JC / Railbird

The Fun Is Over

Claire Novak is fed up with Jess Jackson’s coy refusals to announce yet where Rachel Alexandra is starting next. Enough, she writes:

Set a date for a press conference, make up your mind, and make the announcement. That’s what a true sportsman would do.

And that’s hardly the best part of the column.


This idea that Jess Jackson owes the press anything is really tired.

Posted by EJXD2 on August 21, 2009 @ 8:01 am

I’m with Ed on that, if they want to work her one more time before they decide that their 3yo filly is ready to take on older males, I just don’t think that’s complaint worthy.

Posted by dana on August 21, 2009 @ 9:30 am

You’re both right, Jackson owes the press nothing, and the press owes him equally in return (beyond fairness and accuracy, of course). What I appreciate about Novak’s column is that she identifies his manipulations and machinations for what they are. Let Jackson have his mystery, but let’s stop pretending it’s sporting.

Posted by Jessica on August 21, 2009 @ 9:41 am

The ideas are mutually exclusive, though. Jackson can be both sporting and manipulative.

Running a 3YO filly against older males when she could have went for $600k (plus Jackson could have bet $20-million on her to show to win $1-million) in the Alabama is sporting.

Leading the industry along to keep everyone talking is manipulating the story.

He can be (and often is) both.

Posted by EJXD2 on August 21, 2009 @ 10:53 am

I think it’s pretty sporting considering Dolphus Morrison would have charted the most unimaginative course for RA.

The current connections said they will chart a challenging course for RA and they have.

We don’t need to know 3 weeks before her next race what that race will be. In normal circumstances we wouldn’t get all whinny about not knowing what the next race is.

And anyway, Jackson did the same thing last year with Curlin. Par for the course and nothing new regarding how he operates.

Posted by o_crunk on August 21, 2009 @ 1:11 pm

Darn it, you’re all so reasonable I’m forced to be less cranky. One thing — and we can quibble over whether this is significant or not — but there is a real cost in lost promotion when Jackson delays. Maybe I, as a fan, don’t need to know yet where RA’s running next, but what about the people responsible for marketing and telecasts? The Travers will be on ESPN; if it were known now that RA was pointing to that race, the show would very likely be two hours instead of 90 minutes and both the promotion and the format would be different.

And Morrison … I hate to think about what kind of campaign she’d be running now under original ownership. I try to avoid what-iffery, but it seems so plausible, as Jon White wrote recently, that RA could have been a Triple Crown winner.

Posted by Jessica on August 21, 2009 @ 3:24 pm

I agree that there’s lost promotion potential for whichever track she ends up at but don’t think that’s a reason to call him “unsportsmanlike”.

To this day I can’t watch her Oaks without a sad sense of what could have been. When I was watching the race live and she started to open up I couldn’t enjoy it and in fact got quite angry. Now it’s pretty much a dream come true that if she stays sound we’ll see her NEXT YEAR as well. Next year, y’all… remember that when wanting to quibble about knowing when her next race is.

Posted by dana on August 21, 2009 @ 5:42 pm

EJXD2 and the rest of you are missing the real story here: CLAIRE NOVAK IS ON FIRE!!!!!!

Posted by John S. on August 23, 2009 @ 5:15 pm

[…] John S., who knows more than a bit about superb turf writing, made a point on an earlier post that deserves repeating: EJXD2 and the rest of you are missing the real story here: CLAIRE NOVAK IS […]

Posted by Jessica Chapel / Railbird v2 - The Real Story on August 23, 2009 @ 9:41 pm