Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

31 January 2008

Good news bad news

Wednesday 30th of January's cancellation at Aqueduct was a disappointment to those that handicapped that card. As the cancellation loomed while the horses were in the paddock for the 4th race, the winds at JFK were measured at 35 knots gusting to 42 knots, the temp was 45F. These are borderline conditions for a cancellation, especially with the track in pristine fast condition, which is amazing after 6 hours of morning rain. The conditions improved/winds decreased after the cancellation, but being the Monday morning weather man is much easier gig than heavy wind gust jockey.

Someone from Santa Anita should go out to Aqueduct to find out how the masters at NYRA maintain a safe track in the difficult weather conditions of New York. These cancellations are a drain on track business but are acceptable if isolated. Aqueduct does a great job isolating the cancellations to only the most extreme of weather events.

Wednesdays cancellation was a disappointment as this was one of the most interesting mid-week cards NYRA had all 2008, with several classy starter handicaps and intriguing route races were on tap. Npot the usual fare of maiden claimer sprints and New York bred allowances. As good as the card was it was canceled in the name of safety, so any rational person can not argue with the decision. Todays conditions will be much better with clear blue skies, winds out of the northwest to 10 knots and highs near 40F.

Good news is that Multiple Choice the hard knocking ten year old sprinter has been retired by trainer Joe Imperio. Always good news when one of the old warhorses gets to go home and live his life out with dignity. Imperio deserves some racing luck after doing the right thing. Here are Multiple Choices lifetime PP's.

No news on the white Elephant in the room, as the state continues to take no action on the Franchise and slot contracts. NYRA shutting down Aqueduct on the 14th of February is a very real possibility. It may be a shrewd move to transfer your bankroll out of your NYRA rewards account on the 12th of February to avoid having it tied up by a shutdown of operations.

30 January 2008

30 Jan 2008 Play of the day

Aqueduct Race 1- Lone speed set up for #6 Eight Solid Hearts. Will surely be loose in here and with some moisture in the track this one could score at a nice price. Glad her last start was at the distance, she should be stronger in the lane today. Questionable form with no work since the last race but at this level these things can be excused.

W#6 Eight Solid Hearts

11 3-0-1
strike rate 27%
cumulative return $37.00
ROI $3.36

25 January 2008

25JAN Play of the day

Race 1 #7 Simply Gifted
Like the class drop on #7 Simply Gifted and the ML of 8-1, anything close to that is major value. In addition to the class drop we get a back class edge as she won for a 50K tag over the summer something noone else in this field can claim. Also like that she is running for the 4YO condition and not the N3L beaten claimer condition. 3rd off the layoff form with a really nice blowout the other day seals the deal.
Race 1 Win #7
Power Cap stats
10 3-0-1
strike rate 30%
cumulative return $37.00
ROI $3.70

24 January 2008

Major government expansion on tap for Albany

What is going on up in Albany? While it has taken over four years for Albany to sort out the racing franchise it seems like overnight a gaggle of new taxes and hidden taxes have been introduced. Looks like Albany is desperate for revenue with the lack of VLT's at Aqueduct and a slowing Wall Street/mortgage crisis. Just today Spitzer announced new taxes on on-line purchases, new taxes on Marijuana, a VLT casino at Belmont and expanded quick draw games.

How much taxation can the residents of New York take? Could these officials ever just cut out some of their programs? Millions live without the teat of government perpetually available for a lifetime of suckling. It looks like we are quickly moving towards a 100% effective tax rate in New York State. All the while the franchise mess has still not been resolved. Had the franchise mess been resolved on time, billions of dollars from the VLT (suckers) players would have been funding program after program and paying off past debts. Now we are facing a barrage of new taxes along with increased government corruption. Pepper that with uncertainty and you have to wonder how were 70% of New York voters hoodwinked into voting for Spitzer? Those must have been some clever TV ads that suckered them into the Spitzer era. Good job Mr. Steamroller and the voters of New York should be embarrassed of themselves.

Barbaro Memorial for central park

Sculptor Daniel Edwards will reveal a statue of Barbaro in Central Park New York. It depicts Barbaro on his back in distress after injury, a scene imagined by the artist. The sculpture is going to be placed in the same location where a carriage horse was murdered by a vehicle. There is also a tie in to new legislation.

It looks like all tradional rules are being abondoned here as rules dictate that two hooves off the ground means that rider or horse died in battle. One hoof off the ground means injury in battle. All hooves on the ground indicate surviving unscathed. In the new paradigm four hooves off the ground means you are going for media shock value. I think Barbaro deserves a traditional sculpture that respects him and tradition, as racing is not a passing fad like shock value media.

