Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hey Mark, can I borrow $20?

What a race! What a horse! What a story!

I'll be the first to admit that I was among the skeptics. I know he won his qualifiers and that he flashed :26.3 closing speed in his first two, but wasn't it fair to expect more out of last year's superhorse? Brian Sears certainly thought so. Maybe we all would've been less judgemental had we known of the multiple quarter cracks that were plaguing Sportswriter.

Jeff Boyd is Sportswriter's blacksmith and he's a friend of mine. I called him early last week looking for the scoop on Sportswriter's ailing tootsies. "Pete, he's going to win the North America Cup!" he told me. Neither of us would ever dare saying that loud enough for Ms. Coleman's ears to hear it because we'd have to listen to a tirade about her superstitions and blah, blah, blah. Women. "Seriously. I know he still didn't look perfect last week, but he really needed the stretching out that he got in the elim and I saw him today and he was acting like the Sports of old -- bouncing around in the cross ties, throwing his head around -- he's ready." Was he ever.

Besides the horse, I was happiest for Mark MacDonald. Listen, business is business and just as drivers are allowed to pick off of horses, it's supposed to be okay on the rare occasion that trainers and owners pick off of drivers. Still, the human side of me couldn't help but feel bad for Mark when it was announced he was getting the hook this year in favour of Brian Sears. It's funny how things go sometimes, isn't it?

This year's race saw a little more than an 11% increase in handle -- from $670,383 in '09 to $747,475 -- and the card's overall intake ($3,191,986) was just $51,287 less than last year's.

Congratulations to Jamie Smith from Prince Edward Island! "Smitty" was among those subscribers that chose Sportswriter to win The Cup and his name was chosen as the winner for dinner for two on THE PETE SHEETS. CDP or Summerside, Smitty? Thanks to all of you that participated.

Enjoy your Sunday and be sure to check tomorrow's blog for an important announcement!

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