Photo credit Holly Victoria Goodchild
Craig Bernick of Glen Hill Farm/Thoroughbred Idea Foundation is here to talk about why he chose to ship horses out of California plus his latest guess about the fate of this year’s Breeders’ Cup. Before that, he, PTF and JK talk about the weekend’s racing, and at the end of the show they give a few brief thoughts on this year’s Royal Ascot meeting.
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***Please note this was done with AI and likely contains errors and inaccuracies. ***
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Hello and welcome to the in the money players podcast. I’m your host, Peter Thomas foreign, a towel back with you. Once again, coming from the Brooklyn bunker, after a fun and profitable trip overseas to Royal ask it. We are going to get to a little bit of basket recap a little bit later in the show, but that’s not where we’re going to start things.
We’re going to start things off by bringing in the regular co-host of this program. You’ve seen him on such shows as Fox sports is national coverage of horse racing. He’s the people’s champion, Jonathan kitchen. What’s up? My man. What’s going on? Everything’s good. Except my phone’s broken. So I’m actually recording this through my iPad today.
And, uh, it’s been a stressful few days at the top half of my screen. Won’t work. So just open up your phone and look at everything that’s on the top half of the screen, the buttons that you need to push. Oh my gosh. I have to like turn my phone sideways to back out of the text message it’s been, I tried to wager on my phone recently, that was a disaster.
It’s a, it’s been a tough life. I should have. I’ve got you beat. Actually the logic board on my Mac apparently is a given up the ghost. So my, my, I now have a very expensive paperweight on my hands. And so part of my struggles today, we were a minute late. Getting started. Part of the struggles are having to do with the, I had to get it set up on a whole new computer, all this stuff.
Anyway, I’m hoping the folks at the Mac store can get me sorted out, but now we’re going to bring in a man who doesn’t worry about such technological problems. He’s concerned with the problems of the horse racing industry though. He is also the grand Poobah at Glen Hill farm. He’s Craig Berneke Craig, how are you?
My friend? How are you guys? I have a graveyard of I-phones myself that my kids play with. So I understand exactly what you’re talking about. All right. Well, I’ll, I’ll answer, I’ll ask it in a very cheeky way. Guys. I’ve been gone from American racing for a few days. What did I miss JK? We’ll start with you.
Um, Chad Brown hit the try and another turf race where you weren’t surprised about that. He had all three, um, you know, it was kind of, I think last weekend was like a little bit slower than, than, than, um, than what we’re normally used to obviously gearing up for the transition to Del Mar in Saratoga. So I’m trying to think of like that performance, I guess the Kofi Mia Michif race was really interesting and kind of fun unless you singled Kofi in the pick five and had a $20 pick five a lot.
And then it’s suddenly not nearly as much fun. Um, did she have an excuse? Did, did she have an excuse? I saw the figure certainly regressed. I saw some, uh, a cheeky tweet by a friend of ours. Wondering if coffee’s run last time. Wasn’t fake news. Is, is there, is that taking it too far? What, what, give me your analysis of that performance and then we’ll ask Craig what he thinks.
Well, I thought both of their figures were entirely divided that came out this time. It was entirely too slow. I mean, it’s, I don’t see how it’s physically physically possible that those two towns of horses ran as slow as they did. Um, but in, in, uh, you know, buyer tends to project, I mean, he’ll project from time to time.
I just thought that was kind of a weird one. I guess that’s what the number dictated it needed to be. Um, I need to check with Sean Borman and see how he had the race. But what I will say is that it’s a lesson that I’ve had to learn twice this year. I learned it at Pimlico when I was singled to a Wesley ward.
Three-year-old when he gets older. And it’s a, it’s another lesson that I was reminded of on Sunday. That these three-year-olds running against four year olds. It’s just, it’s a tougher ball game. And if you look at the head on and you walk the stretch drive, uh, Ricardo on me and mischief kind of intimidated Kofi and Sean bridge, man.
And, uh, I think that was probably the difference. Craig, we’ll start with that general question for you as somebody who’s a bred and owned and bet on many race horses. Is that, uh, opinion that you agree with that the, the three-year-old against elder thing can sometimes be a subtle important class raise almost.
I mean, I think it’s a huge deal. And with the diminishing horse population that we have, we’re seeing three-year-olds run against the older horses way earlier in their careers. A lot of times, even in maiden races than we, than we used to. I mean, I think June’s too early. Sometimes this year you’ve seen in California, you know, or even Becky SCC, March and April for girls when it gets older.
And I don’t think people realize. How big of a difference that is in this country, um, especially on the dirt and then with the figures. I mean, I don’t know as much as you guys, but when a horse is running easy on the lead, even if they’re making fast fractions, when they’re, when they’re, when they’re cruising on the lead and then they win by open lengths, they always seem to run just freakish, freakish figures.
And when a horse is racing for a contested lead and they’re having to work to run the same speed, maybe that they were running in their last race for the first quarter, first half of a mile. But that race is in a duel or with a horse next to them. It’s they’re, they’re, they’re not, they’re not functioning at high as high of a level as they’re, as they’re going by themselves.
And there’s no way they’re going to finish the same. So I don’t know. I mean, the figures look slow, especially when you consider they’re there they’re two of the best sprint Phillies in the, in the country and they, and they ran against each other and it was a great race. But, um, you know, if nee, if neither, if me and mischief was in the F in the race without professi or, or vice versa, I think they would have won by five or six links and had a hundred buyer.
Right. But sometimes when they run against each other, um, You know, it, it, it, it, it’s such a tough race early with two horses that want to run that way, um, that, you know, maybe they can’t, maybe they can’t finish quite the same. We will bring in Shawn Borman at some point, for his opinion on that, because maybe, maybe that story gets told when you look at the buyer style, pace figures throughout the race a little bit more, just for academic sake, the figure did come back in 86 for intimacy shift.
Craig did Kofi lose much in defeat given the potential difficulty of this challenge that you were just describing? Yeah. Look, I mean, I don’t have a horse as fast as either one of them. Um, but I thought it was a strange spot for those two horses to show up. Um, you know, Mia mischief loves Churchill downs.
Uh, , you know, I know Brad Cox is stabled at Churchill downs and there, there may be working backwards from the test stakes and looking for a logical spot, but to run in an ungraded stake against older horses with me and mischief in the race with, you know, the race she won it at at pinnacle, I think was just a grade three.
So on paper, not much to gain, um, you know, from a pedigree evaluation standpoint, obviously if she had beat me a mischief, um, you know, that that’s kind of a clash of the Titans, but you want them to do that. And in, in grade one races or grade two races, not in kind of listed races that are, you know, unknown races in, in June, uh, Churchill six furlongs on the dirt.
I mean, it was, it was a great race and everybody watched it, but. It just was a funny race. So I don’t know that, um, the mischief loses anything in defeat from, uh, you know, from, from the way she’s perceived. I think she’s, she’s, you know, likely the best three-year-old filly sprinter, Bella Faena would have something to say about that.
And I’m sure if they both stay healthy, th the it’ll be a great test steaks, but I don’t think near Mississippi loses any, excuse me. I don’t think that, um, professor, he loses anything, but, you know, it’s pretty, you know, me and mischief, you know, did what, uh, did what she was supposed to do. I mean, she, she, she likes that racetrack.
