my eyes are open wide
But I know Ill see you once more
When I see you, I'll see you on the other side
Yes, Ill see you, I'll see you on the other side"
(lyrics courtesy of Ozzy Osbourne)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

OMG!!! (December Version)

What the hell am I doing???

The world keeps moving on and I continue to get bogged down.

I just love my compatriots who do an amazing job carrying the load.

I say, thank you!!

This group of talented writers/documenters continue to offer an amazing support group and an invaluable resource (no matter what the mainstream media might say).

I have not posted in several days - for reasons yet to be revealed - but the intrepid, tenacious group of bloggers that continue to create unique, compelling content have my back and keep hacking away. For that, I am thankful.

For that, horse racing fans should be thankful.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Wanna move to Oklahoma?

According to both the DRF and the track/casino's own site, it looks like the World Famous Will Rogers Downs in beautiful Claremore, OK has a plethora of jobs available for the coming season.

From Valet to Assitant Racing Secretary; Track Announcer to Entry Clerk; you too can spend the last few months of Winter and first few months of Spring working at the track. Racedays are Sat/Sun/Mon.

For more information on Claremore, OK go here.

For Will Rogers Downs' site go here.

If you are a RTIP student/recent graduate, or just want to break into the industry, this looks like the perfect opportunity. Last week in Tucson, There were I heard a lot of converations consisting of "new blood" looking for j-o-b's. This actually seems like a cool place to break in to the business.

BTW, I'd love to hear from anyone who's ever been to WRD or even Claremore. Inquiring minds want to know.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Correcting a Fellow Blogger

In an interesting role reversal, I have been called to the table on something I have been “reported” to have said on another blog.

Horseplayer Magazine blog contest winner AirForbes1 wrote the following on his blog Dec. 8th:
Next up was David Rubin, creator of the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance. He described how he got started in blogging and how the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance came to be.
For the official record, as soon as I read this piece, (3 days after it was posted) I immediately posted a comment to the author:
“Dave Rubin (Homepage) on December 11, 2006 at 11:59 PM
Hey John:
Just to clarify, I am not the creator of the TBA: there were 7 of us who came together with the original idea and started the group.
Congrats on the victory!!”
I am prompted to make this defense of myself thanks to a concerned reader who came across the statement. When I originally saw what Mr. Forbes had written, I thought a simple comment on his site by me would suffice. The concerned reader either didn't see my suggested correction or decided that my only recourse for contacting the author - posting on his blog - wasn't enough.

As of this post, he has yet to make the official change and now I find myself in a position of defense.

Below I have posted what is the official bio produced by the University of Arizona’s Racetrack Industry Program for me (as a panel presenter). I wrote my own bio (as we were asked to) and as you can see, nowhere in the bio do I claim to be the “creator of the TBA”.

Furthermore, there will be DVD’s and transcripts of all the panels, and I will ask anyone who thinks I might have uttered those words to actually find it.

Don’t waste your time. You won’t – I didn’t say it.

John Forbes paraphrased my words and in doing so mis-quoted (or is it "mis-paraphrased"?) me.

We all make mistakes and if you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you know I’ve made my fair share. Mr. Forbes is a good person who has made an error - hopefully he corrects it.

(click on the bio below to enlarge)

Story of the Day

This just feels so....right.

Let's play a game....'s called, "What's missing from this story?"

powered by ODEO

For those of you who may be new to the site, I say welcome. It has only just occured to me that there may be some new folks hanging around these parts - the stats just say so. Thanks for participating, it's great to have you along. We're big fans of participation in these parts.

I did, however, want to pimp myself here for a minute - it is my blog.

In an effort to help those that are here for the first time, here's a good link to something that speaks volumes as to the possibilities of the Internet as it pertains to Racing and Gaming:

AvgHorsePlayer Breeders' Cup Coverage/Month of November

If you want to get a good feel of what this site is all about, I've directed you to some of the coverage I did a few weeks back in the month of November at the Breeders' Cup.

Thanks again, and don't forget to leave a name or some sort of contact information if you post! (It really helps the dialogue thing)

BTW, if you know what movie is on the audio player above, or have any comments whatsoever, shoot me an email:

Monday, December 11, 2006

Oregon Championship Day

The biggest day in Oregon Racing took place today here in Portland. Portland Meadows hosted its annual meet highlight, Oregon Championship Day. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend. My take here is all based on official releases put out by Portland Meadows. I know Jolene and her crew were on hand, providing their usual "kids table" for the days festivities.

Jolene is probably settling back in at home after having to make the 2 + hour drive south, so check out either one of her sites tomorrow here and/or here for more information from her. Don't forget to also check out the TBA's favorite race caller, Jason B. over at his site where I'm sure he'll have an interesting tale or two after calling his first full Oregon Championship Day card.

I am in the process of putting together some more detailed information about last week's symposium, and hope to have a full blog panel review up by Tuesday afternoon. I hope everyone has a great Monday to start the week!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

UPDATED: F YouTube right now...

UPDATE: Footage is now available.

I put together some more footage from The Westin and inside the Symposium Showroom floor. For some reason You Tube is not enjoying yours truly and my upload request, so below is my written entry - sans video. When I wake up Sunday am, I'll try again to upload the footage. Trying not to go to bed pissed off....

Here is some footage from the hotel and the "showroom floor." Not to bash, but if you had a booth at an event like this and you saw someone with a video camera, wouldn't you stop them and ask them what's up? I know, most likely you're not in the industry so of course your answer is yes.

Walking through the middle of the floor with my camera, only a select few decided to speak with me. TRAKUS and had people manning their booths who showed enough interest to step-up and speak to me about their product. One other booth took the time to speak with me and that was Cantor Gaming who has some cool new bets they are trying to "Sell" to tracks. Those guys didn't want to go on camera (WTF???), but they gave me the full rundown on what they were selling. Too bad they didn't want to be filmed, could have been some great pr for them and others.

It's shit like this that pisses me off about this industry.

Do you think it's true that the whole industry has just never needed to aggressively promote itself and therefore has no idea how to do it? It's almost as if the industry is still acting like a 6 yr. old - never grown up - while the rest of this country's major entertainment and sports properties are somewhere around 40?

Friday, December 08, 2006

I made it out alive!

Wow, it’s been more than 24 hrs since I last posted. I’ve been traveling all day today and didn’t get a free minute yesterday afternoon from about 1:30 on.

For only the 2nd time in the last three weeks, I’ll be sleeping in my own bed here in Portland. Not that I’m complaining, but it feels really great to be back in my room, fully stretched, in complete decompression mode. Much needed!!

Even though yesterday’s panel got mysteriously left out of any mainstream coverage coming out of Tucson, I know it was a huge success. The panelists were outstanding, and our moderator Bob Wolff did the best job moderating that I saw all week. Instead of three talking heads reciting to the crowd, our panel consisted of three opening presentations, a Q&A conducted by Mr. Wolff where we all would give our thoughts, and finally a good 15-20 minutes taking questions from the audience .

