Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

31 March 2008

Spring Has Arrived In New York

Spring in finally here, this seasonal transition is not determined by a vernal equinox or a climate change but by the move from the Aqueduct Inner Track to the Aqueduct Main Track. While most urban dwellers are completely removed from the seasonal transitions of life the racing fan is in intimate contact with the rhythm of the earth. The racing schedule provides all the hints and cues we need to let us know what time of year it is. If a Grizzly bear could follow horse racing, they would know to terminate their yearly hibernation with the move to the Main Track. Prompted by the move to the main track, racing fans all over New York have began their spring cleaning this week and are planting their tomatoes and peppers.

The move to the Aqueduct main track signals the return of the return of the top class horses from their winter quarters down south. Legendary trainers like Allen Jerkens and Bill Mott will soon be found entering their stock in New York races. The first turf race of the year in New York is scheduled for Saturday. We can look forward to four graded stakes races on the Saturday Aqueduct card. The highlight is the Wood Memorial Stakes which sets the stage for the Kentucky Derby and the rest of the triple crown classics. As New York racing fans we are finishing the last of our winter rations and we can now start feeding on the explosions of budding life brought by the warm spring sun.

30 March 2008

Big Brown Delivers A Big Statement -Tomcito Says Hola

On paper the Florida Derby looked like the most exciting prep yet for the Kentucky Derby. We had the Big Brown express delivery service, the Peruvian Conquistador, the Majestic Aristocrat and a supporting cast of useful colts. The race lived up to the billing. Big Brown delivered an express package arriving to the wire quickly and unscathed. Brown lived up to the hype that Dutrow and Desormeaux had been spreading all week making those two look like horseracing profits.

If Big Brown and his quarter cracks can make it to the first Saturday in May he will surely be the favorite and a formidable force on the front end. The challenge for Dutrow to keep this Big Brown blaster on edge for five long weeks. So much so soon for this Big Brown but he surely has more of that brilliant form available for delivery. There will be many people counting on him to deliver on derby day after this command performance.

The win capped off a memorable day for Dutrow, perhaps a day like that has only been trumped by Mandella's 2003 Breeders Cup quad win day. Dutrow started off the day annexing the Godolphin Mile with Diamond Stripes, moved on to Benny The Bull's Golden Shaheen, and placed himself front and center by introducing the world to the Kentucky Derby favorite. He even won the night cap at Gulfstream after the Florida Derby. Have to give him credit for one of the great days ever in racing. Dutrow like Big Brown is a polarizing figure and everyone has an strong opinion about the man one way or the other.

Tomcito made his much anticipated American debut and ran a promising race. After being outrun early he persevered for third. It was the kind of race that a horse can move forward from, and it was a positive first time experience. The connections must be pleased and hopeful for future success. If there is some massive pace melt down in the derby or Belmont Tomcito is the kind of runner that is poised to pick up the pieces. He could make an impact if the chips fall his way. He is the kind of horse with a long form cycle, he should improve and run many honest races.

The Florida derby completely changed the Derby picture. All of the internet, media and newspaper Derby lists will have to be amended to make way for Big Brown up top. Big Brown's race was like the delivery of a birthday cake with an surprise exotic dancer bursting out when you least expected it. It was thrilling, exciting and something that got the heart racing. Tomcito's race was like a new Latino neighbor coming by to drop off their flan recipe. Tomcito's race was good, you enjoyed meeting the new neighbor but the exotic dancer and the cake completely rocked your world and made the flan seem quite ordinary in every way. Keep in mind that in the future the flan recipe could prove much more useful than the exotic dancer in the cake.

Dubai World Cup Winner Curlin to the Turf?

Tremendous performance by Curlin in the Dubai World Cup manhandling his opponents with ease. He won with absolute authority, so dominate that John Murtagh said. "The winner is a monster." After wins in the Breeders Cup Classic and now Dubai World Cup Curlin has very little to prove on the dirt. The trainer and owner seem to be the sporting kind of connections that the game dearly needs. Racing fans should be pleased that the connections are harvesting the rewards of keeping Curlin in training. This sets a positive precedent for other connections to race their top class American horses past the sophomore season. Many horses have pulled off the Breeders Cup/Dubai World Cup double. Why not do something exciting that will distinguish Curlin as one of the greatest Thoroughbred racehorses ever? Now that Curlin has absolutely proven his dominance in the worlds two biggest dirt races why not try the turf?

A turf campaign would be an exciting close to Curlin's career and a conquest that would endear him to a worldwide audience. Possible targets could be the Arlington Million, then a ship to France for a prep and then the Arc De Triomphe. Here is the best part for team Curlin there is no pressure if they try the grass. When Curlin runs in the Arlington Million, he has a built in excuse as a dirt horse so there is little pressure to perform well. However if Curlin dominates on the turf like I suspect he will , his reputation raises exponentially without any risk. This horse is so good and so classy that he is like racing legends such as Dr. Fager, Round Table, John Henry and Secretariat, these are horses that could transfer dominant dirt form into world class turf form. Running the table on this schedule would lock the Dubai World Cup winner as one of the greatest of all time. Why has no American horse taken on the challenge of the Arc? Curlin is the first American horse that is up to the challenge in some time. Jess Jackson is proud to be a fourteenth generation American, and as a wine making mogul how satisfying would it be for him to bring home Europe's greatest race? Alexander the Great did not become Alexander the Great by sacking the Sardis over and over. Alexander expanded his territory and took on new challenges. Curlin has the potential to be Curlin the great if the connections have the courage to take on new challenges.

29 March 2008

Weekend Derby Prep Action 29MAR

The Florida Derby is the most serious derby prep so far along the trail. $1 million purse is also the largest and certainly the most interesting prep in what has been a uneventful derby trail. The Favorite is Big Brown who is a polarizing animal. People are wither swooning over him or labeling him as a cheap plug that has beaten nobody of consequence. A horse that has so much sway over the thoughts and actions of people must have substance, I think that he runs huge here, especially since he needs the graded earnings for connections that would love nothing more than to go to Louisville on the First Saturday in May.

