Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

13 May 2011

Money Money Money

The Preakness is fast approaching after the long build towards the Kentucky Derby; the connections of Dialed In will be going for a $5.5 million payday being offered for winning the Holly Bull, Florida Derby and the Preakness. If Animal Kingdom wins this race and the Belmont to become the 12th Triple Crown winner, the owner is in line for $2.4 million in total purses without any bonus.

If Dialed in does win this race it is more than likely than not that Zito will chose to skip the Belmont with this one. He has stated that this horse thrives on a light schedule, a mile and a half race three weeks out from the Preakness is definitely not in a light schedule. If there were no bonus being offered for the middle leg of the Triple Crown, it is very likely that Dialed In would be training for the Belmont.

Only one horse has a chance at the Triple Crown, Animal Kingdom. His explosive run in the Derby made this possible. Up until 2004 there was a bonus offered by Visa for any horse that could sweep the series and in addition to that they held a less known, but lucrative bonus for the points leader of the three-year-old division up until August of the racing season. Before Visa, Chrysler had a Triple Crown series bonus based on points with a million-dollar bonus for the leader in points for those who raced in all three races. No one is sponsoring the hallowed racing series this year, leaving a $2.9 million dollar gap in purse incentives between the three big races and the Magna purse sweetener.

The old saying “Money makes the horse go” can certainly be used here; Dialed In ran an even, but distant ninth in the run for the roses. The Preakness would not be on the radar of the connections of Dialed In if it weren’t for the money being offered. Ice Box ran a visually impressive second last year in the Derby for the same trainer and same owner as Dialed In, they opted to try the Belmont instead of wheeling back in two weeks for the big race in Baltimore. This only goes to show that if there is an added incentive to run that trainers and owners will find their way to the secretary’s office a lot faster than usual. Back in the early nineties there was a series of races that offered bonuses for the handicap division called the American Championship Racing Series. Those races featured full fields with top horses facing off.

If anything the slot machine parlors and card rooms probably won’t be the savoir of racing, but they do offer a new revenue stream. That revenue stream at its best can serve as a way to get horses out of the stables and back on to the racetrack. With NYRA eventually getting this new source of income, one could be hopeful that this could lead to juiced up purses with bonuses that have the possibility of attracting large fields for one of the beacons of racing in the United States.

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