Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

28 June 2010

Uncoupled Entries Approved In New York

In a change that should give handle a significant boost, the New York State Racing and Wagering Board on Wednesday approved a rule that would uncouple same-trainer, different-owner entries in all races at state tracks.

The rule goes into effect on July 14, the date the next state registry is published. That should allow the New York Racing Association to uncouple entries as early as closing weekend of the Belmont meet. Certainly, the rule will be in place when Saratoga opens on July 23. Currently, multiple horses trained by the same trainer but owned by different parties must be coupled and run as one betting interest.

"Chairman John Sabini and board members Dan Hogan and Charles Diamond were eager to get this done," said Joe Mahoney, a spokesman for the racing and wagering board. "They think this will be a definite plus for the racing industry and they are particularly pleased to put this new rule on the books in advance of the Saratoga racing season. Chairman Sabini is very optimistic that this can help NYRA build handle during the upcoming meet."

While NYRA building handle seems like a reasonable pursuit I think it should not be done against the interest of integrity. While uncoupled entries seems like an innocent detail this really has the potential to impact racing's credibility while littering the product with falsely run intramural races. Like oil in the gulf destroying a vast eco-system you only need one ruinous incident -trainers with multiple entries fixing competition-to decimate the last of racing's trustworthiness. Without credibility there is no more racing.

This rule will affect racing in two ways. The positive effect is that the racing secretary's job just got much easier. Hard to fill races like mares going long on the dirt or higher class allowance races can now fill. Suppose three horses want to run in an allowance. No matter how hard the racing secretary tries he can not find three more to fill the race. All they need to do to make the race go is enter an additional horses from the three barns that already entered. It is in these barns interest to enter these horses so the motivation is built in to enter hopeless race filler with uncoupled entries. In the past these horses would have been coupled in the wagering and the race still could not be carded.

The negative effect is that competition will be reduced. Will these additional horses be competitive? No. Are they even trying to win? Maybe, maybe not but the race will run even if all the runners are not trying. The purse money will be distributed when the falsely run race is over. What the public gets is the opportunity to bet on a falsely run race. It is like betting on weighted dice or a stacked deck; some will know who the real competitors are while most will be in the dark.

The zeitgeist is that daily uncoupled entries will decimate competition. Think allowance races with 6 horses from 2 barns- say 3 from Pletcher and 3 from Dutrow. The 2010 Mother Goose will be the prototype for the daily allowance race. Five horse race three of them from the same barn. Do you think that this was a truly run race? Can we expect entry-mates to duel each other? Uncoupled entry racing is not a real race, it becomes a friendly show of teamwork as barn-mates escort each other to the wire at a pleasure-like pace. It is unfortunate that legislation like this passes with no real input or protection from those who play the horses and fund the purses. The result will be half crooked intramural games where conflicts of interest will play a big role in who wins and this will be info that the public does not have.

The worst part about uncoupled entries is that it greatly increases the chance of a racing fixing incident to occur. It will be the same barns providing multiple entries so that a big horse can get an allowance race- or what is worse barns will be able to create betting coups for the large owner-bettor. perhaps a hopeless looking horse could be entered while the same barns has a 1-5 shot in the same race. With multiple interests having conflicts of interests it would not be that hard to sneak that 35-1 shot home ahead of the 1-5 shot. If word gets out that the fix was in this could be a public relations disaster.

Behind the scenes there will be all sorts of gyrations to make these races go - this is stuff that wagering public is not privy to and stuff that further reduces transparency in a wagering game whose prerequisite for survival is the utmost in integrity. This rule is a huge shot against integrity- you can expect two or three races on a card that are not races at all- it may fly over the head of most but this new rule is a major shot against racing integrity in New York.

27 June 2010

Like Mother Like Daughter~Play Of The Day

Belmont Park Race 9

Looks like Senada is ready for a breakout race today at Belmont Park. It took a graded placed filly to beat her last race; there are no such fillies entered today. The three year old daughter of Owsley should be ready for this race. Senada's mother loved Owsley loved Belmont Park, loved the inner turf and loved 10 furlongs. In fact Owsley won the 2002 New York handicap over the inner turf at this distance. Today is Senada's turn to follow in her dams hoofprints. Who is better training a young horse to negotiate ten furlongs than Barclay Tagg? He has given this $800K purchase plenty of time, has schooled her through 5 works and should have her ready to win. It looks like Senada is going to stalk the pace patsy Gold d' Oro. When Senada takes over at the top of the lane the gaggle of closers entered will run out of gas in the lane over this 10 furlong trip. With horses in the race from the well bet Mott, Clemente and Chad Brown barns we should get a square price on Senada today.