The other interesting horse is Tomcito whose exploits have been extensively chronicled on websites like this one and others. For a horse that has earned $54K he has received more than his fair share of hype. After reviewing his fast works I think this cat in bag is going to fire out of the bag quickly and show more speed than expected. I have a growing suspicion that the connections will want him close to the pace to get him used to the faster pace of American racing. Close to the pace will be his undoing, this is a one run closer. He makes his big late run next out but I think the connections want the Florida Derby to be a positive introduction to American racing for Tomcito more than a inauspicious introduction.

Fierce Wind on the rail has won at the distance and track and has four really nice works since the Sam Davis. He has the speed to track the pace and the class to win it. He has a legit claim as a win contender.

Then we have Hey Byrn who has been beating up on allowance foes, over the track and distance he faces a huge class test today could be a poor mans fierce wind as he has a similar running style.

Majestic Warrior despite the stellar pedigree has the shown hints that he might be a closing sprinter, but do you really want to write off this grade I winner so fast? A case could be made here for a massive form reversal. I will let him prove it.

I like that the two top contenders in the race have the far outside post and the far inside post. My friends at the Flushing OTB would say that this race has balanced Feng Shui. With that in mind I wager that both power horses hit the frame. I will play both Fierce Wind and Big Brown.

exacta box 1/12

trifecta 1,12 / ALL / 1,12

Horseplayers Are Omnivores

Like Macciavelli said a prince must sometimes imitate the fox and also the lion. A handicapper must be able to make the right play at the right time. Sometimes he should be a fox and find a race where the chalk is vulnerable and the value is in a spread vertical exotic. Other times the capper should be a lion and just devour a horse that he loves in the win pool. You can not get locked into one bet or a one dimensional line of thinking if you want to survive in this jungle. The handicapper profits from being a multi dimensional, nimble wagering, parimutuel predator.

28 March 2008

TVG To Offer Free Past Performances to Account Holders

TVG announced today that it will offer free past performances to their account holders. The first ADW provider to match the free PP's that Twinspires have offered for years. Perhaps somebody at TVG realized what horsesplayers like and they shrewdly arranged some free stuff for horseplayers that clamor for this sort of thing. This is an improvement for a ADW provider who is a notorious nickel and dime operation that charges a $.25 surcharge for every bet placed. If you look at the ADW poll TVG lags far behind Twinspires.

TVG has contributed their fair share to the industry. Perhaps someone like I would not have become an obsessed racing fan if TVG did not exist. While I watched racing since the mid-1980's, the bug did not really hit me until the early 200's when TVG was the first to beam the into the TV 18 hours a day. Before TVG racing was on TV for 12 hours a year, now it is on 18 hours a day everyday of the year. We can not underestimate the positive influence TVG has had in modernizing the racing industry and coaxing non-dinosaur fans into the racing circle. It would be a shame if a network like TVG fails. HRTV does not reach as many people. It would be a greater shame if it failed because it was outgamed by Twinspires and their free BRISNET PDF PP's. It is a huge positive that TVG has entered the free stuff business. Even 58 Flat Matt hit the late pick 4 at Aqueduct today for $670 bucks. Things are looking up at TVG.

27 March 2008

Dubai World Cup Card

The Dubai racing club assembled a real humdinger for the Saturday evening Dubai World Cup card. Rarely will a card have over 10 Group/Grade winners and this card has 59 grade/group stakes winners. The class is being dealt out often and in spades.

The late pick 3 has a cumultive purse of $16 million dollars. Going to try to nail this pick 3.

Race 5 Dubai Duty Free- This is where I am going to single. #10 Literato is an absolute machine and has won 9 of 11 mostly in group competition. The win in the Group I Champion stakes confirms his class and the cutback to 9 furlongs should have him running powerfully in the lane. Class turf runners that win race after race are the most reliable horses to wager on and this is where I will hang my hat. The Godolphin home teams claims the the Duty Free for themselves. If Literato scores the game will get very interesting for my interests.

Race 6 Dubai Sheema Classic- This 12 furlong turf classic features a field with 9 Group or Grade 1 placed horses, one of the best races held anywhere in the world in 2008. This is the race where I feel value may be found. Going to spread out in this leg of the sequence, including as many as possible. Latency, Quijano, Sun Classique, Youmzain, Better Talk Now, Oracle West, Viva Pataca, Mourilyan, Doctor Dino and Gower Song have all proven that they belong and a deep spread might find a big price and the keys to a score. The vital form factors in a race like this are class and distance ability.

Race 7 Dubai World Cup- This looks like a possible walkover for Curlin and I agree that he is a formidable favorite in a race that has been dominated by American shippers at a short price. In this sequence the vast majority of pick 3 players will have Curlin singled. I too will be one that singles Curlin on my main ticket but the unexpected happens in horse races, so I will try to make the unexpected my friend. With the unexpected in mind, I will play an alternate contingency ticket that uses Premium Tap, Jalil and Vermilion just in case racing luck shines a bad light on Curlin.

Dubai Pick 3 Ticket A 10 / 1,2,3,5,6,10,12,13,15,16 / 12

Dubai Pick 3 Ticket B 10 / 2,3,5,12,15 / 6,7,8,12

Tomcito Watch Part IV

Tomcito is entered in the Grade I Florida Derby at Gulf Stream on Saturday 29MAR. The workout tab looks consistent and he was asked for speed in a big 5 furlong blowout 17MAR. The favorite will be #12 Big Brown who is looking to be the first horse to ever win a 9 furlong race at Gulfstream since they reconfigured the track to 9 furlongs a few years ago. Lots of hype with Big Brown and there are more than a few esteemed handicappers who swoon over Big Brown's two blowout wins. I am looking for an improved effort from the regally bred Majestic Warrior who should be a big price.

Tomcito drew well in post four and we should get a clear view on exactly who Tomcito is. I hope he runs well and adds some much needed intrigue to the triple crown trail. Peruvian Jorge Chavez takes the mount and I hope all of Peru tunes in to see their connections do well.