It seems like this work is inspired by those in the animal rights movement as the unveiling will correspond to the unveiling of Barbaros law which requires reporting of race horse injuries. The government will now using our tax money to pry into the secretive backstretch and shine some light on what happens during training hours.

The first look at this work seems like it makes a mockery out of racing. If the artist wanted to depict the death of a horse on the spot where a carriage horse was murdered perhaps the artist should have depicted the carriage horse. In this day and age the artist went for the media connection as Barbaro is the most well known horse in America after Secretariat. Most will know about Barbaro and a positive association is assured for the the racing ignorant masses. The masses will have little association if a carriage horse was portrayed in his moment of agony.

Perhaps those in the Manhattan liberal elite thumb there nose at racing since racing appeals to the upper class class or working class. Neither groups that racing appeals to relate to liberal causes. Racing has little appeal in the liberal bourgeoisie class or the liberal welfare class. It looks like the Manhattan liberals are launching a cannonball attack into the starboard side of the racing media vessel. The objective of this sculpture is to defame racing and this work has government approval as it is on New York City property at Central Park.

The masses and the media are completely clueless on the ongoing New York franchise ordeal

It looks like Spitzer is now leaning towards installing 4500 slot machines at Belmont Park. After opposing the slots for months Spitzer has changed his stance on the issue. Is this a compromise with Bruno to get this desperately overdue process over? Have all of the kickbacks and backroom deals been allocated? With the media derelict of its duty to inform the only information available is on the internet. One must troll the various TBA BLOGS or messages boards to stay up to date.

The mainstream press and the masses seem to be clueless on this issue. Can the local paper Newsday at least get the name of Belmont correct? It is Belmont Park not Belmont raceway. When professional reporters can not get the names correct you know we are dealing with rank amateurs. The journalistic equivalent of a 5K maiden claimer. Newsday is a complete embarrassment and Paul Moran has become a beacon of truth since leaving that mis-informer of the masses.

Belmont is a beautiful property and the crown jewel of sports venues in the New York City metro area. With an average handle around $10 million dollars a day Belmont does not need slots to succeed. With smart management and a benevolent regulator Belmont could expand its handle and attendance. However the greedy hand of the ever growing government continues to undermine racing operations. The approval of VLT's or slots has little to nothing to do with growing purses but is a means to expand the States vast gambling monopoly and to feed its coffers. With little of no resistance from the people the expansion of the government continues and the media continues to be derelict in its duty to inform. We can only hope that New York racing survives this ordeal.

Play of the day 24 Jan 2008

Aqueduct Race 7

Anything close to the morning line of 12-1 is a steal on #4 Rushbuckler. This 8 year old gelding fits the condition to a tee with a win on 14JuL just under the 24Jul cutoff. It was also against 25K open claimers. This guy has the goods to wire this field. The pace competition figures to come from Graynumberfive who proved himself a over the top horse last out. Other pace pressure may come from #12 Sea Cat who appears outclassed and doomed to chase while far outside. We will take a price here on Rushbuckler.

Race #7 Win #4 Rushbuckler
9 2-0-1
strike rate $22%
cumulative return $25.80
ROI $2.86

20 January 2008

Play of the day 20 JAN 2008

For the first time I can not resist and I am going to pick chalk as the play of the day. Lets look at race 7 at Aqueduct.

Dr. W holds an edge in all three of the fundamental handicapping factors, pace, class and form. A Horse with these types of edges are solid foundations to build wagers around. They just might be the best wagers in all of gambling, we are talking the nuts of the nuts. He is the speed of the speed on a frozen tundra speed favoring course. He is the class of the race winning two open company races including the tough 50K starter allowance condition. Today is a drop in class to New York bred N1X off a win versus open a rare scenario. For the final edge he is third off the layoff, which many say is the sweet spot in the form cycle. The only negative is that he is unproven routing but the three edges neutralize that unknown along with good route breeding. Also consider that stretch out speed horses that are clearly the speed of the speed in two turn races have won more than their share of races over the years on Aqueduct inner dirt.
Race 7 W#6
Power Cap stats
8 2-0-1
strike rate 25%
cumulative return $25.80
$2 ROI $3.23

Trip to see Evening Attire

The old warhorse drew me away from the warmth of my home, as I had to make the trip down the dreaded Van Wyck to see the old horse that has been making people smile for 8 seasons. If Evening Attire can still get out there and put on a show at his age, we owe it to the faithful warrior to show up and support him. Honestly I didn't like his chances to win, but he did just fine to finish up a strong second. This is the best form he has been in since maybe 2004. Next out with a little more ground his chances to get his picture taken by Adam Coglianese instead of a hack like me improve. Here are a few photos from my mobile phone camera. They are low quality pics of a high quality individual.

