Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

29 September 2009

Take Your Time Albany

The Times-Union published a story about how SL green is the frontrunner for the Aqueduct slots contract that was approved in 2001. In the eight years since being approved gaming revenues have fell as the bubble economy burst. Not only is the economy a clear culprit but the revenues have been hindered as gaming has reached saturation levels. There are now casinos in most states bordering New York along with multiple locations within New York. What was once a long drive and a novelty; has become mundane and old-hat. Eight years and we still have nothing.

The important thing for Albany to remember is not to rush into anything. Other masterfully executed government ideas - take the community building high-rise public housing projects - are usually well thought out. I can not even think of a good casino that was privately built, can you? If the state wants to duplicate the success that was brought to the inner-city by the housing projects, it should take their time on the slot machine casino at Aqueduct. Albany seems so efficient and rushed getting these Aqueduct slots on line.

26 September 2009

Spooky Mulder Update

Belmont named an overnight stakes race on the 25SEP09 card after 11 year old gelding Spooky Mulder. The Spook raced 84 times, won 34 races and earned $950K. What the numbers do not show is that he was born with tremendous courage. His gameness set him apart from other racehorses. There were many races were he looked beaten, but then he would pull victory from the grasps of defeat.

Among the cold hearted track degenerates the Spook had a cult following; these are among the most captious hardboots one could attempt to please. The Spook melted their hearts like they were made of butter. While other horses generally have brief careers Spooky Mulder held his form from his first race in 2001 -a $30K maiden claimer at Turfway; he won his first race- to his last win at Monmouth in 2008. In between he won dozens of allowance and claiming races. He finally won an elusive stakes race capturing an overnight stakes at Delaware in 2007.

It was nice to hear from Jason Blewitt on the "Belmont in 30" broadcast that Spooky Mulder has been retired to Scott Lake's family farm. The measure of racing's humanity is in the respect afforded to horses like Spooky Mulder in retirement. It seems like Spooky Mulder will have a fine retirement with lots of friends to race against on the pasture in Annapolis Maryland.

Best Of Spooky Mulder

25 September 2009

Maryland Million Play Of The Day

Laurel Race 11 - The Maryland Million Classic
Going to continue the theme of fillies beating boys with Saturday's play of the day. For a change we are going to head south on I-95 to Laurel. Sweet Goodbye looks like a true alpha female as she has wired six out of her career eight starts. She surely will be out in front of these boys and is likely to take them wire to wire. An expected wet track should help her cause as her highest lifetime beyer figure was over a sloppy track and she has worked recently over a sloppy track. The 8-1 morning line would be fantastic but I am expecting a price like 5-2.

Win #10 Sweet Goodbye

46 16-7-4
strike rate 35%
cumulative return 117.50
$2 ROI $2.55

23 September 2009

Rice On Ice

After an absolutely sultry Saratoga meet the Linda Rice barn has gone completely frigid. She is yet to win a race at Belmont and has failed with several short priced favorites. Today she had Meriwether Jessica who was bet down to 9-2 in the feature at Belmont. The filly never lifted her hooves and finished a well beaten eighth. The important thing for handicappers to take heed is that her barn is taking money with all of their entries like we are still at Saratoga. Unlike Saratoga her horses are running like they are going uphill. This creates many good betting races were you can be assured of a well backed horse not winning. She looks like a bet against for the foreseeable future.

20 September 2009

Woodbine Mile Play Of The Day

Woodbine Race 10
That win bet on Grand Adventure is the play of the day. The price is too good to pass on.

Win #7 Grand Adventure

45 16-7-4
strike rate 36%
cumulative return 117.50
$2 ROI $2.61

Woodbine Mile

A full analysis is posted at the NTRA blog. The top pick is Ventura with a longshot selection of Grand Adventure. Bribon looms large but I suspect he runs a "C" race and not his "A" power race.
After looking at the PP's all week I crafted a wagering spree which hopefully will result in large returns.

Win 7/9
Ex Box 7,8,9
Tri 7,9/7,8,9/2,3,4,7,9

19 September 2009

To The Rescue Play Of The Day

Belmont Race 6

When I first looked at this race I was ready to anoint Lime Rickey as the power hoss but one too many dull finishes and one too many miles on the chassis halted that process. Then Rescue Squad caught my eye. He is fresh, has that big maiden breaker over the course and is royally bred. My pace scenario for this heat is honest Bro Nick, Cream Pie and Rocket all getting plenty of face time early. The rest of the field seems to be mid-packers not the kind from Green Bay but the kind of horse that likes cover and prefers to stay there.