She, she, she took all the pressure and she wants, so, um, I mean, I think, I mean, I, I think it was a great race, but it was kind of a perplexing place for them to show up J K from this far out, very difficult question without seeing the field, et cetera, but is your gut to be with or against Kofi in the test stakes?
Presumably the next start, uh, my gut is CC from out West, uh, for, for, uh, Michael McCarthy. That’s my gut. So, um, hello Kofi. I don’t, you know, I look at time for him just now she ran a one 27 at Pimlico one 18 on Sunday. Me and mischief got the exact same figure, suggesting that the pace was, was quick enough for, for Craig Milkulski to upgrade figure, which I think is a very important part to add to it.
It kind of supports what Craig was talking about about, uh, you know, the Phillies getting pressure and, and what that does. I was lucky enough, uh, this weekend, which was a bunch of fun. I know, I know Craig spent a lot of time with this individual, but I spend a lot of time with, with Gary Stevens this weekend, we worked together for three days.
At Churchill and, uh, being stuck with a hall of fame writer for six hours a day is a ton of fun because, you know, you get to ask a lot of questions and bounce ideas off of them and get some feedback. And one of the cool things that I got to witness was him and Ricardo Santana have a great relationship.
I guess they met at Oaklawn and, and Ricardo actually calls Gary Paul. Like it’s like, he’s kind of like a grandpa figure for him and like kind of leading him through his career. So the relationship is extremely, I love you say grandpa, not, uh, not father. I’m sure Gary appreciates that. So there’s another funny story about that too, about Gary and, uh, grandpa tell you that right after this one.
So Gary is watching the race with Ricardo and Ricardo walks Gary through what he did in the race. And Ricardo’s next level of like analyzing what happened in preparation was, was I was shocked. He was like, look, you know, me and mischief. Doesn’t like when you get in her mouth. So when we broke away from the gate, look how loose the rain was.
I didn’t want to get in her mouth because if you get in her mouth, she’ll run off. So I just waited. And he said, then when I got in the lane, every time I threw a cross, you know, the, the action where they kind of open their hands up with the rains to kind of put the bit in the horses, mouth, we, every time he threw across, he said that that Kofi would shy away because his hands were right by her head.
So every time he threw crosses at me and mischief, Kofi would shy. And so I thought that was like, so he came, he said he kept doing it in the stretch. And she kept shying. He’s like, Oh, I got her, I got her, I got her. I thought that was a extremely interesting. So it’s fascinating. What a great detail. What was your other, uh, age-ism story?
I asked, I had one directed at me. I had one directed at me, by the way. I’ll tell you my age. Just, I was a victim of ages. I’m all. We’ll get to that in a second. I told Gary that I remembered a horse. You rode in Del Mar. And we were trying to figure out details about it. And, uh, we, I pulled up, uh, a trip note where it was like, uh, I had for a while, I had these like shared trip notes where I had some friends that were out on the West coast and they would, we would put them into our notes and upload them a formulator.
And I showed him one of his trip notes from that. And I didn’t realize it, but the person who did the trip note wrote weak ass, Gary, Steve.
So he started he’s like, what are you talking about? I was 54 years old and he started flexing his muscles. Very, very funny. That’s hilarious. I’m surprised he didn’t walk off the set. You can tell he’s not a prima Donna, at least. No, he was a ton of fun. Craig Craig had given me a heads up that he was, uh, he was great.
I had a great, great three days hanging out with, and look forward to the summer. Craig, what’s been your experience with Gary, obviously he’s written a lot of, uh, horses for you. How far do you go back with him and what what’s, uh, a memory that pops into your head when his name comes up?
Gosh, I mean, I, I mean that Gary has written for our family for a very long time. Um, he, uh, he w he wrote one dreamer when she won the breeders cup when she was 47 to one, um, you know, he rode marketing mix. When he came back from his retirement, he wrote star the crop. When that horse won the Malibu and beat, you know, a bunch of, a bunch of grade, one winners and champions.
And he’s always had a long association with us. We’ve had a lot of fun too at night. Um, Gary, he’s just a good guy. I mean, he, he likes to have dinner. He likes to drink. He likes to bet. Um, No, he can take it. He can give it he’s, he’s a fun, he’s a fun person to be around. I mean, I don’t know why this sticks in my head.
I remember we were at, uh, golden gate one time, um, to run a horse, I think in the El Camino RAL Derby, and Gary was up there riding and you Gary, he, he, he, it’s pretty focused, you know, in the paddock. And when he gets on a horse until he gets off the horse, I mean, that’s really when he goes to work and then he has fun with everything else, but he really doesn’t.
He’s not one of those writers that wants to go hug everybody in the paddock and be Mr. Social. Like he really wants to focus on what he has to do. And the El Camino route Derby was a, that’s obviously the biggest race of the year in, in Northern California now. And the head of publicity for the track had some, I don’t know if he was a city Councilman or who he was, but it was somebody there trying to promote the racing.
And Gary and Tom Proctor and I were getting ready to run the horse. And the guy from the publicity department came up. He said, I don’t mean to bother you, Gary. And Jerry said, well, you are bothering me the hell away from me.
I started laughing and, and Tom sort of smirk and turned around cause he knew what was coming next. And the council that came up and he said, hi, I’m so-and-so and Gary goes and I’m so-and-so and I have to go ride this race. So I can’t talk to you right now. He got up and he just started writing, um, which, you know, knowing Gary as well as I do, you know, that’s just kind of him.
I mean, he’s, he’s very, very serious when he rides. Um, but when you put them in front of a, in front of a microphone, he’s one of the best ambassadors we have in the sport. Um, he, he reveres horse racing, the history he’s, he’s written in Hong Kong. He’s written for Michael Stout in Europe. Um, he’s been leading rider.
In California for years. He’s, you know, he wrote for Lucas, he wrote for Baffert. He, he, he he’s he’s, you know, he’s, he’s a great guy. And I mean, I think, you know, the sports lucky to have him. He’s he’s, he’s like the bionic man, but obviously now he can’t ride anymore. So he’s, he’s fully retired. He’s had a lot of careers.
He’s been a trainer, he’s been a Bloodstock agent. He’s been an actor. He keeps coming back to writing. Um, No, he’s just a good guy. We’ll have to have him on the show soon. I must say I’ve a lot of horse racing pictures on my wall. I think he’s the only signed jockey photo I have on my wall sitting board point, given a horse.
That was a, I was already into the game for a few years, but, uh, one of the horses that really sort of solidified everything for me. Well, we’ll have to, I don’t know, JK, maybe that’ll be your debut of the, a one-on-one interview segment on the show, or maybe I won’t let you have all the fun and I’ll, uh, we’ll, we’ll talk to him together at some point in the near future.
Let’s move on and talk about some of the other ones or three real quick mean, I’ll tell you just real fast. I’ll tell you what. I walking through a festival with my brother and like London, he gets stopped a lot for pictures. Gary gets stopped. I mean, like constantly to take pictures. I mean, I have never been around another human being that gets asked to take more pictures.