At one point during Steve’s presentation, I tried to get a quick estimate of crowd size. In the video I posted yesterday of the first 5 minutes, it looks like there weren’t that many folks. When Steve (who went third) was presenting, I did what I though was a pretty decent guesstimate of about 100 people. I could see it being as high as 125 or, but def not lower than 100. This item in today’s Horse Player Magazine Online called it at “an estimated crowd of more than 200 industry leaders.”

Great Jeremy, I’ll take that and coroborate to make it official: 200

The RTIP has made all of the panels available for DVD/VHS. Individually, they are $50 DVD & $40 VHS. I have an order sheet I can fax to anyone who might be interested. If you’re not sure you are interested and want to ask me, feel free to email me. I pretty much went to every panel and can help steer you in the right direction.

Right now my body feels like it is slowly melting and I’ll step away from the computer for a bit. I am putting together a little more video, a few panel observations, information on some cool new products I came across, and some lowdown on what I saw and who I was able to spend some time with. I’m also trying to see if there is a way for me to post my presentation. It’s in Power Point form, so if anyone has any insight on what I might be able to do to get up on blogger, please let me know. Also, if you would like me to email you a copy, let me know and I’ll gladly do that. Not to be obnoxious, but I am actually quite pleased with how it turned out.

Here’s my email:

Thursday, December 07, 2006

12:30 PM (mst)

Well, I survived the blog panel this morning, and in fact, if everyone isn't lying, it seems like it went pretty well. There was a decent turnout, probably somewhere around 100 people (give or take). I filmed the first few minutes of the introductions just to give you all a perspective of everything from my point of view. The entire panel/discussion is available on video and the transcripts will eventually be available as well. For all of the information on those things just go to the RTIP website HERE.

I would like to give huge thank you's to Doug Reed, Steve Barham and the entire RTIP staff for not only running an amazing conference, but for making the effort to reach out to me and include me in the discussion.

Also, major thanks to Bob Wolff, our panel's moderator who corralled us from all parts of the country and did first-rate job of organizing our group. Finally, a quick thank you to fellow panelists Norah Barnes and Steve Dittmore. I appreciate your perspective, as well as your depth and knowledge on the subject - I love being surrounded by smart people.

Here's the video:

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Twas the night before The Blog Panel....

I've gone ahead and posted a short, special video for fellow TBA-er, Quinella Queen. I thought I would transmit via the Internet(s) Ms. QQ's "home track" and let her know what they are pumping out to the racing industry here at the Symposium.

In less than twelve hours, horse racing bloggers will take another giant step in the advancement of technology in a slow-to-adapt, old school industry. At approx. 8:30 am (mst), Thursday, Dec. 7th 2006, this blogger will be speaking to a large audience who will gather to hear a panel discussion entitled, "The Blog: New Media Monster?" 70+ million blogs later and this industry is FINALLY getting a clue.


We'll see!!

I went out to dinner with 3/4 of the panel and enjoyed a Ginormous margarita and a rather tasty shrimp/chicken fajita. Sorry John, no chimichanga's for this guy.

This post is short as I am putting the final touches on the ole' presentation. As I told our panel moderator, Bob Wolff, I HATE using Power Point, but I feel like it is a necessary evil in this case. Putting facts and thoughts down on paper for what could be the equivalent of 1st graders (in terms of knowledge, education and experience in this realm) seemed like the best option for me to get my point across effectively. I've got my shpeel down to 14 minutes, and really look forward to the question and answer period. I hope people show up and are caffeinated to the gills!!

TRAKUS at the Symposium

Here is some video from the TRAKUS booth at the Racing and Gaming Symposium here in Tucson, AZ. I'll have some more video up later. I think TRAKUS is one of the best new technologies out there for the sport. If you don't know the full scoop, check out their site and do a Google News search. They've gotten some pretty good press in several media outlets.

Here's me working...

And this is what I'm looking at....

I need a job....

why can't I get a story on MSN about my plight?

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006 - 9:00 AM (mst)

Both the Thoroughbred Times and Bloodhorse have stories from some of yesterday's panels in Tucson. For me the, yesterday was pretty much highlighted by the first afternoon panel entitled, "INTERNET GAMBLING - NEW REALITIES?".

By the time this panel was winding down, my body started to shut down, so I "only" caught about 90% of the discussion. I did catch enough of it to learn some pretty interesting stuff. Most of the "discussion" was based around the Internet Gambling Enforcement Act that was recently passed in both the house and senate.

The speakers were:
Moderator/Speaker: Jay Hickey, President, American Horse Council
Speakers: Nelson Rose, Professor of Law, Whittier Law School
Sue Schneider, CEO President, The River City Group
Maury Wolff , Economist

With all do respect to Ms. Schneider and Mr. Wolff, Mr. Hickey and Mr. Rose offered the most insight into the logistics and minutiae of the the recently passed bill.

Mr. Hickey subtly highlighted the importance of his lobbying organization and the overall efforts of the horse racing industry in making sure that horse racing remained exempt in this failed attempt by Bill Frist to garner enough voting power from the religious right - hoping it would propel him to a Presidential victory in 2008.

Mr. Hickey did a great job of describing some of the more minute details of the bill and the differences between on-line poker, sports betting and betting on horses over the internet(s).

Mr. Rose, a highly respected and extremely well-versed "gambling lawyer" offered more insight into the legal realties of the bill. If you want all of the lowdown, I HIGHLY recommend checking out his website.

Mr. Rose also suggested signing up for his FREE e-newsletter (email him here:, which I've already done and suggest you do to.

One question I was not able to ask Mr. Rose, was why he thinks "gambling will be outlawed by 2035 (ish). I think that's what I heard him say.....

In a nutshell, it seems this bill was passed in a rather sketchy, unprofessional manner by Mr. Frist. Without discussion and hurried through congress at the "12th hour", the bill has most affected publicly traded internet poker sites. The poker sites that remained private are still in business and are probably doing better than they ever could have imagined had the bill not been passed.

It seems the law/bill is somewhat ambiguous and there are World Trade Organization implications that will lead to its ultimate undoing. Mainly, Mr. Rose sees the island of Antigua as the first to challenge the U.S. Dept. of Justice on these grounds. Mr. Rose predicts that the U.S. Gov't. will probably pay off Antigua in a settlement, but other affected countries throughout the world will smell blood and press the issue in the future. Again, for more legal details go to Mr. Rose's website HERE.

Horse racing seems safe for now. Besides the ambiguities and shady nature of the bill being passed, one of the more poignant takeaways for me was the importance and undying hard work that the horse racing lobby does. Without dogged lobbying and political efforts, it is quite conceivable that horse racing would be in something of a serious pickle.

My body decided to shut down at around 3pm local time in an effort to try and catch up from thousands of miles traveled in recent days. I needed to recharge with a late afternoon nap, so the afternoon's second set of panels were eliminated from my schedule. I've pretty much completed my presentation for tomorrow morning's blog panel. With only a few tweaks and touch ups remaining, I am looking forward to meeting with my fellow panelists later on today.

