06/18/2009 6:45PM

Relentless Rain


More than 60 grass races have been washed onto the main track in just over eight weeks of racing at Belmont amid the one of the rainiest springs in Long Island annals, and it may not to get better any time soon. Saturday's G2 New York for older turf fillies could be the only race that stays on the grass in the next week (Friday's races have already been taken off), and seems sure to be run under boggy conditions. Tomorrow's supposed to be drier, but here's the long-range forecast from weather.com:

Rain_rain_go_away Thursday 6/18: Rain

Friday 6/19 Cloudy

Saturday 6/20: Thundershowers

Sunday 6/21: Showers

Monday 6/22: Showers

Tuesday 6/23: Scattered Showers

Wednesday 6/24: Thunderstorms

Thursday 6/25: Isloated Thunderstorms

Friday 6/26: Scattered Thunderstorms

In the meantime, it's been tough to play Belmont lately (even if the signal hadn't been cut off to Nassau County residents, the topic of the Saturday column -- feel free to comment on it here)  between the short fields and sometimes unpredictable decisions regarding which races have been taken off the grass.

One exceptional performance, however, came on Wednesday's relatively dry (technically "good") main track when Rollers won a N2x allowance by seven lengths with six furlongs in 1:08.18, good for a Beyer Speed Figure of 107. Rollers won the $250k Gallant Bob last year and was second to Ikigai in the G3 Mr. Prospector this winter. The 4-year-old Stormy Atlantic colt, a New York-bred, races for Lael Stables and is trained by Barclay Tagg.

--Here's Yeats winning his fourth straight Ascot Gold Cup earlier today:

kenneth skinner More than 1 year ago
thanks Steve:I enjoyed the Epsom Gold Cup /09 very much. KS
TR Slyder More than 1 year ago
Its sad to see such institutional incompetence from a sport who is attracting dangerously close to zero new fans a year. If the nFL or MLB were as boneheaded as NYRA that would just result in inconvenience, but when NYRA pulls this, they're driving away the last of a dying breed. I'm 29 years old and outside of tracks or OTBs, I think I've met literally 4 people that know how to read a Racing Form. I shudder to think about the state of the sport when I'm 60. NYRA can't even please lifelong fans; how are they ever going to attract new ones?
tedmur More than 1 year ago
The problems with OTB/NYRA are a symptom of a much larger problem—short term thinking by our representatives and our inattention. NYRA /OTB should be streaming as much video as it can—get the product out there, make it easy for people to wager and follow the races—however we have a system that focuses on short terms gains for the state tax coffers (a bigger piece of a smaller pie is better this year than a smaller slice of a larger pie in 10 years) and the cronysim that allows our political system to set up OTB's as patronage operations for local politicos. What we need to realize is we put these idiots in office. Writing letters is not enough (they placate us with a response and A 'we're working on it'—what we need instead is to vote them out.
Niall More than 1 year ago
This all belongs in the "you cant make this stuff up" category ... Mr Hayward was up here in Saratoga Springs last night sharing development/repair plans for the Spa when he gets the slots $$ ... Does he really think that day will come ??? I dont ...
Bruce Friday More than 1 year ago
I've taken a keen interest in Royal Ascot this year where some of the best racing in the world is underway. Yeats victory is only one of the great stories. The BBC is carrying the races live on their internet site.... unless you happen to live in the US where the signal is blocked. I know that NYRA carries races from Europe on mornings at Saratoga but they're not carrying Royal Ascot. One can watch tennis live from Wimbledon or the French Open, but we can't watch the G1 Ascot Gold Cup or the G1 Coronation Stakes. If the NYRA/OTB folks are acting like children regarding the race signal, why not turn the problem over to the New York State Senate? I hear that they have a mature approach when dealing with conflict.
kelso13 More than 1 year ago
Beerbelly, You are right on.Belmont is one of the most beautiful places on the planet.Get out there and enjoy it.Especially if it ever stops raining.Why would you ever want to play from home when this beautiful facilty is right in your own back yard.I live in the city and for me going out to Belmont is like leaving the city for the country.It is a vacation day.
Pete from the Thumb More than 1 year ago
So we get donuts at my office every Friday. As I tore into my kruller this morning, I couldn't help but wonder - has there ever been a horse in the Bold Ruler line named Bold Kruller? Come on, there HAS to have been one somewhere along the line. Can anyone provide a definitive answer? Thanks!!
John_L More than 1 year ago
It would be easy to fall into a fit of despair as a NY horse player. This is the time of the year I am usually filling my pockets with money at Belmont Park. The weather is horrendous but we have no control over it. I did see a weather report that claims that this pattern will break next week. This INCOMPETENCE of NYRA and Nassau OTB. Waiting for an apology. You folks are no better than 8 year olds. I ordered TVG because I can't make it to the track everyday and once again confirmed that no serious horse player would be able to use this channel as a main source of information. We cannot get a live video feed on Twinspires because of some arcane rule. So I called the Corporate headquarters of the Dish Network. I spoke to an admin of a Tom Cullen (EVP Sales and Marketing). In the hope of expediting the delivery of live racing signal to homes. Of course I never heard back from them. Well add in a few 6 furlong grass races every day and I am just about despondent about all of this. Beerbelly- like you I have been sitting at Belmont for years now and wondering how it is possible that there is no one here. This place is magnificent. Yeah that is me sitting in the 2nd floor clubhouse seats with the whole section to myself. (sadly)
doc More than 1 year ago
Steve, This time it's NYRA/Nassau. But it doesn't matter. The names change but the song remains the same. It's time to save racing from itself. I advocate a coup d'track to place yourself at the head of the new regime. A one day national boycott of all betting; if the NTRA or whoever doesn't make you the new racing Czar, then another day, and another until they make some real changes. One day wouldn't kill us. but it might get some people to thinking.
Howie Wexler More than 1 year ago
Great column. It just shows that the people in charge do not consider the fans important. I have been playing the horses for 30 years here in NY. I have not made a bet on a NYRA Track (except for Belmont Stakes)in almost 2 years. I prefer tracks like Keenland, Turfway, Churchill & the California tracks. Untile there is one entity controlling racing & OTB in NY, there will always be problems.