Here is Evening Attire entering the paddock. He is a horse with uniquely long legs, he has a athletic and healthy appearance.

Evening Attire seems to be a beloved animal, with a team of handlers that seem to dote on him and adore him. This may be the secret to his longevity. He is a good example of everything that is right with racing. Animal rights activists should take note of the wonderful care that racehorses like Evening Attire enjoy.

Here he is tacked up with Dominguez in the irons. His coat is noticeably lighter than in past years. Evening Attire he is really showing that he is the distinguished elder statesman of all American racehorses. Thank you to the Kelly barn and the connections for maintaining this horse and his form for so many years. He is a wonderful treasure that the entire racing community enjoys.

The most popular horse in New York goes to the post.

Here is to getting them next time. Another fan started a great Evening Attire website, check it out.

NYRA signal not available on the internet in New York

Albany is blocking the NYRA signal from being broadcasted within New York on the internet on sites like YOUBET or TWINSPIRES. It seems like a move to protect OTB as this forces many people to tune in to the OTB channel or head into a OTB branch to watch local races. Perhaps it is just a misunderstanding in the language of the NYSRWB law. It is absolutely preposterous that we can bet on NYRA races but can not see the feed.

My cohort Tim B. distributed the letter listed below. It is a template so you can inform your state officials of the situation with the NYRA signal. Feel free to cut and paste the letter and forward it to your elected officials. Every horseplayer from New York should hold their elected officials accountable and send a email to their state senator and assemblyman. To make life easy I will post the letter and the links so you can find and write to the elected officials that work for you. New Yorkers pay the highest taxes in the country, demand some value for your hard work. Stop letting the Assembly and Senate get away with corruption while we remain silent.



As a horse racing bettor and fan, it is a shame that Section 1003 of the State Pari-Mutuel Wagering Law has not been amended to allow advance deposit wagering organizations like youbet.com, twinspires.com, TVG.com, et. al, to provide live streaming simulcast video of New York tracks. Not all areas of New York State are serviced by an Off-Track Betting corporation (i.e. Oneonta) and those fans who desire to play New York racetracks in those locales lose because they cannot view the races live. Horse Racing is a real-time game-of-chance, and the ability to watch the live broadcast from Aqueduct, Belmont or Saratoga provides bettors important information relevant to making wagers that is not available in print or on websites like DRF.com, NYRA.com, or the various newspapers that cover horse racing. If the language of Section 1003 of the State Pari-Mutuel Wagering Law is amended to include "advance deposit wagering companies" as able to distribute the simulcast signal, it would bring the present law up-to-date and would open simulcasting to all areas of New York State not covered by the regional Off-Track Betting corporations.

Down below is the current law, as written of Section 1003 of the State Pari-Mutuel Wagering Law. Please forward this to other state assemblymen and women so this law gets re-written and better serves the horse racing fans of the Empire State.


Except as provided herein, the board shall not approve any application to conduct

simulcasting into individual or group residences, homes or other areas

for the purposes of or in connection with pari-mutuel wagering. The

board may approve simulcasting into residences, homes or other areas to

be conducted jointly by one or more regional off-track betting

corporations and one or more of the following: a non-profit racing

association, a thoroughbred racing corporation or association or a

harness racing corporation or association; provided (i) the simulcasting

consists only of those races on which pari-mutuel betting is authorized

by this chapter at one or more simulcast facilities for each of the

contracting off-track betting corporations which shall include wagers

made in accordance with section one thousand sixteen, one thousand

seventeen and one thousand seventeen-a of this chapter; provided further

that the contract provisions or other simulcast arrangements for such

simulcast facility shall be no less favorable than those in effect on

January first, two thousand five; (ii) that each off-track betting

corporation having within its geographic boundaries such residences,

homes or other areas technically capable of receiving the simulcast

signal shall be a contracting party; (iii) the distribution of revenues

shall be subject to contractual agreement of the parties except that

statutory payments to non-contracting parties, if any, may not be

reduced; provided, however, that nothing herein to the contrary shall

prevent a track from televising its races on an irregular basis

primarily for promotional or marketing purposes as found by the board.

For purposes of this paragraph, the provisions of section one thousand

thirteen of this article shall not apply. Any agreement authorizing an

in-home simulcasting experiment commencing prior to May fifteenth,

nineteen hundred ninety-five, may, and all its terms, be extended until

June thirtieth, two thousand eight; provided, however, that any party to

such agreement may elect to terminate such agreement upon conveying

written notice to all other parties of such agreement at least

forty-five days prior to the effective date of the termination, via

registered mail. Any party to an agreement receiving such notice of an

intent to terminate, may request the board to mediate between the

parties new terms and conditions in a replacement agreement between the

parties as will permit continuation of an in-home experiment until June

thirtieth, two thousand eight; and (iv) no in-home simulcasting in the

thoroughbred special betting district shall occur without the approval

of the regional thoroughbred track.