Um, I made a joke on the show the other day. If I don’t pick more winners, I’m going to start charging people for photos of hearing. It’s a good fallback plan. Let’s talk about some of the other stakes racing from the weekend. We’ll go to the Ohio Derby and Owen Dale wins with a 99 buyer speed figure. Did you see this one?
JK? I did. We, uh, we, it was, we was running between races. We pulled it up on the iPad and we watched it. Um, I thought he was impressive. I, I, you know, I, I, I thought he ran well, I thought he was pretty brave. You kind of dove down to the inside. He was a little, little, a little Weavey there. I think we’ll, we’ll hear from him up at Saratoga and whatever comes up next to Jim dandy or the Travers, or who knows you might be pointing for the Haskell.
He feels like more of a Travers horse to me than a Haskell horse, but. What do I know? I didn’t prep you for any of this. Craig, did you get a chance to see the Ohio Derby? Uh, I must be honest. You did not prep me for this. And I, I, I read the TDN and I’ve seen the chart, but I could not comment on anything that happened in that race.
I was, uh, after five days of Royal Ascot, I think Peppa pig was on doing some. Sorry about that. Totally fair. I’m sure our friends at this’ll down understand, uh, since JK mentioned Monmouth and we haven’t talked about, uh, the maximum security return to the races on the show. I’ll ask you about that one instead, Craig, what’s, what’s your read on him going forward?
Do you, do you like him? Brian? Skurka made a case that he didn’t lose anything and defeat, and he’s still very interested to see him come back and thinks he’ll return to his best form in the Haskell. Uh, what do you think about that? You know what I mean? I think he’s a fascinating horse to follow. I mean, I did not, I was fortunate that he was disqualified in the, in the Derby from a gambling standpoint because, um, you know, I, I fell into the, you know, he got away with easy fractions and South Florida and I always think cautiously good, easy fractions on the lead they finished.
Well, I thought he’d get pressure and the Derby and against better horses. I just, I just didn’t, I didn’t, I didn’t bet on him. Um, and then I didn’t bet the race at Monmouth just because I didn’t, I didn’t really like any of the horse he was running against. I didn’t see, uh, I, I just didn’t see a lot of opportunity, but if you like maximum security and you buy in to the, the, the, the thought that that race was setting him up for the next one, uh, you’re going to get a way better price.
Um, if you don’t like him, you know, he’s, you know, there’s a chink in the armor and, you know, be much more confident, um, betting on who, you know, whatever horse you like against him in the, in the next race. So, I mean, I, I was puzzled by that race, um, because you know, he was, he, he, he looks invincible on his form and then to, to lose a race, maybe the Pletcher horse that w you know, that one in Pimlico is getting good.
It’s, it’s such a convoluted group of three-year-olds this year. Uh, and maximum security is kind of the one horse that’s won consecutive stakes races, uh, you know, Florida Derby, Kentucky Derby. It’s just amazing that with such what appears to be a poor group of horses, That he could lose, um, you know, an ungraded stake at Monmouth park against the horse that won the test here.
It’s just, it’s just hard to believe, um, that he’s, uh, that he’s the same horse for me, but if you do, I have a lot of friends that think, well, that’s great. I’ll just get a better price than the Haskell. So, I mean, I, I, I think it’s, it’s going to be interesting to watch J K what did you think? Did you think the stumble at the start was any excuse or where are you with maximum security at this point in time?
Yeah, I’m really kind of puzzled. I mean, yeah, the, the, the stumble obviously matters, uh, you know, in horses go to their face like that, you know, that’s, it’s always tough, especially on a speed horse in, uh, and, and, you know, Louis rode him, you know, some people said, why did he rush your mom? Well, cause he just wanted the dang Derby quote unquote Derby across the wire first.
Um, so why not rush him up, you know, if he wants to be on the front end and he stumbles a little bit against a bunch of horses where he’s one to nine up and we’re supposed to do. Um, but my issue with him is. Uh, you know, it’s hard for me because I didn’t like him before the Derby. So when he doesn’t run, well, it makes me th the inclination is that you were smart, that he wasn’t that good, but I’m not sure falling for that confirmation bias.
Yeah. There could be some confirmation bias at play. Yeah, my, but here’s one thing that I don’t understand, and I know that Jason service does things different than others. I get that, but this horse ran in the dirty and then didn’t work again until the 22nd. And he went 53 and four, and then he, and then he shows up on June 16th and runs in a race.
Like, I didn’t even know the horse was going to run. Like I, he hadn’t been working. I just maybe just been galloping him for six weeks. I just found all of that to be very bizarre. So I, I’m not gonna fall for, for letting him beat me in hassle. Cause I’m trying to get cute and beat them. Unless of course I can fall in love with something else, but I’m not a fan of the horse.
Um, but I’m trying not to let that lead me down a path of mistakes. Sounds like you might be passing the Haskell is the impression I’m getting, cause it sure doesn’t sound like you want to drill down too deep into it. Him either with your lack of trust, you mentioned strange situations. Let’s use that to segue to the country house news, where it sounds like he is not retired, but will not be running again this year.
Craig, you’re an experienced horseman. What do you make of that?
No, I mean, there’s no reason to retire the horse. He he’s he’s bred and he runs like a horse. That’s going to really like the long distance dirt races, um, in New York, um, you know, he’s, he’s injured. Uh he’s uh, he was a white developing horse. He ran a lot of times, um, for horses in this day and age, you know, he ran in the risen star.
Then he ran in the Louisiana Derby. Then he ran in the arc and sit there, but then he ran in there. Kentucky Derby. Um, and obviously he’s got an injury now and you know, his connections are people that like to race their horses. Uh, you know, Dennis McFadden, he wants to race the horse. I know the LNG people, they love to race.
Um, he’s a bit of a perplexing stallion prospect because he didn’t finish first in the Derby. He had, he didn’t win a major prep coming into the Derby. He’s by looking at lucky, um, who was a great horse himself, but, um, you know, not, not a sire that is the most attractive, you know, to breed to, even though, you know, he’s got the current classic winter and accelerate and Derby winner and country house, but he doesn’t get a huge volume of kind of sales, horses, and young horses that are going to win early in their career.
So country, house, I mean, He has more to do to be, uh, uh, an attractive style and prospect. And frankly, this, this crop of horses look so suspect that you’ll love him next year. If he recovers from this ankle injury, um, against any of these horses, you know, kind of, as he goes on in his career, he’s got sort of, he reminds me of maybe a horse, like keen eyes, um, you know, more of a grinder, uh, and a horse that, you know, I’d like to say, he’s going to stay sound, even though he’s, he, he’s, he’s injured right now, but he’s a horse that I can see running, you know, when he’s four and five and earning a lot of money races, like the suburban, um, races, like the jockey club, gold cup, maybe a tone was type horse.
Um, so it’s obviously a shame because I know that we’re looking forward to running the host this summer, but. He’s he’s owned by patient people. And his trainer is somebody that has got a lot of experience with older horses in the, in the handicap division. So they, they know what they’re doing. Um, the, the, in the injuries real, um, there’s no, uh, there’s, there’s no ifs, ands or buts about it.
