11/05/2008 1:03PM

The Morning After

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Bostongreyhound I disappeared for a few days to have some titanium posts implanted in my jawbone, and emerged from a prescription-opiate haze today to find that voters across the country made some historic Election Day decisions,approving slot machines in Maryland and banning greyhound racing in Massachusetts.

The slots vote will revitalize Maryland racing in the short term, allocating $140 million annually to purses and capital expensitures at the state's tracks while  stemming the flight of Maryland customers to racinos in neighboring states. The passage of the slots measure should be a shot in the arm for Magna Entertainment, which announced today it will seek a slots license for Laurel Race Course.

The Massachusetts greyhound ban is extremely troubling on several counts. The greyhound ban failed narrowly when it was on the ballot eight years ago but passed 56-to-44 percent this time around, despite industry improvements that should have scuttled it entirely. The industry is highly regulated, has a comprehensive injury-reporting system and an adoption program that places virtually all runners, but animal-rights activists prevailed with a well-financed campaign of misinformation. The vote will force Rayhnham-Taunton and Wonderland to stop racing by the end of next year, by which time the triumphant anti-racing zealots may well be turning their attention to banning horse racing as well.


--Meanwhile, there's a $47,821 carryover at Aqueduct today, the third carryover in the first five days of racing at The Big A. Juvenile turf races have accounted for a lot of the big prices, such as Sunday's 4th, where a four-way photo ended with a 39-1 edging a 74-1 with a 3-5 favorite running fourth, burying bridgejumpers and producing show payoffs of $46.20, $125.00 and $12.20. Today's card is deep and tricky and I'll pass and hope for a double-carry into Thursday.


--There was a lot of good 2-year-old dirt racing at Aqueduct and Churchill Downs over the weekend. Breakwater Edison and Hello Broadway got gaudy Beyers of 98 and 95 running 1-2 in the Nashua, and the filly Sara Louise got a 90 winning the Pocahontas at Churchill, six points better than Capt. Candyman Can's victory in the Iroquois on the same card. Break Water Edison, a good second in the Saratoga Special before being thrashed by Vineyard Haven with rail draws in both the Hopeful and Champagne, heads for Florida while Hello Broadway looks like the favorite for the Remsen Nov. 29.


--Update 2:25 pm: It's 1-10 we're looking at a doube-carry into Thursday at Aqueduct after Jacqueline Davis got her first career winner aboard 64-1 Blue Hill Bay in leg 2. Not that there were all that many live tickets after 14-1 Wanda's Double scored one race earlier. Davis is the 21-year-old daughter of retired jockey Robbie Davis.


--Update 3:45 pm: It's official: Nobody's alive, and there's a $152,918 carry into Thursday's card. Races 4 and 6 (legs 1 and 3) are scheduled for the turf, but there's a lot of rain in the forecast.