(b) Any agreement authorizing in-home simulcasting pursuant to this

section shall be in writing, and upon written request, a copy shall be

provided to the representative horsemen's group of the racing

association or corporation that is party to said agreement. Such

agreement shall include a categorical statement of new and incremental

expenses directly related and attributable to the conduct of in-home

simulcasting. The representative horsemen's group may, within thirty

days of receiving the agreement, petition the board for a determination

as to the appropriateness and reasonableness of any expenses attributed

by either the racing association or corporation or the off-track betting


19 January 2008

Play of the day 19JAN08

Aqueduct Race 8- This race is absolutely parched of speed. If Lopez and Judiths Wild Rush want it the lead is all theirs. This horse is going to be loose, combine that with the short field and it could be and should be a wire to wire speed blaster. With many closers signed on it just sets up well. The 2nd off the layoff form seals the deal. Should be a decent price.

Race 8
Power cap stats
7 2-0-0
strike rate 29%
cumulative Return $25.80
$2 ROI $3.69

18 January 2008

Aqueduct Play of the Day 18JAN08

Race 5- This is a my kind of race as there are some serious mismatches here. This is a 25K claimer that has the look of a 10K claimer.

Among those with a pulse is Again and Again. At 5-1 morning line he is the class of the field and he loves the track and relishes it wet. Again and Again only needs to track the cheap speed and kick in the lane. After cutting back from 2 routes he should have ample kick in the lane on the cutback and class drop. Girl trainer and up track finishes gets us a price.

Race 5 W#1
Power cap stats
6 2-0-0
strike rate 33%
cumulative Return $25.80
$2 ROI $4.30

17 January 2008

17 January Play of the day

Race 7 Aqueduct- #9 Speedball Howie is stretching out from a sprint, dropping in class and finds a speed parched field. The plan is pop the latch, make the top, slow it down and kick clear at the top of the lane. Should make the top with ease on the stretchout while the class drop will alleviate any distance concerns. The last race on 04JAn drew a speed overloaded field and he had no shot, this darkens the form nicely and will improve the price.

Race 7
5 1-0-0
strike rate 20%
cumulative ROI $9.40

13 January 2008

Taylor Holes first win at Aqueduct

After losing over 50 consecutive races, Taylor Hole notched his first win at Aqueduct this meet. Taylors and his mount Debating won the 7th race 0n 13JAN08. Taylor Hole is the kind of sportsman that labors in obscurity but this does not mean he is lacking in star quality or talent. He is rich in the rare quality of quiet dignity, the kind that is the result of hard work. When taking in the whole of Taylor Holes life it is apparent that Taylor is indeed a star. He is a everyman star, not the kind of star we see on TV. He is no primadonna that is protected from the reality of life. Todays kind of star is splashed on the back pages of Newspapers everyday more for their tantrums and selfish demands rather than their heart. As a tall rider Holes personal labor to maintain riding weight shows more heart than a the heart of a whole football team with the best trainers. Plugging away for months at working class Aqueduct without a single winner or a million dollar contract shows more guts than the whole team of basketballers who have a 1 out of 2 shot to win every time they set foot on the court.

Taylor Hole is the kind of sportsman that should be the idol of young people everywhere. His quality's are conviction, bravery, commitment and heart. Unlike ball sport stars Taylor Hole faces the kind of adversity that many of us face everyday in our lives. His life is not sheltered from reality. There are no guarantied contracts for a rider, if he does not perform he does not cash a check. If he falls off a horse and can not ride he does not have a paycheck waiting, there is no injured reserve for jockeys. Yet in the face of all this adversity, in the face of real danger Taylor plugged along for 6 week and finally got his win at Aqueduct today.

Taylor was bred to be a jockey as his father lived and died as a jockey. A man of character Mike Hole was known as a jockey that would not take a bribe to fix a race under any circumstances. Reportedly Mike Hole turned down offers of 5,000 and 10,000 dollars to hold a horse back at Saratoga in 1974. His conviction may have been his undoing as he was found slumped over in his car 18 months later near Jones Beach New York. His death appeared to be a suicide but this has never been proven. Rumors of his murder persist. Taylor Hole following in his fathers footsteps shows that Mike Holes bravery and character passed on to his son.