Race 9 Win #8 Senada

17 6-2-1
strike rate 35%
cumulative return $73.60
$2 ROI $4.33
average winner $12.27

25 June 2010

Saturday play of the day

Belmont, Race 9

The Mother Goose Stakes

Yet another year and this race once again draws a small field, the Shuvee and the Ogden Phipps have this same problem on a yearly basis.

#1 Biofuel (5/1)

Taking a flyer on the maple leaf special shipping in for this race. Devil May Care's last race was the Kentucky Derby and she is certain to take the majority of the action here making for little in the way of value. This year's Derby has been a negative race with about half the field coming back with losing efforts off that race so it may be worth a shot to play against what will be a heavy favorite. In Biofuel's last race she closed into a slow pace going two turns and last year she faced a very classy juvenile field that included prominent NY bred Franny Freud.

Current Record:
2 0-0-0

Prairie preview

Tonight is the first of two nights of multi stakes cards at Prairie Meadows Racetrack in Iowa highlighted by the Cornhusker Handicap, which has served as a feeder race into the Whitney Handicap in recent years. A preview of the stakes action is in order, tonight's stakes action features two sprints and a route.

Saylorville Stakes

Seven fillies and mares line up here and Palanka City most likely will go off the favorite. Her last three have been convincing scores with her most recent being a tune up race where she carried 126 pounds and cruised home, the 7/2 morning line is a pipe dream on this one. Realistically her odds will be 2/1 or less and the 2/1 ceiling is being generous.

Secret Gypsy is listed as the morning line favorite at 3/1 and this one will likely overlay the given odds. She has shown a slight resurgence in form with a bullet work and a second place finish in a stakes race at Churchill, but she is nowhere near the same horse she was back in late 2008 into early 2009 when she won the Grade 2 Distaff handicap.

Mindy Queen is in sharp recent form with a recent win over the surface and wins in three out of her five recent starts. However it must be noted that those five starts have been stretched out from August 2009 until recently.

Iowa Distaff

Six older fillies and mares square off and a case can be made for any of the six to make the winner's circle. Wynning Ride is coming east for the shot at the prize money after a tough beat at Hollywood in the Milady Handicap and her only two dirt starts were at the classic distance of 1 1/4 miles. Chorageous, Hightap, and Patti's Regal Song all exit the Wild Rose stakes which is the local prep for this race so the trip over surface shouldn't hurt them. Euphony is perfect on the surface at two for two and she won this race last year.

Iowa Sprint

Three years ago this race produced champion sprinter Benny The Bull. Majesticperfection was an impressive winner two back reeling off a final quarter in 23.15 seconds drawing away if this horse stays sound he will be a force to be dealt with in the sprint division. The second and third place finishers out of the Aristides Stakes return here, Cash Refund and Atta Boy Roy. They switch spots in the starting gate this time with Cash Refund breaking inside of Atta Boy Roy. This should help Cash Refund who was caught wide over the Churchill conveyor belt last out.

21 June 2010

Post triple crown headlines

Two news items of interest after this last weekend of racing, both items from drf.com.

Mike Lee winner to move up another step in the Jim Dandy


Provided all goes well between now and the end of July, Friend or Foe will most likely make his next start in the $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga, trainer John Kimmel said Monday.

This is certainly a bold move by the connections of this prospect, he beat a compact field that featured Ibboyee who could not handle the cutback and General Maximus who set a rapid pace that led to his defeat. The triple crown season may be over, but the three year old season is still in full swing. Colizeo was tough to beat in the Northern Dancer and could be a dangerous foe to the top of the division.

Off to the breeding shed


Flash in the pan Line of David has been retired after being sold to B. Wayne Hughes, he was meant to start in the grade 3 Will Rogers Stakes. His only stakes win was a Grade 1 win on a speed biased Oaklawn surface and he ran only seven times. I'm sure this one will really further the breed much like Sinister Minister did.

