Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

30 December 2008

Horse Of The Year

The horse of the year ran in the Ladies Classic, undefeated Zenyatta deserves the honors. Curlin started the year off in sterling form, had an aggressive campaign planned that terminated as his form steadily waned. Zanyatta was steady and strong throughout the year winning on all the Socal tracks. Her ace in the hole is that she scored on dirt at Oaklawn. To put an exclamation point on the whole body of work her win in the Ladies Classic was absolutely brilliant.

Zenyatta won all seven of the Graded Stakes races she ran in and improved as the year went on. Her year was a steady accent. She has the potential to be a legend like Personal Ensign the other main track undefeated filly champion if she comes back for more. The fact that she won on dirt puts her over the edge, the dual surface wins are something that Curlin could not match. This year was the year of the Z fillys in racing, overseas we had Zarkava and in North America we had Zenyatta. The undefeated Z filly should be awarded the honors.

Curlin started the year off with such promise. Two rousing victories in Dubai and then an aggressive campaign lined up that was supposed to end in Paris. While we commend the connections for taking a sporting risk the end result was a let down. The turf was quickly abandoned and the Bredders Cup was sort of an after thought after the trip to Japan seemed like too much. The latter part of Curlin's campaign did not have the same level of success as his fall 2007 winter 2008 campaign had. He fell far short of that and failed to take the big prize the Breeders Cup classic, a race he had every chance to win. Curlin raced on three surfaces but could only manage to win on dirt. His turf race was a gutsy placing but was far from the extraordinary wins Zenyatta racked up over different tracks and surfaces. We have to give Curlin and "E" for effort and a "E: for racing as a four year old but the HOY goes to the filly.

28 December 2008

Play Of The Day

After a freshening the play of the day has returned. After a rough patch where the horses where not running and the picks were putrid it was time to give it a rest for a while. The combination of up the track finishes and a public ROI dipping into the red faster than a 401k account was getting a bit embarrassing. Even the super troll started to feel empathy towards me. Now that we are fully rested it is time for more chances at taking this ROI back to the profit zone where it resided for so long.

Aqueduct Race 8- Alex M Robb Stakes

In the spirit of More Chances the pick today is Mor Chances. This horse was vastly improved by moving up to the Dutrow barn and I love that he has been training over the track and had a sharp work the morning that entires where taken. This guy has run well before over the inner and should be an okay price for the top barn at Aqueduct.

Win #7 Mor Chances

Play Of The Day Stats

56 8-8-9
strike rate 14%
cumulative return $94.20
$2 ROI $1.68

22 December 2008

Las Vegas Checks In On Fans and Gamblers

Thanks to Paul Moran to sparking some interesting debate during this frigid winter about this anachronistic sport. I pulled myself out of the local OTB just long enough to read the posts and jump in with a comment of my own. To settle this argument you have to go to the top of the gambling world, Las Vegas. Las Vegas was once of town of smooth independent operators who catered to gamblers and turned a rest stop in the middle of the desert to the largest gambling mecca in the world. Then Vegas took a detour from its reputation of taking care of gamblers after a corporate takeover. Now that everything has settled in Vegas horse racing can learn from Las Vegas' family marketing experiment of the 1990's. After this adventure in casual fans does Vegas 2009 cater to gamblers or casual guests?

Now Extinct MGM Grand Theme Park 1998

While horse racing is a sport, it is also gaming and has more in common with gaming since horse racing feeds at the same trough as gaming. Ball sports make their hay from broadcasting rights and ticket sales. Horse racing has much to learn from Las Vegas' casual fan adventure of the 1990's. When Vegas casino ownership transitioned from independent operators to corporate operators in the late 1980's and early 1990's the new corporate ownership was looking for growth markets. Always sapped for new ideas the new corporate ownership leaned on the highly successful corporate giant Disney as the example to model their marketing plans after. Theme parks were built, character costumes were donned and Vegas marketed heavily to the casual gaming fan, the family. Instead of going out for a weekend of blackjack families were going to Vegas to ride the roller coaster at the Stratosphere and the suits hoped that dad and mom would drop a grand on the Wheel Of Fortune slots. It did not work out that way as these casual guests were taking the place of the old gamblers who where the lifeblood of the industry. Marketing to the casual fan and the family was a complete disaster for Las Vegas and was quickly abandoned.

Corporate run casinos like MGM Grand built theme parks on their property to attract families to go to Vegas. Circus Circus constructed the adventure dome, NY NY built a roller coaster outside on the strip and the Excalibur build a midway strait out of your local carnival. Millions and millions were invested to attract a casual non-traditional gambling crowd. It was billed as the new family friendly Vegas and the experiment ended as a complete failure.

Circus Circus Adventuredome Another Casual Fan Failure

Slick operators like Steve Wynn of Mirage and Bellagio fame, who had a gambling background stretching back to New Jersey bingo games did not take the family route and profited while the corporate new jacks floundered. While MGM grand was wasting it's time and rooms on stiffs riding roller coasters Wynn was filling the rooms with the action junkies and hardcore gamblers that filled the coffers of the casino. Horse Racing should do everything in it's power to emulate Steve Wynn and how he aggressively marketed to whales and other known gamblers. MGM Grand has learned its lesson and has since closed MGM Grand adventures and replaced it with only 29 luxury bungalow suites designated to attract high rollers to stay at it's property. MGM grand learned the hard way that 29 high rollers produce more revenue that an entire theme park full of casual fans. The Beaver family is out and Tommy The Fish who loves to roll those bones in. The Casinos like Circus Circus and Stratosphere that kept their family attractions have not fared very well.

Bungalow Suites That Replaced The MGM Theme Park Las Vegas

Do any racetrack get it? NYRA should be commended as the braintrust there finally understands. NYRA offered a nice comped Breeders Cup buffet to it's best players and also a luxury VIP room to the better players at Aqueduct. The attempt to market Curlin this year as an attendance driver was a complete failure. The free buffet and VIP room are the kinds of things gamblers like, they want to feel loved before they get screwed by photo finish on the wire. The more the gamblers feel loved the more they will bet and the better the game will get which will draw in the casual fans too. The casual fans are nice to have around, but are more like browsers in a store, a store needs to value its customers over its browsers.

18 December 2008

Rebate Shop Bites The Dust

Looks like a rebate ADW outfit operating out of a dog track in New Hampshire ceased operations and pilfered the accounts of their members. Among the victims Of Hinsdale Greyhound Association is famous gambler Andy Beyer who is out of $20K. It seems like whenever a ADW crashes, on-shore or off-shore it is almost always a rebate shop. First there was Pinnacle then IRG and now Hinsdale shutting down with account member money lost. Handicappers can be beat so many ways. Not only is there the tough beat on the wire, there is the bad trip and now we have to worry about our accounts being piffered by criminal ADW operators.

17 December 2008

Turf Paradise Trip Report

Got to check out Turf Paradise on Saturday the 13th of December while visiting Arizona. Great weather as it was 68 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny, a huge improvement over frigid New York. The racing was bottom level with small purses and $3.5k claimers. The stakes race was a $7.5k mixed breed stakes which is filled with horses that could not win at the bottom level at a top level track. The track itself was clean and it was dollar day so just about anyone could afford a at the track. It was a quiet afternoon.

Turf paradise is no Saratoga or Keeneland but it is worth visiting if you are in town. There was cheap food, plenty of friendly tellers and the racing was okay. The apron was expansive and the sparse crowd meant no betting lines. The pools were small compared to the big tracks but the racing was formful. Turf Paradise is the kind of track that a gambler that likes dirt racing could excel at betting on . Too bad Turf Paradise does not have the handle to justify a purse structure to snatch top class dirt runners from Pro-Ride Santa Anita during the long winter. The track seem like it was maintained very well.

