- One of the reasons why my handicapping and betting has sucked so much lately is, I think, that I spend too much time writing instead of studying races. That's probably, in the long run, one financial benefit I get out of this blog. However, with about a hour and 45 minutes until the first at the Big A, I'm going to get back to work on the card. I'll just leave you with a couple of notes.
Game of Skill (12-1) looks like a live longshot in the opener, cutting back to six furlongs for Juan Ortiz, 6-2-1-1 on the inner track thus far; his Count the Senora was third at 36-1 in the 6th on Friday. Game of Skill ran third in 20K open company at this distance two back; the winner was a Toddster dropper who romped by six, and three others have since come back to run second. Should get a good spot up front with his tactical speed.
Country Star is the 5-2 favorite in the Hollywood Starlet. I loved her Alcibiad, and probably would have been all over her in the Juvie Fillies had she run. But there are some really nice looking fillies in the race, and here's a thought: Country Star has run on the turf, and on the Keeneland Polytrack. The latter seems, to me, to be the synthetic surface to which grass form is most obviously and readily transferable. So if you like Country Star, you're assuming she'll also like the Cushion Track. If that's the case, then how about Grace and Power? All four of her races have been on the grass, and her distaff pedigree is loaded with grass relatives (Al Mamoon, Honor in War, La Gueriere, Lasting Approval, to name a few). The daughter of More Than Ready is thrice stakes placed out east, and ships cross country for owner Bobby Flay, and trainer Steve Klesaris. According to Formulator, the latter hasn't started a horse in Southern California for at least the last five years. Cushion Track is a question mark, but her sharp form is worth a look at her 8-1 morning line.
And James Odato has a copy of Capital Play's latest offer, which focuses only on Aqueduct, and proposes to give the state at least $125 million in upfront money for the right to develop Aqueduct and sell its simulcast signal.
The plan involves getting the rights to develop Aqueduct's racing plan and real estate. That includes building a video lottery terminal casino and running the gambling there.I imagine that NYRA is not going to easily give up their control of wagering at the Big A. And again, I think it's highly hypocritical of Capital Play to now be willing to work with an organization its vilified so viciously and unfairly in the last couple of months. But the up front payment would effectively reimburse the state for a portion of the money due to NYRA in the MOU. The proposal is also in the spirit of Bruno's desire to split up various operations amongst various parties. So I imagine it could be taken seriously and perhaps embraced by Bruno as a partial face-saver with which to get out of the corner he's rapidly painting himself into.
Capital Play promised to spend $350 million to build a destination casino for 4,500 VLTs. Also, it would give the state $75 million for a 49-year lease on Aqueduct, or $150 million for a 99-year lease; a $25 million payment for the simulcast rights for Aqueduct races; and $25 million to handle wagering at the Queens track.
You see? Now it's only an hour and 20 minutes until first post time! Later....