20 June 2010

Play of the Day and Booze of the Day

The Independence Day stakes weekend looms on the horizon and then racing has a bit of a breather from the big racing up until the opening of the botique meets of Saratoga and Del Mar. At this point of the year I refer to Belmont as summer Aqueduct due to the outstanding cards they draw in that span of time. On to the play of the day.....

Belmont Park, Race 9

#1, Make Note (10/1)

There are two heavy hitters in here that will take a bulk of the action, multiple stakes winner Ibboyee and General Maximus. They are the most likely candidates to win, but offer little in the way of value. Make Note faced General Maximus last out and today gets a six pound shift in the weights and gets an inside post which would provide for a ground saving trip.


Pick record: 1 0-0-0

Booze to accompany the Play of the Day in the likely event that part does not work out

Cisco Peach

I cannot do this fine beverage justice with my writeup, I'll let Bumwine.com do the honors with this excerpt:

Known as "liquid crack," for its reputation for wreaking more mental havoc than the cheapest tequila. Something in this syrupy hooch seems to have a synapse-blasting effect not unlike low-grade cocaine. The label insists that the ingredients are merely "citrus wine & grape wine with artificial flavor & artificial color," but anyone who has tried it knows better. Tales of Cisco-induced semi-psychotic fits are common. Often, people on a Cisco binge end up curled into a fetal ball, shuddering and muttering paranoid rants. Nudity and violence may well be involved too. Everyone who drinks this feels great at first, and claims, "It's not bad at all, I like it." But, you really do not want to mess around with this one, because they all sing a different tune a few minutes later. And by tune, I mean the psychotic ramblings of a raging naked bum.

17 June 2010

Make It A Double~ Play Of The Day

Belmont Park Race 7

Yesterday we had dos plays today we are playing Dos Hombres. In a field full of question marks Dos Hombres offers value. I love how this guy was able to close from off the pace in the inner turf last year. He should love the widener turf and we should get an honest pace set up.

W # 7 Dos Hombres

16 5-2-1
strike rate 31%
cumulative return $66.60
$2 ROI $4.16
average winner $13.32

16 June 2010

Magic Showers~Play Of The Day

Belmont Park Race 8

Today we will offer a second play of the day.
Magic Lion looks like the magic pick here off the claim. Should dominate the pace and draw off for fun. The track will be packed down in anticipation of showers. You can anticipate showers of cash when Magic Lion wins and you have him for monster bucks. This colt should be fresh fit and ready to roar. My key horse to cash the grand slam and other wagers.

Win #3 Magic Lion

14 4-2-1
strike rate 29%
cumulative return $62.80
$2 ROI $4.49
average winner $15.70

Milking The Inner~Play Of The Day

Belmont Park Race 6

PJ Campo has been kind enough to card a plethora of turf races and this has been financially beneficial for the power cap. Today we see that the forth choice on the morning line(5-1)in race 6 -lone speed Muhtasib- is the most likely winner of this 10 furlong maiden race. This guy should be loose on the lead and poised to take this field wire to wire. Looks like a win bet and a will key him in the trifecta in first and second slot. This is a turf only play.

Win #6 Muthasib

14 4-2-1
strike rate 29%
cumulative return $62.80
$2 ROI $4.49
average winner $15.70

12 June 2010

Saturday Musings At Elmont Embellished With A Play Of The Day

Race 4 O. Phipps Handicap GI- Unrivaled belle is indeed without a rival in this race. She should win for fun at 3-5. Funny Moon and Life At Ten are pretenders. Unrivaled Took down the mighty Rachel last out and has been working bullets for the on-fire Mott barn. Would not bet against this favorite as she states her case for 2nd best filly or mare in the country.

Race 8- Major Class relief here for Raffie's Rose who finally escapes the brilliant Franny Freud. This filly has some talent and at 12-1 will offer mondo value. The right key horse in a monster betting race. Pretty Cozy returns from her flop as the play of the day. I liked her on the inner turf as lone speed going 1 16th much more than 7 furlongs on the widener. I think that she will flop today at a short price. Will also cover 3,7,9,10 in this race in pick 4s.