I was involved in a poker tournament on Friday with all Phoenix locals. The poker game consisted of 20-30 year olds who loved gambling on poker. Surprisingly few of the poker players had been to Turf Paradise or knew that Saturday is dollar day at the local track. There seemed like the town had potential for a successful horse track as gambling is entrenched in the local economy. There were many Indian casinos and betting on dogs seemed somewhat popular. I noticed many people betting quinellas on Turf Paradise which flags them as a dog bettor.

Things were quiet at Turf Paradise, the only connection to Aqueduct was when Glitternmeporage won the fifth race. I remember when this horse broke his maiden in New York while in the Rick Dutrow barn. Glitternmeporage was quite the character in New York as he was known as a tail swisher and dangerous horse to ride, he frequently ducked out and lugged in while running. He has blossomed at Turf Paradise and is a pure win machine.

The other interesting thing at Turf Paradise was that the Discovery Channel was filming the races and interviewing connections. Looking forward to seeing what show this footage is used on. Turf Paradise is a sleepy little track in a great weather town. If you are in Phoenix it is worth a visit. It could be a good alternate to Gulfstream for winter racing trips if you owe people in Florida money and need to find some racing and warmth.

04 December 2008

Evening Attire Honored

The Aqueduct Handicap has been re-named the Evening Attire, in honor of the 2002 Aqueduct Handicap winner who retired in 2008 at the age of 10, will be run on Saturday, January 17 on the inner dirt track. The $65,000-added race is for three-year-olds and up at a mile and a sixteenth.

25 November 2008

Tale Of Two Races

Here we have two races, the same distance and it the same track both races effected by the same forces of too much racing but the opposite end of that forces spectrum. First we have Aqueduct race 7 19NOV08 and the Fall Highweight Handicap. The former was a race that was gutted by scratches and latter is a race that has been supplemented by entries way beyond the $100K purse.

A good example of what "too many tracks with slot inflated purses " can do is Aqueduct race 7 19NOV. Here was a really nice starter allowance with nine horses entered. Almost every horse was a hard knocking warrior, just check out the amount of wins in the field and how often they win. I was so exciting to watch this race looking at the PP's the day before but instead of a great race the public got a 4 horse field because 5 of the horses scratched and will likely run in an easier spot at a slot track like Philly. When widely available slot purses enhancements ruin racs like this the game in no longer a sport or a product it is a welfare dole. There are too many races available for these horses and too much racing dilutes the quality of the product. Failed racetracks propped up by slot revenues weaken the game and shorten fields, over saturating the market with race after race day after day. It is sad to see a races at tracks like Presque Isle have slot enhanced purses of $50K and pick threes with $3k handle.

Then we have the Fall High weight Handicap. This was a graded race just a few years ago but was downgraded due allowance, Statebred or claiming horses winning the race year after year. Who really wants their horse to carry 140lbs anyway? This year it drew an outstanding field, it may even be a be compared to the GI Vosburgh from the Belmont meet. Why is it so strong? The main reason this race came up aces is the struggles of Maryland. Many of these horses would have run the in the Grade I DeFrancis Dash but due to that races demise the Highweight has drawn an outstanding field, there are three graded winners in the race even though the race is not graded. Here is an example of how a right sized racing industry will grow stronger, better horses running in interesting races with wagering surging.

With slots propping up New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virgina and soon Maryland/New York only more racing will be carded. It is too much racing and this only continues due to subsidies from slots. This is a poison for the game. While some look at slot money as a savior the truth is that it is the poison that is ruining the product and driving the game into ruin. Tracks are ready to fail, if they were only allowed to fail the racing in the strong jurisdictions like New York, Kentucky and California would flourish. The scarcity of racing would make it interesting to the masses once again. In Hong Kong they only allow Sha-Tin to run and it handles over $60 billion a year. If we only had one or two tracks on the east coast handle would balloon, the races would be awesome, large fields of competitive horses. Allow the market to work and the great game of racing will naturally flourish.

22 November 2008

Play Of The Day

Aqueduct Race 3

Last out Trust Nobody inherited the short end of the stick with a bum pace scenario and had to run down a power 6-5 lone speed chalk, no wonder why he has trust issues. He should get a much better deal today with a nice stalking outside post and a robust pace to run at. I would trust Trust Nobody to win this race.

Win #11 Trust Nobody

55 8-8-9
strike rate 14%
cumulative return $94.20
$2 ROI $1.74

12 November 2008

Play Of The Day

Aqueduct race 8

We cling to the last of the turf stakes action as we delve further into frigid Aqueduct nuclear winter.
From south of here Jonathan Sheppard ships in Royal Pleasure who is a stakes winner out of town. Slips into the condition by not winning a graded/group stakes. Looks somewhat fresh and cuts back in distance from a 10 furlong grade one race. Primed to run them all down here.

win #4 Royal Pleasure

53 8-8-9
strike rate 14%
cumulative return $94.20
$2 ROI $1.76

08 November 2008

Play Of The Day

Aqueduct Race 9

More Than A Reason squeezes into this condition as a three year old. While most of the field has 2 wins this colt has 5 wins. 4 for 4 over a wet track and it will be wetter than a dip in the pool today. 15-1 morning line is a dream but hoping for at least 5-1 for a win bet.

Win #6 More Than A Reason

PowerCap Stats.

52 8-8-9
strike rate 15%
cumulative return $94.20
$2 ROI $1.81

05 November 2008

Dog Racing Banned In Mass

A ballot measure passed in Massachusetts banning hound racing. Thoroughbreds will be on their hit list next. (check out the comments) In their eyes there is too much abuse in racing and banning it will make them feel really good about themselves. If there was a vote about thoroughbred racing in any of the liberal states along the coast it is a possibility that the flats could be shut down in places like Boston or Delaware. A government authority with a racino that wants to eliminate an unprofitable horseracing operation could manipulate this sentiment to its favor. While some would view the shuttering of Suffolk downs or Belmont Park as an injustice others will feel really good about it. Yet for those in power it will open up the door for the government to step in and fill yet another void.

To the common liberal type lacking experience in hard work or adversity racing is all about greed and fat cats. The complex racing traditions, hundreds of years in age and the hard work associated with racing are completely foreign concepts to most of these people. What they know is Barbaro, Eight Belles and whatever soundbite that reaches them through the media. The trainers, grooms and hardworking people working in racing are isolated from much of the population. The many groups and caring owners that save and care for retired racehorses are not known. The subject of horseracing was not covered at tennis lessons, MTV at indy rock concerts or in college. Racing fell out of the mainstream sports universe when TV favorable sports like football began to dominate at the down of the TV age. Racing needs to aquire political correctness in today's world.

The only thing many people know about racing is the cruelty of the whip and the troubling breakdowns. Unlike an organic frozen dinner horse racing makes them feel really bad about themselves. Horses are hurt, people that could take a nice job like them in a climate controlled environment are forced to work really hard and risk life and limb. The hard work associated with racing, the mucking of stalls, the smell of horse manure and the inserting of thermometers in a horses anus at 4am is completely foreign to these people who have been protected from this type of hard work. Racing has not been a part of most peoples lives in places like Boston or Manhattan where the life cycle starts with mommy and daddy protecting them and moves on to the carefree joys of college and then the office job making $100K+. This makes racing a target as it is a working class sub-culture which does does not fit into the modern culture of the crusading, do-gooder liberal. The fate of dog racing in Mass could be the fate fo racing as well.

