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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What is Wrong with the Rooney?

First the good news.  Unlike last year when there were not enough horses entered in the Art Rooney Pace that the race needed to be raced as a non-wagering event, this year's Rooney will be on the wagering card on June 2.  Now, for the bad news.  Only six horses dropped in the box.  For the companion race, The Lismore, five fillies dropped in the box.

Six horses dropping in for a race which will be contested for $306,204.  Five fillies dropping in for a race to be contested for $176,484.  Can it be the half mile is so hated that no one will enter into races like this?  Make no mistake, there are some trainers who will not drop certain horses in to race at Yonkers Raceway or any other half mile oval, yet the $162,000 Cleveland Classic at Northfield Park seems to draw a full field every year.  Is it going against any other stakes race?  Well, the $300,000 Somebeachsomewhere is being contested at Mohawk so many of the top horses may head north so it may draw the top tier, but any other race of significance that day are sires stakes races.  Certainly, you should be able to get enough horses to at least get a full field, even if they are not the best horses in North America.

So what can it be?

Let's take a look at the fees to get a horse into these stakes races.  The Art Rooney and Somebeachsomewhere are being raced on the same night.  The Cleveland Classic is scheduled for December 8, 2012

Cleveland Classic +
Art Rooney Pace
Somebeachsomewhere +

2yo Sustaining

3yo Sustaining

Entrance Fee

Total Payments


+ - Raced in Divisions if Needed
* - $10,000 for elimination, $10,000 for final
** - Nominate as a 3yo 
*** - Two $300 payments as a 3yo
Estimated Purse $165,000.00 $500,000.00 $300,000
Payments to Est Ratio 2.38% 4.53% 0.80%
2011 Purse $162,200.00 $307,734.00
Initial Year

Payments to Actual Ratio


Now, if you have a 3yo horse, are you going to pay $22,625.00 to possibly draw the outside posts at Yonkers Raceway, when you need to put up 7.35% of the purse (using last year's actual purse as the race has not been well supported), especially when you can race at Mohawk and only put up .8% of the purse (if not split)?  I would suggest if you have a horse you believe can go over the half mile track you would sooner go for the Cleveland Classic, especially when you will be paying in only 2.42% of the purse.  If you go in the Cleveland Classic and draw the outside, you haven't invested as much money.  Plain and simple, the Rooney is not worth the attention of horsemen.

I realize horsemen are very protective of their purse account, especially when they think their purse money may be going to those who don't support the regular meet, but I would suggest Yonkers Raceway attempt to get more added money for their races and lower their payments if they really want to have well supported  and competitive races which may draw more first tier horses.

The Isolated World of Triple Crown Trainers

Two nights ago on CNN, the brother of trainer Doug O'Neil, Dennis O'Neil, claimed they had to Google the term 'milkshaking' to find out what it meant.  He also said they wouldn't know how to do it.

It must be a lonely, isolated world for trainers of horses who race in the Triple Crown races.

Anyone who bets horses more than a few times a year knows what the term 'milkshaking' means.  I would also suspect any trainer who races overnight horses, even those who have never had a medication violation and would never milkshake a horse knows what 'milkshaking' is.  They may not know how to milkshake a horse, but they know what it is.  After all, wouldn't a trainer want to know why they do TCO2 testing on race horses?


Anonymous said...

He might as well do a search on EPO. That what they are using now.

Anonymous said...

The odds of a trainer not knowing about milkshaking are the same as a politician who never heard of a kickback.