I mean, it’s, it’s a real injury and it takes time. So he’ll regroup and be back next year. Correct. I got a question when it comes to, to, to, you know, making a stallion or, or a horse like country house becoming a stallion, I’ve always found it. Interesting. It’s like, how do you balance it in your brain as a breeder of, do I want to go to looking at lucky for 20,000 or do I want to go to his offspring for what I would imagine would be less than 20,000?
Um, I’m sure. You know, how much accelerates standing for, uh, I mean, how do you juggle that when you’re dealing with sons of, and, and all of that stuff? No, it’s hard. I mean, they all come from the SmartStack line. So I remember when smart strike, he kind of came onto the scene. He had English channel, he had Curlin and he had looking at lucky and there were three, you know, those were three horses that were, were champions in multiple years.
Kerlin was champion three-year-old and four-year-old, he may have been horse of the year. Both of those years, looking at lucky was champion two year old champion three-year-old in English channel was championed turf horse at least once, but he was one of the best air horses in the country for two or three years.
Um, and all three of ’em Kerlin clearly being the best, um, uh, very, very successful standing. And, uh, you know, then when you get into sons of horses like that, you know, you, you, you. You, you try to, you know, you, you, you, you can’t afford to go to Curlin for the most part. He’s $175,000 down. Only the very best mirrors can go to him.
Looking at lucky, still affordable, uh, not a commercial stallion English channels, very affordable, great race, horse stallion, not popular commercially because he doesn’t have the best looking falls is a small horse himself. They’re generally turf. That’s not what the market wants. Um, and accelerate was priced like very, very, fairly, um, and bred a full book of horses.
Uh, a lot of commercial breeders of believing in him, you know, but when w when you look at what accelerate did last year, don’t worry about for a second, who he beat, but the races he won. No. When the Santa Anita handicapped second in the Oakland handicap, when the Hollywood gold cup, when the Pacific classic and then go to church home when the breeders’ cup classic, like just that, just that year we are, I mean, that stands up the gun runner.
Um, yes, but that, that, that, that stands up, you know, in the last 20 years is one of the better years we’ve seen an older horse have it’s a good looking horse. Um, you know, so he’s a good Stein prospect country house. You know, he, he, he probably has to do a lot to be as exciting of a stallion prospect is accelerate.
Um, it just because, you know, he was a promoted winner of the Derby. Um, and you know, he doesn’t have necessarily a signature win, so hopefully he’ll get that next year and the year after, and, and he’ll breed, uh, You hope, hope read plenty of mirrors. I shouldn’t point out that that’s the type of conversation.
We have more typically over on the, in the ring pedigree podcast, but hopefully listeners to this program will enjoy it as well. And as we, if you like what you hear there, definitely check out the other show a lot more as the name suggests pedigree sales, uh, breeding industry, general horse racing industry chatter on there.
But thanks for those insights. We did want to recap one more race. Now I’m not going to make the same mistake and ask, uh, Greg who I didn’t prepare for any of this stuff for his thoughts on the United nations, but it has to be mentioned simply because the winner, uh, very podcast, famous horse. Hurricane Anthony Rob, when he cashed on Hunter O’Reilly gosh, it was a while ago now up at Saratoga famously did his sore winter routine, uh, cussing and fussing in front of small children and getting in very big trouble with his wife and the rest of us.
But, uh, I, he was on once again, I did talk to the hurricane. He was on once again to see that horse. When in the UN what did you think of that effort? JK 99 buyer speed figure in victory. Yeah, one 23 time form us too at that mile. And three eights that tricky distance, the distance that will probably carry that horse, uh, to, you know, like the man of war and, and, and, uh, the sword dancer types where he can avoid avoid bricks and mortar who I’ve heard.
They’re not going to go any further than, than the mile and a quarter with, um, yeah, I mean, he looked 14 to one. He was good. I actually heard someone, I think it was maybe Brad Thomas, the, uh, the public handicapper at Monmouth pointed out that as good as the New York writers are. It seems like they sometimes get lost on the turf course at Monmouth, because it’s so much different than what they’re used to riding.
I don’t watch mom with a, haven’t watched mom with consistently enough with New York writers involved in the races to comment on that. But I thought it was an interesting point on the line. Well, Brad would be a good guy to have on, you know, Monmouth, obviously a sponsor partner of ours. And that seems like a really interesting topic for discussion.
Is that something you’ve noticed over the years, Craig? I mean, you’ve certainly had runners at Monmouth. How different is it in your view to riding in New York? I think in New York you just have so much time, um, big, wide turf course wide turn, long stretch. And I think it’s, um, it’s a really forceful turf course, at least to me, um, more European style and I think Monmouth, um, you know, it it’s, it’s a different turf course, so yeah.
I think, um, you know, sometimes that does happen with big time writers that only come on the big day. Um, Joe Bravo, he kind of dominates it every day, but yeah, I, I agree with JK it’s it’s, it’s the turf races they’re, you know, they they’re they’re, they’re often very funny run races and just leave. I would kind of leave it at that.
You know, you, you, you know, I don’t think many turf writers are in the hall of fame because of their Monmouth rights. Yeah. Brian Skurka says that Joe Bravo is worth at least the length and maybe a little bit more on that turf course. That sounds like something you might agree with. JK. Yeah, Jersey, Joe, I, you, did you get the nickname?
You better be worth something with a nickname like Jersey, Joe. Yeah. All right. It’s time to talk. W we’re gonna, we’re starting on a high note with some of these racing performances. We’ll end on a high note with Royal ask it. Let’s get to the, to the non high note and Craig, uh, I apologize. I prepped you.
Not at all for the racing chatter. I did want you to come in to talk about this next area. Just cause you spoke. It was a record for the record, Pete. We were supposed to have a conversation today about something he’s helping us out with, with, uh, idea foundation. He said, can you come and talk about Royal Ascot and some industry doings?
For about 10 minutes on the podcast. And I said, sure. So we’re about half an hour in we w w I spent five hours every morning watching rural Alaska did not watch a lot of race. So apologize to the listeners for my, uh, for my, for my idiocy on some of this racing commentary you have acquainted yourself.
Don’t be silly. You’ve acquitted yourself very well. And if you, if you do have a time crunch, we w we I’d love you to talk about this next thing. Okay. Excellent. Excellent. Go ahead. Jerry Hollendorfer hall of fame trainer it’s been announced. He will be, uh, he’s basically been, is he technically been ruled off or just, or denied access, I guess at that point it’s just semantics, but no longer welcome at the Stronach group racetracks, there was a press release that had some ominous language in it, suggesting that there was some sort of violation of protocols that made this a decision they were willing to make.
Um, and you certainly, uh, I’ve certainly heard rumors, but you know, we, we don’t want to traffic and rumors on the show as to what that might’ve been, but I mean, for me, And I just want your opinion on this Craig, for me, it seems like another example, unfortunately, of the Stronach group for this tough situation, uh, blaming everyone, but themselves potentially.
And, uh, is there scapegoating going on here? What are you hearing Craig about the latest in California, as we finally gotten to the end of this historically awful meat. I mean, if you think about a year, we’re like six months practically to the day from opening day of Santa Anita. And if you think about the communication from the Stronach group, from the horse racing board, from the trainers and from the thoroughbred owners of California and all that’s happened in six months, I’ll be, I mean, it, it could fill a very, very large book.
