Feb 122012

Wandered over to The Sydney Morning Herald website to check a Black Caviar link. What a pleasant surprise. A newspaper in a city in a country where horse racing doesn’t get the Short end of the reporting stick.


The Sydney Morning Herald – Garvey – Distance no problem as Black Caviar posts 18th straight win

The Sydney Morning Herald – Bartley – Dubai the right way for champ, says Sadler


Paint It Black



$135,446.00 Pick 6 carryover

Santa Anita Park

Sunday, February 12, 2012


DRF – Free – Santa Anita: Indigo River may improve second time down the hill; pick 6 carryover is $135K


Wall Street Journal – ‘Luck,’ Season 1, Episode 2: TV Recap



Luck Sunday February 12


If you miss an episode of Luck check HBO’s schedule. It’s reprised numerous times each week.


My father carries around the picture of the kid who came with his wallet.

Rodney Dangerfield


Horse Race Insider – So Many Winners, So Little Time


DRF – McGee -Kentucky Derby Future Wager: Field a heavy favorite entering final day of Pool 1


Brisnet – Lukas runners gearing up for President’s Day weekend


Bloodhorse – Toby Keith on ‘Reckless’ Path to Derby


Bloodhorse – Hansen Headed for Aqueduct’s Gotham Next


The Sydney Morning Herald – Young – Bashford can’t resist the thrill of a punting coup


HBPA – Alberta – Update – Northlands Meet and Operational Items


Melting Pot Edmonton


Bloodhorse – Shandler – Thunder Moccasin Delivers in Hutcheson


Bloodhorse – Shandler – Hymn Book Survives in Thrilling Donn Handicap


DRF – Grening – Gulfstream: Snow Top Mountain breaks through with Suwannee River victory

DRF -Gulfstream:  Grening – Get Stormy wires Turf Handicap


DRF – Andersen – Santa Anita: Slim Shadey steals away in San Marcos


Develop a built-in bullshit detector.

Ernest Hemingway


Reproduced without permission from Trot Magazine

Allen In Negotiations For Balzac

Published: February 8, 2012 8:55 pm ET

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Trot Insider touched base with Alberta Downs Owner Robert Allen earlier this week in order to get an idea of what the 2012 season of harness racing will look like in Lacombe. What Trot Insider learned was that Allen is also stepping up in an attempt to solidify the province’s racing future.

In addition to commenting on the 2012 Alberta Downs meet, Allen told Trot Insider that he is in negotiations to make the stalled Balzac raceway project become a firm reality.

News regarding the Balzac raceway project has been sparse, at best, since the spring of last year. Norm Borg of Trot Radio spoke with Darcy Marler last May when the United Horsemen of Alberta president stated, “I would say by mid-June we’ll either be full speed ahead or we’ll be D.O.A.” in regard to the proposed track, which is to be relocated right beside the Iron Mills Mall.

“I’m negotiating on the track in Calgary (Balzac),” Allen told Trot Insider, “and if I’m successful I feel that it would save horse racing in Alberta and help everybody — breeders, owners, everybody. I know that track alone will save the industry.”

Allen also said that, “…if we are successful, we will have racing (at Balzac) in 2013.”

Although dates have yet to be made official by Horse Racing Alberta, Alberta Downs is expecting to host a 60-day live meet this year. Live harness racing in Lacombe is expected to get underway May 5 and run through until October 8. “I was cut back by 19 dates this year,” Allen said.

“The track is doing really well. We were breaking all types of records last year. The racing has been really good since the track issue was solved. Every horse, I think, broke its own lifetime record. The issue is that I don’t have slot machines and there really isn’t any money to survive with the track.”

Allen also told Trot Insider that he has stopped building at Alberta Downs.

“The grandstand is built, and we have a snack bar, a bar and a heated area upstairs. When everything was supposed to be finished, the grandstand at the front was supposed to be all glassed in with tiered seating, and I didn’t finish that. It’s more or less table seating out front. It’s (the table seating is) underneath the grandstand, so it’s covered, but it’s not feasible to close it in right now.”

