Say Ahhhh… Seeking a Hundred Grand… Spa Sports Wi-Fi

By Fund Exec. Director Tracy Egan

It’s easy for your doctor to peer down your throat – just say “ahhh.” It’s a much more complicated matter when a veterinarian threads an endoscope down your horse’s throat to check for abnormalities.

The importance of endoscopes and clear radiographic images of joints, as well as issues regarding the conditions of sales for yearlings, were the topics  presented on July 18th by Rood & Riddle at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavillion on East Avenue in Saratoga Springs.

We’ll be posting a video about the presentation as its important for all our stake holders to understand the new rules adopted by Fasig-Tipton and the Keeneland Sales Association regarding the write-ups that your vet provides to go along with the images you provide to the sales repository. Did you know that if you consign a horse which a sales company veterinary panel determines had a significant abnormality which is not noted by the consignors vet, the buyer may be able to negate the sale. If the seller loses the review, he will be called upon  to pay $1,500 to cover the cost of the inquiry. If the panel finds the buyer’s allegations don’t hold merit, the buyer then has to pay $1500 for the inquiry.  I spotted three NY vets at the session: Dr. Bill Barnes, Dr. Michael Galvin and Dr. Todd Stewart. Like the rest of us in the audience, I’m sure they found the information session priceless.  I’ll be producing a video to summarize the session with Dr. Scott Alschwede, Dr. Larry Bramlage, Dr. Scott Pierce and Dr. Debbie Spike-Pierce. Stay tuned.

Fans of the book and movie “Seabiscuit” will recall how badly owner Charles Howard wanted to win “The Hundred Grander” in 1937 with the future US Horse of the Year.  Back then, the Santa Anita Handicap had a purse of about $125,000, which would be worth more than two million of today’s dollars. Today’s – not making any promises about tomorrow’s.  I bring that up because of the buzz going around about the hundred grand that NYRA is putting up for any two-year-old that won a race earlier this year “down below” at Belmont or Aqueduct and goes on to win a graded stakes race at any NYRA track for the rest of the year.

Five of the seven fillies entered in the Grade 3 Schuylerville Stakes on opening day at the Spa did break their maidens in New York and will be running for the bonus as well as their share of the $150,000 purse. Here’s the field, and please note that fillies with ** next to their names will be seeking that extra hundred grand:

Sweet Shirley Mae**

Baby J**

Brown Eyes Blue

Can’t Explain**

Fully Living**

Mr Hall’s Opus**

So Many Ways

Keep an eye on this space for updates when any of the seven NY-breds that broke their maidens on NYRA tracks earlier this year enter the starting gate for the graded stakes on tap for two-year-olds this summer at Saratoga.

Alphabetically, the NY-breds eligible for the Hundred Grand bonus are:

– Bustinattheseams, filly, the first starter and first winner for NY sire Bustin Stones, bred by Eaton & Thorne

– Cay to Pomeroy, colt, a second-out winner bred by Frank Bertolino

– In Harm’s Way, colt, a Chester and Mary Broman homebred

– Mr Rodriguez, colt, a first-out winner for his namesake trainer Rudy R.

– My Smartness, filly, a first-out winner for NY sire Freud bred by Joseph


– Slot Play, filly, bred and owned by Sovereign Stable, won at first asking

– Zeke’s Surprise, a colt by NY sire Frost Giant who delivered on the promise he showed in his first start when he won impressively second time out

And NYRA has apparently overcome its fear of Wi-Fi.  It announced today, July 18, that free wireless Internet service will be available to patrons starting on opening day.  NYRA provided this quote from COO Ellen McClain:

“Our Wi-Fi network introduces a new FastBet Mobile platform for on-track wagering at Saratoga Race Course. We are excited to provide this additional convenience for fans who wish to place wagers on mobile devices through one of the most advanced wireless networks available,” said NYRA President and COO Ellen McClain. “We also encourage track patrons to utilize our network to engage in social media activities by sharing their day-at-the-races experience with friends and family.”

All of which raises the question: can Hi-Def be far behind?

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