I remember the day when Rescue Squad broke his maiden, he worked out a handy inside trip, he switched out for the drive, engaged his rival, looked his rival in the eye and caused his rival to cower in fear. Hopefully Rescue Squad has inherited the alpha-male meanness of his poppy Dynaformer. The best case scenario is that Rescue Squad has his maximum meanness scowl on display; something like the intimidating grimace of one of Stalin's go-to executioners. Not that I want him to hurt anyone, but maybe intimate a horse or two and win for fun. A Dynaformer colt late in the year figures to move forward, looking for the mild upset with Rescue Squad.

Win #6 Rescue Squad

44 16-7-3
strike rate 36%
cumulative return 117.50
$2 ROI $2.67

Power Cap Content at NTRA

Power cap blogs the B.C. Mile at NTRA

15 September 2009

B.C. Mile: Another Province In The Empire Of The Filly

When we look back at 2009 it is going to be remembered as the year of the filly. Fillies and mares have dominated the racing headlines from coast to coast. There are the extraordinary accomplishments of Rachel Alexandra which are well known. Then there is the undefeated Zenyatta who is the hero of the west. The honors are not limited to the Equine species; Linda Rice annexed the Saratoga trainers title; the first time a woman has claimed that honor. With so many dazzling performances from the "fairer gender" the post script for 2009 will surely read "the year of the filly". This phenomena has not been exclusive to the new world. Across the Atlantic a world class filly named Goldikova has dominated the European mile races and has set her sights on repeating in the B.C. Mile. In a year filled with female heroics perhaps the best filly of them all will arrive from France to make her claim at the Breeders Cup.

Goldikova is a filly that is the quintessential alpha mare. Like all alpha mares she has the burning desire to lead the herd. Not only is she an alpha mare but she has the skill-set of a world class racehorse. Her turn of foot is as brilliant as any other miler in training today, and like all brilliant racehorses she has the pace to ensure her position at the front. Far from being a run off speed horse she has the class to rate just off the lead and make her move to lead when promoted. While she may be an magnificent athlete, her best attribute may be her mind “I think she is superior to Miesque as she is better in the head. She has always been a little naughty at the stalls and that is the only fault she has,” Trainer Freddy Head told the Racing Post following the Jacques Le Marois.

Goldikova returns to Santa Anita as a formidable presence. The B.C. Mile has been her goal all year long. She will prepare for the B.C. Mile on the Arc de Triomphe undercard in the seven furlong Prix de la Foret. Not only has she displayed brilliant form this year but she has previously answered the questions that foreign raiders usually face. Her prowess has been proven over the Santa Anita turf, she is world class at the distance and the arid climate proved to be no hurdle last year. She returns as the defending champion. With similar conditions certain there is no reason to believe that she will be challenged this year in the B.C. Mile. Her intimidating presence at the head of affairs makes what is typically a contentious race; an uncomplicated affair. Her mere presence will discourage participation from overseas making her task even easier. With just a fair amount of racing luck the B.C Mile 2010 sets up as her coronation.

Goldikova's brilliance on display in the 2009 Jacques Le Marois At Deauville

Girolamo The Future Stakes Winner

If you want to know the who the most likely winner of the 2009 Jerome handicap will be, it is Godolphin stables' Girolamo. Girolamo displayed a wealth of racehorse prowess during Sunday's eighth race at Belmont. Not only does this colt possess blazing speed, but he has the class to rate kindly and the mind of a champion. Only an alpha male can cruise up to the lead like that and take such pleasure out of dominating out front. When a horse has all of these characteristics a stakes win is not a matter of "if" but "when". My intuition is that he will target the Jerome Cap' like his stablemate Discreet Cat and like his brilliant stablemate, a win looks like a certainty. Excuse me while I go out on a limb but if his form holds up we could be looking at the 2010 Dubai World Cup winner. This horse is an extraordinary talent and the pedigree assures that he will stay the classic trip.

12 September 2009

Double Dutch Power Play Of The Day

Belmont Race 8
I have perused the late pick 4 and I can see a winning ticket here. While due to reasons of wagering syndicate confidentiality I am not at liberty to reveal the entire play.

One of two possible singles looks like the chalk Gozzip Girl in the Garden City. This miss stands over the field in the same way if the Colossus Of Rhodes would stand over Garden City if it was erected on Stewart ave. Surface issues are checked off as she won the Sands Point over a yielding course which mitigates the possibility of today's soft turf posing an issue. Considering the prime handicapping factors she holds class, pace and distance edges as she scored at 10 furlongs which makes 9 furlongs well within her distance sweet spot. The late wagers will be based around her. Do not be ashamed to take the short price. She gets checks on every box of the checklist.

Win #1 Gozzip Girl

Belmont Race 9
Another horse I like is Brecciate in race 9. This guy has been working out with grade one winner Bribon. Training with Bribon and racing against this modest crew is like training with Arnold for for a weight lifting competition but competing against members of the local nursing home. Other than keeping good company in the morning the other there is more to like. Brecciate is returning second off layoff and returning off a big win, one of my personal pet angles. The seven furlongs is going to suit him very well. Brecciate will be featured prominently in my late plays and well be my grand slam single.