Allen said that everything is okay in terms of the Lacombe track, but it is just that everything is a constant struggle without money.

“I can see that this track is a beautiful track, and it’s going to be a good track, but there is no future without money.”

In regard to when Alberta Downs will start getting ready for its May opener, Allen said, “Once racing is finished in Edmonton (Northlands Park), the horsemen are going to come down here and start training about a month and a half before the meet kicks off.”

 Standardbred Canada – Allen In Negotiations For Balzac

Phil has a question:

Why did the interviewer write down and publish Bobby Allen’s pre-prepared press release without asking any questions.

Isn’t it incumbent on a reporter to dig through the bullshit that Bobby Allen and Max Gibb are feeding them.

First question that should have been asked:

Mr. Allen, who but the members of the Hillbilly Harness House League and some of Horse Racing Alberta are stupid enough to believe that you have the ability to construct a racetrack in Balzac that won’t be a bigger joke than Alberta Downs.

Mr. Allen, when you talk about the raceway project at Balzac, what are you actually proposing to construct: the racetrack alone or the barn area included or the grandstand included or the racino included or living quarters for help included.

Mr. Allen, you allude to your not having sufficient money to complete Alberta Downs, so where is the money going to come from to complete the racetrack and racetrack facilities at Balzac. (May have to explain allude)

Mr. Allen, after construction is complete, if ever, who is going to operate this racetrack.

Mr. Allen, are you going to have a real ambulance with a motor at the new track at Balzac.

Mr. Allen, if you’re not constructing the barn area or the grandstand or the racino or living quarters for help, who is.

Mr. Allen, will the construction of the racino and slots area be completed contemporaneously with the completion of the racetrack. (same as allude)

If yes, by who.

If no, where will the monies for purses and to operate the track be coming from.

Mr. Allen, how much revenue has Alberta Downs generated that went toward purses and track operations.

Mr. Allen, why don’t you have an OTB at Alberta Downs.

Mr. Allen, don’t the majority of the operating funds for Alberta Downs come from Horse Racing Alberta.

Mr. Allen, aren’t these funds generated by the slot machines at Edmonton Northlands.

Mr. Allen, why don’t you do thoroughbred racing in Alberta a favour and shut Alberta Downs and stop bleeding money from the thoroughbred purses at Edmonton Northlands

Damn salted peanuts.


Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?

Groucho Marx


Thoroughbred Times – the Money Trap

The Money Trap


 Derby Bar And Grill


Professional athletes care about their salaries. They care about their security. They care about their health. They care about the same things we care about in our jobs. They like winning and dislike losing but are generally unaffected by the daily successes or failures of their company, and really, what right do we have to demand otherwise?

LA Times – Plaschke – For the pro athlete, it’s just a job


Bloodhorse – Pletcher Records 3,000th Victory


Sydney Morning – Presnell – Stamping out go-faster trickery


One picture is worth 1,000 denials.

Ronald Reagan


Sit down and put your bowl of Cap’n Crunch on the counter before reading on. Phil’s not smoking anything and he hasn’t taken some of that tainted Cowtown E. Phil has though been spewing plenty of Fs. Yes, Phil is taking Northlands Park side, because he thinks that HRA has done them wrong.

Commencing Saturday, February 4, 2012 the following OTBs were stripped from Edmonton Northlands and given to Max Gibb’s Rocky Mountain Turf Club.








Why you ask?

Ask Shirley McClellan

Phil has a question

What benefit will the thoroughbreds racing at Edmonton Northlands receive from the above 7 OTBs now being operated by Max Gibb’s Rocky Mountain Turf Club

What detriments will the thoroughbreds racing at Edmonton Northlands suffer from the above 7 OTBs now being operated by Max Gibb’s Rocky Mountain Turf Club

How does the HPHR’s boot feel when it meets your private parts

Will Rocky Mountain Turf Club be improving the betting machines at these 7 OTBs

What improvements besides the betting machines will Rocky Mountain Turf Club be performing at each of these locations and when will they be completed

Will the percentage from these OTBs going toward purse money be increased or decreased