In the meantime, I am armed with my video camera and will be heading to the conference floor to see what kind of products are out on the market. Hopefully I'll have some YouTube videos up by noon MST today.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Noon (MST)

the first morning of the symposium has come to a close and here are some notes from Tuesday AM:

-The first panel this morning was, "A New Perspective: How Casino Operators Would Run Racing". A pretty interesting panel, and I recommend you check out the Power Point presentation created by Mark Midland of Louisiana Downs. I am not exactly sure when this year's PPT's will be posted, but 2005's are here

-Edward Tracy, CEO TrackPower started the panel off with some intersting thoughts on taxation and legislation. Mr. Tracey spoke about how racing and tracks ARE the casino business. He makes a strong case for the fact that tracks, for some reason, are getting shafted (my term) when it comes to taxation and legislation. An interesting take on this was, "Why are WE so special? - Something like tobacco, pharmaceuticals, Atlantic City and Indian reserveations ALL pay amazingly less tax rates - from ZERO to about 30%. Tracks are bing taxed as high as 70%. Definitely food for thought.

-Midland spoke for a LONG time, but was able to touch on some really great points - mainly from a marketing perspective.

-Some of his thoughts/ideas included:

On-Track Handle is stagnant over the past 10 years

Horse racing's "unknown pay-offs" vs. slots which advertise (agressively) what current jackpots are.

Promoting big winners like casinos do.

Use of Data analysis - Casinos are maximizing software while tracks/racing are NOT at all

Need to make Racing Fun and Easy - SIMULCASTING

Organizing post times (like UK/Australia)

Witholding percentages of wagers to give back in bigger, more marketable jackpots

Like I said, check out his entire Power Point (when it becomes available). He really did a nice job touching on some fresh marketing angles and perspectives.

-I walked into "How to grow in a developed market or how to steal the other guy's customer" a little bit late and only caught the last part of Will Cummings' (Cummings Associates) wonky thoughts on numbers and casinos and was hard for me to follow, especially coming in late.

-Joe Weinberg of The Cordish Company walked us through all of his companies mixed use projects around the country. Of greatest note for me was the Woodbine mixed use project they are creating. It looks like they will be creating a huge development right at Woodbine which will have residential apartments, retail shops and a live music venue. Pretty cool stuff. You should check out The Cordish Company HERE. Mr. Weinberg's presentation has some nice visuals of all of the companies redevelopment projects.

-I'm off to the keynote speaker/luncheon and hope to have some more pics and visuals as the week moves on. I had breakfast with the Trakkus folks this morning and look forward to speaking with them in more detail at some point today.

-Let me know if there is anything specifc you'd like to know from me while I'm here. I am aim to please, so email me at with any suggestions or thoughts.

Monday, December 04, 2006

No Toto, we are not in Kansas anymore...

In case you didn't know, or may be checking in for the first time, yours truly is making his debut appearance in the great state of Arizona as a guest speaker at the 33rd Annual University of Arizona Racetrack Industry Program's Racing and Gaming Symposium

I've only been here a few hours and a lot has already transpired. Before I get into any specifcs though, here's an email exchange I had with a "Respected Turf Writer" over the past few days:

RTW: "Congrats on speaking at the Symposium".
AvgH: "Thanks. I'm both nervous and excited. Very much looking forward to the opportunity to address the industry".
RTW: "Good luck. I've never been to the Symposium, but from what I've heard it's a drunkfest, so don't be too nervous :) "

Just for you, my readers, I thought I would set the stage for what the feeling is like around here. Again, I've only been around for a few hours, but already the crowd is settling in and getting quite comfortable here at The Westin La Paloma.

There was an opening "reception" this evening in one of the ballrooms and I will tell you that there are some really cool booths set up. From racing surface providers and barn builders, to Daktronics scoreboards and Trakkus reps, I am looking forward to exploring and chatting with many of those in attendance. I think the first people I will spend time chatting with are the Trakkus guys. From what I know about this new technology, it seems to hold the most promise for new (young) market penetration (in my opinion).

I've met some great folks already - the first of which was on the van ride from the airport. Don't think for one minute I'm not promoting the HELL out of the Blog Panel Thursday morning.

Though I think we all have a pretty good sense of where the industry stands on new technologies - blogs and social networking in particular - the more I chat with industry folks, the more urgent our message becomes.

I need to spend some time honing my presentation tonight, while being sure to keep an eye out for any rogue scorpions or spiders that might decide to make an appearance.

The wireless is NOT free here, which is pretty ghetto in my opinion, and there is some literature saying that "wireless may not be available in meeting rooms", so I'll try my best to update as much as possible.

Two weeks and several thousand travel miles later....

Portand International Airport (PDX) rules. Being here for the second time in less than 12 hours - arriving from NYC and departing for Tucson - I've given myself the freedom to act as an educated, informed traveler. From FREE wireless access throughout, to super easy mass transit connections, this is one of the most convenient, fluid, easy airports I've been in. In fact, the Oregon ethos of "think globally, act locally" extends itself here. I haven't seen so many local businesses and food shops rooted here in the airport that call Portland home. I can't verify this, but I don't even think there is a McDonalds!!

After being in Newark International and now PDX these past two days, I can relay to you that air travel is booming. Arriving here at 11pm last night - delayed :-( this place was a mad house. Leaving this morning, it is just as crowded. Don't even ask about the zoo at Newark.

My flight to Tucson, via Phoenix boards in a few minutes. I won't be back posting until re-emerging at the University of Arizona Racing and Gaming Symposium later on today.

-I am beyond excited to be a part of the symposium and look forward to meeting as many industry folks as possible.

-While in NYC these past two weeks, I discovered something fairly odd - an OFF TRACK BETTING parlor smack dab in the middle of the George Washington Bridge bus station!!

-While in the Northeast, I did not make it to live racing, nor was I able to hook up with any fellow TBA-ers. I was able to spend a few short hours at The Meadowlands for some afternoon simulcasting.

Time to board. Be back soon!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Buried in the research dungeon...

I've been somewhat MIA from the internet(s), knee-deep in research and organization. As I was publicly "outed" yesterday by the Bloodhorse, my excitement and anticipation continues to grow each day. I've been afforded a platform at one of this industry's largest networking events, and I plan to offer all of those in attendance unique insight that I believe has the potential to change the future of horse racing in North America forever!!

Currently, Robert Evans, CEO of CDI Inc. has been making the PR rounds with interviews on the Courier-Journal, DRF, and now he shows up at Times-Picayune/, just in time for the re-opening of the Fair Grounds. I wrote Mr. Evans' assistant a personal invitation to the blog panel next next week, but haven't heard back as of yet. I've been able to come up with some semblance of an email address for Mr. Evans and am in the process of trying to reach him directly. Not sure if it is correct, as no one at CDI would give me his direct e-mail - ahhh, the joys and respect that go along with being a blogger in the horse racing world!!