The handicapping/wagering part of horseracing is really hard for most people to fathom. Handicapping horse racing is a sub-culture that is looked down upon in places like Manhattan or Boston. The fact that wagering is a game of skill where money moves from the losers to to the experienced well financed sharpies is an anti-liberal concept. Wealth re-distribution is not supposed to work like this. In their minds racing has to go and the cruelty and degenerate wagering has to go. In states from Massachusetts south to New York and in places like Oregon or California a horse racing ban is a reality in the next eight years if it could make to a ballot issue.

While a ban on racing would decimate tax revenues initially it could open the door for greater government control of wagering dollars. The profitable casinos are already in place at many racetracks. The racino is like the old automat restaurant opening up a McDonalds right inside of it's main location. When 95% of your customers are now eating Big Macs why continue subsidizing the part of your business where people have to pull a soggy tuna melt out of a dirty plastic machine. It would be very easy to eliminate the racetracks attached to these government controlled tax machine racinos. Public sentiment could easily be manipulated to close a track like Philadelphia Park and expand the profitable casino attached to it.

As a substitute for the lost racing tax money collected from horseplayers the Ministry Of Entertainment could program and computerize racing. Instead of employing grooms to rub horses and exercise riders to risk their lives working horses the game will become a computerized simulation of what it once was. Government has expanded like this in the past annexing the numbers game from independent civilian operators and calling it lotto. With racing banned it could become a government controlled an on-line game with no actual horse, trainers or grooms. These simulations are already available. Wagering will be run by the ministry of entertainment and taxed at 50% like other government parasite games like lotto. The proceeds will be split between parasitic programs with the rest being annexed by those in the party elite. This could happen in 1984 2014 or 2024.

Banning horse racing is a very real possibility in the next decade in places like Boston or Delaware. The sad part is that the trill of a stretch duel or the gameness of a horse like Holy Bull would be snuffed out for future generations. The beauty grace and knowledge gained from working with these magnificent creatures would be terminated.

Many people feel that they are just smarter than you and dictating what is best for everyone makes them feel really good about themselves. The 72 year old history of dog racing in New England is soon to be history. What will happen to those dogs? Who knows what will happen to those dogs but the fact that tens of thousands of Massachusetts voters feel like they did a good thing by pushing a button. For these people banning dog racing requires no effort but it provided lots of good feelings about themselves. It is only a matter of time before horse racing will come under attack from these do-gooders. It is imperative that horseracing aligns its humane ducks in a row. It is only a matter of time before racing is attacked from the left.

28 October 2008

Good Thing The 2008 Breeders Cup Was Not At Belmont

Breeders cup day at Belmont started out okay weather wise but by the 5th race the winds must have kicked up to 50 kts. Trees were swaying violently, flexing there branches to their limits. It was cold, windy and it was raining vertically. It would have been a horrible day to sit in that grandstand and a unfortunate day to hold a breeders Cup meet. The only race I watched from my usual perch in the grandstand was my Formal Degree's romp in the Knickerbocker. I quickly ran for cover to my indoor seat.

Weather aside being said Belmont is a great place to watch the Breeders Cup while it is out of town. The underrated NYRA customer service office was kind enough to reserve a few personal workstation seats for me. When the new united tote terminals came on line four years ago horseplayers complained, but these modern terminals work great as a personal monitor. Instead of listening to nagging at home or standing at some urine drenched OTB and I had a my own personal monitor/wagering terminal right at my personal workstation. Nice way to watch the races and I was able to wager right up to the last second with no delay or issue. I pounded out bet after bet with clarity of mind in total comfort. I had sound and the choice of the ESPN or live feed along with every other track running in the USA.

26 October 2008

Breeders Cup 2008 Debrief

Seemed like many people hated this years Breeders Cup. From the two day format, to the female races on Friday, to the surface and the European dominated results many people had a variety of reasons to base their gripes. The heat did not cause havoc like I thought it would and it was a improvement of bog/monsoon at Monmouth or icebox Belmont. What about Trevor Denman? Denman was the comeback of the year. After two years of calling the wrong names and missing moves I thought he was a toast and a clear has been. This year he did a 180 and prepped like a student studying for the SAT. He was prepared and ready. Trevor called 14 great races over the two days. This Breeders Cup was a rousing success and I enjoyed both days.

The day format is okay and I am glad the Friday races were a quick 5 race sequence. These races were over in two hours or so and did not drag on forever. The choice to move the female races to Friday was a sharp choice. It gave the day a theme in line with other classic race weekends and gave these races a stand alone stature of their own. The worst suggestion I read this week was to move all of the new BC races to Friday. A day of ungraded races with no tenure would provide zero interest in the Friday races and doom them to failure. Ladies day provided a theme and provided proper Balance two the two days. The idea was a winner.

For years Americans have bred cheap speed horses and run them over speed favoring bullrings. This is the valid argument for synthetics. The culmination of the cheap speed breeding was the GI win of Sinister Minister in the Bluegrass a few years ago. This short sighted breeding of horses have resulted in short horses that can not go a distance of ground and break down. This is where the synthetic factor kicks in. This is why the Europeans finished one-two in the classic. The bright side of synthetic surfaces is that it promotes breeding stouter horses that can run far. The days of cheap speed, precocious breakdown candidates and numbered. I thought the races were formful and all horses returned safe and sound.

Most of my buddies at Belmont and in the OTB's and simulcast joints did not share my feelings on the 2008 Breeders Cup. They did not care for the results and the surface. Politically correct people assumed an "I'm so offended posture" in reaction to Ladies Day. Horseplayers and horse racing fans are notoriously reluctant to embrace change. However with time I feel these changes will resonate and will ultimately lead to the expansion of the Breeders Cup.

Evening Attire Day

Evening Attire had his own day at Belmont on the 25th of October 2008. The old warrior is some ham and mugged for pictures in the paddock. NYRA put on a nice presentation for him and even customized the wagering terminals with his picture.

24 October 2008

Ladies Day Picks

Ladies day has finally arrived. Looks like a gorgeous warm day at Santa Anita. Hopefully racing fans can open their minds and accept a new concept. Change is not always bad.

BC FM Sprint
Looks like a ton of pace in here. Using Magnificence, Intangaroo, Miraculous Miss and Ventura in pick 3's. Win money on longshots Magnificence and Miraculous Miss.

BC FM Turf
Think that Mauralakana can bounce back here and run them down late. Will also use Halfway To Heaven and Forever Together.

BC Ladies Classic
Zenyatta is undefeat but is facing the toughest field of her career. I respect her but will also use Music Note and Cocoa Beach.

22 October 2008

Play Of The Day

Belmont Park Race 3

This is a non-winners of 3 lifetime or 3 year old condition. Love that Law N Dora sneaks in here with the three year old condition. Going to bet her to to win her on the drop in class. This speady colt should be able to blow out this field.

#1 Contessa Entry

Powercap Stats

51 8-7-9
strike rate 16%
cumulative return $94.20
$2 ROI $1.85

21 October 2008

Million Dollar Pick 6 Carryover At Belmont

If anyone thought that the big pools this week started on Ladies Day at the Breeders Cup they would be proved wrong. A few days of bombs at Belmont has led to a $ 1 million carryover in the pick 6 pool. Wednesday's sequence looks like a challenging sequence and we can expect the pool to blossom into a $3 million behemoth. My meager bankroll is $100 but I will take a shot. The forecast is dry, cold and winds gusting to 25 knots from the north. It will be a great day to be lucky.