Um, Completely reactionary to problems. I’m trying to put out a fire that’s right in front of them without having any long-term thinking about what that’s going to do for the, for the business in general for the business in California. Yeah. Um, and so on. And, you know, I understand what happened with Jerry Honda for, um, I don’t know.
I think anybody that agrees a hundred percent or disagrees a hundred percent is being a little bit, um, probably naive acute. Like there was a CNN television show today had about nine minutes of horse racing coverage where essentially they went at Jerry Hondo for, and then the next morning. One of Jerry’s horses that had been vet scratch and its previous race out of the last place finished in Northern California breezed and broke down.
Um, and maybe Jerry didn’t know about the CNN piece, maybe he did. And he thought the horse was fine. I don’t think he would have worked the horse. If he thought the horse had an injury, um, injuries happen. It was his fourth breakdown of the year of the season. Should I should say out of 30. So, you know, what’s, that’s, that’s 12 and a half percent or whatever of the, uh, of the, of the injuries were one trainer.
Um, you know, and then th th that all happened quick. There’s a lot of rumors that this was brewing before Jerry Honda for he’s won more races in California than any trainer in history. He, I think he’s one of the third, most racist. Of any trainer in American history. Um, he doesn’t just train, stay courses.
A lot of these trainers, if the horses aren’t gonna, you know, be really productive allowance or stake horses, they say, go send them somewhere else. Jerry trains them himself. He wins trainers, titles. He wins owners, titles. He trains the horses very, very hard. Um, if you race in California, which we, we actually just took all our horses out, um, made the decision a couple of weeks ago.
But if you race in California, you constantly running against horses that are extremely fit. These guys, they work their horses fast. They work their horses four or five times between races and they really drill on their horses. So even the cheap horses. Are trained very hard. And Jerry, you know, you, you have to have a horse that’s ready to run, to beat him.
Um, we had a Philly, like a personal example a couple of years ago called theater star, who was a decent, silly. She, she won a stakes race at Delaware park. Um, she was great at placed a few times. And I remember we shipped her up to Northern California to run against one of Jerry’s horses and she got beat and she’s unquestionably a more talented horse than the one that beat her.
But the horse that beat her, like was claimed for like 12, five went up the ladder and won probably 15 out of 30 starts for Jerry Honda for if the Philly that beat her would have run in the game. The steaks she’d have been beat 15 lengths and theater star probably would have been beat three or four links.
Neither one would have hit the board. But w but in a $50,000 steak, you know, that horse is so battle-tested that she’d beat our horse. Um, and that’s what you deal with with Jerry, like on a regular basis, his horses are so ready if you gamble, which I do. And I know this show does. I mean, you know what to expect from Jerry Honda for now, on the other hand, the, there, there are protestors.
When you walk in to Santa Anita, there are camera crews every day, waiting for something to happen at Santa Anita. Um, the New York times has written about it. CNN has written about it. ESPN has it on their headline. I’m on that website all the time. It’s like this environment in San Anita is a ticking time bomb.
And no, he doesn’t, he doesn’t appear to have changed the way he operates his business. Um, and it’s obviously a new time in California where there. Not worried about how many horses you have in your barn. Um, they don’t seem to be worried about how many starts you’re making, which is a like 180 degree complete opposite change to the way racing was supposed to be.
When the meet started, they introduced the rainbow six, uh, gr PGA Campo, and Tim were talking about, um, you know, we need to run more large fields. We know cheaper claiming horses, 16,000 claimers attracts big fields. We need to run more of those races. That’s what people want. We’re going to start tracking how many starts you have per stall.
We want you to race. Um, we all know what happened with the weather. There’s a lot of, uh, innuendo that they pressured trainers to run when they had horses entered. Even if the trainer didn’t think it was a good spot for their horse. Um, Doug O’Neil’s on record saying it didn’t happen to him, but he knows it happened to others.
Uh, I could say the same. It never happened to us. We scratch horses plenty of times. Um, and nobody ever threatened us at least to my knowledge, but a lot of other people say that it happened. So, I mean, this meat has been like a total disaster from a public perception standpoint, from an industry standpoint, as far as how we’re representing ourselves to the public and it, and frankly it’s been as bad from the communication from the racetrack.
To the people that are involved in racing the horses because every week they were changing protocol, they’re going to international standards. Oh no, they’re not the trainers. Don’t like that. We’re going to compromise. We’re going to have no whips. Oh no. We’re not the jockeys. Don’t like that. Actually you’re allowed to do what you’ve always been able to do.
We’re going to outlaw Lasix entirely. Oh no. Now it’s just five. Cc’s we’re going to cancel this race and we’re going to cancel all the races for three weeks. Oh no. Now we’re going to run this race again. Like it’s very hard to operate a racing stable with the way the meat was run at that time. And you know, the whole time he had Jerry Honda for, he kept running his horses.
Cause that’s what Jerry does. And you know, they kicked him out. So he can’t race there. It’s their racetrack, um, there’s house rules to say he’s not welcome at Gulf stream. There’s no. Industry focus on Gulf stream park. Um, there’s no public focus on Gulf stream park. I think anyone that follows horse racing would think that there’s plenty of things going on at Gulf stream park that are every bit as bad or in my opinion, worse than maybe it’s going on in California.
And, you know, Niara has said Jerry round offers welcome them. I’m sure Kentucky will let them race here. And you know, it he’ll go on w w w w what California’s gonna look like. Um, next December 26th, when San is getting ready for their meter, frankly, next October 1st, when they’re getting ready for the old Oak tree meet, I think is anyone’s guess.
But you know, there it’s a new world, um, um, hugely for reforming horse racing. I think, I think we need to. Have way more transparency, way better rules, more consistency. Um, I’m fine with the international standard, but these press releases of what we’re going to do and then not follow through it. It’s very, uh, it’s very debilitating from a participant standpoint.
Obviously the handle was significantly down the handle per race day was down. Um, cause obviously they just raised three weeks, the second half of the meet, but even the, the, the, the, the, the amount of money bet on, uh, on a day on a, on a, on a day basis was down. Um, it’s not the product that we’ve become accustomed to seeing in California.
And, you know, they, they, they should be aiming. At least in my opinion, to be improving racing in California and attracting more horses to come out there, but what they’re, but, but, but what what’s happening is actually the opposite. Um, the ones that are left are expensive, young horses that are two year olds that hopefully will become breeders cup and the next year, triple crown horses, and then older, cheap horses and California bred horses.
And that’s not exactly the, the group of horses. That should be the ones that I would want to like start as my laboratory for horse racing reform. Um, you want good horses, sound horses, consistent horses, and hopefully attract more of them in the long run, but they look like they’re going at it kind of in a, in a, in a different way.
So, I mean, that’s a. Probably a 10 minute answer to a quick question, but that’s kinda how I see what’s going on. No, I was very interested in the download on where your brain is and it’s you, can’t, it’s a complex question that resists a simple answer. So I appreciate that. And I have a couple of followups, but before I get to those, I wanted to bring back JK and I’ll just ask it to him.