Mr. Robert/Bob Evans: If you're out there, I truly hope you can find 90 minutes to attend our discussion on December, 7th at 8:30 am at the Westin Paloma in Tucson, AZ. With all of your recent public comments about technology and change, I think you'll be able to contribute as well gain some more invaluable insight from our top-notch panel.

-What's the deal with all of the recent Jockey "tussles"? I, for one, enjoy hearing about jockeys mixing it up with one another in the jock's room after racing. It shows me they actually care about what goes on during a race. I'm sure a large percentage of these altercations have more to do with Jockey well-being and personal issues, but still, if these guys are taking swings at each other after a race, that shows some serious dedication and commitment to success on the track. Jonny V., P. Val, Mr Husbands, et. al. keep up the fire-y goodness!! This is one story, and here's another.

-I am currently in the lovely Nutmeg State, Connecticut and will make my way north to the Internet-less Bershire Mountains for a day or two starting tomorrow. I might be able to sneak down to the local town for some wireless action, but if I don't, I hope everyone has a great, happy, healthy, enjoyable Thanksgiving Day!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

APB Out on AvgHorsePlayer?

Where do the days go? I haven't posted here in almost a week now and I am beginning to feel embarrassed.

Huge (HUGE) props to my blogging brethren who have been kicking high-level ass over the past week. Every time I sit down to read and write, I come across another amazing post.

The past weeks have found me buried in research and preparation for one of the biggest events of my life.

Some of you already know this, but for those of you that don' goes:

Yours truly has humbly accepted an invitation to be a part of an upcoming panel at the 32nd Annual Symposium on Racing and Gaming hosted by the University of Arizona's Racetrack Industry Program.

The panel I will be speaking on is entitled, "The Blog: New Media Monster?

The moderator for the panel is Bob Wolff, VP - Public Relations, Robert Brandt and Associates. Here's a link to his company. If you click on the first "face" on the left, you can get more information on Mr. Wolff.

Other panelists will be:
Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes, Chancellor Professor of Marketing, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth- Here's a link to Ms. Barnes' bio courtesy of UMASS-Dartmouth's website.

Stephen W. Dittmore, Assistant Professor, East Stroudsburg University - Here's a link to Mr. Dittmore's University of Louisville's Bio page and here's a link to Mr. D's resume.

If you're keeping score at home, that's one VP and two PhD’s. Hopefully I'll be able to hold my own, even though my highest level of completed education is a few years short of a Ph. D.

With only a Master's Degree under my belt, I hope to bring my recent real world experiences to the table to provide insight and focus to the meaning and future of blogs, Internet technologies and horse racing.

I've been working my tail off recently researching and putting together thoughts and ideas to bring to the table for this event. If anyone has any thoughts or ideas of their own that they think I should know about, please feel free to email me:

In the meantime, I look forward to covering this industry with my fellow bloggers. Providing links, ideas, and opinions that the MS(HR)M are unable to provide is something that I know we all take very seriously.

Thank you for reading, and thank you all that have been supportive in this movement. The indsutry has a ways to go, but it looks like the powers that be are beginning to take notice. This is good news for everyone involved!

Friday, November 10, 2006


Could it be that someone in the industry is actually GETTING IT?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I think $200 million in 2007 is an attainable goal. IF certain steps are taken....

As the "Burners" say, I've been decompressing

It’s been a few days since my last post and I’ve been using those days to “recover” from what I am calling, “The Greatest Eight Days of My Life.”

What kind of recovery would I need after such an amazing experience? Since returning from Louisville, I’ve been using the time to decompress, refresh and re-organize.

The next few weeks will be exciting adventures which will take me back east to New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts. Capped off by a quick stop back here in Portland, before turning around for Tucson, AZ the first week of December.

I have so many shout-outs and thank yous to send out across the Internets(s), but I am still crafting that list – it is a long one! I can’t help but remember all of the good people I met on my epic journey to this year’s Breeders’ Cup.

In the meantime, I hope you are checking out all of the other TBA-ers, as they continue to rule the Wild Wild Web in alternative horse racing coverage.

So with this country a little bit bluer today, hopefully signifying a turn for the “more gooder”, I wish you all a good day and I promise to up the post ante from this point on.

It’s great to be back in Portland, but it’s even better keeping an eye on the future....

I’m off for some food and caffeine, but will be back soon with thoughts and thank yous.

If you aren’t already…have a great day!!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

UPDATED w/ Youngest Jockey Correction 12:15 PM Breeders' Cup Classic Wrap-Up Press Conference and Breakfast

Just walked out of the final Press Conference for this year's Breeders' Cup week. John Asher hosted this morning's breakfast which retraced each and every race and brought back into the limelight those winning connections that still remained in Louisville.

As one of the greatest weeks of my life winds to a close here at storied Churchill Downs, here are some highlights and quotes from this morning's press event held in the 6th Floor Millionaires Row dining room.

Acting NTRA and Breeders' Cup CEO Greg Avioli kicked off the breakfast by saying, "We are looking to come back to Churchill Downs (although nothing has been finalized) as early as 2008.


Dreaming of Anna's Trainer, Wayne Catalano, "We haven't seen the best of this fillie until she gets back on the turf."


Connections of Street Sense are, "Looking forward to running the first Saturday in May."

"We chose (Calvin) Borel to ride this horse specifically for his superior horsemanship."

Trainer Carl Nafzger comes of as what's great about this sport: loyalty, humility, patience, sense of humor, and an eye for talent.


Ouija Board becomes only the 7th horse all-time to win two Breeders' Cup Races

Trainer Edward Dunlop, "Ouija Board has been a life changing experience for me and many others."

Ouija Board (and Red Rocks) jockey Frankie Dettori was awarded the Bill Shoemaker Award for outstanding Breeders' Cup jockey. The award given out annually is voted on by members of the international racing media.

Dettori was not in attendance at this morning's breakfast as he was on his way to Melbourne to ride in the upcoming Melbourne Cup.

Ouija Board owner Lord Darby was on hand to accept the award on behalf of Dettori who it was noted, made a stop in Las Vegas on his way to Melbourne.

My question: What's it like to be with a guy like Dettori in Vegas after pocketing nearly $400K in his two victories Saturday?


Trainer Doug O'Neil on Great Hunter, "Still on the Derby trail. He is a superior animal."


Winning jockey Eddie Castro (22) becomes the youngest to win a Breeders' Cup race (FOR ABOUT TWO HOURS) Until Jara (18) takes the Classic with Invasor


This race (exacta) put me permanently up for the day. I happened to have Round Pond on top of BOTH Asi Siempre (DQ-ed) and Happy Ticket. I had more vested in the official order of finish, so the DQ worked in my favor

Everyone is still sobered by the tragic events that took place in this race


Red Rocks will target Dubai in the spring and then shoot for Monmouth Park in 2007

Trainer Brian Meehan said (even before the race) that this horse will be better a a 4 year-old.


Kieran McLaughlin's brother, who spoke on behalf of the winning trainer said that Shiek Hamdan may race Invasor in Dubai, but "was too excited to make a decision and wanted to sleep on it last night."

