Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

28 April 2011

The Return of Big Sandy




After six months racing at Aqueduct, a place despised by 100% of the scribes that cover the sport for the daily newspapers the racing operations move to Belmont. The meet opens up with a lot of interesting notes; reduced base wagers, the return of the train to the track, and the annual stakes shuffle.

Pick four? Can barely pick one!

The base wager for the pick four is now fifty cents with the start of the spring/summer meet. Anything that can bring more players into a lucrative wager is always a positive thing. The dime superfectas are a staple at the NYRA racetracks since its inception in 2007 and the Gulfstream dime pick six built up a pool of five million on the mandatory pay out day at its most recent meet. The low base wagers are a wonder for the bankroll for any horseplayer, they offer the chance for a big score for a low risk.

Offering the pick four wager at fifty cents gives one a chance to include more runners in one race as back up if a race is a skull buster. A pick four that is 4x4x4x4 would cost $256 a year ago will now be half of that. The downside to this is that a single longshot does not inflate the payoffs for the wager like it used to. The best strategy for this new base of the wager is playing some combinations more than other combinations, ensuring that you are paid a fair price for your opinion.

Use it or lose it

The LIRR is restoring daily service back to its Belmont branch; you’re welcome. More than likely this train will see an automatic increase in commuters due to the OTB branches not being open. Instead of the regulars going to the 38th & Broadway OTB parlor they will likely be walking four blocks to Penn Station to catch the early double.

Deeper than the fact that racing fans have their own rail service returning is the fact that getting the MTA to return defunct or abandoned service is really hard to do. The subway out to Aqueduct was at one point run by the Long Island Railroad. The NYC Transit Authority bought the whole line in 1955 and they only kept the trains in service from Aqueduct out to Rockaway as part of the A train. The line used to start at Rego Park and if they kept that around today there would be no need for the Air Train.

Pletcher will probably win those two races

The Matron and Belmont Futurity are back on the schedule in a new spot on the Independence Day weekend. It has been reduced to six furlongs and will go up against the Churchill juvenile races to be run on that same weekend. Both of the Belmont counterparts will probably draw five and Pletcher will have three in each race, one of which will probably be 1/10 and lose.

The Peter Pan is back as well and in its customary place on the weekend between the Derby and the Preakness. The stakes races on the NY circuit has been shifted around a lot in recent memory, the Withers was not run last weekend and in its place was the Jerome. The Bed O’Roses will be at Belmont for another year after spending decades at Aqueduct. The Gazelle was at Aqueduct last year after spending years at Belmont as a last run to the Breeders’ Cup. The changes to the stakes schedule reflects more on how little trainers and owners want to run their horses now as opposed to forty years ago when there was a big race every weekend on the NY circuit.

1 comment:

G. Calabrese said...

Love the old racing transit stuff. Thanks for posting that Joe.