Race 4- Maiden two year olds take to the turf for a 7 furlong test. We will get a good look at these guys before the race in the paddock, a luxury we will not have the rest of the sequence. Before any paddock inspections I have the race down to #1 Ducduc, 3 Winthrop House and #6 Master. If any of the first timers take money and look the part I would be inclined to use them.

Race5- Now maiden claimer two year olds take to the turf in a 6F sprint. My top pick here is first time start #10 Kaleidoscope Sky who is bred well and makes sense for a a $75K tag first out. The works look sharp. I will also use #6 Missile Impossible.

Race 6- Non winner of three races lifetime or 3 year old fillies going 7 furlongs on the turf is the condition. There are two fillies that have won 3 life time and are in for the 3 year old condition. Those two are 1A Wonderwho'sbest and 8 Discoverylaunch. Wonderwho'sbest got beat by Peleliu last out while Discoverylaunch beat Peleliu. I am not going to use either filly and will single a 2nd off the layoff mare who has the right running style for this race. #5 Smartgabrielle finally gets away from the tricky rail post and should run these girls down late.

Race 7 - The set up is absolutely there for Solid Strike if he is up to the task of going wire to wire on the inner turf. He is the clear lone speed and should be clear and under no pressure. I consider this a drop in class as he does not need to face any stakes horses here. The early fractions of the last race were BS as all times going 1 1/16th are never accurate for some reason. Solid Strike was pressed somewhat hard by the 2-1 chalk and quit at the top of the lane. If is
up for the race Solid Strike has the set up. Should be a good price too. However the quit that Solid Strike has shown precluded him from being a single. Have to take Leadwithyourchin as well on the drop in class 2nd off layoff.

Race 8 - Doree Daze looks like she should should be able to go easy on a slow pace. She has edges across my worksheet in every category of the powercap. The rest of the field looks like plugs. I did give Zip By You a 2nd look but she has had so many chances this year at this
putrid condition. Doree is another single.

Race 9 - The last race and another maiden test for two year old. Going to use the horses with past excuses or dropping form maiden specials. I have #3 Tomorrows Roses, #5 Life support, #7 Angel Aly and #12 Deadlocked.

Draft ticket 1,3,6 / 6,10 / 5 / 1,3 / 6 / 3,5,7,12 = $96

20 October 2008

Hope That TVG Can Survive

TVG is up for sale and I hope they survive in tact. This network gets a bum rap from many horse racing fans but It is the greatest thing on TV since the Honeymooners. Before TVG started operations horse racing was on TVG for maybe 15 hours a year. Now it is on 17 hours a day 365 days a year. It just may be the greatest channel on American TV, not only can you watch the action but you can bet right on the TV. There is even an interactive tote board with a wager function for those with the Dish network. This is the only network that stimulates the brain instead of numbing it. If this channel shutdown the game would take a huge hit.

While I have been a casual fan of the game since the late 1980's it was TVG that captured my attention and made the game a big part of my leisure time. Before TVG there was the local OTB channel and rare broadcasts of Saturday stakes races. TVG was a huge improvement over the drab NYC OTB channel which cut over to the RAI news everyday at 6PM sharp sometimes in mid-race. While TVG is not perfect I find the hosts entertaining. Yes they give out losing ticket after losing ticket but I do not take that very seriously. Two of my favorites are Ken Rudolph and Matt from 58 flat who could easily be on ESPN as they have good humor and a real passion for the game. Yes some of the hosts do get on my nerves but they will remain nameless.

The game will surely suffer if TVG goes off the air, it may be the only pipeline for younger fans to the game. Surely rival network HRTV does a good job as well but they do not reach nearly as many homes as TVG. It is vital for racing to maintain a daily presence on TV if racing is to continue as a niche sport. Shows like the works or the finish line on TVG and inside information on HRTV provide the only racing based programming on American TV. If racing drops off the TV guide it may fade into oblivion like Jai-Lai.

19 October 2008

Play Of The Day

Belmont Race 7

There is an overload of speed inhere and very little deep closers that can make
up ground on tired speed horses late. There is an opurtunity for a horse to ramble home late and seize an opportunity. Could Kris Angel be ready off the layoff? Layoffs are not as big a deal in turf races and if KrisAngel is ready he could roll here at a big number. Kris Angel was only 2 lengths off Red Giant who set a world record last out at 10 panels.

Belmont Race 7 Win #4 Kris Angel

51 8-7-9
strike rate 16%
cumulative return $94.20
$2 ROI $1.85

18 October 2008

October 18th Play Of The Day

Belmont Park Race 1

Rare to see a horse that is proven under 130 lbs going 12 furlongs over the turf have the chance to drop in class, shed 12 lbs and cut back to 7 furlongs. All positive changes for a horse that will likely not be the favorite. #2 City On Line should cheer up the ill Allen Jerkens as he recovers in North Shore Hospital. Stoutly rooting for Jerkens and his horse.

Race 1 Win #2 City On Line

The Stats

50 8-7-9
strike rate 16%
cumulative return $94.20
$2 ROI $1.88

11 October 2008

Power Play October 11th

Keeneland Race 8

Making a return trip to Keeneland for today's powerplay. Race 8 is route that is loaded with sprinters and speed horses. This is a perfect race for a deep closer that has shown a love for the polytrack and route racing. Two horses fit the criteria so why only pick 1? Both are prices on the morning line. Use both in exactas and trifectas and dutch them in the win pool. The fillys are #1 Sarahlans'sdestiny and #5 Honest Pursuit. Will play a 1/5 exacta box and 1,5 / ALL 1,5 trifecta.

Win 1/5 dutch play

48 8-7-9
strike rate 17%
cumulative return $94.20
$2 ROI $1.96

09 October 2008

October 9th Play Of The Day

Belmont race 7 is absolutely paceless, it looks like that rare opportunity that we all wait for. The field is 9 plodders and a lone speed horse who will be loose on the lead. The horse that will be loose is Blue Hill Bay. I really like Blue Hill Bay in here and I am sure she will turn for home 5 in front without being pressed. The 15-1 morning line is enticing. I will have a stout win bet on this one and I recommend her as a single in all pick wagers.

Belmont Race 7 Win #6 Blue Hill Bay

47 8-7-9
strike rate 17%
cumulative return $94.20
$2 ROI $2.00

06 October 2008

Keeneland Trip Report

Things did not work out with powercap flight 23 as my bankroll would only allow the G5 to fly from LGA-TEB, well short of our intended mission. So I ended up on a commercial flight from LGA-LEX. There is only one flight a day and to my surprise much of the Belmont Jockey colony was on board too. First there was Eibar Coa, then John Velasquez and Alan Garcia showed up too. Even trainer Tom Albertrani made the trip from LGA-LEX.

LEX Airport Terminal With Horse Wallpaper

My first impression of Lexington was very green and horsey. The last 20 minutes of the flight were exclusively over horse farms, nothing but rolling pastures and paddocks. I have flown to hundreds of airports and have never seen anything like Lexington. It is a beautiful landscape. At the LEX terminal immediately everything is about horse racing. The unused terminal monitors have horse races photos as screen savers and horse racing ads are displayed throughout the terminal. The airport is modern, clean and everyone I spoke to were as friendly as could be. It was a total departure from New York where the airport is old, dirty and the poor workers have been worked over one too many times by the nasty and snobby New York flyers.