Win #11 Brecciate

42 15-7-3
strike rate 36%
cumulative return 112.90
$2 ROI $2.69

11 September 2009

Post Saratoga Debrief

With all of the doom and gloom in the racing industry Saratoga was a definite bright spot. It seems like both summer (Del mar is the other) boutique meets had better than expected numbers; these are signs that fan interest is focusing on the better racing even has marginal racino tracks raise purses. These numbers lend credence to the opinion that it is time for racing to eliminate marginal content. The highlights of the meet was of course Rachel Alexandra who surely minted a few thousand new racing fans this summer. Even the most obtuse horseplayers who could care less about equine achievements were moved by Rachel's stirring victory in the Woodward.

The year of the female in racing certainly continued at Saratoga. Not only were most of the notable performances by fillies and mares but a female claimed the training title of the first time. Linda Rice dominated the turf sprint races as she had entry after entry run one big race after another. Careless Jewel ran a tremendous race in the Alabama, especially considering her wild pre-race antics. Icon Project projected her speed in the Personal Ensign with a break-out 13 length tour de force. Of course the highlight of the meet was Rachel Alexandra, so much has been written about her but her greatest achievement is in illuminating the appeal of horse racing to new fans. Saratoga proved to be the perfect venue for Rachel to run her greatest race. A house packed with old and new fans and she "raised the rafters"giving people a memory that they will never forget.

05 September 2009

Footwear Play Of The Day

Saratoga race 1

There are two need the lead types in here and one is sporting a bar show while the other is going to model an aluminum pad. My policy has always been to toss horses wearing therapeutic horse shoes and except for a few exceptions it has worked out well over the years. My other opinion here is that there is going to be a "big race day" speed favoring track out there. So from right off the pace D' Wild Affair should be able to pass the need the leads after stalking and hold on for the win and about 8-1. Fresh and ready to win.

Win #4 D' Wild Affair

The Stats
41 15-7-3
strike rate 37%
cumulative return 112.90
$2 ROI $2.75

04 September 2009

Right Sizing The Racing Product

The key issue affecting the racing product is the sheer amount of the product. On any given Saturday in North America there are upwards of two dozens tracks operating with a race commencing every minute. With this much product racing ceases to be an event and resembles an infomercial for a kitchen appliance on a never ending loop in a deserted big box store that nobody goes to in some anonymous blanched suburb. Go to any simulcast center or OTB and every race looks the same. In silence it is anonymous claimers running around in a circle, while older working class men yell and slap their behinds with the racing form. Instead of a complex blood and guts puzzle to contemplate the game is reduced to keno with domesticated animals.

Racing does not need to reinvent the wheel to bring back the big-event nature of the game. The white hot and trendy UFC only holds fights every few weeks. Thus every fight is hotly anticipated as a lack of supply stokes demand. Anticipation is marginalized when in a three minute span the 5th race from Finger Lakes is shortly followed by the 5th from Delaware which is followed by the 4th from Ellis.

This is where government intervention has damaged the collective racing product. The permission to subsidize purses with slot machine revenue has created entirely too much product. Racing has ceased to be a hobby of the wealthy and has become welfare for horsemen. While everyone deserves to be paid for their hard work they should not be subsidized when their work no longer has a market. Should neighborhood shoe repair stores be brought back from the service industry graveyard and be subsidized by slots too? Most of these racino subsidized tracks have an unappealing product and a purse structure that could never exist if not for the slot machine subsidy. Their presence is hurting the existence of neighboring tracks that operate on parimutuel waging alone pressuring them to acquire a slot machine subsidy as well.

The sheer amount of racing not only reduces the appeal of the racino product but it also dilutes the appeal of tracks in neighboring jurisdictions siphoning stables and decimating competition thus neutralizing the appeal of the product. The expansion of gambling from parimutuel wagering and Las Vegas to slots machines in every region is another example of the enlightenment establishment not considering the unintended consequences of their meddling. The horse racing industry has not benefited from the increased gambling even when it enriches the purse structure temporarily it sets in motion the process that will eventually ruin the collective industry by market saturation and the loss of the fickle public as racing fans.

In the past I have advocated a laissez faire approach to the current challenges of the horse racing industry. Call it an intellectual breakthrough but I now believe that the laissez faire approach is the road to ruin for racing. There are too many jurisdictions with too many local interests that have the game "drifting like a rudderless ship". At this point centralized influence and power would greatly help in providing "friendly persuasion" to the market forces affecting racing. The ship can not continue to drift and take on more product while the bulkhead of the ship takes on more water.