The sport of racing has many characters like Taylor Hole toiling in obscurity with the combination of an iron clad constitution and a deep love of the game. As a niche sport with not many bandwagon types, many of us fans share this love for the game. Watching him score at 43-1 today was a triumph of commitment and heart over the overwhelming force of weakness. Most people would quit when the situation becomes the daunting challenge of a fringe rider, struggling for mounts and riding hopeless longshot after hopeless longshot.

12 January 2008

Power Play 13JAN Aqueduct

Keying on race 5 today. I like a fresh face #10 Methodtomymadness @ 12-1 morning line. This guy is in the sweet spot of his form cycle 3rd off a layoff and the horse is a proven winner. Should have no problem tracking the pace with this field. The unknown yet quality connections will yield a very square price. A juicy spot play.

Race 5 Win #10
Play of the day stats
4 1-0-0
strike rate 25%
cumulative ROI $9.40

12JAN Play of the day

Going to tackle Aqueduct race 5 for the play of the day.

Storming Normandy figures to be 3-5 today. The public will be all over those monster Beyer figs and they will fall in love with him hitting the wire first in a stake last out. The works are fast however it looks like this guy took an open jaw tour of the country. Why does he have works listed in December from PmM in Florida and Hollywood? Of all the spots why did they pick here? However the back breaker is that he is need the lead speed and with the lightning fast need the lead Southern Prince in here it could be big speed duel city.

Now look to Calculator, he won this very race last year right before the Affectionately at a nice price. It was even a similar situation however the very fast Whistlin was the 3-5 chalk. It was a field loaded with speed, 3-5 need the lead chalk and the bomb closer Calculator won. The same scenario is on tap for tomorrow.

If Southern Prince breathing down Storming Normandy's throat latch isn't enough to soften him up, throw in a racetracker grudge. Adding to the sultry duel we have Contessa and his disdain for Dutrow. Contessa will absolutely send Storm Boot Gold on a suicide mission to wear down Dutrows 3-5 sure winner. This will set it up for a closer. Using 1A,8,10 in all pick wagers. You want some coverage if we are going to beat a 3-5 shot in a pick sequence. We could be looking at a sequence of huge mutual pick 3's right in the middle of this card. However for our play of the day lets forget about the three horse math and zero in on Calculator.

Race 5 W #1A
Play of the day stats

3 1-0-0
Strike rate 33%
cumulative ROI based on $2 bets $9.40

11 January 2008

Garret Gomez confirms that Santa Anita is not safe

One of the prerequisites of gambling is a fair game. We are talking about a fifty-two card deck, balanced dice or a safe, fair racetrack. Santa Anita's track disaster is the equivalent of dealing a forty-nine card deck or shooting with loaded dice. The track is not safe and that has been confirmed by leading Rider Garret Gomez. This is the last chance for Magna to show that it can rise above the complete incompetence that has plagued its operations.

Gomez has confirmed publicly that he may desert the Santa Anita colony for a safer track. Gomez described jagged rocks poking out of the stripped down surface. How can this be safe? With little choice or time to improve the conditions, the defective cushion track is a looming catastrophe. This is a surface that is not fit for the world class racing, due to this reason the quality of the Santa Anita meet will noticeably deteriorate as top horses follow Gomez to a safer racetrack. Along with Gomez and the Grade I type horses the action of American horse players will move elsewhere. What remains will not be the world class Santa Anita meet that the world is used to.

With the breeders cup on the horizon, just nine months away, the stakes are huge for Santa Anita/Magna management. The track installation incompetence have placed them between a rock and a hard place. Magna the troubled track operator has reached rock bottom and it is a jagged rock bottom. Bankruptcy, failed slot operations and now incompetent track construction have placed Magna in a precarious position. The outcome of this fiasco will indicate if Magna can continue as a track owner in North America. If Santa Anita can rise to the challenge of fixing the track they have destroyed, this organization may turn the corner into a viable track operator. However if this meet falls into complete chaos, complete with a killing field surface and intermittent cancellations Magna's extraordinary incompetence may just run out it out of the equine gaming business. The Breeders Cup is hanging in the balance.

10 January 2008

Power Play 10JAN Aqueduct

In race seven #7 Carry on The Dream is lone speed and the class of the field. Should be able to get loose and wire with ease at a nice price. 3rd off layoff form seals the deal.

R7 W #7

Power play stats
2 1-0-0
Strike rate 50%
cumulative ROI based on $2 bets $9.40

NYS limiting access to NYRA video it is time to take action

As you may have noticed NYRA video is not available on twinspires.com or HRTV as promised. If you read the law it is worded to protect OTB by stating that racing can only be shown at the tracks or at a OTB. No provision in section 1003 of the NY racing law deals with internet ADW's. This law can be changed, it may take a little while as the law protects OTB corruption but it can be changed if the public places pressure on their elected officials. I urge everybody in New York to write their state Assemblyman and State Senator. It is time that horseplayers exercise their responsibility as citizens in a democracy and place some pressure on their elected officials. The squeaky wheel gets the oil, let us make some noise.