Keeneland Clubhouse Entrance

The track was just a 2 minute drive from the airport and the taxi cost $7 + tip. Keeneland has vast grounds and the track is deep inside those very green grounds. Pulling up to the grandstand I was impressed that every square inch of the exterior of the building was stone masonry. It looks like whoever constructed this joint could have afforded to fly the G5 all the way from LGA-LEX. Once inside the employees were ultra-friendly, were dressed in clean uniforms and the grounds were immaculate. Stone masonry paths, freshly painted railings and a smart, well dressed crowd.

Keeneland View From Seat/Toteboard

A great seat on the 16th pole/finish line was available for only $3 and was right in front of the impressive tote board. The tote board featured a huge megatron that was clear and with sharp resolution, a huge improvement over the burnt out pixels/fuzzy resolution of the NYRA megatron at BEL/AQU/SAR. The trakus information of the toteboard was helpful for those that did not have a set of binoculars handy. The grandstand reminded me of the Saratoga grandstand in size, scope and view. The only beef with the Keeneland grandstand was that the view of the field was obstructed when the horses reached the top of the stretch and the west facing grandstand has sun glare issues.

Keeneland Paddock

The crowd was huge for a Friday at the races. This was a different crowd that I am used to in New York. Most everyone dressed up to some extent. People still have respect for a day at the races. There was a huge amount of college aged kids and parents with their kids. People are polite and did not shout profanity at the jockeys in the paddock and when the horses returned from the races. The crowd was a good cross section of the general population unlike New York where the crowd for the races is mostly hardcore regulars from specific demographic groups . There were even non-Jamaican blacks at the races, something that is rare in New York. The conclusion here is that racing is part of the culture for all people in Lexington and not just a degenerate sub-culture like it is in New York City and most of the country. There seems to be a winning formula at Keeneland, but that winning formula starts with winning ingredients and I can not say enough good things about the people of Kentucky. They were a polite group, people with a passion for the game, with this crowd any racetrack could work well.

Forever Together Before The First Lady

Friday's card at Keeneland was good with a mix of maidens, allowance races and two grade I's. The first race was marred by an incident where Woodway jumped the rail and was vanned off. Then one of my flightmates from LGA John Valezquez went down in a horrible spill in race 7. Those two ugly incidents aside the racing was exciting and competitive. While I have been a polytrack skeptic the races began to make some sense after two days of intense handicapping. The sprint races seemed to be fair as both speed horses and closers won, while the two turn route races seemed to be won exclusively by late running closers. As someone who has completely avoided Keeneland since the polytrack installation, I may began to start investing some bankroll into the parimutuel pools there. There seems to be a potential profit in waiting as many handicappers struggle with the change to synthetic surfaces.

Keeneland Paddock

The conclusion reached after this visit is that Keeneland is the mecca of American racing. This is clearly the best track in the country. The owners of the place have a clear vision of what a racetrack should be and have actualized that vision wonderfully. It is beautiful, immaculate and has a large and passionate group of fans. Prior to Friday I would have bestowed the mecca of American racing title on Saratoga. One visit to Keeneland showed beyond a doubt that Keeneland does everything that Saratoga can do, but does it better. Both facilities have charm. Keeneland's pastoral setting in horse country gives it an edge over the Spa. Keeneland's modern, clean facility also gives it an advantage over the rough edges of Saratoga. The large and passionate crowd of Keeneland is hard to match, it turns a day at the races into a day to remember. People there are just so nice. I was glad I took the opportunity to visit Keeneland, it is a must visit place for all race fans, they do racing right.

Lexington Airport With Horse Sculptures Near Runway

02 October 2008

Keeneland Opening Day With A Play Of The Day

With all of the monstrous tickets being cashed here I have been able to fill up the G5 with Jet A for a trip to Lexington tomorrow. We should have the flight plan filed by 620am for powercap flight 23 non-stop LGA-LEX. You can track our progress on flightaware.com.

My pick in the feature is Dream Express and if she wins we will load up the G5's cabin with Woodford for the flight home back to LGA. She will be the single in the late pick 4. If you want to play along the late pick 4 will look like 6,8,11 / 3,6,8 / 6 / 2,4,5,6,7,9. The play of the day will be in Race 6 #10 Duchess Royale.

46 8-7-8
strike rate 17%
cumulative return $94.20
$2 ROI $2.05

30 September 2008

European Acclimation Issues At Santa Anita

With the new pro-ride track at Santa Anita the Breeders Cup is expecting a large contingent of European horses to contest the cup this year. While the Europeans may like the sound of a $5 million race over a synthetic surface I am not sure if their horses will like the weather. The temperature on track has been close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. European horses that are used to cool fall temperatures are going to be in for a shock when they arrive in California and it is not only hot but on fire. The end of October is the fire season in California. If these tempertures continue and a Santa Ana wind develops the canyons surronding Santa Anita will surely ignite. Turning a tempertuire issue into a air quality-temperturte issue.

Spirit One won the Arlington Million with authority. He was bet all the way down to 9-2 in last weekends Goodwood. The horse was visually washed out and having issues with the heat in the post parade. While it has been hot before when the Breeders Cup was run at Santa Anita never before has it been run over a synthetic surface. This Pro-Ride track is dark in color and it absorbs the heat. Combine that with the odor of the polymers, plastics and soft rubber it is not a pleasant experience for horse or rider. From DRF: Bejarano's agent, Joe Ferrer, said Bejarano told him, "I have never been so hot in my life."

28 September 2008

10 Year Old Evening Attire Retired

One of our favorites, ten year old Evening Attire has been retired. Year after year this guy has run his heart out. Here are a few of my favorite Evening Attire races.

Here Evening Attire faces off with Champion Street Cry, a horse that already has sons at stud.

Here Evening Attire runs in a graded stakes at 9 years old. A race that made many people very happy.

21 September 2008

Improved Race Commentary At NYRA

Andy Serling has joined the on-air team at NYRA and really has pumped up the media content from NYRA. He actually picks winners at a price and provides his personal handicapping insight. A good example of his work is the new Trips and Traps segment that he and Eric Donovan hosted on the NYRA Youtube channel. This is very good information for a public handicapper.

21st September Play Of The Day

Belmont Park Race 6
#2 William T has this field over a barrel. He is the only horse here that has been making up ground in the lane. Willy sports fresh third off layoff form and goes to the post for a top barn. The distance of 1 1/8th could be a issue for many horses, but with Willy T's breeding and prior record at longer distances this should not be an issue. Look for this guy to overhaul this field in the lane. Good key in the horizontal exotics.

Belmont Race 6 Win #2 William T

45 8-7-6
strike rate 18%
cumulative return $94.20
$2 ROI $2.09

17 September 2008

Belmont Park September 17th Trip report

Spent a rare Wednesday at Belmont. It was a beautiful late summer afternoon. A welcome nip is spicing the air. Took a nice long ride down on the 7th ave IRT and the LIRR. Started the trip in the Bronx.

225 Street #1 Subway where the trip began

Penn Station platform for the train to Belmont, train was at 2% passenger capacity. The LIRR could have subbed a minibus instead of an 8 car transit behemoth for the trip Penn-Belmont.

The desolate ramp leading to the LIRR station at Belmont after the finale.

NYRA is doing to everything they can to promote Curlin. Posters all over the track along with emails and websites dedicated to his run in the Jockey Club Gold Cup.