Very simply. Is Jerry Hollendorfer being scapegoated here or do you think there might be something to this? I, you know, I’m glad Craig said what he said. Cause that’s what I’m, I’m going to steal it. I’m going to use it when people ask me, if you, if you think that Santa Anita was a hundred percent, right, you’re wrong.
If you think that Jerry was a hundred percent wrong, you’re wrong. I think that it was like, it was just like a perfect storm. I do think yes, he’s being scapegoated, but I also think he was acting irresponsibly, but I think he deserved what he got. Probably not deserve what he got. Am I glad he got it because it needs to be done in order to, to, to, to kind of have a no, uh, like a kind of a, not a no tolerance kind of policy where.
The smaller trainers who might think to act irresponsibly will say, if they take Jerry Hollendorfer out. If I do this, I’m definitely going to be gone. And I can’t afford to go to California, I mean, to New York or to Churchill. So I just think that it’s a, it was a perfect storm of a whole lot of bad decisions and I find it kind of to be somewhere in the middle.
And, uh, and that’s, that’s kinda my take, I was resisting, um, even going with some of the stories I’ve heard, Craig, you mentioned about the, the vet scratch thing. I definitely had heard some, uh, racetrack type gossip about a vet scratched horse being, uh, breaking down. And I wasn’t sure if it was right and it’s tough to listen to backstretch gossip.
Cause you know, uh, these backstretch folks, uh, their tongues wag more than a happy dogs tail, but it sounds like that is factual. What’s the protocol supposed to be after a vet scratch. When you come back and work a horse. I mean that scratches a catch all term. Um, G generally, um, before this year in San Anita, if your horse was vet scratched, you had to have, um, you could, you had to have permission from the vet supervised permission from the vet to work your horse.
And then, so, so what would happen is if you had a horse vet scratched for any reason, um, and to be vet scratched, essentially you have to be entered and not run by either the, the, the, the, the, the, the vet in the morning, or the vet in the, you know, right up in the race and post parade or, or in the paddock, or what have you.
Um, so, so you, you would have to breeze your horse half mile or five eights. Uh, your horse would have to pass a drug test after the breeze, you know, and then the vet would come by the barn and see the way your horse, uh, came out of his breeze, how they cool out, um, and just make sure that the horse is okay to be entered and run again.
Um, the way I understand it is the horse scratch because he was sick, which is not a soundness issue. And then that’s the horse that, that broke down. Um, I guess on Saturday morning, that was the way I understand the story. Um, but you know, when you read Jerry’s comments, he, he, he jogged the horse just like he did every morning, the horse jog sound and he went to Breeza horse.
Um, he breezed him on the training track, which that’s frankly, where we were training most of our horses this year. Um, Because of the uncertainty about the main track. And we always thought that, um, you know, horses, they stay a little bit quieter on the training track because there’s less horses there. Um, it’s not where they race in the afternoon and, you know, you can get the fitness into them without them.
We’re not generally a group that wants the 58 and change works on a regular basis. So, I mean, I think the training track is, I think both trucks are very safe right now. I think the train track is definitely safe. So that horse took a bad step or whatever. I mean, there, there, I would think there’ll be full a necropsy and pathology on all the horses extended later this year.
I mean, the attorney general is looking at, into this. I mean, there’s this, this is a new world. So all the horses that break down on a racetrack, um, You know, as an industry, you need to learn from all of it. You need to learn if somebody was doing something that they shouldn’t have done either deliberately or by accident.
And then you need to see if the injuries are preventable in the future, because that’s what everybody needs to do. So, you know, all these horses will be, uh, uh, studied and examined. Um, and, and as we work towards preventing as many of these things as we can, but I think that’s an important distinction you made that, uh, the way I had heard it with the implication was that it was a horse that was scratched because it was on sound.
And then I didn’t understand how that horse would be back training without the vet check that you described. But it was not, that was not the case. I mean, being, being sick, being scratched from race because you’re sick is very, very different than being scratched by the vet because you’re unsound and I’m like, I’m just reading.
The TDN and the blood horse and the Los Angeles times article and right. You know, the horse racing nation were the first people to break the Jerry Hondo for story. I mean, so I’m, I’m, I don’t have Jerry’s phone number. I didn’t, I don’t, I don’t, I don’t know what happened. Um, you know, he’s, he’s a different guy.
I mean, he owns most of the horses or owns a piece of most of the harshest himself. Um, you know, which, uh, as an investor is great, when the person doing the work has a huge financial stake in the outcome, because, you know, you, you, you, you share risk and reward. I mean, that’s most people that a lot of people that make investments, they love to have the person, you know, invested, not just with sweat equity, but with real equity in a deal.
Um, you know, so, you know, I mean, Jerry’s never trained for us. Um, But I, I have, I have huge respect for his horses and you can’t question, um, the results he’s won more racist than anybody in California. Everybody hears things. You frankly, the problem with this environment is you hear things about every trainer, um, the, the, you know, that they did this or they’re doing that.
And, you know, it’s, it’s gotten so, um, it, it it’s, it’s, it’s just become an all encompassing around our business that everybody thinks somebody else is doing something that they shouldn’t be doing. Um, and you heard about all trainers, but, you know, I don’t, I don’t, I did not hear that that horse was about scratched for soundness issue.
I heard he was scratched for, for being sick. That’s what I think Jerry’s court was. Gotcha. Did you have it, did you have something on that JK? No I’m saying I heard the same thing, but, um, I guess, you know, uh, my thought is, is like when all eyes are on, you know, it’s like, to me, it’s like, it’s like speeding through, uh, speeding through an area.
You know, there’s a speed trap. It’s like, you know, there’s cops waiting for you to, to speed. So why, why would you speak? Like what, you know, why would you even take a chance? And maybe he didn’t think he was taking a chance. And I would assume that he probably, I mean, I have to assume that he probably wasn’t, I don’t want to assume that he’s like, there was no malicious intent, but you know, it’s just, man, this ain’t, this is we, we don’t need these things happening right now.
There’s not, not where, where we need, uh, we need to, to be going. So now I guess now the next decision to be made is what’s going to happen with the breeders cup. And I’ve heard there’s a board meeting that’s happening this week where that decision will be made. So I would assume that by the end of the week, we’ll know.
Uh, what’s going to happen there. Do you have any predictions, Craig about, uh, re future racing surface at Santa Anita or the breeders’ cup? I mean, you, you sorta in your first answer said, who knows, we’ll see what happens when they open again, but do you care to elaborate on that at all? Or maybe make a guess?
Yeah. I mean, I look, I’m not, I’m not on the breeders cup board. I, I used to be some I’m not as inside those conversations as I was, but I guess that means I’m allowed to talk, talk more than I used to be able to talk when I was in there. So, um, you know, the, the horse business does, this, does this thing where we paint ourselves in corners and we can’t, and, and, and, and w w w w we give ourselves sort of these either or decisions and you can’t, you can’t make a right one.
So if they leave the breeders’ cup in California, And there’s thousands of protesters. When you walk into the track, which isn’t going to be enjoyable for anything. And if a horse happens to break down, which even with every protocol and the best horses in the world and the best trainers in the world, everybody being conscious of it, something could always happen.