Here are the links to the New York state senators and assembly, they make it easy to contact your reps;



Here is my letter if you do not want to reinvent the wheel and type your own;


My message today is regarding the NYRA horse racing franchise. The law in question is called section 1003 regarding simulcasting of races. The law allows wagering providers to offer wagering on New York races but does not allow these wagering companies to offer video.

20 billion dollars was wagered on races last year and the most popular of those racing signals was the New York NYRA signal. While the growth of wagering is somewhat stagnant the internet advance deposit wagering segment of the industry has experienced explosive growth. By limiting access to video of New York racing, New York state is reducing the appeal of the NYRA signal in the completive simulcast market. People do not want to bet on races they can not watch. Money will flow to other states where there is no such law limiting broadcasting of races.

Players that bet on these races want to watch them. Why does section 1003 limit broadcasting of races? Why would the state reduce its intake of taxes and impede a New York business in a competitive market? Much of the wagering occurs with Advance Deposit Wagering companies which offer legal wagering and video over the internet. An example is twinspires.com. Currently video is not available for New York NYRA races but is available for every other track in the US. . I will quote the pertinent portion of the law below.

"The board may approve simulcasting into residences, homes or other areas to
be conducted jointly by one or more regional off-track betting
corporations and one or more of the following: a non-profit racing
association, a thoroughbred racing corporation or association or a
harness racing corporation or association;

07 January 2008

Is this a new low point?

In a game where imminent demise supposedly looms like vultures circling a carcass, things took a drastic turn for the worse across the country. It seems like the vultures are getting ready to touch down. Like a church choir repeating in perfect harmony there was one line from the major racing centers of New York, Kentucky, Florida and California, bad news.

The biggest news this weekend is out of California, where the all weather track is great for all weather racing as long as the weather is dry and sunny. Anyway you look at it this is going to cost California racing millions of dollars. If they move the meet to Hollywood or only run in dry Santa Anita this is going to cost Magna dearly. The turf course at Hollywood is currently dormant so a move to Hollywood would be a less than perfect solution to an embarrassing problem. It is going to take months to sort this out. After losing millions on the meet, the track will then have to be dug up and rebuilt from scratch. Does Santa Anita stick with Cushion track or go with Dickensons Tapeta which has found success in No-Cal? If that wasn't bad enough the Santa Anita Breeders Cup is looming in 9 months.

Gulfstream kicked off its meet this week to smaller than promised purses, reduced attendance and poor reviews of the facilities. When attendance dives from 21K to 5K is less than 3 years there is a problem. Look for a PowerCap review of the facility sometime this month as I finally check this place out for myself.

Even Kentucky the Thoroughbred breeding capital of North America was not spared the bad news. After gains fueled by the installation of Poly-track, ADW related issues have caused the Turfway handle to plummet 22%. Look for purses to be slashed soon in the blue grass.

New York may have the biggest issues of all. Intense corruption, mind boggling ineptitude and the status quo is the trifecta bet of the year when considering the future of New York racing. The situation is so mixed up that the politicians can not even decide on the who what where of how to screw the game. The latest word is that TVG can show the races in New York but you can not bet on them with TVG. Conversely you can bet with HRTV's betting service but can not watch the races on the HRTV network or internet. This is the best NYS can come up with? Nothing makes sense and the details are hidden in the shadows. There is no clear line on who are the hero's, who are the goats and who is working for which interest. A long thread at paceadvantage covers it all

In six years of following the game closely, 07JAN08 clearly marks a low point.

04 January 2008

NYSRWB Corruption or Ineptitude part III

A new DRF article outlines some of the shadowy behind the scenes action that prevented the NYRA signal from being seen this week. The latest development from Albany and the NYSRWB will not let anybody watch NYRA races. HRTV, Xpressbet and Twinspires have been declined from the NYRA video feed. Twinspires and xpressbet customers can wager on the race but not watch. This is a tough one to figure out. I am not sure if this is NYSRWB corruption or ineppitude.

Is this some sort of corrupt plan designed to keep NYRA in bankruptcy by keeping the signal in check and not allowing people to watch the races? Or is it a form of corruption where the OTB internet sites are protected from competition? OTB does not offer video so they are at a competitive disadvantage. But if the NYSRWB does not let anybody watch the races on-line the field is leveled.