26 March 2008

Handicapper Saved From Rapture

Perusing the other contestants in the public handicapper contest I stumbled upon a holy affirmation that I would like to share. Between the picks, endless stats and various handle-names it looks like a soul was on the line. A contestant named C Matters wields an unorthodox and unique handicapping style. Judging by the small sample of results it seems to be working well for C Matters. The stakes were high for him in the Lanes End as his fate wavered in the wind like a cat tail shifting about in November storm. With everything on the line C Matter's fate rode alongside Edgar Prado around the polytrack at Turfway.

A man was found dead Wednesday in what appears to have been a suicide at a residential construction site on a lot owned by Mel Gibson. The Lost Hills Sheriff's Department received a 911 call at 8:09 a.m. alerting authorities to a man hanging from the rafter of a house on Sierra Creek Road in Agoura Hills, Los Angeles County. Law enforcement sources say the body was found hanging in the addition to the home that was being built and was in "full-body rigor mortis" and the hanging could have occurred the night before.

Don't quote me on this, but according to Inside C Dot's Hollywood scuttlebutt, the worker had a piece of construction paper with the words, Lane's End: look in my pants pockets stapled to his forehead. Cops found two notes, one in each pocket. They read: Robbie The Human Anchor Albaradotros and Edgar My Favorite Tamale Prado.

Scuttlebutt in hand, my mind's been made. It's Holy Saturday. I'll be taking this afternoon's Lane's end outcome as a sign from God: if Adriano wins, I'm heaven bound; if Racecar Rhapsody wins, my future's anchored in hell; if neither win, a jillion years in purgatory.

As mysterious as picking winners is the scourged mind of an unbelieving, guilt-ridden lapsed Catholic.

24 March 2008

Dubai Modern City Embraces Racing

There is no place in the world right now building and expanding like Dubai. This is truly a now city, in the way that New York was a now city in the early part of the 20th century or Athens back in the 5th century B.C. Most of the Dubai infrastructure has been built since 1990 and the city is growing up and out on a daily basis adding new construction and new population. Dubai is at a major crossroads of trade. It is a meeting point of goods and services between Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe. It is good for the future of racing that it is an integral part of the Dubai culture. Sheikh Maktoum uses racing as a primary tourist attraction in the Go To Dubai campaign. Compare that to New York where racing is marginalized and rarely mentioned as a tourist attraction. Most tourists would hardly be aware that Aqueduct or Belmont is a world class racing facility easily accessible from Manhattan. The new Meydan racecourse under construction promises to be the grandest racing facility in the world, you can count on the Dubai World Cup to continue to be a major target on the racing calender.

Year after year the Dubai World Cup is expanding its profile and it has become the dominant late winter top class racing event in the world. The fields are more global than the Breeders Cup and represent a large cross section of Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Australia and Africa. Saturday's upcoming Dubai World Cup card may just be the most exciting card run all year any where in the world. As Dubai continues to expand its profile on the world stage it is good that racing has secured a spot in one of the most important international cities.

22 March 2008

Weekend Derby Prep Action 22MAR

This week we have the Lanes End GII from Turfway. The only graded winner in the lot is #11 Turf War who is drawn wide and 2nd off the layoff. The morning line favorite Halo Najib is returning from an abysmal race at Gulfstream where he made little impression. The third choice Cannonball has won on nothing but turf. The forth choice Adriano is another that has won on turf twice and showed little to nothing in the Fountain of Youth while having the valid excuse of the 12 hole at GP going nine furlongs. Perhaps Macho again has a shot if he can stretch out successfully. The race is wide open. My pick is Graham Motion's Adriano who is beautifully bred out of a Mr. Prospector mare by A.P.Indy. Adriano is bred to get the distance and his two wins were impressive. Both wins were on the big circuit, either Saratoga or Gulfstream, many of these horses have cheap wins at places like Sam Houston or Turfway.

Showdown:Then There Were Two

After a grueling 24 days of racing there are two contestants left in NYRA showdown. Alysa The Dancer who was forth in a 5 horse field eliminated two contestants Friday. Now it is head to head for the $7600 first prize. Just what are the two showdown iron horses Inky and Kluelesskeith thinking as they drive for the wire?

21 March 2008

Must See Film

Last year I went to the Tribeca Film Festival and thoroughly enjoyed the The First Saturday In May. I caught a matinée in the east village down the block from Webster Hall, I brought a friend who does not embrace racing and he liked the film as much as I did. The film was an entertaining look at the people behind the scenes who muck the stalls, guide the horses through their workouts and feel the sting of disappointment when something goes haywire. The film starts in the dead of winter as the derby trail kicks off. The anticipation builds as the horses make their way to Louisville. There are plenty of laughs, cheers and tears in this game and the film captures it all brilliantly. Insightful behind the scenes action with the very interesting connections. Frank Amonte the former Contessa assistant stole the show, but there are many colorful characters to chose from. The racing fan will love it and the non-racing fan will want to get out to the track after viewing this film. Here is another review from an esteemed blogger. Looking forward to purchasing the DVD when it is available.

19 March 2008

Breeders Cup Two Consecutive Years At Santa Anita

The Breeders Cup Ladies day has been the hot button issue and has stoked the fires of many fans on both sides of the argument. Another issue that is not getting as much discussion is Santa Anita hosting the Breeders Cup for two consecutive years. The main issues are the hot weather, the travel for European Shippers and the unknown surface. With all of these concerns and I felt that it was a mistake that Santa Anita was awarded an unprecedented two consecutive Breeders Cups. This is a track that is struggling with the surface and nobody can say for sure what type of surface the 2008 breeders cup will be run over.

While we can assume that the surface will be sorted out over the next seven months, it is an absolute risk to run a event like the Breeders Cup on the assumption that the ground under the horses hooves will be sound. Any injuries or ugly incidents and the finger of blame will be pointed to Santa Anita, and their incompetent management of their surface. This could be the first Breeders Cup run over a synthetic surface but who really knows what the surface will be at this point. There is such a diversity of synthetic surfaces, from the fast Hollywood cushion track to the waxy quicksand-like Del Mar polytrack. This uncertainly must make long term plans challenging as horses can not get a race over the surface. What ever Santa Anita installs will play a huge role in determining which horse excels in the 2008 breeders cup. Never has there been so much uncertainty leading up to the event. What if the unproven, freshly minted surface has drainage or safety issues? There will be very little time to make corrections and the pressure to run is tremendous.