Race 10- Pardon the pun but Financially Secure looks like a safe bet today. The right key horse in the late pick 3/pick 4. Might even be a good bail out horse as the New York degenerates eschew a good thing like Financially Secure for hopeless longshots in their desperate attempt to get even after a day of losing. Favorites are usually a rather generous price in the Belmont finale. Financially Secure will be my key horse and play of the day.

Belmont Race 10

Win #12 Financially Secure

14 4-2-1
strike rate 29%
cumulative return $62.80
$2 ROI $4.49
average winner $15.70

11 June 2010

Six years and running without the Breeder's Cup

From drf.com


The 2011 Breeder's cup will be at Churchill Downs, this marks the second time there will be back to back years of the same host track.

This is an idea I have had for a while, NYRA should go head to head with the Breeder's Cup. New York Racing Association should have done this when Santa Anita had back to back hosting duties, the connections of the dirt runners would have jumped into rich dirt stakes racing even if it was run on the same days as the Breeder's Cup. Last year was the final running of the Ladies Handicap and the Stuyvesant Handicap was postponed due to a lack of entries, if those races had million dollar purses they would have attracted extremely classy fields no matter what it was running against.

I hope that the slot machines get installed as soon as possible just so this type of idea was feasible. The Breeder's Cup has far too many races on tap now with two juvenile turf races, a dirt (synthetic) mile race, and a turf sprint. The dirt mile is a race that waters down the classic and sprint simultaneously by taking out of the pool for both those races and there is no real lead up to the juvenile turfs, it is just the hangover from the dirt juvenile division. Also a turf sprint championship race is the NY racing secretary's dream come to fruition, look forward to six turf sprints on one card at Saratoga folks! The two day gender division does nothing for the sport, it kept Zenyatta from running in front of a larger national audience on a Saturday afternoon in 2008. It also displaced three of the stalwarts of the Breeder's Cup card to the friday card (Distaff, Juvenile Fillies, Filly & Mare Turf).

The Breeder's Cup has become a beast that cannot be fed, the Jockey Club Gold Cup has turned from a 1 1/2 miles premiere championship event to a prep race. Before the dirt mile the Cigar Mile was a race that on average featured a full field with a mix of distance runners and sprint runners in the same field. Since 2007 the Cigar Mile in two out of three years has had short fields due to the fact that there is an extra race a month earlier that connections of horses with a preference for the mile distance can wait for. The Remsen and Demoiselle, two juvenile races after the Breeder's Cup usually feature small fields due to the fact that anyone who ran last month in the Breeder's Cup has called it a year.

The point to this rant being that the Breeder's Cup racing program has become unwieldly and takes away from other points of interest in the racing schedule. The only way to correct this is for a racetrack, any racetrack to run a a large purse card near or on the Breeder's Cup day to set up some competition and reform what the Breeder's Cup has done to the surrounding schedule of championship racing.

Honorable Late Pick 3~Play Of The Day

Belmont Park Race 9
Looks like lone speed on #1 Honorable Truth. This mare should have things all her own way on the front end. The amazing Rudy Rodriguez should have her ready to take this field wire to wire. My play here is to single her at the end of a pick 3 that will go 5,8,9 / ALL/ 1 and a little pick 3 punch play of ALL / 3,6 / 1. If Honorable Truth scratches and her entrymate runs we will consider this no play. For statistical purposes this will count as a win bet on Honorable Truth.

Race 7- Looks like the three ML choices are all speed horses. Hoping one of three price horses pick up the pieces to start the pick 3 right.

Race 8 - Looks like a fairly wide open event but I favor Granted Tiger on the cutback and the European raider Yorksters Girl.

Race 9 Win #1 Honorable Truth

13 3-2-1
strike rate 23%
cumulative return $58.80
$2 ROI $4.960
average winner $19.60

08 June 2010

Recent racing news and much more

First the racing news with the source being DRF.com.

Triple Crown part two, electric boogaloo

No shocker here, if all three classic winners stay healthy they will square off at the spa on August 28, it should be a great race if this happens. While on the subject of the recent classics, the Derby may end up being the weakest race out of the bunch. Ice Box came back flat and Super Saver could not repeat his effort (the perfect trip in Louisville had everything to do with his win). Only three out of the eight that have come out of that race have made any kind of impact Jackson Bend and Lookin At Lucky had tough trips at Churchill and redeemed themselves in the Preakness. Discreetly Mine may be more of a sprinter than a distance horse with his recent effort in the Woody Stephens as well making his Derby run a throwout race.

