As The Racing World Turns

I don’t understand all the outrage about Santa Anita taking the 9th race off the turf on Sunday. Following the 6th race, several jockeys expressed concern that course was slippery after a mid-afternoon downpour and management had no choice. End of story.

I do understand, however, the outrage over the Jackpot Pick 6 implications. As a result of the 9th race now becoming an “all” race, there was no chance of a single winning Pick 6 ticket.

Santa Anita has said they will look into this, and from where we sit they have two choices as far as attempting to get the Jackpot 6 rules tweaked. They can give away the jackpot to all winning tickets when a situation like this arises, or at the very least, they can pay out the portion that would normally be withheld for the Jackpot 6 carryover.

According the @The Racing Onion on twitter, angry fans have promised to boycott Santa Anita until Thursday.

Is it just me, or did there used to be a lot more gutsy veterans like Sunday’s opening-race winner Royal F J populating our race cards?

If there were three people you didn’t want to pick a fight with on social media, they would be Donald Trump, @racetrackandy and @goofonroof. This makes the internet war of words between Andy Asaro and Oaklawn announcer Vic Stauffer so entertaining, but not expecting our Commander-in-Chief to get involved.

It was a bad week for horses at or near the top of the Kentucky Derby list. First McCracken had a slight ankle problem that will force him to miss this weekend’s Tampa Bay Derby, then last year’s champion Classic Empire followed his disappointing seasonal debut with an aborted workout on Friday.

Add in El Areeb’s fade as the odds-on Gotham favorite and Irish War Cry’s no-show in the Fountain Of Youth, and you have the disappointment Superfecta.

For those who prefer to see the glass as half-full, Gotham winner J Boys Echo and FOY victor Gunnevera both looked sharp and Bob Baffert sent Mastery a sharp 6 furlongs Sunday morning as he gets ready for this weekend’s San Felipe at the Great Race Place.

Speaking of Mastery, Martin Garcia doesn’t ride this guy but he was in the irons for the drill, along with guiding Arrogate for one of his final moves before the Dubai World Cup.

This came as surprising news to trainer Art Sherman, who had been promised that Garcia would be at Los Alamitos on the same morning to work Dortmund as he gets ready for his 2017 and grass debut in this Saturday’s Grade I Frank Kilroe Mile.

“I got a call at 6 o’clock from his agent telling me he was going to stay at Santa Anita to work some Baffert horses,” said an audibly irked Sherman said on the Roger Stein show soon after Dortmund worked 7 furlongs in 1:25 4/5 over the Orange County oval with Dihigi Gladney at the controls.

The least Garcia could have done was to make the call himself and fully explain the situation to Sherman.

By the way, we would have loved to hear Kaleem Shah’s reaction when he was told Dortmund’s pilot Garcia couldn’t come out for the work because he was at Santa Anita with some Baffert runners.

Maybe Obama tapped Art’s phone and we’ll get to find out what Shah said.

It looks like Santa Anita’s umbrella giveaway this Saturday might be just a tad late, and a reminder the $1 million St. Pat’s Horseshoe Pitch will be held on March 18.

There’s a rumor going around that Santa Anita is going to make it a little harder this year, as the shoe will still be attached to the horse.

***

ratzkym@yahoo.com @TashmanMortyS