The issue of weather is usually a problem wherever a Breeders Cup is run. Running at Santa Anita has issues unique to the desert climate. Last year at Monmouth the Breeders Cup was run under a constant deluge and the drops did not stop falling from Wednesday until Saturday. It seems like the move to run in the desert at Santa Anita for two consecutive years was a reaction to get as far away from the driving rain of the Jersey shore in Autumn. Another weather issue that of a Breeders Cup location is the biting cold of Belmont's North facing Grandstand, not the most pleasant place to be for many in late October. The weather issue with Santa Anita is the hellish heat. Santa Anita's inland location is far enough from the ocean that it does not get the cool Pacific breezes of Del Mar or Hollywood. Santa Anita is basically in the desert. The 2003 Breeders Cup was bone dry hot. As soon as the sun rose it was in the 90's and the earth was on fire with the Santa Ana winds stoking wildfires from San Diego to San Bernardino. The smoke filled, smoggy air compromised many horses. Not only did the Eastern and European horses have to acclimate to a hot dry climate they had to acclimate to running with smoke and ash in the air. Volponi shipped back to New York from the 2003 Breeders Cup with a lung full of ash, mucus and blood. The classic is run at at the height of the heat at 3pm to accommodate the eastern time zone TV slot. No wonder local boy Mandella won four races with three longshots, as his horses had the edge of acclimation.

The other issue with running at Santa Anita is the travel issues. California is 3000 miles from New York and it is a long ship to a place with a inhospitable climate for horses that have begun to grow their winter coats. For Europeans it is a very long plane journey and climate acclimation issues may prevent many shippers from contesting the Breeders Cup. Combine the hot dry weather with the currency conversion issues reducing the Breeders Cup purses and the ship from Stanstead / Shannon /Amsterdam to LAX is not very appealing. Running at Santa Anita for two consecutive years means that Europeans horseman and fans may just lose touch with the event.

Santa Anita is a undoubtedly a beautiful setting, the San Gabriel mountains beyond the backstretch make for one of the most appealing vistas in America. However running the Breeders Cup for two consecutive years at a track with a unsettled surface is a mistake. Breeders Cup is going to alienate the Europeans running under oppressively hot conditions for two consecutive years. When the Breeders Cup is done with Santa Anita in 2009 we may find an event that has lost much of its stature within the global industry. The Breeders Cup may have squandered much of its global appeal at a time when the Breeders Cup is attempting to expand. The Breeders Cup seems to be losing ground to other championship type racing events in Dubai, Hong Kong and Japan.

18 March 2008

Showdown Marathoners

How about the players still alive in the show down contest at NYRA.com. Twenty one consecutive days of picking a horse to finish better than than fourth is quite an accomplishment. Do these people feel pressure? After about two weeks those contests become pressure cookers. Anybody alive this long is a real classy capper with a tremendous amount of talent for picking the ponies.

Things Horseplayers dislike

5. Redboard- Horseplayers hate redboards and redboarders. A redboard is when someone brags about a winning wager without speaking about the wager before the race. Not only is this obnoxious but the redboarder could be full of you know what as who knows for sure that he/she made the wager or are they just looking for admiration when none is due. If you plan on braging about a wager make sure you speak about it before the race.

4. Racetrack Management-These guys are universally hated by horseplayers. They even have a website for them called track thieves. Horseplayers have not received the best treatment from the tracks over the years and this has produced a built up resentment. The customer service level experienced by the horseplayer at a racetrack is about what a crackhead could expect in a crack house. Management of either the track or crackhouse knows they have both groups as dedicated customers and they do not need to do much to keep them coming back.

3. Window capping- Horseplayers hate when some newbie is at the teller window one minute to post reading the program instead of calling out a wager. This causes those at the back of the line to get shut out of wagering. These are the most annoying people at the track. Racetrack etiquette dictates that window cappers can be verbally abused with impunity. Feel free to shout at and denigrate window cappers at any time, it is completely acceptable.

2. Paying for anything- Horseplayers hate paying for stuff. TVG is avoided as a ADW because they make their customers pay 25 cents for the privilege of making a wager. A horseplayer would forgo buying lunch but would gladly allocate the same sum towards a wager on a animal running in a circle. One of the biggest beefs at the track is paying for admission or parking.

1. Change- Horseplayers hate change above all else. Perhaps this why horseplayers are drawn to horseracing, a game that is hundreds if not thousands of years old. Any change at anytime draws outrage. They would like the game to remain suspended in time. In most respects the game has remained suspended in time, only the people the get older.

17 March 2008

Tomcito Watch Part III

Tomcito worked out as part of his preparation for the $1 million grade I Florida Derby. He worked handily five furlongs in 58 4/5ths, a bullet move. A promising workout was over the Gulfstream dirt course where he will race. The Florida Derby looms on the 29th of March.

Frank Is Using Sex To Lure The Young Bucks To Gulfstream

Frank Stronach has set up a new area dubbed Frank's Energy Beach at Gulfstream to lure the younger crowd to the track. Right on the apron of the track a DJ spins dual technics 1200's pumping out house music on the sand dance floor. Stronach is alone among racetrack owners in that he attempts to use sex to sell racing. Can sex sell something like racing? Currently with its geriatric fans and complex intricacies racing does not appeal to the younger instant gratification crowd. There are more race fans that use jazzy scooters to get around the house than go out to nightspots to dance to jazz infused acid house music.

Usually the only skin seen at the local NYC tracks or OTB's is an unwanted plumbers crack when the stoopers bend over during their discarded ticket harvesting operations. Bikini clad 18 year old party girls sipping Mojtios by the faux-beach is a violent departure from what racing fans are used too. Could anybody really be sure about what will happen when these two far removed groups are juxtaposed in the same location? Maybe it will be like the subway and the two groups will just look at the floor and avoid eye contact when they pass each other.