Rachel may run this Saturday

The good racing cards did not end with the Belmont Stakes, Churchill Downs has a big day of racing coming up with the older horses being the main attraction, one of which may be the reigning horse of the year. Looking at the tv schedule (also on DRF.com, http://www.drf.com/row/tv_sched.html) for racing indicates that the only means of seeing this race would be through HRTV or a track feed from one of the internet wagering sites. So much for racing keeping up the momentum following the triple crown. I guess ESPN really needs to show the world series of volleyball or the college slapfighting championships instead of horse racing on a dead saturday afternoon.

Nooooooobody hit six, time to break open the piggybank

I can imagine that Drosselmeyer already has quite the fan club amongst pick six players after inducing a massive carryover, there is speculation of a three million carryover for the Wednesday card at Belmont. The only track that comes to mind with seven figure carryovers is Santa Anita during the winter. Speaking of the pick six.....

Wednesday, Race 8 Belmont selection and booze to drown sorrows in/celebrate afterwards

#3, I Ain't No Saint (5/1)

His last race was a decent race producing a winner at Monmouth on sunday and the one-three finishers in a race at Philadephia Park on May 18. The small field assembled should keep him near to the pace where he is most effective.

The booze to go on a bender after the race depending on the results:

Wild Irish Rose, I took this picture after leaving the Belmont Stakes while waiting for my bus at Jamaica. You clean up the area all you want, but the bumwine remains the same, more fun reading on this fine drink is here: http://bumwine.com/wildirishrose.html

06 June 2010

2010 Belmont Stakes recap

Six stakes races including the third jewel of the triple crown were on tap and 45,243 were on hand to witness the day's events. The attendance number was the lightest number since 1996 when 40,797 showed up according to the NY Daily News. However there was a total handle of $74 million for the day of racing, that seems like decent handle. The next supercard of racing that NYRA will host is the Travers stakes day card where there will be five or six stakes races on the same card.

There was a person dressed up as a horse patrolling the grounds throughout the day, I saw this costumed person during Memorial day weekend as well. I guess NYRA has a new mascot.

A Stray umbrella provided some entertainment too, apparently a stiff wind knocked an umbrella
off of a table somewhere near the top of the stretch and the wind kept it moving down the stretch. The masses were cheering its stretch run on and it would have passed the finish line if it wasn't for a buzzkill security guard. On to more serious matters now.

The Woody Stephens

This race was formerly known as the Riva Ridge Stakes up until 2000 or 2001. D'Funnybone sat off a hotly contested pace set by Eightyfiveinafifty and Discreetly Mine and made the most of his trip by winning in an effortless 3 1/4 length victory. The charts from this race indicated that the six furlong time in this race was 1:09 2/5 and the final time was 1:22 3/5, the older sprinters ran 1:09 3/5 for the True North Handicap later on.

The Just A Game Stakes

Proviso won by a half length after sitting off of Speak Easy Gal early. Phola ran a good race closing into slow fractions.

The True North Handicap

Custom for Carlos was a big scratch out of this race and it reflected on the tote board, Bribon went off a tepid 5/2 favorite and rewarded his backers with a $7.50 win payout. Snapshot had no excuse this time out after sitting a perfect trip and not capitalizing on it.

The Acorn Stakes

This race kicks off the Triple Tiara sponored by Betfair and TVG, the three races in this series are the Acorn, Coaching Club American Oaks, and Alabama. The original Triple Tiara was the Acorn, Mother Goose, and Coaching Club American Oaks. The CCA Oaks used to be 1 1/2 miles, then it was shortened to 1 1/4 miles, and now it is 1 1/8 miles at Saratoga.

The wide open field of three year old fillies produced a huge win payout with Champagne d'Oro paying $81 to win beating out the 2/1 favorite Amen Hallelujah by a half length. Tanda was circling the field late, came up short in third.

