Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

28 March 2010

Keg Party Back On At The Preakness

After banning outside purchased adult beverages the Maryland Jockey Club had a major volte face for 2010. This alcohol consumption change in policy is an good example of reactive management. If the about face for 2009 was not shocking enough there is another for 2010. The result of last year's decision to ban beer filled coolers resulted in disappointing attendance numbers for the Preakness. After one year of no cheap beer the point was proven that the only people that care about racing are old degenerates and the horse owners.

large infield crowd for Preakness 2008 with cheap beer available

It looks like in response to the attendance failure of Preakness 2009 Pimlico is once again creating an infield that will look like a high school keg party. $20 will buy you a mug and they will fill up that mug with cheap beer until you can not stand upright anymore. With large amounts of alcohol intoxicating a demographic already known for rowdiness there will likely be brawls, a few rapes and an infield that will be systemically filled with vomit.

an empty infield characterized Preakness 2009 as outside beer was banned

Look for another volte face in 2011 for the Preakness as the ugliness of Preakness 2010 confronts management face-on. Our "play of the day" predicts that the 2011 Preakness infield will be as dry as a PTA meeting and the MJC will enforce a strict dress code of suits and skirts down to the ankles. After accounting for the debauchery that will be Preakness 2010 the MJC will come to the conclusion that they are running a classic horse race, not a teenage keg party.

photo credit: Washington Post

Gloria De Campeao Had His Mind On Racing In Dubai

Gloria De Campeao did a volte face in the Dubai World Cup. He set an easy pace while unpressed but held gamely when confronted in the lane. He won the worlds richest race by a dirty nose and claimed the lion's share of the $10 million purse. His game racehorse gambit was in stark contrast to his Arlington Million run were he put on a show for all to see:

Before the Arlington Million the Brazilian bred Gloria De Campeao put on a show in the parade. For about 10 minutes he ran around with his head about one foot off the ground and cocked to left with his mouth wide open teeth exposed like a rabid dog. I don't know what he was doing but it didn't look like he had his mind on racing. This was a long way to come for a horse to go out and goof around on the track like a big baby.
Congrats to Gloria De Campeao's connections for having the faith to persevere with him. Surely traveling all the way from Singapore to Chicago via France and having the horse goof off in the parade is very discouraging and a tremendous waste of time. They based this horse in Dubai all winter and he rewarded trainer Bary by running a heck of a race. These are connections with tremendous patience and they were rewarded with an the largest purse in the history of horse racing.

20 March 2010

New Jersey Racing Highlight Of The Week

As the intense corruption endangers the exsistance of New York racing, I thought it would be a good time to highlight some of the greatest moments in New Jersey horse racing. As New Jersey takes over the role of premier racing venue in the Northeast, it should be known that New Jersey has a rich racing heritage. Especially a heritage of trying new things and blazing trails. In the highlight below Spend A Buck shows tremendous courage to hold off Crème fraiche. At the top of the lane Spend A Buck is a beaten horse; somehow he calls on all of his class and holds on. From Wikipedia:

Earlier in the season, Spend A Buck had won two races at the newly reopened Garden State Park Racetrack in Cherry Hill, NJ: the Cherry Hill Mile on April 6, and the Garden State Stakes on April 20. Before the season had begun, Garden State Park owner Robert Brennan had put up a $2 million bonus to the horse that could win the two April prep races,the Kentucky Derby, and the May 27 Jersey Derby, Garden State's signature race.

Spend A Buck owner Dennis Diaz opted to skip the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes, and thus trade Spend A Buck's chance to win the Triple Crown for a shot at the bonus. Cordero, Spend A Buck's regular jockey, was committed to another race that day, so Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. was to ride Spend A Buck at Garden State. Spend A Buck won the Jersey Derby by a neck over eventual Belmont winner Creme Fraiche, capturing a $2.6 million prize, the largest single purse in American racing history. That record stood for 19 years, until Smarty Jones won the 2004 Kentucky Derby and a bonus inspired by Brennan's.

Due to Spend A Buck skipping the last two legs of the Triple Crown, the Triple Crown races immediately put up a bonus of their own, to prevent that from ever happening again.

It was New Jersey innovation that forced the triple crown to match New Jersey racing with a triple crown bonus. Perhaps it will be New Jersey innovation in 2010 with its "category killer" Monmouth meet that will raise the bar and set the standard for other tracks to follow.

16 March 2010

Power Cap Better Than A Cap

After a week of spending my limo driver tip money while on holiday the return flight to JFK was nearly blown clear to the Great Lakes on Saturday afternoon. Winds were gusting to over 65 knots on the approach to JFK runway 13 left, but the very professional crew at American Airlines was able to land the Boeing 757 cleanly on the runway in the most adverse of weather conditions. We even flew clear over Aqueduct which was flooded; both the track and the parking lot. This was a passenger group that lacked diversity; every passenger that exited this plane was whiter than a ghost when they disembarked, regardless of the color they were when they boarded. The vast majority of New York bound planes that day diverted to other airports; we were fortunate to have such a highly skilled crew at the helm that day.

