Items in The Dark Report
could almost always be featured on some
A&E Channel ‘strange & unusual
’ documentary, or perhaps even the
nostalgic “Ripley’s Believe it or Not.
” Some very strange and/or unexplainable
items have entered this week’s report. Then again, it’s the same ol’ activity
that you’d always expect to find here. This week’s Dark Report features nasal
strips, Polytrack, traditions, wild animals, and finally a social media frenzy!
I think the stewards made the right decision. Besides there
are other pieces of equipment that aren’t noted in the Racing Form
give an advantage to a horse such as shoes
, shadow rolls
, different bits
of the blinker cups
, etc. Dr. Palmer of the New York Gaming Commission in a
statement said that nasal strips fall into the same category as tongue ties
(also not noted in the Racing Form
) and do not have a performance enhancing
effect. That’s a little strange to me because why use it if there wasn’t a
performance enhancing effect? However, it’s the trainer’s choice and along with the
other items mentioned above, I’m fine with the decision.
In honor of the nasal strip rule being suspended, we at ESPN
950 AM yesterday in our weekly “Off to the Races
” show donned the nasal strips
to attempt to enhance the performance of the radio program! You know what? I
think they did the trick!
…or more like Polytrack. Videos surfaced this last week of equipment
removing the Polytrack from Keeneland to prepare for the re-installation of
That got me to thinking, what will they do with the cubic
acres upon cubic acres of the synthetic surface? Where will it go? I took to
social media to find some answers…
I’m actually very curious as to where it will be put,
WHY MESS WITH TRADITION?
I think if California Chrome
wins the Triple Crown
becomes a non-issue, however there has been some discussion about changing the
schedule of the Triple Crown races so that the schedule favors fuller fields in
the Preakness and perhaps the Belmont, and their undercards as well.
I think it
starts with the Preakness
as many runners skipped the middle jewel this year and opted to
for the Belmont. Same goes for the Black-Eyed Susan for the fillies which
is run only two weeks after the Kentucky Oaks as well. To bolster some
continuity between the races, suggestions were made to add at least one more week
between Kentucky Derby day and Preakness day. It kind of reminds me of
college where you had a lot of classes with a similar group of folks if you
were in the same major. It would add a bit more continuity between the races as
fans of a particular horse would be more apt to see him run in all three of the
However I am a traditionalist and I think the schedule should remain the same
. Ok OK, I know that the current schedule has only been in place
since the late 1960’s and before then they used to run the Preakness before the
Derby or on the same day, etc. and that only three of the eleven horses that
have won the crown have won it in this current format, but the Triple Crown isn’t
intended to be easy
to win. There is a reason why it is such a special
I think all athletes used to either have more stamina and durability or
were just really sore. I was watching an old Cubs game on YouTube
a few months
ago and some Reds pitcher had thrown all ten innings. Horses used to run every
two weeks and that was considered a strength. Fast forward and pitchers go
about seven innings before bringing in the relief pitcher, yet they didn’t
shorten baseball by decreasing the number of innings played did they? So why change the triple crown schedule?
I say, if you want to have more continuity each year with
the crops of three-year-olds, turf horses, fillies and mares, and horses in the
older divisions for the undercards, why not leave the triple crown series alone
yet create new division series? There has to be better ideas out there, just
don’t mess with a tradition that was established over 45 years ago.
CHROME’S NEW WORK MATE
I also discovered that there is a difference between a
and an opossum
. I had no idea. Thanks to JJ Hysell
for the information!
QUITE A TREND!
Yes, the power of social media cannot be underestimated.
OK, it’s Thursday night. The dark family had just finished
dinner and the dark wife and I were sitting at the kitchen table talking. I
grabbed the smart phone to check on issues at work, and I decided to open the
Twitter app. As I’m looking at the Twitter feed, I was thinking about something
funny to put out there. I thought it might be fun to come up with new race
horse names as if they came from the 1980’s. So I started a #hashtag
. And I threw a couple out there like The Reflex
and Swatch Watch
My wife and I were coming up with more ideas and throwing them out there. Within
an hour or so, more and more folks started chiming in with their ideas. I was
having fun with this!
However the unexpected happened.
A little later the #hashtag was trending at #3 in the
Then finally it made it all the way to the #1 trending topic
in the entire USA. Just like on the Jimmy Fallon show. #whoa
It was truly amazing
! Just goofing around at the kitchen
table turned into a national phenomenon even if it was just for a few hours! Even
today, there are still responses coming in. Wow. Go check them out…CLICK HERE
They are all very good ... and here are some of my favorites!
But my favorite of all......