Stronach mends fences?

January 17, 2001 3:07 AM
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A Who’s Who of the Thoroughbred Racing Industry were on hand at Gulfstream Park on Sunday morning for an "open forum" called to order by Frank Stronach, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Magna Entertainment Corp., (owner of Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita, seven other thoroughbred and one harness track).

The marathon session, which began at 9:00 AM and ran 3-1/2 hours, was attended by such higher ups as Tom Meeker of Churchill Downs, Barry Schwartz of The New York Racing Association, Joe DeFrancis of the Maryland Jockey Club, Tom Carey of Hawthorne, Bob Greene of Philadelphia Park and D.G. Van Clief who is President of the Breeder’s Cup, as well as other racing officials and members from the media from coast-to-coast.

A very interesting situation came about when Stronach and John Brunetti of Hialeah Race Course shared the dais and discussed the possibility of both racing venues running against each other in 2002. Brunetti asked in effect why Stronach didn’t take his fight for next year’s dates against a much more formidable opponent, such as Calder Race Course, than the dwindling Grand Dame Hialeah which could be on her last leg.

Stronach’s biggest concern is that the Board of Director’s of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association be elected the old fashioned way - by election. He does not, and will not, have anything to do with the NTRA if the board members are placed by bloodlines - that is, who your father or grandfather was. A mega-group of 22 other defected race tracks stand firmly waiting in the wings ready to rejoin the group, if and when Mr. S. gives them the okay.

When all was said and done, a positive tone emitted from the 200+ in attendance. We must, of course, wait and see to have any indication if this is all nothing but rhetoric, but I am very good at reading people and let me tell you this, I have gained a great amount of admiration and respect for a man that came to Canada some 40+ years ago from Austria and started washing dishes in a Toronto hospital. Good luck, Frank, you’ve got me in your corner.

Horses to Watch:

UNRESTRAINED checked and bobbled at the break, then made a 4 wide move and flattened out still finishing third.

SIREN SONG off at 6/5 was making a huge move when checked and blocked and still only missed by a neck under Pat Day who is off to a sluggish start.

ORESKY’S BOY drew the dreadful rail at seven-eighths, sprinted clear on a closing bias day. Better draw and the boy might get the money.

MEMORIC’S MARCO steadied while going into the first turn and wide throughout and still made a monster move to get the second spot - almost getting the win. Won’t be long now.

STUKA’S PRINCESS had to break from the awful 10 post which caused a four wide trip and then had to check leaving the 5-year-old no chance to get anything.

PERCHANCE TO DREAM was very high on trainer Wolfson’s list. We respect Marty’s opinion and will give this speedy one another shot. Misjudged ride as she moved way too soon was the order of the day.

OATSEE is a three-year-old from Carl Nafzger’s barn who breezed 5 furlongs in :59-4/5 and galloped out six in 1:12-4/5. This Unbridled filly is coming around nicely for her first race of 2001.

CHERRY is a maiden non-starter that has been reported to be the real deal. She has said to be the "dog’s dangler".

Gulfstream Goings:

Gulfstream puts the emphasis on 3-year-old racing and the upcoming week’s action will give the classic-aged set a chance to highlight. The $100K Holy Bull Stakes (G3) is on Saturday and the $100K Herecomesthebride Stakes (G3) is on Sunday. Unbeaten Asongandaprayer and Drumcliff are likely in the Holy Bull and the Herecomesthebride could include: Platinum Tiara, Open Minded, Voodoo Dancer among others...Joe Orseno reports that two-year-old champ Macho Uno, owned by Magna Capo Frank Stronach, will be on the racetrack today (Tuesday) to work in preparation for his three-year-old campaign...Must see at Gulfstream on February 9th – Jockey Richard Migliore will be off to Saudi Arabia to ride there this week. Migliore is flying out on Tuesday to ride horses for King Said at Riyadh on Wednesday and Thursday then will fly back to this country on Friday to ride at Gulfstream on Saturday. America’s leading sex-pert Dr. Ruth - to deliver a seminar on her famous topic. What the heck is going on here?????