9:05 AM Handle Record Details

Just want to clarify the handle records set yesterday (we like to be correct more often than not).

Saturday set a new "common pool sources handle record" for the Breeders' Cup. "The $136,726,378 breaks the old mark of $123,978241 set last year at Belmont."

The on-track total also set a BC record besting the previous mark set by Santa Anita in 2003. The total on-track handle topped out at $18.25 million.

$4.7+ million was bet into the Pick-6 pool with two tickets cashed for a payout of $1.4 million. 85 consolation tix were cashed for $11,318.

BC Classic Press Conference Part 1

This was from Satursay, but YouTube wasn't being very cooperative. There will be another part to this entry later on today at some point.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Handle Record..

$137+ Million sets the record for largest single day handle.

Attendance was 75,132 3rd largest in Breeders' Cup history.


In a post victory press conference, Shadwells, Rick Nichols called Andy Beyer's piece on The Maktoum family, "PIECE OF TRASH JOURNALISM."

In case you missed it, here's the article.

More press conference material to come and keep an eye out for all of the stories in other publications to capture the displeasure Shadwell has with Mr. Beyer.

5:20 PM 10 Minutes to Post

10 minutes to post and STILL no signs of double will pays for me. Oh well.

The Pick-4 will pay, which TVG finally showed is for $11k. The next closest is Invasor at $48K.

Good Luck Mike!!

5:08 PM Classic Time SHOW ME WILL PAYS!!

Mike over at Curb Your Enthusiasm is here at Churchill and his crew are alive in the Pick Four. They have Bernardini!!

No one is showing WILL PAYS THOUGH!!

I have a Double riding and can't find those anywhere either.

What is going on. I am up a good amount for the day, so thi sis all icing on the cake.

I had Red Rocks to win, and had Exacta in the Distaff

I am on Will Pay Watch....

4:33 PM


I am going to try and use the video camera here on. I def. want comments for the big race coming up.

Now, the TURF!!!

Mixed News..

Pine Island Euthanized.

Fleet Indian will be ok.

4:10 PM This sucks, but...

This turn of events is really sad and has taken the air out of my first victory of the day.

Ugly stuff, guys but it is a part of the game.

Miesque's Approval Connections

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Just ran into...

Kenny Mayne in the press room. He was cashing in tickets. Turns out he hit the early pick-4 (goo for him) and likes th #2 and #14 here in the Distaff....Good Times

Some random photos...

As I head out to watch the Mile...

I just wanted to let you know I haven't cashed a ticket yet!!

Thor's Echo's Connections Talk About Thier Win

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Juvenile Fillie Winning Jockey, Rene Douglass addresses the media

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Dettori, Darby & Dunlop

Ouija Boards Connections Address the Media...

Press "play" below:

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Street Sense Connections..

Some very cool comments from the conections of the Juvenile Winner, Street Sense
Press "play" below:

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Dreaming of Anna Connections Address the Media

Press "play" below

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Post Juvenile...

Inside speed is lookin' real good

Dreaming of Anna Connectins Address the Media

4 Minutes to Post..

..and ESPN guys think it's a two-horse race between Dreaming of Anna and Cash Included?

Sorry, I am going to demand value in this (and the next) race.

12:20 PM Juvenile Fillies

11:55 AM

All bets are in. Two races are in the books, and now we're on to the main event.

First two races have favored front-runners, so we'll see how that all plays out.

I'm going to jump outaide and get som ejockey photos for the 3rd race.

Good Lcuk, everyone!!

10:35 AM Opening ceremonies...

10:25 AM UPDATE: Post-Race Press Conferences

From what I've been told (after asking around) ESPN will NOT carry the post-race press conferences. TVG and HRTV SHOULD have them, but if you want to check them out, I'll have each post-race press conference posted here about 5-10 minutes after each is completed.

About 2 hours to post......

9:15 AM You can just feel it in the air....

Euros walk the backstretch on Breeders' Cup Day

- The energy all over this ginormous facility is electric. One can barely get a drink at the concession stand without showing a ticket/credential. One foreign journo was overheard saying, "it's the most police I've ever seen at a racetrack." Hallways, entrances, elevators that earlier in the week could be entered and explored freely, are now tightly guarded by green-suited officials. The greatest day in racing is here. The greatest track in the world is ready. Are you?

- I started my morning on the backstretch - as usual - but only remained for a few minutes. Where a crush of media once preyed only 24 hours ago, lay only a surreal, erie feeling of emptiness - the tell-tale signs of the clam before the storm. I caught a few of the Euroes going for walks, as well as Brother Derek making his way onto the track for a little stroll. I saw Librettist who looked very good and included him in some of my wagers. He just looked too good to pass up after seeing him awake and alive in the early morning chill of mid-fall Kentucky.

- As I said in my last post, the media room I am in is the "auxiliary" media room, located less than 30 feet from the paddock. It is actually a better place for me to be, as it is more accessible to the track and all things going on down here. Even better than that, the "Paddock Pavilion" (Aux. media room) is where all of the post race press conferences will take place (see photo below). After every race, the winning jockey, trainer and owner will make their way into MY media room to address the throngs of journalists for few minutes. Excellent!

- I'm not sure if ESPN or NTRA will be carrying these press conferences live, but I plan on audio recording each one and posting it here immediately after, so keep checking in here for continuos live updates. I'm still trying to track someone down who has the answer, but it is still on 9 am!!

Paddock Pavilion/Aux. Media Center - Post-race press conferences to be held just in fron tof purple banner in background

Red Rocks (BC Turf) goes for a stroll this morning

8:10 AM Auxiliary Media Room (about 20 feet from the paddock)

-I'm not sure what the temperature is where you may be, but here in Louisville, it's currently 34 and rising up to about 54. Just a perfect day for the biggest and best day in racing.

-If you happen to know folks who may not be racing fans, make sure tjey at least tune in to part of the broadcast. ESPN will be doing its usual engaging, entertaining broadcast (whether you like Hank Goldberg or not!!) for SEVEN hours!!

With Fowler, Maine, Moss and the lovely Edwards, I believe the crew will do an A-Plus job. I will also be following the day via ESPN 360 - where suits promise non-stop live coverage of the entire day. I'll keep an eye over there, you can too.

-I've finally found my designated seat in the press area!! It's taken me nearly a week to get here, but now for the first time, I present to you, the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance "seat at the table:"

6:37 AM Breeders' Cup expressed via music...

"Today is the greatest
Day I've ever known
Can't live for tomorrow,
Tomorrow's much too long
I'll burn my eyes out

Before I get out
I wanted more
Than life could ever grant me
Bored by the chore
Of saving face

Today is the greatest
Day I've ever known
Can't wait for tomorrow
I might not have that long
I'll tear my heart out
Before I get out.....

.....Today is
Today is
Today is
The greatest day

I want to turn you on
I want to turn you on
I want to turn you on
I want to turn you

Today is the greatest
Today is the greatest day
Today is the greatest day
That I have ever really known."