Race Notes

Race 1
I was in the paddock for this race. John's Jean is a fractious filly. She refused to be saddled and almost held up the post
parade. When the groom and valet finally had her ready to go she spooked,
reared and flipped. Her skull absorbed much the impact of her crash into the ground, it was
ugly. John's Jean walked away but keep this in mind next time she runs. The
winner from Maryland Ocala Gator was an absolute steal at 4-1. The
trainer sent up his hottest blond groom and I knew this
one was a go as soon as looked at her last race. Gator is a runner.

Race 3

Goldsville had a horror trip. Trapped on the rail and lost all momentum at the top of lane. Surprised this one was not on the pace. Jeffrey Sanchez strikes his first blow.

Race 6
Spoke to a pair of California tourists on the LIRR inbound to Belmont. We
spoke about how safe the Spa was compared to Del Mar with nil
breakdowns on the Spa main track compared to five at Del Mar. After the sixth race I felt like I jinxed it. Poor Cape Cod Escape could not escape her fate and died on the track today at the top of the lane. I felt so bad for her.

Race 7
Jeffrey Sanchez strikes again. Alyssa Givonna was full of run on the rail for 3/8ths of a mile but Sanchez could not work his way out of the switch. This mare needs a trip, she seems generous.

Race 8
The winner of this race Blitzen Too is going places. Future NYB
stakes winner. Tractable and powerful in the lane, she is a very nice filly.

Race 9
Do not bet anyone out of this race unless they drop in class to the
bottom. All ten of them had the reverse lights on in the lane.

A few low quality pics from my mobile phone.

Barclay Tagg saddling Daring Dreamer race 1

Eibar Coa mounting Wonderwho'sbest before the 6th race

The game and honest Peleliu has her picture taken after winning race 6. Jorge Chavez was up Randi Persaud is the trainer for Calabrese Partners Racing Stable.

15 September 2008

What Is A Power Cap?

What is a Power Cap, is it this thing?

Definitely not.

Is it a special hat that you wear that magically directs you towards the winners of horse races?
No, once again it is not a cap that you wear.

Is it a computer program or a motor driven tool?
No it is not, the only power is organic and is supplied by the hand, wrist and arm muscles.

If it is not powered or a Cap what the heck is it?
The Powercap is an old fashioned pen and ink handicapping method to find winners at overlaid prices.

The Powercap is inspired by the principles of William Scott and Total Victory At The Track. Basically you are taking basic math, some elbow grease and track positional bias knowledge to outwork your parimutuel adversaries. While it can be tedious filling up notebooks with hand scribbled speed figures and run style equations it can also be very rewarding when your hand made proprietary information leads you to a generous scores.

Pictured below is the actual Powercap for Belmont race 8 and 9 for the 14 of September 2008. The circled numbers represent a form factor edge. A horse with numbers circled across the page holds an edge in every factor of the Powercap. The first equation on the left is PCR (Performance class rating) and is a equation that shows run style and overall ability. The higher the solution to the equation the better the horse. The second equation is ability time and the lower the number the faster the horse. The third group of three letters is a visual short hand for form. The forth notation is a class ranking based on the highest win/place finish and the final notation on the right may be shorthand for a cutback in distance a stretchout in distance or second race off the layoff or something else pertinent. The numbers on the opposite side of the page were the days late wagers, a grand slam and a late pick 4.

The primary edge of the Powercap is that you are creating your own information. This is proprietary information that nobody else has, unless they steal your ledger. Most of your adversaries in the parimutuel pools are relying on commercial speed figures, sheets or computer picks. Few have the time or will to produce something unique. With commercial speed figures similar information leads to common answers. The Powercap picks originate from a unique point of view, which means a Powercapper is trampling an unworn path, which leads to uncommon answers to the handicapping puzzle. Uncommon answers are the key to parimutuel success. I urge you to heed the words of Robert Frost and find your own road to success in this game.

13 September 2008

Big Brown Showed Some Heart Today

Big Brown showed real gameness in the lane today holding off the trio of Shakis, Proudinsky and Silver Tree. At the top of the lane it looked like he was going to get overwhelmed and passed by that threesome of older graded stakes winners. He held well and was as game as could be. As a three year old beating older on a surface switch I thought it was a great effort. However at 3-5 all I could do was tip my cap to him as I thought he was a huge bet against today. Wrong again, but it was sure fun watching.

13th Of September Power play

Cozzi Capital looks like a potential huge overlay. Still in the sweet
spot of the form cycle and cuts back from 9 and 8.5 furlongs to a
mile. Seems to love wet turf. Beat Waquoits Love at Monmouth and
that one will likely be half the price of Cozzi Capital today. Cozzi is the one to use
in exotics as the value horse. Use with Say You Will and Criminologist. Turf only play.

Belmont Park Race 6 Win #2 Cozzi Capital 20-1 ML

45 8-7-6
strike rate 18%
cumulative return $94.20
$2 ROI $2.09

12 September 2008

Sale Of Stonerside;The Foreshadowing Of The Future Of American Racing

The sale of Stonerside Stable last week was a should be a wake up call for American racing. American racing lost one of the big owners. These were the people that campaigned stakes horses like Congeree, Too Much Bling and Halory Hunter. With Darley swallowing yet another American operation the horses, the properties and the future of Stonerside are all in foreign hands. This is not an isolated event, it is part of a larger trend where Americans are selling out of the racing business, usually to overseas interests. While this trend of Americans selling out their racing interest is not isolated to racing it is a trend that only figures to continue especially in a sick industry like racing. The trend will accelerate as racing loses its fans and the economy continues to tank.

While the game has lost it's luster outside forces are also at work here. The weak dollar, crashing real estate values and energy prices are driving American equine holdings overseas. Not only are most top stallions and broodmares are finding their way into foreign hands but so are the farms. This same thing happened in the first half of the 20th century but it was the Americans, flush with success purchasing European bloodstock for their American farms. Now the trend has reversed.

While the tracks are still North American owned they are hemorrhaging cash. With the track operators like Magna and NYRA on the ropes it would not be a surprise to see an overseas investor take over Magna and it's vast property holdings for pennies on the dollar. American tracks are sick and are on slot life support. Overseas the horse wagering market is entirely more sophisticated than the American parimutuel system. Overseas a horseplayer has choices, with player friendly betting exchanges like BETFAIR and on-line sports books giving the player low takeout and rebates. Here the horseplayer has few choices and the parimutuel system needs extensive government protection to operate outside of the fair market. This system almost assures that the horseplayer will lose his bankroll so fewer and fewer horseplayers play the game. Here in New York the tracks compete with government controlled OTB's and the government often purposely sabotages the tracks operations to preserve the the government controlled OTB's competitive edge. An overseas operator surely would do a better job. Can the industry wake up before it is too late?

For years racing has tried to reach out to younger fans but the attempts have hit a wall. Racing just can not find a way to make itself relevant to the youth. Instead of improving the vitality of racing the tracks have opted for artificial life support from a slot I.V. While purses may be up, the soul of the game is dying. The artificial life support is destroying the cardiovascular system of the game and the game is becoming dependent on slots to survive. The slot savior is creating a game that nobody cares about and a game that can not live without slots. Even the tracks without slots are affected as they find it hard to compete for horses with the tracks with slot money.

Outside of Keeneland, The Triple Crown, Del Mar and The Spa, few tracks have significant daily attendance. There are too many races, too few horses and rows and rows of empty stands. Thanks to slots the amount of races has increased to the point where we have a glut of endless races. Tracks like Philly Park or Presque Isle conduct racing as a sport without fans. These racinos are like a restaurant with no patrons or a nightclub with an empty dancefloor. Yet the racing restaurant continues to cook meals and the DJ continues tol spin records for the empty dance floor as slots float the entire operation. Some of these tracks with slot fueled purses have purses many times larger than amount of money bet on the race. Eventually will they wake up and realize that a gaming facility does not need horses to have profitable slots. In fact slots are much more profitable without horses.