Can Franks Energy Beach grow the racing fan base? Could there actually be a crossover from the Energy Beach to the wagering pools? What will be the reaction of the Energy Beach patrons when they encounter a enthusiastic race fan beating their thigh with the racing form and shouting profanities while rooting their trifecta key home? At the very least I think Frank is planting the seeds of future fans and getting young foot traffic into the door. Perhaps a few of the Energy Beach patrons who would never in their wildest dreams step foot into a racetrack will make a token bet. Perhaps a few will have a thrilling experience watching their horse cross the line first and develop the horse racing obsession that many thoroughbred fans have.

Las Vegas has pulled off the "lets have in nightclub to lure the younger crowd" move in the past. Vegas did not have the modern nightclubs of New York, Ibiza and London during the early 1990's. The entertainment in early 1990's Vegas consisted of lounge acts singing cover songs in places like the Dunes and The Sands. The dance scene was far away at New York's Palladium, The Tunnel or Limelight nightclubs. Now Las Vegas has tapped into the nightlife pulse and almost every casino has a nightclub with house or Hip Hop music geared towards 20 somethings. The very successful and trendy Palms Casino has consistently used sex to sell its casino and almost every ad features a scantily clad young women squeezing some part of her anatomy. It is late to the game but here in 2008 racing tries to combine ecstasy and exactas. Will it work?

16 March 2008

Ladies Day Idea Originated On-Line with a TBA Member

Reading through some of the comments on "Complain Overkill" post I noticed that a commenter or two disagreed that it is okay to celebrate the differences between the sexes. Ladies rooms are okay, Ladies Day at Ascot is okay but no further or new reference to Ladies is allowed. While I agree somewhat that the Ladies Classic is a unique name for the race previously known as the Distaff, however it is not without precedent as there is a Ladies Handicap at Aqueduct or a Ladies championship at Wimbledon. While the only thing offensive about a Ladies rooms is hopefully flushed down the toilets, it is political correctness run amok when people are offended by "Ladies" being used to name a race. A mis-named race perhaps, offensive it is not. What is so offensive about Ladies having their own day. Are Ladies Offended by Mothers Day? Most Ladies I know relish having a day where they are the focus of attention, what kind of twisted rhetoric has caused people to be offended by this?

Piqued by curiosity I initiated a search of what others have commented on their pages about Ladies day. The most amazing find was that the Superfecter blog had suggested that the Breeders Cup stage a Ladies Day way back in Feb 2007. Perhaps the brain trust at the Breeders Cup reads these blogs and they were inspired by this well presented post. Some of these pages are maintained by well educated fans, the creme de la creme of race fans. It is very shrewd of Breeders Cup to skim the top of the barrel when looking for inspiration.

Here is quote from the post that initiated the idea;
4) Create something akin to Ladies' Day at Ascot -- don't leave the pomp up to d-list celebrities at the Derby. If the Breeders' Cup is going to continue to add races, why not make it an occasion? I would gladly take a Friday off work and would even invest in a hat for that purpose.
However the same person that may have been the inspiration for Ladies day commented on the "Complain Overkill" post that they do not like the breeders cup staging a Ladies day. A total one hundred eighty degree reverse of opinion while not acknowledging their own creativity!

I think you missed those of us who are simply annoyed that they've moved a great race to day no one will watch or attend -- as a working mom, I certainly cannot just take a Friday off and fly across the country for a few races.
The conclusion I draw from this is that even the most educated, resourceful fans can have a knack for the negative. They come up with an idea, a real idea with limitless potentional and when it is implemented they still complain. Rather than giving the fans instant validation for their confused concerns with Ladies Day I think breeders cup should run with the Ladies days for two years and see how it works. The people complaining may feel a sense of initial rejection that their petition was a failure but perhaps after the knee-jerk offensive feelings subside Ladies day may end up becoming a rousing success. A celebration of the beauty and grace of the feminine form and the generosity of the female racehorse. Do we really want to celebrate juvenile horses? Everyday is kids day, but a whole day dedicated to the Ladies is so much better. Maybe in the future if Ladies day succeeds, ESPN could secure a Sunday slot. One has to realize that replacing NFL football coverage with horse racing is not going to be a something that could happen at this point in time. That is the reason Ladies day is on Friday this year. This is not marginalizing the woman it is validating the Women with an entire day devoted to her, where she can be the headliner. It is day to celebrate the beauty in the difference of the sexes that makes life so sweet.

If Spitzer Played Horses He Still Would Be In Office

Obnoxious people not only make bad friends, but they can be a danger to their friends and family. These people need to bring humility and modesty into their lives. Can one think of an activity that has more humbling effects than wagering on horse races? Those with obnoxious, egotistical personalities should be prescribed a steady diet of playing the ponies. Then after a few treatments of lost photo finishes, stewards DQ's and complete non-efforts of odds on picks, the ego-maniac will be a changed person. These self centered people under the horseplayer treatment will slowly mature into more caring friends, awash in post wager despair they will become comforters who can empathize with the troubles of others while thinking beyond the me, myself and I. Racing is a game where self centered over-confidence is quickly dealt with. Do you know someone that thinks they are gods gift to the rest of us? Make a date with them to spend an afternoon at your local OTB or racetrack. Watch their picks run up the track and their bloated egos get stomped like a cockroach caught wandering on the stage of a live performance of riverdance. It could be the best thing you ever did for them.

How about those confident players that wagered hundreds of thousands of dollars that War pass would run third today in the Tampa Bay Derby? Some fool blogger even proclaimed that the Tampa Bay Derby would be a walkover and perhaps Zito should seek out a stiffer test for his champion charge. War Pass competing in the Tampa Bay derby was far removed from the certainty of a rocket scientist passing a 2nd grade arithmetic quiz. What these people missed was that the Tampa Bay Derby was War Pass' first race on a fast track going two turns, his first race over the deep Tampa Bay surface and that he was not feeling well this week with a cold. Not only did War Pass answer one plus one incorrectly on his 2nd grade quiz, but he managed to answer all the questions wrong while finishing last. Over-confidence was vanquished and a large mass of humbleness filled the vacuum for all those that singled him, bridge jumped him and proclaimed him a mortal lock.

