JC / Railbird

Thursday Eve Notes

I see via Left at the Gate that congressman Ed Whitfield of Kentucky, chairman of the House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, is most displeased with the response he’s received from the Jockeys’ Guild to his request for documents in an investigation into the matter of jockeys’ insurance. It seems the Guild has dodged (Thoroughbred Times) providing documents relating to president Wayne Gertmenian’s consulting company, Matrix, to which the organization has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in management and real estate fees. In a letter to the Guild, Representative Whitfield asks, among other things, that Gertmenian:

Describe in detail the relationship between the Guild and Matrix, including, but not limited to, the specific services provided to the Guild by Matrix and the role of Matrix in daily Guild operations.

Whitfield set a deadline of August 31 for compliance with his request, or else a subpoena may be issued to get the information. I’m looking forward to Gertmenian’s response — I’ve had the same questions as Whitfield about Matrix since last March and would like to know more about a consulting company that supposedly has been in business for more than 20 years, but has had only two clients (Gertmenian and the Jockeys’ Guild) and which seems to be based out of Gertmenian’s house. Just what is that rent the Guild’s paying?

One of my personal betting rules is to never back an older horse with established form coming off a new career-best Beyer win. Racetrack crowds love these horses, though, and that short-priced certainty at Saratoga today redeemed race three with its four-horse field.
Thunder Touch won at Saratoga on opening day with an impressive, going away at the wire performance that earned him a new high Beyer of 110 (his previous high was a 102 earned at Belmont in May). Although obviously in form and a talented horse, there was no way Thunder Touch was going to repeat his last race, and a bounce back to his usual put him squarely on the same level as his evenly-matched competition. It didn’t matter — Thunder Touch was bet down to even money. Mr. Whitestone, a Monmouth shipper whose last win came in November at Aqueduct, was 2-1. Spooky Mulder, who ran second to Thunder Touch on opening day, was 3-1. Always Noble, coming off a win at Delaware on August 1, was the longshot of the field at 6-1. It was the easiest play of the day. Always Noble won by a neck after dueling a game Spooky Mulder down the stretch and paid a nice $14.80. Thunder Touch ran last.