8 June 2008

Big Brown Log; Is Fort Erie Done After This Year?

Sportscaster Jim McKay, who died yesterday at 86, prior to Big Brown's attempt at becoming the first Triple Crown winner in 30 years, coined the famous phrase, "the agony of defeat."
That sure was agony watching Big Brown trying to pick it up in the far turn. Agony for the fans and his connections. It was agony for me too, because I had an exactor box with Da'Tara and Big Brown, as well as Da'Tara and Icabad Crane. I had heard the announcers say Icabad Crane was making a move, but I had no idea from where, I had no idea who was in second, third, and fourth place as Da'Tara was romping home. The announcer was overwhelmed with Big Brown not firing and then pulling up, and it wasn't until late in the stretch that I found out I had no shot of catching the exactor. Pure agony.

I guess we will find out what happened today or tomorrow or the next day. Was it the fact that his last dose of Winstrol was April 15th? Did Da'Tara hurt him bad when kicked near the start of the race? Was the quarter crack a factor? Was the horse undertrained because of a combination of the quarter crack and sheer cockiness by Dutrow? How about the heat affecting him? Maybe the EPO has worn off? (OK, that was a cheap shot).

Part Two of the Three Part Expose On The Behind The Scenes Dealing For The Fort Erie Save Our Race Track Campaign

Nordic Gaming and EDTC agree on how the $2 million grant will be spent

'The provincial grant money will help cover costs to build models of what the development will look like.

It will also allow for a sooner understanding of engineering feasibility, market analysis, and environmental planning.

"This will include various studies that we're encouraging to take place sooner than later," said (Jim)Thibert (GM of the EDTC).'

I can tell you what the feasibility study will say right now: It is one of the stupidest ideas ever. Fort Erie has no chance of being a tourist destination, and slot machines and a B race track doesn't change that.

This is the ugly part of the article:
'the proposed development is separate from the looming question of whether live racing will be available next year, in the long run it will have an impact.'
Now for the UGLY RUMOUR I heard this week:

Ajax Downs (formerly Picov Downs) is currently building a five eighth's race track. Why do they need to build a track that size for quarter horses? They don't.
Ajax has a great location for slots. But they only have 200 slots, and they have demand for many more. They firmly believe (according to my sources) that they are going to get thoroughbred dates thanks to fact that Fort Erie will close. This will enable them to lobby for more slots from OLG.

What will happen to Fort Erie race track? It looks like the government's free grant to Nordic will allow them to value the land for development purposes. In other words, don't expect a five star hotel or a water park, but just residential homes being built, or perhaps industrial if it is determined there wouldn't be enough buyers. The feasibility study will help Nordic figure out how much the land is worth. I wonder if the study is going to take into account the glut of homes that will be sold if Fort Erie race track is no more.

Another crucial part of the rumour is that the ORC seems to be cognizant of the move to Ajax from Fort Erie. One of Ajax's lead advisers supposedly has inside info that this move is a sure thing.

Maybe the rumour is false, or half true. I don't know, but it sure seems plausible, considering that Nordic is really just a development company who lucked into slots and horse racing for a few years.

Back to 2008 Racing

Article on trainer Tony Alderson and Sandspit

Holy Bull, Mr. Prospector Hall Of Fame Trainer Jimmy Croll Dead At 88

Owner Stephen Chesney moved his barn of eight horses back to Daryl Ezra after Friday's dismal performances at Woodbine. Chesney's horses were running like Big Brown did in yesterday's Belmont. I'm A Pretty One was pulled from today's second race at Woodbine due to the change.

Woodbine's Pick Seven Keeps Growing
Today is the first day that it is conceivable that the Pick Seven will be hit. Of course, it depends on a couple of key favourites winning. Bonanza looks like a stand out in the 6th race (The Victoria Park), though Matt's Broken Vow, who beat Bonanza last time, could be used on a few tickets as well. If the Pick Seven is to go, Ginger Brew has to win the Oaks, or perhaps Shilla, if most of the other races go to chalks. Personally, I think both Ginger Brew and Shilla can be beat, but probably won't be beat. The other races could go to a few 10-1 shots, in what might be a Pick 5.
Anyway, I'm not betting another dollar at Woodbine. Too tough. Not worth the effort it takes to handicap races. It would be tough if the takeout was 12% (and I'd still be playing), but at an average of around 21%, FORGET ABOUT IT!
I still do research and handicap the card, because of consulting business, but Woodbine will be done in a HANDICAPPING LITE way for now on.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice bit of reporting by the NF Review.
No tourist base to support the track. Been coming for years.
There was a time I would of wanted my ashes to be spread over the track-when I flame out. Still might happen if the property becomes a mausoleum/cemetary.