After driving home -I was almost blown clear off the Whitestone bridge by winds gusting to near 90 miles per hour- I was greeted to three days without power; I nearly had to change the name of this blog to "Cap". After a few days without electricity, hot water and heat you realize just how much better "power cap" is when compared to the the "cap" found can find elsewhere and in antiquity.

Due to the travel itinerary and weather consequences I missed the entire weekend of racing. After a long and dull off-season that masquerades as winter racing, Saturday was a blockbuster weekend of racing. Both filly/mare champs returned and one lost. The much anticipated Apple Blossom showdown is off. While I am not surprised that Rachel lost I can not say I am disappointed. The bright side is that the droves of other horse racing bloggers will have to find another topic to pick apart ad nauseum.

If you are wondering why the "play of the day" has not been updated in over a month it is becuase there have not been any plays in this camp post Ash Wednesday. Look for this aspect of the Power Cap to return after Holy Thursday. It looks like we haven't missed much this month; especially at Aqueduct were the cards get duller and the bird crap piles higher everyday.

Our derby future bets are sitting pretty after both individual horses-Odysseus and Lookin' At Lucky- won their preps last week. While we will surely need some luck to get both horses in the gate for the derby and will need a boatload of good fortune to see either of them in the winners circle, I seems unlikely that either 25-1 on Odysseus or 9-1 on Lookin' At lucky will be available after these two wins. Our wager on "all other colts" is a solid open ended insurance policy that should cover a significant portion of the derby starting gate.

With the Aqueduct slots deal completely disintegrating it seems that the rest of New York will figure out what racing fans have know about Albany all along.

05 March 2010

Derby Future Pool Two Rundown

Kentucky Derby Futures Pool 2

Later today Kentucky Derby future pool two kicks off. There are a few horses I am interested in and a few that look like gross underlays. This wager can be fun because you sit on it for weeks and weeks. Like a child expecting a Christmas gift, the joy is in the anticipation. With this wager you can maximize your anticipation and perhaps make a nice score.

50-1 ML on Odysseus in pool two is a must play. This horse was so impressive last out; this is a work in progress that is exceeding expectations. His connections are top notch and quickly groomed Bernardini from Florida nobody to classic glory in 2006. If Odysseus wins the Tampa Bay derby by five lengths he will be one of the favorites on Kentucky Derby day. Now is the time to invest in this horse while he still has a bit of anonymity. There is still time to get ahead of the curve on this colt.

Lookin At Lucky was very impressive last year; duly he was awarded the eclipse for champion two year old colt. If he somehow sneaks up to 8-1 he could warrant a play. If anybody knows how to win the Derby it is Baffert; my gut tells me that Lucky is going to win both the Rebel and the Arkansas derby. With those two wins on his PP's he should be 8-5 on derby day. Getting around 8-1 on him would be sinful. The ever fickle public may back off him due to his inactivity and the looming can he win on dirt question.

6-1 on Eskendereya is a terrible price. Not only did this colt go wire to wire on the "gimicky" Gulfstream speed bias but there are so many speed horses in this years potential field that could spoil his front running gambit. Anyone betting this horse at 6-1 is accepting terrible value. They are on the short end of the public's opinion curve. It may be punter cliche but if you missed the wedding don't show up for the funeral.

All other three year old colts at 7-2 may not be the worst bet. It is effectively a bet on a few hundred contenders that may be show improvement in the next two months. You will likely get the winner of the Gotham. Then there is the up and coming colt like Drosselmeyer; this is a colt that can surely get the distance and hails from top connections. You will also get a horse like Miner's Reserve who will surely be pointed to the derby for the Zito barn. There is a real buzz about Miner's Reserve from Florida. The all other three year olds is a good package deal.
---------------------------- --- -- ---------- ml/day 1 odds
1AikeniteTodd Pletcher5048
2American LionEoin Harty3060
3Buddy's SaintBruce Levine1212
4CaracortadoMichael Machowsky1227
5ConnemaraTodd Pletcher2032
6ConveyanceBob Baffert1226
7D' FunnyboneRichard Dutrow, Jr.2024
8Dave in DixieJohn Sadler3027
9Discreetly MineTodd Pletcher3032
10DublinD. Lukas158
11EskendereyaTodd Pletcher67
12Jackson BendNicholas Zito2044
13Lookin At LuckyBob Baffert66
14NextdoorneighborMichael Machowsky3099
15Noble's PromiseKenneth McPeek3024
16OdysseusThomas Albertrani5027
17Radiohead (GB)Richard Dutrow, Jr.2031
18RuleTodd Pletcher2019
19SetsukoRichard Mandella5091
20Sidney's CandyJohn Sadler2042
21Super SaverTodd Pletcher2030
22Tempted to TapitSteve Klesaris5048
23Vale of York (IRE)Saeed bin Suroor3026
24All Other Three Ye

03 March 2010

Belmont Stakes Run At Monmouth?