You know, you put the business at terrible risk. Um, so there are, there are lots of smart people with big investments that think that the breeders cup should, should not race at San Anita for that reason. There’s other people that will point out that, you know, the statistics that’s Churchill downs are no better than they are at Santa Anita.
So you’re, you’re leaving San Anita for a public problem, but you go into a place that has maybe a real problem. You know, at least if San Anita has a problem, then Churchill has the same issue. And then if you abandon it, like, what are you, are you putting the nail in the coffin for California racing? Um, and this and that and the other.
So if they stay, you know, they’re showing confidence and that’s where they’ve always said, they’re going to go. And they’re confident in the racing surface and they’re confident in their protocols. And they think California is publicly leading the way on reform and breeders cup wants to be supportive of that.
And, you know, I certainly understand that they’ve, they’ve sold their tickets for San Anita. They’ve got, it, had had a million breeders’ cups there, so they know, um, you know, they know they know how the setup’s going for the horses that are there. They know how the set ups going for the patrons and they’re well into their plans.
Um, if they decide that it’s too much heat and they come to Churchill downs, No, they had the breeders cup of Churchill last year, Churchill hosted the Derby every year. It’s no problem with the crowd. The connections are used to it. Um, you know, it’s, it’s, uh, there’ll be people for it if I had to guess. Um, and I’ve gone back and forth, but kind of on Tuesday today, the meeting’s Thursday, I would bet you know that they’ll leave it in California.
Um, I think I, that, that would be my bet. No, tell me what the odds are. I’ll tell you how much I bet I would. I would bet that they’re going to leave the breeders’ cup in California. It would be my guess, but I have no, uh, I have no official, um, information on that, but my guess is that leaving California? I think, I think that’s what they’ll.
Decided to do. Now. I know I’ve got extremely close friends that I do business with that that think they should move it. And I’ve got extremely close friends that I do business with that think they should keep it there. And, um, I just, don’t, I’m not an indecisive person, but I can S I can understand both sides.
And, uh, you know, I would, I would probably, I would probably guess that, that leave it there. Just kind of looking at who’s on the board and that the w w the way a lot of that, uh, a lot of that stuff goes Craig. If, if, if I also saw, and I don’t think there’s, yeah, it was probably just a rumor, but it’s still an interesting conversation.
I’m sure that will be had. Um, if California is Santa Anita Del Mar, um, mandated synthetic tracks, again, would that influence your decision to. Um, to support those as Glen Hill forum, would you, would you go back and race there on that if they kind of worked through some of the other problems or, um, I mean, obviously it kind of works good for your horses.
A lot of turf reading and the horses that you guys have. I mean, our, our problem, our problem, wasn’t the wasn’t that they’re that they have dirt tracks there. And I don’t think that the problems necessarily go away if they get synthetic tracks. I think, I think the business there needs to look the need to build a five or 10 year plan for how they’re going to have course racing in the state of California, how they’re going to track courses that don’t have to be there, which means horses not born from California that have options to race elsewhere.
Um, you know, they’ve got a STIX program, but the rest of it, you never know what you never know. Um, when maiden races are going to go, you never know when allowance races are going to go. Uh, they’ve gotten rid of the Hill, whether that’s permanent or not, um, remains to be seen. I’ve seen the statistics on the Hill and the statistics say more horses breakdown.
Then they do, um, in races or turf races. Anecdotally, we certainly don’t have a million starters or whatever, hundreds of thousands of starters, but we’ve raised a lot of horses on them. So, um, we’ve won a lot of stakes races on the Hill. Uh, back then, uniformity, there’s a race name for him. He raced in the early seventies.
He, he was, uh, he, he won multiple stakes on the Hill. Um, poncho train ran on the Hill, broken dreams, ran on the Hill. Um, yeah, you know, caribou club runs on the Hill, like a lot, lots of horses that we’ve had have raised. Down that Hill. And the only horse we’ve ever had get hurt on the Hill was Diversey Harbor.
And she was racing in amount of quarter race. And it was kind of the first eight of a mile by, and she ran up on heels, um, you know, right on that, on that dirt crossover. So we, I haven’t personally had horses get hurt on the Hill. Now you have to run a very sound horse on the Hill because they’re going at a high speed downhill.
Um, and then they have to be athletic enough to cross over the dirt and then kind of rebreak. So it’s a, it’s a, it’s a race that, um, I think it’s great to watch, but you know, it sets horses up, you know, if you want to run a horse a mile, but not maybe early in their career, It, it, it kind of, it sets horses up for a longer race without the Hill in California.
You’ve got a choice five on the turf or a mile neither one might be what isn’t essentially good, necessarily good for a young horse. Um, if they go back to synthetic that will solve certain problems. Um, the synthetic tracks have less breakdowns on the track. At least that’s what the statistics say. And, and, and, and maybe that should be the priority for the whole business.
Um, you know, you can’t train horses in 58 and for four races in a row on synthetic, um, the horses perform differently on synthetic than they do on dirt. They have a different gate on synthetic than they do on dirt, different horses, Excel on synthetic than they do on dirt. Um, The synthetic track changes in California, where they have sorta cool moist mornings, too hot, dry afternoons with sun baking on it.
So I think when the synthetic tracks came in, there was, there was this theory, they were called all weather and people took that to mean like no maintenance, but they actually take a tremendous amount of maintenance. Now when they got the track at Hollywood, right, which that, that was the best check that probably ever had in California, that pro ride in, in, at, at Hollywood.
Um, that was a great track. Horses stayed sound on it, and it actually performed like dirt. As far as watching a race, dirt form translated to it. Speed was good. Um, So is that, is that a great surface? Like may, maybe it is. Um, but I, you know, I think that if they switched to synthetic and California, there’s a lot of work that needs to go into it.
And it’s going to upset many, many, many people that are there. Um, you know, the, the, you know, everybody kind of complained about it. If you look at the, I’ll get back into your pedigrees. But if, if, if you look at the Hollywood fraternity that was run on synthetic, racetracks it into mischief, one pioneer, the novel one and violence one, um, intimacy CIF was by Harlan’s holiday.
Pioneer of the Nile was by empire maker and violence is by Medallia Doro hall. Um, they’re all great scallions today. Violence has something to do to be as good as those two, but, um, you know, they’re, they’re all leading sires today and. No, the whole pedigree doesn’t translate. I’m not sure that that’s exactly right, but you know, it’s, it’s, uh, looking at lucky was, uh, he was a two year old champion on synthetic in Baffert.
I mean, he had, he had the best horses and he figured out how to train on it. So if they switched to synthetic, I think people will adjust. Um, you know, it probably appeases some of the, some of the anti horse racing people a little bit, but they’ll find something else to complain about. Um, I don’t think anything’s wrong with the dirt track right now.
I think that the rain and the cold weather and the trainers not adjusting the track, not doing a nearly good enough job in maintaining that track for those kind of six weeks, that it was, seemed like a nightmare every day. No has created the problem that they have now. Um, but you know, it’s not, it’s not my call to make.
The only way we would go back to California is if they got a large enough horse population, that it was a place that it became a place once again, that you could develop horses. And right now it’s not that they can in the Midwest or the Mid-Atlantic or the Northeast there’s four or five different racetracks that horses can go to depending on their level.
