My Mea Culpa:
A overly confident blogger once wrote:
A mile and a half for any three-year old is terra incognito, so look carefully as Rags to Riches does her Amelia Earhart imitation just short of the 3/8s pole.
Being totally wrong is simple and like my handicapping admitting I'm wrong is simple.
A Small Sorority:
Rags to Riches joined a small sorority of great fillies yesterday. The greatest of which was lying just a few yards away, buried under a flat stone in the Belmont infield, surely Ruffian must have been smiling yesterday.
I find it ironic that Pletcher who is known for carefully planning campaigns wins his first Classic based on a decision made four days prior to the race, as they say, "the best laid plans of mice and men". And now the second guessing will start. Should they have run her in the Derby? Why didn't they run her in the Derby? As I recall it was Tabor's, not Pletcher's decision not to. The Horse of the Year talk is all premature. The Las Virgenes and Santa Anita Oaks are nice Grade 1s but they won't mean anything when the HOTY voting rolls around. Have people forgotten that Invasor is stabled at Belmont? And in retrospect, Carl Nafzger is looking like a genius for keeping Street Sense on the sidelines and now my boy Street Sense is the fresh horse should Rags or Curlin show up in the Travers. Bring them on, he'll whip their asses.
ABC Coverage and the NYRA:
I can't say enough bad things about ABC's coverage of the race. ESPN's coverage before the switch over at five o'clock was their standards fare and well done as usual, it had one too many human interest stories for my taste but you saw the races you wanted to see. The Acorn went off a few minutes after ABC came on and I knew they did not have time to cover it live but at least mention the race and show the last quarter mile on tape, at worst they could have used it as a segway into discussing Rags to Riches. Instead they chose to run a piece about day care center for race track workers, this was the first of an endless number of human interest segments. Yeah you need the human interest stuff but do they have to run it at the expense of the racing coverage? It's plain stupid to me. Surely I thought they would cover the Grade 1 Manhattan. But here again not a mention of the race or a bit of tape. Just more repetitive babble from Mayne, Bailey and Edwards.
Those geniuses at the NYRA set up the program and they must realize that having these races seen on live television is going to drive up overall handle on the day. So why don't they schedule these races to ensure they get coverage on ESPN if ABC is going to totally ignore them? What not run the Acorn and Manhattan as the 5th and 6th races and put the Foresta and Birdstone in the ABC dead zone. No wonder they're bankrupt, whomever is running the NYRA are a bunch of idiots.
The Ruffian Movie:
I watched most of it but turned it off just before the match race. I did not need to see how they treated the breakdown, the original was horrific enough for me.
As a TV movie it wasn't bad, I liked Sam Sheppard as Frank Whiteley. The races segments had a Seabiscuit quality to them (a little too Hollywood) by which I mean they were too polished to make me believe there were real. Having Dave Johnson on board as the announcer was a touch of realism I enjoyed but Dave was a lot thinner in the 70's. The portrayal of Braulio Baeza was right on, Braulio never smiled and if I was Jacinto Vasquez I would consider suing for making him look like a mindless submissive boy instead of one of the best jockeys of his day.