When New Jersey elected governor Christie last year it seemed like a referendum against the incumbents and the ubiquitous corruption blanketing the region. Unlike most elected officials in the last two years Christie has been a pleasant surprise. Christie is backing a plan to boost purses at Monmouth to $1 million a day. During his six years in office as US Attorney general Christie gained the reputation as something of a corruption-buster, having won convictions or guilty pleas from 130 public officials, both Republican and Democrat. Christie did not lose a single case. While NJ is poised become the premier Northeast venue, vultures are circling New York racing. Don't be surprised if the Belmont stakes in run at Monmouth as soon as 2011 as the situation at NYRA is more dire than many believe.

Monmouth Park

It looks like Christie is listening to smart racing people; unlike New York he is acting on their advice. Christie has come up with a branding approach for New Jersey racing that will define New Jersey racing as an upscale event. For the first time in recent racing history an American track is actually positioning themselves in the market as something other than just another track running yet another race that you can make yet another bet on. Monmouth already has trumped the attendance figures of Belmont; the appealing shore location helps, but now Monmouth is positioned to trump the handle and prestige as well.

New Jersey has proposed a 50 day meet that will only race on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 22nd to labor day. The purses will be tremendous; with $1 million a day for the horsemen. Certainly those barns shipping up to New York after the Preakness will want to race at Monmouth and not Belmont. While Jersey is actually running an appealing product, downtrodden Belmont will osculate between$38K statebred/horsemen welfare races and conditioned claiming events. Who will be at Belmont for this extravaganza? The same 1,000 or so beleaguered degenerates that show up everyday until they die.

Monmouth attendance will surge as this become a destination venue that will drive tourism into the area. The scarcity factor of only running on weekends will further make the Jersey shore the place to be. With a fairly new turf course, a familiar 1 mile dirt oval that horsemen prefer and close-in shipping from Philly, Maryland, Delaware, New York and Fair Hill; Monmouth fans can look forward to a horse racing renaissance on the Jersey shore. The expectation is for high class racing, large purses and full fields. This is destination racing that appeals to all demographics; with great racing and a Oceanside location this is a venue that will attract the young and old to the Jersey shore.

Give credit to Christie for matching the product to the venue. With it's seaside location Monmouth should be an upscale meet like Del Mar, not a racing factory like the Philadelphia Park. Give credit to Christie for having the courage to do what's right. This is a leader with that listens to sharp thinkers and has the courage to implement their plans. Like all worthwhile efforts implementing this plan will not be easy; a 50 day meet will not be in every trainer's interest. Christie had the courage to pinch the few for the collective good of all. Trainers with cheaper claimers may have to race at venues like Belmont or Phily that have mundane, unappealing products that card low end races. New Jersey bred horses may not find as much opportunity this year at Monmouth as the high class allowance and stakes horses dominate the entry box. Pushing these barns out of the state was surely not the easy thing to do, but it will prove to be the right thing to do. When the racing is a success, the grandstand is packed, the hotels fill up and Monmouth has a positive buzz all of the apprehension to new ideas will be forgotten. So rare it is to see a man do the right thing for the collective good. Often times these decisions are based on avarice. A decision like this could never happen in neighboring state like New York which lacks vision or leadership.

Chris Christie

Across the Hudson in New York, the state bred welfare races and conditioned claimers will continue to attract a crowd of hardened gamblers, stoopers and the mentally ill. The formerly prestigious New York stakes races are consistently a disappointment. These stakes races have short uninteresting fields that are consistently relegated to early part of the card. As the quality of races in New York has declined the stakes races have proven to be an unattractive wagering proposition. With little to no new ideas in New York the game is suffering a painful death; "little me too" style social marketing initiatives has not atoned for the horrible product. NYRA has waited through a nine year long slot machine farce that has reduced New York racing into a pathetic groveling parasite. NYRA needs to break free from the clasp of Albany and try to replicate the virtues of Monmouth. The Big-A and Belmont needs to be positioned in the market and the venues must be upgraded.

the carcass of the Big-A rots
Second Floor
While New Jersey is set to flourish the parasites have multiplied at NYRA. You know death is imminent when the vultures have begun to descend on the carcass. Contrast Christie's bold leadership to Spitzer's and Paterson's whore mongering, drug use and political opportunism. These two New York governors are men without a moral compass. Their behavior ipso facto demonstrates that they are not fit to lead. Spitzer's lack of a moral compass was his undoing; it looks like Patterson is following in his footsteps. It is men like this with a lack of character that are poisoning the waters that all New Yorkers drink. A culture of corruption pervades the entire state. OTB balances their books by not paying their debts. This is a abject lack of leadership in New York and it is flavoring everything we do. No longer can NYRA play the victim and passively let their product deteriorate. NYRA must stop wasting time on twitter and start pressuring Albany to find the courage it needs to make the right decisions.