Smashing Pumpkins, Today

Friday, November 03, 2006


One of the coolest pieces of art I've seen in a while...

2:00 PM Visual Stimulation

Early Morning at Churchill Downs

Bath Time

Don't Drop the Soap

Off to Work

Yours Truly is Clearly an Organizational Freak

Sunset from 6th Floor at Churchill Downs

Papa John's Stadium Bfore Louisville/West Virginia Game

Avg Breeders' Cup Selections

Lilly Carson

*Pegasus Wind
Circular Quay
King of the Roxy

*Ouija Board
Satwa Queen

War Front
Siren Lure

Echo of Light

Happy Ticket
Round Pond

Red Rocks
Go Deputy

Lawyer Ron


An AvgHorsePlayer Exclusive

Whether you are horse racing fan or not, I think the story of jockeys and the Jockey's Guild is one that crosses various industries and interests. It's a story of labor unions, workmen's compensation, respect, and the ability to earn a living plying a trade.

I just had an opportunity to sit down with the National Director of the Jockey's Guild, Dwight Manley. If you are not familiar with the Jockey's Guild, you can go HERE to check out their website.

The Guild has been through some extremely tumultuous times over the past twelve months and it was a pleasure to be able to sit down with the Guilds newly elected National Director. Here are two recent articles that talk about some of the issues facing the Guild.

Article #1
Article #2

If you are just visiting for the first time welcome. If you found this site via Metblogs, then a very special welcome and a huge THANK YOU for taking the time to visit.

Now, an interview with Dwight Manley:

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8:20 AM Bordonaro

Here is some footage of Bordonaro. This is a special request from the left coast. We aim to please here at AvgHorsePlayer. Ask and you shall receive (hopefully). I missed him outside of the barn by a few minutes, but did catch up with him cooling down and got a few words from trainer Bill Spawr.

In case you missed it, here is what he had to say yesterday:
"I like the post, especially with the fact that Henny Hughes is inside of us. I'd like to have been further out, but the six is better than the ne. We might have to use him a little more than we want than if we were further outside. I'd have preffered the 11 or 12. But I'm not riding him; that's P. Val."

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Final Audio of the Day: Trainer Tom Albertrani Talks About George Washington

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Audio: Trainer Tom Albertrani talks about Bernardini's future

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6:20 PM Afteroon wrap-up

Surprisingly, it's only taken me until about 20 minutes ago to have my first official freakout.

After spending a good amount of time trying to post some interviews from this afternoon, my audio posting company (Odeo, very similar to YouTube) for some reason wouldn't let me post. Moreover, I didn't realize this until I had already posted the supposed audio on the site!! I yanked them down and now there is only one currently up. It is of Todd Pletcher talking about working for Coolmore. My video camera crapped out of juice so I used my audio recorder to finish the press conference. I'm still working on the situation, so hopefully Tom Albertrani talking about Bernardini and Aidan O'Brien talking about George Washington.

Other afternoon tidbits (whether you care or not)

-In my post from yesterday, I mentioned trying to find "The Moby". It is actually called, "Moby Dick" which I didn't realize until I pulled into the parking lot - and then out. Thanks to MT for the headsup there.

-Got my first chance to hold an actual Courier-Journal newspaper in my hand and actually read it. Over a Woodford/Rocks (my new drink) last night, I was amazed at the horse racing page that Jennie, Greg and the rest of the team over there put together. Those guys kick ass and work their tails off in their semi-private-cubby-hole-office-space overlooking the track in press row. It's one thing to peep the C-J on-line, it's a completely different thing to experience their work in the actual paper.

-Speaking of new drinks, tonight is the big Grey Goose VIP party at The Palace Theater in DT Louisville. I'm psyched, although I've got a 9 am interview scheduled with Dwight Manley, and I promised one reader I would get some Bordonaro footage. We all know how much the horses love the early mornings..... I wonder if the Geese do?

-Most of you know (ok, all of you) that the Mint Julep is the official drink of The Kentucky Derby but did you know there is an official cocktail of The Breeders' Cup? That's what I thought...NOW you're glad there are bloggers covering this thing. The drink is called, "DOWN THE STRETCH" and here's what it is:

1.5 parts Grey Goose Original or Grey Goose Le Citron
3 parts sweetened tea
1 part sour mix
Splash of Chambord
Black raspberries
Lemon wedge

Fill a commemorative Breeders' Cup Glass with ice and add Grey Goose Vodka. Fill glass 3/4 inch from rim with sweetened tea and add a splash of sour mix. Drizzle Chambord on top and garnish with black raspberries and lemon wedge.

Easy right? I'll make it the next time I've got Chambord in my liquor cabinet

-Tonight's the HUGE Louisville/West Virginia football game. If you haven't heard about it yet, well that's your fault. Here's a link in case you have managed to miss the biggest game of the college football season so far. Football/sports fan or not, check out ESPN tonight at 8 pm tonight if only to see "The Cardinal Blackout." Louisville will be wearing all black uniforms and helmets, and they've "encouraged" all of their fans to wear all black.

-Chip Tuttle stopped by my workspace today and introduced himself. We had a nice little chat. Nothing too formal, we just discussed a bunch of the issues that we've all been discussing lately here at the TBA. Chip is super accessible and understands, enjoys, and is a supporter of the blogs. If you have any NTRA/Breeders' Cup marketing/advertising questions, definitely email Chip (his firm was also responsible for the "Who Do you Like" ad campaign). Chip didn't leave me a card, so let's test him and see if he reads this blog. Chip, if you read this, I need a business card dude!

-More audio on the way...

5:35 PM (originally posted at 3:55 PM with no audio-upcoming post will go into more details)

Since I ran out of battery during this morning's press conference, here's the audio I took with my recorder. In this clip (press "play" below) Pletcher talks about working for Coolmore Stables.

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3:11 PM Final Clip of BC Trainers Pletcher, O'Neil and Albertrani

1:40 PM More Words from Breeders' Cup Trainers

Timeout for a Sponsor Recognition

AvgHorsePlayer would like to send a HUGE thank you to our friends at Blue Note Software. WIthout the Portland, Ore. based company, we would not be able to supply you, the fans with as many colorful pictures and videos.

1:05 PM More Pletcher and O'Neil

12:30 PM Todd Pletcher (and a little Doug O'Neil) addresses the Breeders' Cup Media

12:15 PM Kieran McLaughlin finishes up his press conference


10:45 AM

Trainers Press Conference.

Just heard from K. McGlaughlin (sp) and waitng for Doug O'Neil and Heir Pletcher.

I've got the video, so as soon as the conference is over, I'll run upsatirs and start posting.

THURSDAY - DAY 4....or is it DAY 5?

9:50 AM, It is Day 5, and my hands are completely numb. After being outside for the last few hours in 30 degree temps, I am just trying to get some blood/heat to the outer digits so I can type!

Currently putting some film together.

Some quick tidbits:

Just spotted Luk K. and Trevor D. working on a game plan, etc.