How about the famous ego-maniac Spitzer. A man so full of himself that he signed strong anti prostitution legislation a few months ago while being a noted connoisseur of the oldest profession himself. A case of malignant chutzpah so acute that it brought a family, and entire state government to a screeching halt. Spitzer would have found a better fate if he had been playing the horses instead of trying to prosecute its workers. If anybody needed the therapeutic, ego reducing effects of horseplaying it was Spitzer. "Yo Silda War Pass was 2YO champ, won his last race in hand and is lone speed, watch the steam roller bet $4.3K on the nose with $80K to show". Just like that the ego-maniac governor could have been brought back to earth and all issues associated with his delusional superiority complex would have been neutralized. The sixty nine percent of New York voters that checked Spitzer would not look like complete fools and those that donated to his campaign would not be left with out a fixer. Help is available for ego-maniacs if someone will dare to care.

15 March 2008

Tomcito watch Part II

Going to keep my eye on the Peruvian classic winner Tomcito. This colt has been working well at Palm Meadows, his last work was 1 mile in 139 4/5ths. He could be the center of an exciting story if he is successful in the states. The connections are pointing towards the Florida Derby and then the triple crown. This $7,500 purchase has group I wins at ten and twelve furlongs on his resume. However group I wins in Peru typically does not translate to American Grade I performer. This colt has plenty to prove. Perhaps if Tomcito classes up he looms as another rags to riches story from South America.

14 March 2008

Weekend Derby Prep Action

The Tampa Bay Derby appears to be a near walkover for War Pass. Lone Speed, clear class of the race, and prime second off the layoff form. Nothing is ever easy in this game and the odds on War Pass will be shorter than a quarter horse in a three mile steeplechase. This race is clearly for viewing purposes and I will be rooting for War Pass to win by a pole and set a new track record. Maybe this undefeated champion can get some much needed positive buzz momentum rolling towards the triple crown.

The Rebel provides more intrigue. The favorite is New York Bred Z Fortune. He has the mis- z fortune of drawing the far outside post in a two turn race. Willing to take a shot against Z first time shipping into Oaklawn at a short price. The pace scenario on paper is light on speed and this favors #4 Sacred Journey. Sacred Journey seems to hold all of the trump pace cards. If he can get the distance he should get clear and wire this field. Consider that Sacred Journey is second time stretching out while second time over the surface, both favorable considerations. Sacred Journey has the speed and credentials to cross the wire first in the Rebel. Give him a look in the paddock, if Sacred Journey is composed I suggest a wager on the nose.

13 March 2008

Websters Called

A new word was added today to the English dictionary. History is made by accident.

Camplain. to use expressions of dissatisfaction and pain to forward an organized effort. The bloggers camplained intently until the race was returned to the original name.

Websters urged me to use their products, perhaps I will oblige.

Breeders Cup Change Complain Overkill

The people that are raising this ruckus fall in two categories. The first category is the run of the mill racing fan that just about rejects any change at any time. These people bashed NYRA when they introduced the Grand Slam, hated when a non winners of three allowance race became a non winners of three optional claiming race. These people find disappointment with any change and find glee when new ideas fail. It was a given that these people would dislike the changes to the Breeders Cup as this group does not do change under any circumstances.

The other group is the type that demands sexual homogeneity and sterilization of everything. For these people it is offensive for racing to tap into tradition. Tapping into tradition reminds them of the time when women had a primarily home-centric life. Women at home? Children are so unimportant and can wreak havoc with a career! These people have mailpersons not mailmen. They would have line persons instead of linemen maintaining their electric service but so far only men have signed up for this dangerous line of work. For these people a Ladies classic means limits on the female in society. They may even lobby for the Classic and Ladies Classic having an equal purse. However they ignore the fact that a filly or mare can run for the big purse of the Classic if able. These people desire a world where almost everything is androgynous and traditional sexual roles are vanquished. The mere changing of a race name sparks an outcry complete with protests, petitions, boycotts and bra burning.

War Pass needs a test

War pass is undefeated and untested. Hard to imagine him finding a test in the Tampa Bay Derby. He will face Big Truck and Atoned off a four month layoff. Perhaps some local upstarts will join the fray as race filler. Looks like the sporting triple crown trainers ducked this $300K race. What is on tap is a virtual walkover and a dream set up for a dominant front runner like War Pass. Somewhere before the first Saturday in May it would be beneficial if this colt was hooked and his gameness received a stern test. No test on Saturday.

11 March 2008

Spitzer used racing to cement his reputation as crime fighter

The New York Attorney Generals office took up interest in racing when the slots were approved. There were many headline grabbing scandals, from the A-One Rocket/Gambling ring indictment, the Mutuel Clerk issue, the Waiter taking big tips front pager and the Jockey weight scandal.
All of these headlines grabbed front page news and were used as leverage to try to discredit NYRA out of the slot casino. In the end they were publicity stints and the only convictions were in the mutuel clerk scandal were 16 clerks were convicted of cheating on their taxes in a scheme were they shorted their till at the racetrack. Spizter spent millions on these crusades and used them to build his reputation as corruption fighting progressive crusader. The New York Times reported one Spitzer racing scandal after another and started to refer to NYRA as the "beleaguered NYRA, "another scandal" The New York Times was doing Spitzers bidding. Was the underlying reason for these crusades just to secure the Aqueduct casino for his Manhattan real estate mogul friend Richard Fields? With the backing of the New York Times and a complete stranglehold on the New York media Spitzer was elected with 69% of the vote, the people fell for what he was selling hook line and sinker.

The people hurt by Spitzer are not just the taxpayers and his family. Those particularly devastated by Spitzer's corruption are those that got caught in the steamroller. How about
the life of Braulio Baeza and Mario Scalafani? These two were caught up in the jockey scandal. This scandal was headline news back in 2005 and helped cement Spitzer's reputation as a corruption fighter. However there was no crime, just headlines and a complete misunderstanding of the rules of races. The case was quietly thrown out of court last September after three years of court battles. Costing the taxpayers millions of dollars and ruining the family's of two men.