The combination of lame fan support and a weak American economy led R McNair the owner of Stonerside Stable to say this “We don’t have enough sports fans in racing,” he said. “It’s frustrating because racetrack operators cling to the notion that they have to cater to the gambling audience. I think they are wrong and you can go to racetracks and see the empty seats. They have to increase their fan base and make sports fans develop an interest in racing.” With a boring sport that is not a thrill, why would multi-millionaire owners want to get into this game? For a few slot purses? The sporting aspect of the game seems to be withering.

As owners continue to sell out to overseas investors and top stock moves overseas, American racing will continue to see cheap stock racing for inflated purses in short fields. It is a nasty problem and it is a trend that will continue for the next decade or so until the game hits rock bottom. With no improvement in sight this is the sort of problem that needs to bottom out before it gets any better.

The Monmouth Stakes Is Time To Toss Big Brown

The Monmouth Stakes looks like a great betting opportunity. Big Brown will likely be 4-5 in here and would not be a surprise to be up the track. The field in the Haskell was weak for a 3YO Grade 1 with Coal Play coming back in the Travers only to be shellacked at a huge price. This three year old crop needs to prove itself against older before they have the right to be favored. With Big Brown the likely favorite, the value here is tremendous and it is not everyday you can toss a heavy favorite with such ease from the top two frames.

Even though this custom made race is ungraded it is versus older Graded stakes winner and is a huge step up in class for the Brown one. Brown may this custom, made to order race needs to see the tailor before he fits in perfectly. Other than the class issues there is the nagging foot issues with Big Brown. If class and bad feet are not enough to make you toss Big Brown then there is the trainer, while Dutrow who is great extracting for a few months of sterling form out of his horses, he is also known for having his horses hit a wall if they stay in training for too long. It is time Big Brown hits the wall.

The basic move here is to box the class older horses in here in exactas, tri and supers.

#3 Shakis / #6 Proudinsky / #7 Drum Major / #11 Silver Tree boxed in every thing.

Play Of the Day 12SEP

Belmont Race 6
This condition is my specialty. All about class and time. Nobody really has the time edge as not one of these have won this year. There are a number of easy tosses here with no shot. But for me Missile Motor has the field buried in all departments. The most rock solid single in the pick six sequence. No power price as we go with the chalk.

Race 6 Win #9 Missile Motor

44 7-7-6
strike rate 15%
cumulative return $89.30
$2 ROI $2.03

Belmont $600K Pick 6 Carryover

Huge carryover. Have to take a crack at it even if it is a guppy-type nibble. My philosophy is if you are under $32 bucks you are okay and if you are over $200 you are okay too. Anything in between is too small to have much of a shot and utilizes too much bankroll for such an unlikely winner. A $24 stab at a $1.5 million pot is the way to be.

Race 4
Starting off here singling the Albertrani entry. Like the works on the FTS and the 2B should be ready to win getting off the rail and 2nd off layoff.


Race 5
Vision Of Sunrise has the class edge here and won off a year layoff in a similar condition 03MAy. Another single for the budget crowd.


Race 6
This race is my specialty. All about class and time. Nobody really has the time edge and not one of these have won this year. There are a number of easy tosses here with no shot. But for me Missile Motor has the field buried in all departments. Third single in a row and the most rock solid single in the six race sequence. Missile Motor will also be the play of the day.

Race 7
Going to the class angle here to dope out my horse. #4 Hall Of Famer won vs open MSW going long which bodes well here and he figures to be stout in the lane especially on the cutback. Couple works since the last effort and perhaps some value with the Mig keeping the mount over JV.

Race 8
Finally a race where I am not singled. I could not separate #2Diverse and #10 impressionism, Indeed when they faced each other last out they finished a neck apart. Do not like the seconditus record of Impressionism, but I will cover both.

Race 9
Take a deep breath. this race is not as hard as it looks, I hope. You just have to open hope the banlkroll and say your novellas and clutch your rosary or any similar religious-event influencing device. Using those horses that have not burned bridges just yet and have taken some money in the past.

$2 pick 6 2 / 4 / 9 / 4 / 2,10 /2,3,6,8,9,11 =$24 play

10 September 2008

Play Of The Day 11SEP

Provolone, Munster, Buffalo Mozzarella, none of these are Better Than Swiss who is my single in tomorrows late pick 4 at Belmont. This filly has gone long, sprinted and will be ready to win tomorrow and break the maiden. The main rival Sweet Bama Breeze has a terminal case of seconditus and can be counted on to pull defeat out of the jaws of victory late. Swiss is a solid single in the $200K pick 6 carryover too.

Race 9

Win #4 Better Than Swiss
43 7-7-6
strike rate 16%
cumulative return $89.30
$2 ROI $2.08

04 September 2008

Curlin Not A Big Draw For The Masses

We all recognize that Curlin is some sort of equine superstar. His run in the Man O' War was the highlight of that weekend for me. While it may be that Curlin is a icon for the hardcore fans, he is barely a blib on the radar for the masses.

Many people complained about the third Saturday of the Spa meet and how it did not have a single Graded or Listed stakes, they said there was no draw. There was a fairly big buzz about the last Saturday of the spa meet and the presence of Curlin in the Woodward along with the Grade I Forego. There was a special Curlin website, numerous posts about the race and articles in every trade paper. After all is said and done the Saturday with no stakes race outdrew the Curlin Woodward day by 6,000 fans. 31K showed up on the 9th of August while 25K showed up for Curlin.

This sport is all about gambling and TV coverage. If the horse is not marketed to the masses during the mainstream triple crown series the masses do not care. The big horses do not bring the boys to the yard without TV. The NTRA should take note.

01 September 2008

01SEP Play Of The Day

Saratoga Race 4

Hoping to close out the Spa meet with a winner. In race 4 the Loudonville Stakes the #4 Johnnie By Night is the clear speed of the speed at a speed favoring distance. In fact Johnnie By Night is a powerful lone speed and I am certain that he will win this stakes race wire to wire.

Race 4 Win #4

42 7-7-6
strike rate 17%
cumulative return $89.30
$2 ROI $2.13

31 August 2008

31 AUG Play Of The Day

Saratoga Race 3

Love the cutback and class drop on #9 Sky Dragon. Trainer Cedano worked under PG Johnson for years and this is an underrated turf barn that does not get bet. Hoping for the full 6-1 morning line on Sky Dragon. The Dragon is going to turn on the burners late and mow down this field. The presence of Retribution will ensure a hot pace set up.

W #9 Sky Dragon

41 7-7-6
strike rate 17%
cumulative return $89.30
$2 ROI $2.18

30 August 2008

30AUG Power Play

Curlin mania is in full swing. Back in March I began advocating for Curlin to take to the turf. He did and that was quickly aborted after one effort. Now that the turf plan has been aborted Curlin will be 1-5 to take down the Woodward as plan B. I will play against him here at a short price. Love the lone speed and second off layoff of Wanderin Boy, this race is plan A for him. This guy is underrated and will be loose in here with the mud calks on a wet track. 10-1 is realistic and he could score in a wire to wire smasher.

