Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sprint Posting

In my February 15th post, I mentioned that Canadian jockey Kelsi Purcell had been injured in a fall at Sunland Park. I'm happy to advise that Canadian writer Kelsey Riley penned a report for the Bloodhorse.Com this past weekend advising that Purcell is recovering from her injuries and there is no threat of paralysis.

Those who wish to contribute funds to assist Kelsi Purcell or to learn more about her injury status can visit Purcell's Facebook Fan Page.

Incidentally, Kelsi Riley publishes an interesting blog by the name of Turf Beat which chronicles her adventures interning at The Blood-Horse and at Lane's End in Kentucky. The blog is full of great photos and provides an inside look at a writer pursuing her craft. Check out Turf Beat for yourself!

* * *

I love the writing of ESPN columnist Jay Cronley. His work is a mash up of horse racing, handicapping and humour that can be appreciated by anyone who has lost money on a horse race.

Cronley's Feb 22nd piece entitled Birthplace of long shots takes a look at the agony of picking a winner but missing the score. How? By only using your long shot bet in exactors. The story piqued my interest as Canada gets referenced in the opening paragraph.

There was a horse in a cheap maiden claiming race that was 17-1 on the board ten minutes to the start. This one had been out three times in Canada, having rejected the jockey the first time, tossing him in the gate, having caught a post in Siberia the second time, having been soaked the third time. Running lines were flat, just a few blips above consciousness. But there had been a quick work for this sprint. And you know what they say about excuses. Sometimes they make as much sense as anything.

Now, I can't say for certain that I found the race Cronley suffered through but it seems quite possible it was Asset's 16-1 victory at Gulfstream Park for trainer Tino Attard. There are some subtle differences in the details but perhaps that's just storytelling. (If you know a race that's a better fit, by all means post a comment below.)

Regardless, a great piece and one worth reading as a reminder about the benefits of the "All" button.

Cause of Cronley's pain?


Those busy folks in the NYRA Media Department are at it again. A recent email noted their expanding NYRA Spotlight web page which provides a behind the scenes look at the people who make the racetrack work.

Previous “Spotlight Series” videos have featured the clerk of scales, track announcer Tom Durkin, the paddock judge and the NYRA Stewards.

The most recent video profiles NYRA Clockers Jimmy McKnight, Peter Gulemas and Chris O’Connor as well as Gap Identifier Wendy Smith. It's an interesting look into the frantic world of timing workouts which is a bit of an inexact science for those readers used to simply viewing the lines at the bottom of the Daily Racing Form.

NYRA Clockers keeping the time

* * *

Though I promised a Montreal story for this afternoon, it will have to wait until tomorrow as I am frantically trying to meet a deadline and must slice a magazine piece down from 3500 words to somewhere nearer 1500 without all the participants sound like cavemen.

"I've really enjoyed using this product" (six words)
"Me likey product." (three words)

Halfway there.

That said, as a teaser I can advise the Montreal story will feature abusive barbecue chicken, the ugliest cardigan in the world and how to find a dress for the Queen's Plate.

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