With the complete ruination of Spitzers career the lesson for the mases is do some research before you vote. Heartfelt commercials should not be the only thing they look at when the examine who they vote for. Spitzer received 69% of the vote and the steamroller only took a little more than a year to expose himself as a arrogant criminal. Someone should have pointed the steamroller to proverb 16:18. Looks like Joe Bruno is going to have to help get the steamroller out of the ditch.

10 March 2008

Pyro Stud deal set

Another 3 year old has his retirement papers in order long before his legacy as a race horse is settled. Pyro will retire to Darley stud after his racing career is over. Not exactly good news for the sport. Just before a horse makes his mark they are already whisking him off to a more profitable career at stud. This is like getting a 100 on a spelling test in 6th grade and securing a CEO position later that evening. We can only hope that the cycle of profitability changes in racing and it becomes more profitable to race your horses rather than breed them. Lining up retirement plans this early in the sophomore year removes virtually all the motivation to run the horse past the triple crown. The game takes it on the chin once again.

08 March 2008

Saturday 08Mar play of the day

Fairgrounds Louisiana Derby

J Be K is serious lone speed in the Louisiana derby. Was pressed as hard as he could be pressed first off the layoff. Not only did he win the duel but he drew off to a big impressive win. A wirejob could be on tap, I love the the chalk hype horse Pyro is a deep closer from the same barn so any pressure received on the front end will not be from a horse that figures to win. J Be K will dominate the front. Wish the 12-1 ML could be locked in. The play of the day is a price.

Louisiana Derby

Win #4

18 3-2-1
strike rate 17%
cumulative return $37.00
ROI $2.06

06 March 2008

ADW account poll

Even though it is a minuscule sample, the results of the ADW poll completely support the top ten things horseplayers like list. Twinspires is far out in front while TVG and YOUBET once dominant tenured ADW providers are being completely ignored by the online horseplayers that visit this blog.

Why is twinspires the on-line dominant ADW provider? TVG has the most exposure reaching 30 million homes on TV and YOUBET has the best website. The key to Twinspires success is two words, free stuff. In comparison not only do YOUBET and TVG not offer free PP's but they are notorious nickel and dimers who charge fees to watch video or charge per wager fees. These smalls fees are the main reason why the customer base is switching to Twinspires. Twinspires understands the customer base and does not try to find revenue where the horseplayer finds annoyance.

The online upstart Premier Turf Club is a favorite of those that frequent the paceadvantage message board. The selling points of Premier Turf Club is rebates for all, a highly motivated pro-active owner who is involved in customer service and offers a modern wagering interference that horseplayer designed with many innovative features. The glaring weakness is that the major thoroughbred circuits are not available on Premier Turf so if you want Aqueduct you will have to settle for Assinoba or Belmont fans will have to settle for Beulah.

Other local providers like NY OTB, NYRA rewards, Cali Intertrack are a mixed bag Personally I use NYRA rewards and they work well for me. They offer a small rebate, an amazing track menu featuring almost every flat track from Suffolk to Del Mar and an array of free stuff perks. Preferred access to Belmont Stakes tickets, Saratoga Tickets and a free Breeders Cup Buffet. OTB still charges a 5% winning bet surcharge to those with accounts less than $300 so OTB is completely out of the question for those that want track prices and have modest bankrolls.

If ADW management is reading this I would hope that they read the top ten things horseplayers like list and take heed. Anything less than free PP's and they are showing that they do not understand their customer base and are okay with twinspires demolishing their business. Why are these ADW providers still nickel and diming the horseplayers with per bet fees and video fees? Do I have to make myself available for freelance consulting to correct the YOUBET/TVG business model? Management needs to alter the budget plans to eliminate these fees as the small revenue from the small fees are cannibalizing the gross handle and causing the patrons to migrate from your service to those ADW providers that have read and respected the top ten things horses players like list

05 March 2008

Do not count on racing becoming a mainstream sport anytime soon

The plain fact is that racing is in a low popularity cycle now. The game is incompatible with the times where most desire instant gratification. Are you hungry? roll into the drive-thru for instant Mcburgers, boom you have filled your intestines. Are you bored and need some entertainment? We have 477 channels right at your fingertips. What about broads? There are millions of photos available on the internet, it is all so easy and cheap. These things once took a tremendous effort to attain and can now be had cheaply and easy. Horseplaying is as hard now as it has ever been. Racing is like an old chewed up bone protected by a pit bull in a supermarket stocked with beautiful porterhouse steaks on sale and ready to go.

In this climate of easy and cheap thrills how can you expect some Joe six-pack to put down their burger and remote to read PP's and absorb tough beat after tough beat watching animals run in a circle? Mainstream sports fans like TV mindless games where they can sit down, zone out and have a TV presenter tell them what to think. There is little nothing asked of the mainstream sports fan except buy the things we show you on the commercials. Conversely, horseplaying successfully is a massive effort coupled with a little mental abuse.

Some argue that lowering takeout will save the game, but that is a fallacy. Takeout has absolutely nothing to do with the popularity of racing especially from a mainstream point of view. It has been proven that low takeout bets are unprofitable and are not handle drivers. The takeout could be cut in half tomorrow and only a select group would notice or care. The average horseplayer is not savvy enough to capitalize on low-takeout bets the horseplayer wants action. You talk about takeout with a mainstream sports fans and they will respond with Sesame Chicken or Little Ceasers Pizza Pizza.

There is little appeal to the mainstream fan in dissecting the racing form and picking winners. While many of us love playing the ponies, we are in a small minority. We absorb the abuse of tough beats and losing streaks, the horses are a big part of our recreational lives. The hope is always for that race that we can crush and our egos are once again nourished with the fruits of handicapping genius. Today many people are just too feeble minded to deal with the downs of racing and need a fricking zoloft just to be happy. The fruits of handicapping genius are just to challenging for them to reach for, the effort is too much to ask. Instead of the fruits of handicapping genius the modern mainstream fan wants to sit on the couch and have a fruit flavored smoothie delivered to them. Do not count on racing to go mainstream anytime soon.

04 March 2008

more things the horseplayer likes

10. Stewards DQ's- they may tell you different but the truth is the horseplayer loves stewards decisions. This is another win-win opportunity for the horseplayer. He can win if his horse is moved up via DQ, which allows him to proclaim the universally known truth that he is indeed a handicapping genius, even if he was assisted by the stewards.

