The Rotisserie League

Several people are turning over in their graves these days.

Charlie Whittingham probably took a few revolutions after seeing the field for the San Juan Capistrano last Saturday.

No disrespect to the victorious Inordinate, but no race in America has had a bigger fall than this mile and three-quarters lawn party, which has gone from a coveted Grade I fixture to a glorified Grade III allowance race.

There was actually a horse in the field exiting a $12,500 claimer in which he finished a well-beaten fourth.


Bobby Frankel reached the pinnacle of his profession before his untimely passing, but he started out as a bread-and-butter claiming trainer and has likely been watching in horror as this new claiming rule has been put in place in California.

“The one thing that wasn’t broken, and they go and fix it,” we can imagine Frankel saying.

On Sunday, a 3-year-old filly named Kencho dropped into a $50,000 seller down the hill and waltzed home as the odds-on favorite. She exited the winner’s circle with a claimed tag, but was soon returned to her original connections after being examined by the vet under the new guidelines.


Harry Henson, the magnificent voice of Hollywood Park for all those years, could well be squirming listening to all those announcers who feel they have to constantly add something to the call to make it more exciting.

Harry’s voice could make the hair on the back of your head stand up when he wanted to, but he was very judicious about it and knew not to treat a maiden claimer the same way you do a stakes race.


Southern California fans of a certain age will remember the great Bob Hebert, who for decades did the detailed Hebert’s Handicap in the LA Times, right alongside Abbott’s Analysis, which highlighted that handicapper’s top three selections.

We can only imagine Col. Hebert’s dismay as not only does he find the LA Times without a handicap of any kind, but entry-less and results-less to boot.


And finally, also turning over in their graves at the moment are George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson …

You get the point.

*** @TashmanMortyS