And in San Anita, you are Southern California. You just have that one track and racing three days a week, um, with a third of the racist for California breads and, you know, plenty of cheap horses. They’re so claiming races, it’s not a place that you can have a stable of. Young horses that you’re trying to get break they’re made and go through their conditions and hopefully become state horses.
Great stuff, Craig. All right. We’ve gone over on all this stuff. And I think it was important that we did because there’s a lot of great information in what we’ve been talking to. Especially you, Craig have been talking about new to JK, but I do want to get to some, ask it I’ll segue with my silly age-ism story.
Um, and then I’ll just ask you each for a highlight and that’s really going to be all the time that we have. Maybe we’ll put a pin in it and bring it back, uh, at some future time. But. So outside of English, race tracks, you’ll sometimes see these women. I was later informed that it was a Romany woman and she’s trying to put a little, uh, I dunno if it’s Clover at, it looked like some sort of desiccated stick in my pocket as a new Yorker.
Don’t appreciate strangers coming up to me and touching me. So I did a juke and jive where the, of Barry Sanders in his prime to get away from one of the, this woman, not even knowing what was going on, just knowing some strange woman who was trying to touch me and not being too into that. And so my friend Decklin Ricks, who I was with Decklin is probably late twenties, early thirties.
Terrific. I don’t want it to go to his head, but a very, very good, very good tipster slash writer when it comes to, uh, when it comes to English and Irish racing, uh, who had learned previously that I was 15 years or so, his senior said to me, he’d never seen anyone as old as me move that fast. So Gary, you’re not the only one being disrespected for your, for, for actually being an adult by these, uh, by these 30 somethings that we deal with, we have that we have that to bond about.
So I’ll start with you, Jake. Hey, uh, how’d you do this? Ask it, give me a, give me a highlight. Give me an overview and a highlight from each of you on this year’s Royal Ascot meeting. Um, you know, off the track. I think that, that my highlight was in, and I’m not just saying this, like I had Tuesday and Wednesday, I, I spent, uh, At, uh, Craig’s house hanging out in his, uh, in his man cave as it was.
And, uh, as it were and watching, watching the races and, and I think two or three times over the two days we looked at each other and we’re like, I wish this happened all the time. Like 9:00 AM raising, like phenomenal. So, uh, that was, that was a lot of fun, uh, being able to do that. And then obviously I think that the highlights for me were, or, uh, Frankie’s day when he won those four races.
And, and then also, uh, what blue point did, um, coming back and that short time and winning those two great ones. I thought that was magnificent and probably one of the coolest. Five day spans of horse racing, feats I’ve ever seen in my short racing life. Haley Turner belongs in the conversation, strata various winning for a third year in a row.
The stories were coming fast and furious. I put Bluepoint up as my favorite as well. The two group ones in five days doing such different things. Craig, how about you? What did you think of the meat over all and what was your high point? I mean, I thought that the, I thought the same, I mean, blue point, you know, you know, having won the, uh, the golden Shaheen in Dubai and then winning the two sprint races, the King Stan and the diamond Jubilee.
I mean, that’s, that’s pretty wild. Um, no, there hasn’t been a horse since Shaw’s year that did that at Ascot. So I mean that’s, that’s kind of all time of stuff. Uh, He’s retired now. I don’t exactly know why, unless there’s an injury. Um, I would say the highlight for me was just w what’s that there isn’t, but yeah, it doesn’t, it it’s a little strange.
I mean, maybe they just want it to go out on a high note, but I I’m not, they were going to stand the horse in Australia and have to get down there for the breeding season. I get it. But they, it doesn’t even seem like he’s going to do that, but anyway, um, it’s their horse and they’ve got thousands more, so they’ll do what they want.
Um, I thought that the, the real highlight for me is just the, the coverage on, on NBC sports and on NBC. I mean, it was, it was like four hours of literally riveting television every day. Um, and you know, it was just very entertaining. It’s like, even if you don’t, it’s kind of like the world cup, even if you don’t, aren’t the biggest soccer fans.
If the tournament’s in Europe, you can get into a. You can, you can get into the habit of turning it on in the morning and getting excited, watching a racist bedding. Um, it wasn’t my best gambling that I’ve ever done. Uh, I probably had a good day Tuesday, not so good of a day. Wednesday tried to do it from my phone cause I was in fair health Thursday and Friday.
And then one, a little bit back on Saturday, but overall a slight loser, but really enjoyable racing the Stradivarius race. I mean, that’s, uh, that, that horse can be a legendary horse. Um, like you guys said, the Frankie Dettori was great. I enjoyed the first couple of days in the rain and the conditions. Um, didn’t look like too fun to be there, but it’s like watching a football game in a, in a terrible, terrible weather.
It’s like with high desks, it’s like, you know, you’re in the right place on your couch. So it was enjoyable and, you know, make sure next year either be there or blackout that week to watch it because it’s, it’s really. It’s it’s really, to me, it’s, it’s first-class racing and they do it right. You can’t give all the information yet, but I think there are going to be some great opportunities for American betters to check, ask it off their bucket list.
Come 20, 20 more details to follow on that. My only other note on ask it is that after the unbelief, just to interrupt for JK. No, for us. Thank God. Thank God. They did not have a pick four because I sat with him for two days and he could not pick one. So let’s say they did not. I love it. Well, and, and all he had to do was follow along with the, in the money, uh, in the money podcast, blog, and every race, every race you’d go.
Yeah. That horse was tipped to us. Yeah. Every one that he didn’t back was tipped by Rob dove on the podcast. And I think after this performance, I’m going to upgrade him from one of the top 10 pro punters in the UK today to the number one pro punter in the UK today collapsed to you, dove much appreciated.
Unlike these guys, I just followed you in and therefore ended up with a lot more cash in my pocket. If only Kamari and space blues get up, it is the best week of my life. But Hey, I ain’t complaining it paid for a lot of champagne. Final thought from you, Craig Berneke before we, uh, we send it away today.
No, thanks for having me on. Um, and uh, hopefully they’ll get this California thing I figured out because we needed as an industry and, uh, Historically, it’s been one of the main places, so hopefully you’ve got to hope the worst is over. Um, but we’ll see. Okay. A closing thought, uh, man, um, Saratoga is around the corner.
I can feel it. All right. Looking forward to it. I figure when I asked Craig for the closing thought, you know, to prep yourself for the closing thought, but I’m giving you, I’m clearly giving you too much. I was, I’m not joking. I was sitting there the entire time thing. I give him money. What am I going to say?
What am I going to say? And then you throw it to me. I didn’t have any of this up. I hear that on the Fox sports shows where you’ve been doing such a fantastic job and that’s all the time we have on this edition of the, in the money players podcast. I want to thank Craig Berneke. I want to thank Jonathan.
Kenshin want, wanna thank DJ unstable for some tech help this morning. Most of all, I want to thank all of you. The listeners you make the show so much fun to do special shout outs to our sponsors, thoroughbred retirement foundation, and 10 strike racing. This show’s been a production of in the money media in the money media’s business manager is drew Courtney I’m Peter Thomas foreign, a towel.
May you win all your photos.
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