01 March 2010

New Casino Approved For The New York Area

White Plains - After years of languishing as a forgotten outlet in a receding market K & K Wigs of White Plains, New York has received a lifeline from the New York state government. K & K Wigs is going to be the world’s first wigsino. The 2000 square foot retail store, which recently closed due to non-existent sales will be reopened later this year. Once a lonely anachronism the store will be reborn as a hot spot when it reopens later this year; the new twist is that the sales floor will be embellished with 200 VLT's. Partnering in the project is K & K Wigs intertainment group better known as K-Wig.

K & K Wigs has long been under pressure after enjoying decades as the premier wig retailer in the area. During the glory years of the 1970's K & K Wigs enjoyed a monopoly in Westchester County in the hair replacement market. K & K Wigs often carried hard to find Wigs from upscale suppliers from Italy, the Middle East or the Orient. On a Saturday afternoon the sales floor was usually packed. Starting in the 1980's a troubling trend emerged. K & K sales crashed as the market has evolved. Sales then nosedived as consumers acquired the ability to discretely purchase wigs on-line. The OTB (Off-site toupee brokers) has made brick and mortar wig stores a thing of the past. In addition to a shrinking market share, emerging technologies like follicle hair replacement and over the counter medications like Rogaine have provided consumers many more options than just a hair piece. Pressure on K & K Wigs was being applied from all sides.

now a closed storefront, (red awning) soon to be a gold mine wigsino.

K&K Wig owners reluctantly closed the store during the summer of 2009 with hopes of getting the wigsino bill passed. With the legislative coup de etat passing the state assembly last week K & K is poised for a summer grand re-opening. K & K owner Morris "Morrie" Kessler promises "to take our dedication to unparalleled service and having the hottest wigs and toupees on the east coast and bringing it to an unprecedented new level. The wigsino is going to be a shot in the arm for our struggling industry. Already the trickle down effect is being felt as wig manufacturers are hiring people hoping to feed the perceived increased demand prompted by the new wigsinos coming on-line.”

During the Glory Days Of Wigs Owner Morriey Kessler Advertised On Local TV

Partnering with K & K Wigs will be K-Wig or K& K Wig Entertainment group. While K-Wig had the lowest bid out of all of the casino partners Governor Paterson said “All of the groups have valid proposals, but K-Wig presented a comprehensive bid that enjoys community support and also offers strong marketing appeal.” K-Wig is a consortium of various industry groups and local business leaders. The casino operations expertise is provided by the Larry's Lounge group. Larry's Lounge operates Larry's Video Poker bar in Ely Nevada

Mr. Kessler continued" We're talking about a brand new, cutting edge, neighborhood sized, 2,000 square foot casino that's bursting with over 200 of the hottest state-of-the-art slots , both smoke-friendly and smoke free, plus an amazing variety of hair piece options with some of the coolest hair products around." K-Wig is partnering with rap impressionato Russel Simmons hoping to capture a youth demographic with the wigsino; a long time weakness of the hair piece industry. Russel Simmons likes what K-Wig can do for the community "I got a big commitment from K-Wig to support animal rights, local unions, diversity initiatives, and community development projects, like the Peacekeeper Anti-Violence program that I’ve already started in Queens and Brooklyn, in part through K-Wig's contribution." Russel Simmons has no concerns that the slot machine gambling will have a negative affect on the community he represents. "The positive programs that K-Wig has committed to far outweighs the negative effects of having a gambling joint acting as a regressive tax on those that can least afford to pay it" Apparently Mr. Simmons is into substitute morality; especially if he can turn a profit on it.

The largest investor with a stake of more than 50% is Hairvest Group; a Romanian investment firm led by Micah Bagman, according to Andrew Frank, a PR executive who helped bring the players together. Not much is known about the Hairvest group but Andrew Frank assures state officials that they are "as clean as a whistle" the reports of Hairvest being tied to drug trafficking and money laundering was "pure rubbish".

Morrie Kessler’s greatest hope is that a “struggling industry is revived. We hope that with increased revenues from the VLT’s that wigs will once again be cool.” It is government interventions into struggling industry the gives hope to people that are down on their luck. For Mr. Kessler’s “even if we never sell another wig we know that K & K wigs will continue as a going concern for the next generation.” For Morrie Kessler this wigsino was the change that was needed.