Why wasn’t Rocky Mountain Turf Club required to open and operate an OTB at Alberta Downs

Why are funds being continually drained away from Edmonton Northlands to line the pockets of the Hillbilly Harness House League and the operators at Alberta Downs and Rocky Mountain Turf Club

Shouldn’t HRA be looking to reward efficiency rather than incompetence

Where are the monies going to come from to complete the required repairs and renovations in the barn area at Northlands Park

How will Edmonton Northlands be able to provide the same level of purses and track operations when their revenue has been severely cut

Where do you think Edmonton Northlands will find funds to provide the same level of purses and track operations

Did anybody think of the repercussions to be felt by the thoroughbred horsemen at Edmonton Northlands before cutting into Edmonton Northlands revenue stream

Damn salted peanuts.


Pictures Of Lily


Although a skillful flatterer is a most delightful companion if you have him all to yourself, his taste becomes very doubtful when he takes to complimenting other people.

Charles Dickens




ORC – Windsor Purse Redirection Plan Approved

Ontario does the exact opposite of Horse Racing Alberta. It re-allocates purse money to Signature programs that have a higher handle than the bush tracks. Horse Racing Alberta takes money from the thoroughbred purses at Edmonton Northlands to subsidize the Hillbilly Harness House League where the daily handle’s less than the crap game pot in the basement of the Dover Hotel.

With all the Albertans of both breeds flocking to Ontario even the HPHR would have to admit that Ontario is running better programs with higher purses than Alberta. Wouldn’t a reasonable person with a modicum of intelligence wonder why Horse Racing Alberta continues bleeding the healthy chicken to subsidize the sick one.

Even an old dog can learn a new trick if their mind is open.


Eli’s Coming


Stall applications for the 2012 thoroughbred meet at Northlands park were due on Friday, February 10, 2012. Stall allocations will be available from Northlands shortly.

Jim Meyaard has been allotted 12 stalls at Woodbine

Greg Tracy has 30 stalls at Hastings Park

On behalf of WEG and GCGC Phil has been asked to give a hearty thanks to Shirley McClellan for driving more trainers and horses from the province of Alberta to other jurisdictions.

Good job, Shirley.


Before you say that football is far too big to ever disappear, consider the history: If you look at the stocks in the Fortune 500 from 1983, for example, 40 percent of those companies no longer exist. The original version of Napster no longer exists, largely because of lawsuits. No matter how well a business matches economic conditions at one point in time, it’s not a lock to be a leader in the future, and that is true for the NFL too. Sports are not immune to these pressures. In the first half of the 20th century, the three big sports were baseball, boxing, and horse racing, and today only one of those is still a marquee attraction.


Grantland – Cowen and Grier – What Would the End of Football Look Like?


New Stride Stallion Season Auction


 2012 Stallion Seasons for Sale

 New Stride


 Derby Bar And Grill


LA Times – Lynch – Skip the hype: Whip up a D.I.Y. Valentine’s Day


NY Times – Kepner – It’s Cashman’s Turn to Stay Focused Amid the Glare


National Post – Lau – Oscar Food: Five Grey Goose cocktails inspired by best picture nominees


NY Times – Barringer – As ‘Yuck Factor’ Subsides, Treated Wastewater Flows From Taps

LA Times – Linthicum – Reclaimed bus yard begins life as urban wetland


The Globe And Mail – Dowbiggin – Quebec City arena story emerges from off-hand remark


NY Times – Gordinier – Mindful Eating as Food for Thought


Whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried with all my heart to do it well; whatever I have devoted myself to, I have devoted myself completely; in great aims and in small I have always thoroughly been in earnest.

Charles Dickens


Kevin Youkilis joining the Brady Bunch

ESPN – Source: Kevin Youkilis engaged


Lethbridge Herald – Elton’s coming

Elton’s also making stops in Grande Prairie and Red Deer, but not in Edmonton nor Calgary.

Elton John Superbowl commercial


The Globe and Mail – Duhatschek – Rethinking the NHL trade deadline 


National Post – Hopper – Canada: Founded on misery


Pictures Of You

Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)


Phil M Stockmen