Or maybe it is just complete ineptitude on the NYSRWBs behalf. Maybe the staffers at the NYSRWB are educationally challenged hacks that work in a
bureaucracy and would not know a trifecta from a trip note.

Top races of 2007

1) Rags in the Belmont- The Atmosphere and crowd was amazing

2) Curlin in the Preakness- unlikely late re-rally to outgame the derby winner

3)Curlin in the JCGC- Curlin reasserting his dominance against older after a layoff and sub-par race at Monmouth

4) Evening Attire in the Queens County- A sentimental jackpot for the old timer, most popular win of the year

5)Invasor in the Donn- Left for dead checking behind a wall of horses he powers up on the rail with a breathtaking move

6)Hard Spun in the Kings Bishop- The gamest win and Grade I validation for the speedy warrior

7) Curlin in the BC classic- left no doubt who the boss hoss is

8) Corinthian in the BC dirt mile- rousing victory was a thriller

NYSRWB corruption scorecard part II

There was new developments on the NYRA franchise today. First it looks like the NYSRWB approved wagering for the Bruno connected Tracknet ADW's Twinspires and Xpressbet. TVG and others still have no approval and have been left out in the cold. However video was specifically banned, the only place you can watch the Aqueduct races are on OTB channels. So the NYSRWB decided in all their wisdom to rule betty but no looky. Lets add to our corruption/ineptitude scorecard.

Todays NYSRWB actions highlight another corrupt aspect of the NYSRWB. NYRA wants to offer free video on its website but the NYSRWB specifically restricts NYRA from having live video on the website. Why would the NYSRWB want less people to watch and bet on NYRA races and reduce handle and taxes? Because the NYSRWB wants the people to watch and bet with OTB which means more political patronage jobs and more surcharges on wagers. NYSRWB is the OTB cash cow protector.

9) NYSWRB blocks video of NYRA from internet and from racing channels to protect OTB.- Ruled as primarily corruption but some ineptitude as well was needed to come to this decision on their part.

Aqueduct 04JAN Play of the day

Todays play of the day is in race 9. This is an interesting dual condition of non winners of a race in 6 months combined with non winners of 2 lifetime. This race favors those that are running for the non winners of a race in 6 months condition. #5 Hapid Ralo fits this condition to a tee last winning on 28JUN just a few day before the deadline. Her win in a 20K open claimer makes her near the class of the field. Rinella Storm clunked up second in a 50K claimer on the 04MAY but this is a filly that is making suspicious moves and a pull up candidate.

Other positives with Hapid Ralo is the record over the track with 2 wins and 2 wins over the distance. The Kaz Man does well off the layoff winning at an 18% clip. This is a play at anything close to the morning line of 8-1.

Race 9
1 0-0-0
ROI 0.00

03 January 2008

High takeout-the public loves it

Many players and writers are of the opinion that lowered takeout increases handle. In theory I agree with this thought, but a closer look reveals that lowered takeout does not increase wagering enough to justify the lowered takeout. Why is this? Perhaps the public is not sophisticated enough to divert their play to the pools with lowered takeouts? Have the tracks done enough to educate on low takeout pools? Is the wagering public primarily concerned with action and completely oblivious to takeout?

Over the summer 2007 Ellis Park experimented with a loss leader pick 4 with a unheard of 4% takeout. While the pick 4 pools did increase the experiment was deemed a failure as the increase in handle did not off set the reduction in takeout and the track lost revenue on the deal. The 4% takeout pick four has been nixed for the 2008 Ellis meet.

As you review the chart linked below, the three pools that should catch your attention is the NYRA two horse pools at 17.5% and the Sam Houston pick-3 at 12%. If your action is at NYRA the best deal is the exacta/daily double you are getting two bets at 17.5%, that 8.75% per leg. NYRA also has lowest strait pools in the country.

The lowest takeout pool in the country is unquestionably the Sam Houston Pick 3 at 12%. It is only 4% per leg. You would think that the public would be all over this pool. They are not. You could even say the 12% pick 3 is ignored. The trifecta even with a 25% takeout consistently has two to three time the handle of the pick three. If handicappers want low takeouts they must support them. Track management has to put its neck on the line to lower takeouts. If the public continues to ignore low takeout pools in favor of high takeout pools where is the incentive for track management to lower takeouts?

