Put down your racing form…

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… an Israeli model is 2009 SI swimsuit cover girl

Without the excitement of Santa Anita Park racing to talk about on this site due to TrackNet’s Nevada blackout, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue will have to entertain us for the moment. 

According to COED magazine with an assist from SPORTSbyBROOKS, this years cover model is Bar Refaeli, a 23-year-old Israeli woman. The announcement was made Monday during a taping of “Late Show with David Letterman.” 

Before today’s official word, Refaeli, who is dating actor Leonardo DiCaprio, was a slight favorite to be Sports Illustrated’s top selection for the cover.

Watch Bob Baffert’s latest KY Derby contender win Saturday’s Lewis Stakes — video by Larry Zap

Source: TrackNet and NV casinos “very close to a deal.”

I know a guy that talked to someone Monday with inside information on the negotiations between TrackNet and the Nevada Pari-Mutuel Association.

He says that the two sides have been making substantial progress and are “very close to a deal” that will bring back simulcast wagering to Nevada casinos from Santa Anita, Gulfstream, Golden Gate, Laurel and Oaklawn.

Over the weekend, the tracks sent a new proposal and the casinos are considering it.

On Jan. 28, TrackNet prohibited 80 Nevada casinos from taking pari-mutuel wagers on five race tracks, forcing casinos to book the bets or take no action. Since then, Santa Anita, Gulfstream, Golden Gate, Oaklawn and Laurel have been blacked out in Nevada. No television signals are allowed, which means horseplayers cannot watch races coming from any TrackNet venue except Fair Grounds.

TrackNet, a partnership of Magna Entertainment and Churchill Downs, is negotiating with the Nevada Pari-Mutuel Association over the fees casinos pay to take pari-mutuel bets on TrackNet’s races.

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