The second situation is if he is DQ'ed by the stewards, in this situation he is still a genius however the stewards are completely inept and blind to boot. When DQ'ed out of a win by the stewards it is the stewards that are always wrong. Not only are they wrong but a gross injustice was committed, and now it has been proven that they are *&*&ing corrupt. The beauty of being Dqed by the stewards situation is depth of the complaining, it is a total release of all complaining energy, sort of like a angst enema. Nothing makes a horseplayer complain like a Stewards DQ. The horseplayer knows he is a genius and it was confirmed by his very eyes when the horse he wagered on crossed the wire first for everyone to see. How dare the stewards deny this confirmed brilliance there was visual proof. The horseplayer will reason that even if their horses jockey whipped another jockey in the face, or knocked another horse over due to reckless riding it did not effect the result.

9. Shut out of bet- This is a situation that is a win-win for the horseplayer. Sometimes lines are long at parimutuel windows and an intended bet does not make to the wagering pools before the gates are opened. Most of the time this a very beneficial situation for the horseplayer as a last minute rushed losing bet never makes it out of the horseplayers mental queue. Saving the horseplayer bankroll. The other winning situation is when the shut out bet wins. How could a winning bet that is not placed be a winner for the horseplayer? A shut out winning bet is a great chance to complain and other than cashing a 6 digit pick-6 nothing makes a horseplayer happier than the release of complaining. In this situation the horseplayer can bash the track, bash the other players for clogging up lines, bash the parimutuel clerks, bash the slow internet or bash the slow ADW service. In the shut out winning bet scenario, the horseplayer is all right and everyone is so wrong confirming his superiority over the rest of the world.

8 Odds go down while race is run- Horseplayers find salvation when a horse has its odds go down during the running of a race. Sometimes a horse will break from the gate at 2-1 get the lead and at the top of the lane the odds will drop to 9-5 or even 3-2. In the horseplayers eyes this is proof that the track is &(&^ing corrupt and it is vindication for a lifetime of losing. Odds going down mid-race proves that the horseplayer is good and the tracks are corrupt.

7 New idea is a failure- Horseplayers love when new ideas are a failure. This is why the game does not change with the times as the horseplayers love everything to remain suspended in time. Any new bets automatically will be bashed by horseplayers and ignored. New ideas are not considered and all are stupid. When those new wagering pools are removed from the wagering menu due to lack of action, the horseplayers will tell you how stupid track management is and how if they listened to their players they never would have created such a stupid new bet. The recent Breeders Cup filly Friday announcement cultivated the loudest moaning and groaning on US soil since Monica Seles retired from tennis. When filly Friday at the Breeders Cup fails the horseplayers will be happy campers, any of them will tell you how much of a stupid new idea it is.

6. Free Analysis on TV- Horseplayers love free analysis on TV. They use this information in their wagering and if it wins, this confirms that the horseplayer is indeed a mega handicapper and a massive genius. However if the information provided by the TV presenter leads to a losing wager, this triggers a pleasurable bash session where the TV presenter is conformed to be a dolt and a &*#$ing idiot. Yet another win-win situation where the horseplayer wins confirming his genius and if he loses he is still a genius however responsibility for the loss is assigned to that &^%*ing 58 flat idiot Matt Carothers.

01 March 2008

Top five things horseplayers like

5 Tips-
Horseplayers like tips. They seek out and cherish backstretch whispers about a horse who is going to win due to some human interest event. Perhaps the trainers daughter is getting married this Saturday so the whole track has conspired to let his horse win and now is the time to get involved. People will tell you these things if they like you as you walk around the grandstand. Like many things that horseplayers like these tips are a win-win situation for the horseplyer. If the tip does not pan out they can always blame the idiot that gave them the tip for bad information, if it wins it is because they are a handicapping master.

4. winning- The horseplayer does like winning as it justifies a questionable allocation of massive amounts of time to watch animals run in a circle. Winning also provides balance to the wagering bankroll, extending its useful time and limits the post race complaining to only 80% of the time. It is safe to say without winning, horseplayers and horse racing itself could not exist. Usually every horseplayer can tell you a story of them placing some uninformed wager very early in their handicapping career that won for big money, that is the hook that brings many horseplayers into the horseracing community.

3. Jockey obsession
- Many horseplayers are obsessed with jockeys. They use the jockeys as their primary handicapping factor often using the various "this jocks on/that jocks off" moves as their foundation reason for placing a wager. When their horse wins it is because they are a handicapping Goliath with a huge IQ, however if they lose it is only because the jockey is a pinhead, 100% of the responsibility is assigned to the jockey for all loses. These people will often verbally abuse the jockeys, sometimes chasing them down a tunnel to let the jockey know how much he sucks with various four letter words. Jockey capping is a win win proposition as horseplayers always come out smelling like roses, win or lose. Smart if you win *&^*&ing jockey if you lose.

2. Who has got the juice?- Accusing trainers of juicing or drugging their horses to win is a favorite responsibility deferral technique of horseplayers. If a trainer is winning close to 30% a horseplayer will often say that trainer has the juice or is actively juicing his horses to win at such a high percentage. Never will a horseplayer acknowledge the hard work that goes into running a successful barn. Despite these grave accusations there is never any proof that any of these horses are being drugged. Perhaps because many horseplayers hardest day at work is assembling a trifecta part wheel the concept of hard work may be foreign to them. Once again accussing trainers of juicing is a good responsibility deferral technique as lost wagers can be written off as *&(*(*ing juicing trainer rather than dumb me.

1. Free stuff- this group of people is drawn to free stuff. In fact they seem to think that they deserve free everything from PP's, to track admission to giveaway hats and t-shirts. You will often hear them complaining that they are not getting free stuff and that they are entitled to free stuff. A frequent argument at racetracks and racing messageboards is that if track management cared about horseplayers they would give away more free stuff. Giveaway days can be a free stuff orgy with people leaving the track with armfuls of hats, clocks and chairs, often local children are employed as mules to help increase the free stuff payload. Track attendance will often triple on free stuff days.