Word around the backstretch is that as good as Lava Man looked this morning, Bernardini looked EVEN BETTER!!

Today's Churchill card is off the turf.

Weather is sunny and cold (only warming to about 40-45 today.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

6:20 PM

I'm on my way out of here, now. Approaching 6 PM and I'm getting cranky.

Last night, I tried to go to The Moby but tried the ole' "memerize the directions" deal. Needless to say, my sense of direction around here is totally shot, so after circling the track 3 times, I finally gave up.

Tonight, I try again. I'm thinking, check out The Moby, and move on for a drink down at the Airport Marriott (at the behest of Oregon Racing's Jolene)

5:50 PM

Horsemen's hours are catching up to me. Seems to be the case most days lately. No biggie, I mean I'm at the track doing what I love, right?

Sat in on the ESPN press conference earlier. It was Bailey, Fowle, Len DeLuca (the old Mark Schapiro) and Dave something-or-other, the Exec. Producer of Saturdays ESPN telecast.

The call was pretty uneventful in itself. ESPN is super happy with thier promotion levels and won't budge from that assertion. They keep touting tomorrow night's football game as there coup-de-grace, but I still believe they could have done more (as do many others). I am still trying to conect with Chip Tuttle and hopefully I'll be able to do that tomorrow.

I asked Fowler, being the non-resident horse guy, how the NTRA, etc. can tap into the younger demographic that he so often visits on College Gameday. His response revolved around "getting people to the track." Not really what I was looking for, but it's hard to get genuine answers with his bosses hovering over the call. Chris was a bit bummed that he will be missing his first Saturday Gameday and the fact it was down at Texas A&M doesn't help. From what I hear, that place is crazy on Saturdays for football.

I asked Bailey about making the jockeys the stars of the game and he was all for it. He also added that he tries to do that inhis broadcasts. Good answer, Jerry. I will definitely be broaching that when I speak with Dwight Manley Friday morning.

It's almost 6 pm and it's REALLY cold. I was just outside for a while (doing a little touting/betting - not winning!) and my hands are pretty f-ing numb. So numb in fact, I can barely type!!

2:30 PM

Here's my last post for a little while as I prepare to hook into the 3 PM conference call with the ESPN personalities.

Earlier, one of the folks I was able to meet and corner (borderline stalk) after the breakfast was the TBA's own, Ray Paulick. It was great to finally meet Mr. Paulick who so often joins in on the blogosphere discussions. Mr. Paulick let me know that he subscribes to our RSS feed and that Bloodhorse is working on adding their own RSS.

Finally, Ray Paulick would like everyone to know that the idea for the Bloodhorse blog, written by Evan Hammonds and Claire Novak was his idea and that it was sprung from "the old Evans - Novak Report" (I've never heard of it, have you?)

Here's the four-plus minute interview with Ray Paulick of Bloodhorse:

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2:00 PM

Mike Battaglia's Purple Tie was purchased in Venice WITH his wife. Mike says he picked it out, though. I believe you, Mike.

2:15 PM

BTW, thanks to Gustavo Gonzalez of La Nacion for the use of his workspace** in the post-post position draw aftermath.

**Evan Hammonds
over at Bloodhorse told me that my "nameplate" references were funny, but now the joke's old. Evan doesn't know me all that well, and what he doesn't know is that I will beat that thing to a bloody pulp on into Friday.

Hopefully, Saturday I'll have a seat of my own.

1:10 PM Post-Post Position Breakfast/Media Free-For-All

Made it out of the PP breakfast unscathed. Thanks to Maryjean Wall for holding my hand at this morning's breakfast. Sure, I could have done it alone, but it was nice to have a professional take the time guide me through. Everyone should go read read Maryjean's columns (if you haven't already).

Anywhoo.....after breakfast, there was supposed to be an organized-type press conference. That went to shit pretty fast, as the media went wild as the trainers started to bolt the scene. I managed to track down the CEO of the NTRA and Breeders' Cup LTD. Greg Avioli took a few minutes to discuss the recent BC Challenge and his thoughts on ESPN's marketing efforts (pres play below).

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12:00 PM Classic - 13 horses (Scratch Discreet Cat and Super Frolic)

#6 Perfect Drift G. Gomez
#1 Brother Derek A. Solis
#5 Lawyer Ron P. Valenzuela
#7 David junior J. Spencer
#8 Lava Man C. Nakatani
#2 Premium Tap E. Prado
#11 Invasor F. Jara
#9 Giacomo M. Smith
#10 Flower Alley JR Velazquez
#13 Sun King R. Bejarano
#4 George Washington M.Kinane
#3 Bernardini J. Castellano
#12 Suave K. Desormeaux

11:58 AM Turf

#7 Hurricane Run C. Soumillon
#10 English Channel J. Velazquez
#1 Go Deputy O. Pesky
#3 Icy Atlantic M Luzzi
#11 Silver Foot M. Guidry
#2 TH Approval A. Solis
#4 Scorpion M. Kinane
#6 Cacique E. Prado
#8 Better Talk Now R. Dominguez
#9 Red Rocks. F. Dettori
#5 Rush Bay R. Bejarano

11:55 AM Distaff (Summerly out)

#11 Bushfire A Solis
#1 Round Pond E. Prado
#5 Lemons Forever M. Guidry
#2 Pine Island J. Castellano
#4 Sharp Lisa P. Valenzuela
#10 Hollywood Story D. Flores
#9 Pool Land JR Velzaquez
#3 Healthy Addiction V. Espinoza
#12 Asi Siempre J. Leparoux
#14 Balletto C. Nakatani
#7 Fleet Indian J. Santos
#6 Spun Sugar M. Luzzi
#8 Baghdaria R. Bejarano
#13 Happy Ticket G. Gomez

11: 52 AM MILE (Super Frolic in Mile - no one knows whats up!!)

#1 Rob Roy R. Dominguez
#10 Miesques Approval E. Castro
#13 Librettist C. Soumillon
#11 Super Frolic S. Bridgmohan
#12 Gorella J. Leparoux
#5 Free Thinking J. Santos
#4 Sleeping Indian A. Solis
#1 Ad Valorem J. Spencer
#6 Echo of Light F. Dettori
#2 Silent Name V. Espinoza
#14 Aussie Rules G. Gomez
#8 Badge of Silver E. Prado
#3 Araafa JR Velazquez
#7 Aragorn C. Nakatani

11:50 AM Sprint (Filly and Mare Turf to come at end)

#10 War Front J. Santos
#2 Friendly Island R. Dominguez
#3 Lewis Michael R. Douglas
#5 Areyoutalkintome V. Espinoza
#14 Kelly's Landing R. Bejarano
#7 Nightnmare Affair E Prado
#9 Too Much Bling G Gomez
#4 Henny Hughes JR Velazquez
#12 Malibu Mint K. Canel
#11 Siren Lure A Solis
#1 Thor's Echo C. Nakatani
#8 Pomeroy E. Castro
#6 Bordonaro P. Valenzuela
#13 Atilla's Storm C. Velasquez

11:36 AM Juvenile

#5 CP West R. Bejarano
#6 Principal Secret V. Espinoza
#11 Got the Least Laugh R. Douglas
#2 Stormello K. Desormeaux
#1 Street Sense C. Borel
#8 Teulesberg r. Albarado
#14 Skip Code P. Husbands
#10 Pegasus Wind M. Luzzi
#4 King of the Roxy E. Prado
#7 Great Hunter C. Nakatani
# 13 Malt Magic J. Court
#9 Circular Quay G. Gomez
#3 Scat Daddy JR Velazquez
#12 U D Ghetto M. Smith

11:32 AM Juvenile Fillies- 14 horses to go to post.

