- Got some feedback on my May Madness post on the Derby, and I stand somewhere in between the sentiments expressed. No, I don’t at all hate the Derby; I think I made it clear that despite tiring a bit of all the hype, I’m all in for the ride, and I agree with Kentucky Joe that it’s the greatest two minutes in sports and the ultimate achievement for horsemen. But I also agree with Green Mtn Punter in that I do think that the mad rush to get there with horses that are just not ready nor suited does cause long-term damage to the handicap division; and with Walter that racing luck fat too often has more to do with the outcome rather than the true relative abilities of the horses.
I do want to clarify though, my saying that it’s “just one race.” I certainly didn’t mean to imply that it shouldn’t receive more attention than other stakes races (though I do think that the fact that it’s almost all we talk about for several months gives the general public the impression that it’s the culmination of the season, whereas in fact it would be more accurate to say that it’s the beginning). I say “just one race” with two things in mind:
Firstly, to the connections who rush their horses for the race as if there’s no other. Yes, as Kentucky Joe said, it may be the icing on the cake, but to compromise a promising horse just for it’s sake is a disservice to the horse and the sport. You gotta think that the owners of Greeley’s Galaxy and Wilko have to regret running their horses despite their inexperience and physical problems respectively, and now seeing them both flounder on the track. (Though apparently not enough to prevent Wilko from going to Dubai, you gotta be f$%@^& kidding me!!!)
And secondly, from a betting standpoint. Being the Derby, I think that many of us just take it too seriously, feeling that we have to make the perfect bet and perhaps the biggest one too; both in proportion to all the time we spend on it. And really, it’s probably the least suited race of the year for perfection or for sizeable wagers. And I’m as guilty as anyone. Everyone wants to say they had the Derby winner - it's probably the biggest ego trip of the year. I gave out Smarty Jones to everyone I knew, but didn't cash on the race; yet, I felt as if I'd won a million bucks. No one wants to look or feel stupid. Yet the logistics of a race with 20 horses, the unfamiliar distance, and the inconsistencies of most young horses make it just a crap shoot more often than not. So I’m saying that in analyzing and betting the race this year, I’m going to try and say ‘hey, it’s just one race,’ have some fun with it, and go for a score, and if I end up looking bad with a 30-1 shot, so what? It’s certainly better than overanalyzing and looking stupid with the 5-2 favorite that runs up the track.
- The first draft of regulations for Florida’s slot machine operators in Broward County are out for discussion, and the four pari-mutuels are not happy about provisions that would ban “comps,” require poker tables to be removed, and bar electronic transfer of funds either in or out of the racinos.
Operators said it would be a security disaster, forcing gamblers to walk in and out with large amount of money -- and big bulls-eyes on their backs.Well, in Florida, there’s an easy answer to that. Just carry a gun, and if you feel at all threatened while walking to your car, just shoot first.
"If someone hits a jackpot, why wouldn't it make sense for them to be able to transfer that electronically?" [Gulfstream attorney Marc] Dunbar said. [Sun-Sentinal]