Sunday, Big Brown won the $1,000,000 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park. You can read about it here. And here. And here. And here and here and here and here and here and here.
Other than that, I’m not exactly sure what else has been going on in the horse racing world. I’ve just spent the last two weeks teaching religious education to a bunch of 7-year-olds. And it can be tantamount to a bad day at the track: hours of preparation and anticipation with a goal of success, only to be frustrated by the results,
Me: Who wrote the Gospel according to Matthew?
Regardless, I'm compelled to provide my Big-Brown-free final thoughts of the recently completed 2008 Spring Thoroughbred Meet at Lone Star Park.
The good news was that attendance was up 5.2%, indicative that people were lured to the racetrack with the promise of some good horse racing and the real possibility of securing a Steve Asmussen bobblehead. However, handle was down 4.2% which, according to Lone Star Park President and General Manager Drew Shubeck, was probably more of a reflection of the economy; apparently, purchasing essentials such as gas, milk, and beer, takes precedence over wagering multiple Pick-3 tickets.
Steve Asmussen won Lone Star Park's Annual Steve Asmussen Training Title. For those of you scoring along at home, that is his 10th title. Jockey Monte Cliff Berry won the Frank's Energy Drink Model Search / Yodeling Contest. Of course I'm just kidding - he won the Jockey Title. And I believe that his ability to yodel was a non-factor.
Horse of the Meet was Monterrey Jazz. Somehow, I'm not inclined to agree with whoever stuffed the ballot box for this title. He ships in from California, runs a mile, wins, ships back to California, gets injured and sits on the DL, continuing to get heaps of praise for his performance in the Texas Mile. Meanwhile, 3-year-old filly, Storm Mesa ran very well at Lone Star, and once she discovered the Winner's Circle, she decided to take up permanent residence. She won the $100,000 Cinemine Stakes by 13 1/2 lengths. Then she shipped to Prairie Meadows and won the Iowa Oaks (gr. III). Then she shipped to Del Mar and won the San Clemente Handicap (gr II). Clearly, a very talented filly whose potentially illustrious career blossomed at Lone Star.
Of course, Lone Star Park also captured the attention of the horse racing world when Timber Trick flunked her drug test. The Anti-Asmussen Coalition focused on Texas, giddy with anticipation of a Steve Asmussen suspension and/or beheading. But more important was the fact that Timber Trick's hydroxylidocaine positive - contaminant or not - emphasized the importance of having a national standard for racing medication.