The Manhattan Handicap

All Winchester had to do was run at 1 1/4 miles to get another stakes win, this was his first stakes win since his victory in the 2008 Secretariat. Gio Ponti had to wait for room and it cost him the race. The Clement exacta returned $147 with the longshot of his two runners winning.

The Belmont Stakes

Drosselmeyer was not on any live pick six tickets making for a 900,000+ carryover for Wednesday. For the second time in the triple crown this year a jockey change made all the difference with Mike Smith getting the mount instead of Kent Desormeaux. Mike Smith now has a win in each leg of the triple crown Giacomo (2005 Derby), Prarie Bayou (1993 Preakness), and this year's Belmont.

05 June 2010

Belmont Stakes~Play Of The Day

Belmont Park Race 11

Interactif is sitting on a break out race. This guy has run well at a host of tracks from distances from 5 furlongs to a mile 1 1/8th. Dirt, turf and all-weather this guy has seen every surface. The only track he didn't run at was Keeneland but I can give him a pass for that; that is a quirky surface. I think he stalks the pace, takes over and keeps going. He tries hard every time, I think he passes the test of a champion tomorrow.

While Ice Box does seems to be a likely candidate to hit the board, I think his lack of lead changing catches up to him and he falls short of the win.

Win #12 Interactif

12 3-2-1
strike rate 25%
cumulative return $58.80
$2 ROI $4.90
average winner $19.60

04 June 2010

New Theme Song For The Belmont

After supplanting 1980's song "Sidewalks Of New York" with Sinatra's New York New York now Sinatra has been vanquished for JZ's "Empire State Of Mind". This is one small steps in the effort to modernize the Belmont stakes.

NYRA marketing director Neema Ghazi clearly is looking to direct the Belmont Stakes to a 21st century theme for New York City. We all know that the racetrack is a place that can be disconnected from the latest in modern culture. Music is a known way to connect to the latest trends. The public is conditioned to listening to recorded music and when they hear this song they will feel like Belmont is a familiar place where they are used to consuming and having fun. Sort of like when Pavlov rang his bell and the dogs salivated NYRA marketing is hoping that the younger generation will "salivate for fun" at Belmont when they hear a song like this that is endlessly played on the radio. The old songs said grandma is ready to make another exacta box.

"Empire State Of Mind" celebrates what modern New York means to the world. Materialism, intense self interest and the jettisoning of the Judea-christian moral code. This song covers all three themes as JZ brags about his riches from narcotic sales. He moves on to boast about his Lexus and restaurant and then moves on to commenting on how we treat treat female visitors "Mommy took a bus trip and now she got her bust out, Everybody ride her, just like a bus route" Since we were just bragging about our material possessions and treatment of women why not comment on religion? "Hail Mary to the city your a Virgin, And Jesus can't save you life starts when the church ends." Reagrdless of the content this song is played endlessly on the radio and it will conect with a younger demographic not often seen at New York racetracks.

It is good that NYRA has selected a song that Neema Ghazi says is "quintessential 21st century theme song for New York City". Now that the Belmont has a song that will connect with young people hopefully the marketing cues will get them feeling happy and in the mood to spend at Belmont Park.

Stormy~Play Of The Day

Belmont Park Race 8

Stormy's Majesty was very impressive last year for New York stalwart Galluscio. This horse has stakes written all over him. He was game and he looks like the kind of horse who can dominate NY breds. Galluscio has him working sharply and he looks ready to roll today.

Win #4 Stormy's Majesty

11 2-2-1
strike rate 18%
cumulative return $51.6
$2 ROI $4.69
average winner $25.8

01 June 2010

Cowboys Part Due~Play Of The Day

For Wednesday 02June10

Belmont Park Race 8

The last race for Pocket Cowboys was a smasher. The reason we are keying him again -I hope it is not love- was the way he finished the last race. He kicked away to a big win; this wasn't a gut it out-close finish. Pocket Cowboys is a big horse that has proven that he loves this track/distance. Many of these horses will not get this ten furlong distance; Pocket Cowboys certainly can. While this is a step up in class with increased pace pressure the generous price is well worth the risk (15-1 ML).

W #11 Pocket Cowboys

10 2-1-1
strike rate 20%
cumulative return $51.6
$2 ROI $5.16
average winner $25.8