#11 Satulagi Riddne J Egan
#7 Cotton Blossom JR Velazquez
#3 Cash Included Corey Nakatani
#8 Lilly Carson C. Velasquez
#13 Quick Little Miss J. Court
#4 Octave G. Gomez
#14 Gatorize M. Guidry
#9 Adrhythm E. Prado
#6 Bel-Air Beauty F. Jara
#1 Dreaming of Anna R. Douglas
#10 Her Majesty J. Laparoux
#2 Sutra M. Luzzi
#12 Appealing Zophi S. Bridgmohan
#5 She's Included V. Espinoza


Randy Moss has taken to the podium and is ready to begin....15 minutes late

11:24 AM

Quick Tidbits:

Mike Bataglia is looking sharp in his "power purple tie". Nice work, Mike. I wonder if he picked it out himself.

If you could have seen Bobby Frankel's expression when a waiter answered his query, "What's that" on the buffet line. Answer: French Toast Casserole. The look on Bobby's face? PRICELESS.

Lots of scuttlebut on the comings and goings of Super Frolic. Sounds like no one wants the horse. The story seems to be, Super Frolic was brought to trainer Dale Romans' barn, where Romans supposedly said, "Why are you bringing him here? I don't want him. Whereupon the Classic outsider was brought to Scott Blasi's barn. Mr. Blasi was no less surprised, but has held onto the horse, but has gotten no direction on what to do or what the horse has even been doing the past few weeks. Strange. Very strange. Maybe I'll stay away from SF on Sat.

11:17 AM

Janine Edwards has just moved up from lovely to smokin and Jerry Bailey just brushed past me.

11:12 AM

Schmoozing, people watching, eating and now the Governor of Kentucky.....did you know the World Equestrian Games is coming to Louisville

10:00 AM

There's been a MUTTON CHOPS siting!!!!

Wed. AM Video

Here's some video from this morning. I caught up with David Junior going for a stroll in the paddock, as well as trying to show you some of the weather that we've got.

I'm hoping this tides you all over until the Post Position breakfast begins.

BTW, just met Paul Moran who said, he "occasionally checks out our blogs"!!!

The media is filing in like animals to Noah (huh?)

Enjoy the clips.....


Last night, in the confines of the Breckenridge Inn, about 8 miles from Churchill Downs, I put together another video of yesterday's backstretch. If you haven't checked it out, here's the link to the post

Also, a VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU to Bill Finley of ESPN for allowing me solace and comfrot in his seat this morning. Kudos, sir.

A craptastic morning...

These guys don't know s#*t. It's a cold and very rainy morning here in Lousiville. Fox 41 here in Louisville aren't the only guys who got the forecast wrong. Rain was supposed to go away yesterday, but here's what it looks like this morning....



go away....

I am not a duck. I have left the backstretch for warmer, drier pastures here on the front side. On my way out of the backstretch, my heart was warmed by the first sighting of one, Jeanine Edwards who is as lovely, in person, standing in the rain, as she is on tv.

Today is pp draw day, and like I said yesterday, I am hoping to provide live updates from the breakfast/draw.

Thanks to Blue Note Software for their technological support...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

5:00 PM "Win and You're In"

Thanks to Patrick, the eight fabulous Halloween themed sugar cookies, a cup of coffee and a new seat (see below), I can finally concentrate and actually put something down in writing. Some people might even call it an update.

By now, I'm sure all of you have already heard of the NTRA's new "Breeders' Cup Challenge." The NTRA, Breeders' Cup Ltd. and ESPN hosted a very nice lunch today at the Muhammad Ali Center in downtown Louisville to make the surprise announcement. All the big wig-wigs were there: Avioli, Farish, DeLuca and even Wayne "4-quote" Lukas (more on the nickname later).

(Greg Avioli, NTRA & Breeders' Cup Ltd.)

(Len LeDuca, ESPN)

(Randy Moss, MC, ESPN)

So the horse racing world is finally making strides to incorporate some sort of comprehendable "points" system - or so the theory goes. Bloodhorse has their story HERE - you don't need me to break anything down for you

I will however list some items from the notes that I took. As you can see above, all the big-wigs involved were there decked out in full suits and ties.

NTRA/BC Ltd. CEO Greg Avioli made comparisons to the changes MLB made (Wild Cards), NFL (four divisions in each conference), and PGA (moving to a points system and shifting 1/3 of their tour dates around)

The NTRA/ESPN is looking at the 24 races at six of the "best venues in racing" as "playoffs or automatic qualifiers (herego, "Win and You're In") which will "give context to racing fans".

It was also mentioned that in the past, these 24 races "have provided 40%-50% of BC starters" (interesting stat).

The NTRA/BC will be kicking back 2% of BC purses each of these races to be given out to 6th - last in order to encourage owners and trainers to enter and start horses who may be going against a strong favorite.

Mr. "four quote" (see above if you forgot the reference) was extremely outspoken and amusing when questioned by MC Randy Moss (D. Wayne was seated at the dais with the big wig execs). HIs best quote, "It's unfair to have five guys make the decisions they have to make" (of course referring to the current BC system). D. Wayne is now "four quote" b/c a few journos who have been here all week have surmised that D. Wayne has his speaking points down to the same four quotes: two of which we have on tape from yesterday LINKLINK!!!!!

Unfortunately, due to transportation issues, I was unable to stick around and drill deeper down into the ramifications, etc. with Mr. Avioli. There is a teleconference that I will participate in tomorrow where I hope to broach said subject. The conference call is supposed to be with all of ESPN's personalities and I've been told I can steal Mr. Avioli for a few minutes following the call.

-MAJOR kudos to Evan and Claire for helping Bloodhorse make a strong entry into the blogging world. Good work, Mr. Paulick and nice job guys on your work so far. Sure, your well-done blog is below the fold, but know that in this bloggers opinion - you're kickin' my ass in the writing department! (visual/multi-media content is another story. Maybe Mr. Paulick and I can strike a deal at some point this week?)

-It rained for about 2 hours earlier today, and the weather is much cooler. The track should certainly be fast/firm for Saturday as the "forecast" doesn't call for any more rain leading up to BC Day. It should be about 50-55 degrees with some clouds and sun. (here are some late day photos)

BTW, Thanks to Tim Layden of Sports Illustrated for letting me use his seat (until I went outside for the change of perspective)