JC / Railbird


Black Caviar 10-for-10

The 4-year-old filly looked sensational winning at Flemington:

Perfection comes in many forms but rarely, if ever, has it looked as easy or as arrogant as Black Caviar stretching her unbeaten winning streak to an Australian record 10 in the Newmarket Handicap.

Running her undefeated record to a new high wasn’t the only record Black Caviar set. She also established a new stakes record time of 1:07.36 — “Had Nolen not eased her down, Black Caviar would have smashed the track record” — and mark for weight carried by a mare to victory in the race.

Shades of Zenyatta? She’s becoming a phenomenon bigger than racing:

The fastest horse in the world is not only changing the face of thoroughbred racing, but also that of fashion. A little confusingly, the great mare Black Caviar is the new black, but her colour of choice is salmon pink….

As Black Caviar ran the second quickest time in more than 150 years over the 1200-metre course, she did so among a sea of salmon. There were salmon pink flags, badges, lollies and even a salmon pink dress, worn by Laura Phillips, a friend of the mare’s part-owners Jill and David Taylor.

You can see a bit of the crowd’s excitement in the paddock snips below:

More! “Step aside Zenyatta: Black Caviar is the new ‘It Girl’” (R360).

At 15-1, It’s Tea Time

Blind Luck is the dominant favorite in the Kentucky Oaks, which drew a full field of 14, but I’m hoping for a ‘Tea Time’ upset. So is trainer Rusty Arnold:

In recent weeks, however, Arnold has been in rare form, telling anyone who bothers to ask that a filly named It’s Tea Time is approaching the 136th Kentucky Oaks in such fantastic shape that he wouldn’t be surprised if she were to upset the likes of Blind Luck and the other top-class fillies who will clash Friday at Churchill Downs in the Grade 1, $500,000 classic.

I like the confidence of the usually reticent Arnold. But even more, I like the improving filly’s runner-up finish last month in the Ashland Stakes at Keeneland, in which she narrowly missed beating Evening Jewel:

Baseball Advances

… in online video this opening day:

While TV networks are still figuring out the best way to put last night’s sitcom online, MLB is about to stream a season of more than 2,000 live games in hi-definition with more features than any cable box.

Beyond pausing and rewinding live games as you can with a DVR, subscribers can watch up to four games at a time with “mosaic” picture-in-picture; select different audio channels, including synced-up radio commentary streams; and follow their favorite players (or fantasy team) as they play their games, including live video peeks.

I’m so envious. And high-quality, feature-rich streaming online video isn’t even all baseball fans can look forward to this season. According to MLB Advanced Media CEO Bob Bowman, MLB’s super At Bat iPhone app, which I’ve gushed about before, could gain live video streams this summer. “We would love to do live games on the iPhone,” Bowman told Silicon Alley Insider. “I think people would watch. A whole game? Probably not. But ten minutes?”

What other live sporting event might people watch for ten minutes or five on a mobile device? Maybe … a horse race?

Building the infrastructure to deliver such products, though, seems beyond the industry at this point. MLBAM began in 2000 with $75 million pooled by 30 clubs; in 2007, it brought in $450 million. (Proving, at least in one case, it’s possible to make money from content online.) It would take an unprecedented level of cooperation and investment from within racing to pull off a similar (if smaller-scaled accomplishment). Considering the difficulty the various factions and entities have had coming together to do something truly important, I expect no ambitious tech initiatives launching in the near future.

(Thanks for the Insider link alert, Pull the Pocket.)

The Next Web

“Turns out, that there is still huge unlocked potential, there is still a huge frustration that people have, because we haven’t got data on the web as data.”

In the TED talk embedded above, Tim Berners-Lee recalls inventing the WWW twenty years ago and observes that the web’s original purpose of linking documents together is evolving into one of linking data. (Think APIs, think of the potential for racing. Amazing, right? Try not to get too discouraged contemplating the current state of data distribution in the industry.)