Lets compare the pick three to the three horse trifecta pool Sam Houston. The trifecta pool takeout at Sam Houston is more than double the pick 3 pool takeout (25%)
31 DEC07
Race 4 Pick 3 10.6K
Tri 26.6K
Race 5 pick 3 6.0k
tri 29.9k
Race 6 pick 3 8.1K
tri 29.5k
race 7 pick 3 10.0k
tri 26.0k
race 8 pick 3 8.0k
tri 22.3k
race 9 pick 3 10.6
tri 23.2k
race 10 pick3 12.0k
tri 26.0k

takeout chart

NYS corruption scorecard

How many ways has the state government compromised NYRA racing? Is it corruption or ineptitude? Why hasn't the media picked up on this story? The VLT's were approved in 2001 for Aqueduct, why haven't they opened yet?

Lets get a scorecard on the state and see if we are dealing with a bumbler or a schemer. With all of these questions someone should be finding the answers.

1) Pataki blocks slots at NYRA for 3 years. -Would not give final approval for unknown reasons- corruption

2) Minor teller/waiter scandals in 2004-2006 initiated by Spitzer forever cloud NYRA as a corrupt organization in media. -both scandals are pure media designed attention getting fiascoes- corruption

3) Multiple franchise racing approval processes started, finished, ignored and started again - ineptitude

4) OTB continues to leach off the racing industry with bloated staff and political patronage jobs- nothing is done- corruption

5) NYRA Internet wagering delayed for years with red tape, while out of state ADW's allowed to operate and siphon money out of the state- ineptitude

6) Franchise deadline passes with no action-ineptitude

7) Deals signed by NYRA but not rubber stamped by NYSRWB causing more lost revenue- ineptitude

8)NYRA can not offer small perks like free admission for account holders after NYSRWB orders that everyone must pay to enter track- ineptitude

It is clear we are dealing with both corruption and ineptitude. In a state like New York where there is so much wealth and so many educated taxpayers it is surprising that the government is such a third rate operation. The future looks grim in New York and it looks like we are on the crest of a tremendous downward spiral. If the way NY governs racing is a indicator on how it governs the State as a whole it looks like we are cycling back towards the economic and social downtrend of the 1970's and 1980's.

Aqueduct Play of the day 03JAN08

Here we start our play of the day run. We will have a singular goal, to be profitable. The play will vary from value to high percentage. Check back here as these will be available most days.

Today it looks like a value play, figuring the track to be lightning fast and speed favoring with an arctic blast looming. The form on the horse is questionable so this horse is admittedly more likely to be up the track, but he is also a possibility to romp at a huge number.

Race 1- The speed of the speed here and class of the race is #3 Graynumberfive @ 12-1. There is no question that this one wants the lead and will get the lead. I do not see another true speed in the race. The other thing I like about this horse is his back class. If you go back and look at the last win on every horses PP you will see the class edge that Graynumberfive has over this field. He won a N1X open allowance in NY, something that no other horse can boast about. He also won in March somewhat close to the 03July cutoff for this condition. This guy a legit play at anything close to 12-1.

record 0 0-0-0
ROI 0.0

02 January 2008

Elbow grease handicapping

Why would anyone spend two-three hours prepping for a diversionary activity? Shouldn't playing a race card be a leisure activity? Not for some of us handicappers. Sure some of us walk into the track and pick a a program on the way in and quickly make some picks, slap together an exacta box and thats it. Then there are maniacs like myself. We spend no less than two hours marking up the form and creating race worksheets in our notebook, complete with comparative speed figures, form ratings and a class ranking. Is it all worth it? Absolutely the hard work creates a bit of anxiety, if no tickets are cashed it can build to uncomfortable levels. There is no pressure release valve, the only way to release the pressure is to win. However when tickets are cashed it is like a tremendous pleasurable release. In those precious moments before the race the brain becomes engorged with a mix of anxiety, doubt and sadness. At the split second a big ticket cashes in rushes a mix of adrenaline, endorphins and the dopamine receptors in the brain become soaked in pleasure. Some say that cashing a huge pick4 may just be better than other notorious pleasurable releases. The one that is for sure is that it is surely better than watching a game.

New Year and a new blog

Racing kicked off this year at Aqueduct but most bettors had no way to wager due to the ongoing embarrassment of the New York franchise process. Going to blame the voters for electing corrupt officals and then doing nothing about it.

It is the masses fault for letting the corruption to continue unchecked. We have a population that is fat dumb and happy that does not perform its vital role of a check on the government. The peolple and media of NY do not demand accountability from their officials and officials like Bruno know they have Carte Blanche' to continue with as much corruption as they please. The only time politicians are checked is when their corruption impedes on the corruption for another politician. Like how Spitzer had the slots earmarked for his boy Richard Fields while Bruno had multiple suitors lined up for the slots.

After 3 or 4 years of trying to manhandle the slot contract for their clients the game ends with a stalemate. Thats where we are today. The only people that have a clue at the idea of the corruption that occurs in New York State are us people on the internet. The rest of the masses are completely clueless.