Saratoga Race 10 Win #8 Wanderin Boy

40 7-7-5
strike rate 18%
cumulative return $89.30
$2 ROI $2.23

29 August 2008

International Main Track Invasion

Many of the top American main track races are being targeted by International raiders. Usually a turf invasion is expected but this main track raid is a pleasant surprise. From East and west many of the top races are going to have an International presence. All of these horses may converge in the Breeders Cup classic. There have not been many positive things to say about synthetic surfaces however an increased international presence is a positive side effect this year. Half of the horses in the gate of the Breeders Cup Classic could be foreign raiders which could make for interesting Breeders Cup Betting.

Jalil, the $9.7 million Darley purchase makes his North American debut in the Waquoit Stakes on Saturday at Suffolk Downs. His future plans include the Mass Cap and the Classic.

From the east Casino Drive is confirmed to return to America shortly and will target the Goodwood at Santa Anita with the long term goal the Breeders Cup Classic.

Arlington Million winner Spirit One surprisingly will try the dirt in the Jockey Club Gold Cup on his way to the Breeders Cup Classic.

Henrythenavigator the leading Irish miler is being pointed to the Breeders Cup Classic as well. As of now this one has not raced beyond one mile.

Duke Of Marmalade is undefeated this year in Group I middle distance races and will likely skip the Arc De Triumph. Instead he will race in the Irish Champion stakes and has a date in the Breeders Cup in either the Turf or Classic.

27 August 2008

Breeder's Cup Advance Look

Two months out from the Breeders Cup and the storyline is taking shape. With the switch to the new Pro-Ride surface Europeans will be lured into races traditionally dominated by the Americans like the Classic or Distaff(Ladies Classic). For a great run down of all the contenders check out this sharp resource that provides tremendous information on Breeders Cup Betting. Bodog has a tremendous amount of information on all of the Breeders Cup contenders and is the place where savvy handicappers make their plays.

This year is wide open if defending champ Curlin does not enter. IEAH stable has many legit chances throughout the Breeder's Cup card, however the likely favorite for the race Big Brown is a complete and total toss. This will be a great race to find some value with a favorite that only has a small chance of winning.
Top Competitors

Go Between- Confirmed synthetic lover, his win in the Pacific Classic as the favorite validated his synthetic surface form.

Henrythenavigator- undefeated in Europe this year and has won races gamely. Check out his last win in the Sussex stakes. Giants Causeway who scored in the Arc and just missed in the 2000 classic won the Sussex stakes for the Ballydoyle yard.

Colonel John- Confirmed distance ability and gameness in Travers score. Already is a confirmed synthetic lover as the facile winner of the Santa Anita derby.

Breeders Cup Turf
Year after year this race is dominated by European shippers. This year the local west coast turf contingent is very weak. The leading local horse Spring House does not class up at all. All of the top contenders ship in from Europe.

Archipenko- Ran well in the Arlington Million in defeat. Has the right run style for the ultra firm, ultra tight Santa Anita course. A force if he ships over.

Duke Of Marmalade-This guy has developed into a force for the Ballydoyle Yard. The Duke is undefeated this year. He confirmed his top form at 12 furlongs taking the King George at Ascot by an astounding 9 lengths. He recently added the Group I Juddmonte International to his tally, his fifth Group I score of the year. Needs to hold top form for two more months. The Arc may take the starch out of him. Follow him closely.

Soldier Of Fortune-O'Briens other horse for the turf will be live if he makes it in.

Breeder's Cup Mile

Kip Deville
- has been sensational in his two starts and has conformed form at Santa Anita taking the Kilroe mile there in 2007. This Oklahoma bred dominates this usually wide open race.

Whatsthescript- Local horse won the Del Mar mile the other day. Usually needs pace to make his run and there is typically great pace in the Breeder's Cup Mile. Legit contender with a hometown advantage.

Out Of Control- Frankel's Stud TNT import is solid at a mile on the turf. This one will beat Big Brown in the Monmouth Stakes on 13SEP. You heard it here first. He has won in California. p[']

TVG Sprint

Benny The Bull has been phenomenal this year and his retirement leaves a gapping void in the division. This promises to be a wide open race. The other power horse in the division Midnight Lute will stay away from the rubber and jelly cable for synthetic hater Baffert. I would lean towards the local California horses in this race.

In Summation-
loves synthetic and may be a price after a few tough defeats. Top pick at a price.

Rebellion- Close second in Pat O'Brien at Del Mar. His deep closing style may work well as the sprint sometimes completely falls apart, especially on synthetic.

Lucky Island- East coast division leader will be the favorite in the Forego on Saturday at Saratoga. Won the Tom Fool over a suspect field. He can rate and is from a top barn. The Pro-Ride surface would be his first race over synthetic.

27AUG Power Play

Saratoga Race 10

Draw a line through the last off the turf race for #10 Criminal power. this one can stalk the pace and finish well here at a huge price. Like the work in between and the last two try's on the turf.
Think this one can light up the tote. Be sure to bet $10 on the 10 in race 10 today at Saratoga.

Race 10 Win #10 Criminal Power

39 7-7-5
strike rate 18%
cumulative return $89.30
$2 ROI $2.29

23 August 2008

23AUG Play Of The Day

23AUG08 Saratoga Race 11
There is a $1 million pick 4 pool up for grabs today at Saratoga. My single is in the Travers, Mambo In Seattle. He will relish the distance, is a reliable stalker and has great works and
proven over the track. With him singled in this huge field it will
leave options open in the other three races to go deep and connect the right price horses. Mambo In Seattle is the play of the day.

Saratoga Race 11 Win #9

38 7-6-5
strike rate 18%
cumulative return $89.30
$2 ROI $2.35

21 August 2008

Triple Crown Winner Today At The Spa

Finally after umpteen years we finally have a triple crown winner. Okay well it was just the New York bred triple crown series and not the famous Derby/Preakness/Belmont thing. While some people will marginalize the accomplishment of beating statebreds, the undefeated Tin Cup Chalice was a game as a racehorse could be holding off three separate tests in the stretch to win the Albany Stakes at Saratoga by a head. It was a stirring, game performance as he looked beaten by the surging Thatsrightofficer mid-stretch. This undefeated multiple stakes winner is the first horse in history to claim the NY bred triple crown bonus of $250,000. The gelding has won all of his races at distances from 5 1/2 to 9 furlongs. While he has never won a graded stakes he is as game as they come and fights hard in the lane. I found his win today to be a moving performance and he left no doubt that it would take a hellava game racehorse to finally defeat Tin Cup Chalice

15 August 2008

16Aug Value Play Of The Day

Saratoga Race 6
Like Spider Rock on the drop. This 12-1 ML horse has a class edge as the only horse to break his maiden versus open company maiden specials. His last race at Belmont could be tossed and will significantly darken the form to set up todays price. Good value on this one and the works say he is ready.

Saratoga Race 6

Win #4 Spider Rock

37 7-6-5
strike rate 19%
cumulative return $89.30
$2 ROI $2.41

Took A Few Weeks Off From Racing

Something profound has really happened up there at Saratoga. My last post here two weeks ago was a sort of a malcontented complain post. Rather than drone on bashing the game endlessly for everything from the rain to the lack or route races I took some time off. For the first time in a long time I went two weeks without making a wager or thinking about racing or checking results. It was good to give my Greg starved non-racing fans more time. Now that they are completely sick of me it is back to racing for Saturday.

The weather has been so wet around here. For example I purchased a steak to barbeque on Tuesday and I couldn't cook the thing all week as every single day rained. I reluctantly broke my Catholic vows and cooked it today on the outdoor grill in a rainstorm. Hopefully tomorrows card is not a washout like my Friday afternoon BBQ.