- Paul Moran of Newsday is filled with his usual sunny optimism, today complaining about Delaware’s Choose Six wager, though this time he seems to have a valid point:
The wager is unlikely to attract much attention from established pick-six players because odds are meaningless. The pool is divided equally among the winners. The player selecting six short-priced winners receives the same payout as one who has used a longshot or two in the sequence. The pick-six, however, is a popular bet only in California and New York, both of which offer the bet in multiples of $2, and it is not unlikely that such a wager, with $1 base, may boost the handle at track like Delaware. The "choose six" will likely have no impact on established major pick-six pools.That was my impression when I was trying to wrap my mind around this concept - that there really is no incentive to try and dope out clever longshot winners, so I imagine the idea of “value” is meaningless here? We’ll have to see how (if?) this plays out.
- The developing drug scandal in Kentucky in which regulators are accused of ignoring drug positives hits the New York Times today. Bill Finley has the story, while his colleague Joe Drape is relegated to covering some poker tournament, which I imagine he’s about as thrilled about as I would be. How poker has been accepted into the “sports” category is puzzling to me, though I suppose it’s along the lines of chess....or spelling bees. Athletic competitions these are not, so I don’t see why this stuff should be in the sports pages anymore than lottery results or the closing prices on the stock markets. Yes, they are "games," but if all things in the world that fall into that category was in the sports section, then everything from politics to business to war would be crammed onto the back page.
- Horrible news in the Form this morning. Shannon Campbell, a 34 year old apprentice jockey, is paralyzed from the waist down after she was thrown from a 35-1 shot in a $5000 maiden claiming race at Charles Town on Saturday night.
Campbell is married and has an 8-year-old daughter.... Campbell became a jockey to fulfill a lifetime dream of race riding after 15 years of exercising horses, principally at tracks in West Virginia... Campbell recently resumed riding after recovering from a broken collarbone. [Daily Racing Form]It was in West Virginia that Gary Birzer was similarly paralyzed in a spill, leading to the realization that the Jockey Guild had failed to renew its insurance coverage for such incidents, and the jockey colony at Charles Town was scheduled to meet with representatives of the Jockeys' Guild on Wednesday to discuss how to put together a fund to pay for Campbell's medical bills. Despite moves in other states to increase coverage to $1 million, Charles Town's policy is still set at $100,000, oh man. How much of all that slots money flowing into the state would it take to do the right thing?
And Egg Head, the 3yo who gave Lost in the Fog a scare on Belmont stakes day, has been euthanized after succumbing to a case of founder. [DRF]
- Rocknroll Hanover drew the 5 post and was installed as the 5-2 favorite for Saturday’s $1million Meadowlands Pace; this despite his defeat in the eliminations last weekend by Stonebridge Regal, who will start inside of the favorite in the 3 hole. Rocknroll Hanover’s owner Jeffrey Snyder actually has three entrants in the race, but there will not be a betting entry: A state racing commission rule allows for separate betting interests, despite common ownership, when the purse value is greater than $500,000. [Newark Star-Ledger]
- Totally secure in the knowledge that no one that I work with reads this blog, I can tell you that my urgent personal day today will be devoted to a trip to Monmouth, my 1st or 2nd favorite track outside of New York. I’ll be back with the happy recap later.