Thoroughbred Racing and other opinions.
Time for our annual trip to tropical paradise, so the gate is closed until March 27. At least. Can't believe I'm going to miss the health care vote Florida Derby. Good luck at the tote and have a great week.
Gulfstream - Race 11#5 Game On Dude (12/1 ml)Top-rung prospect here. He ran on the same card as the much more heavily-hyped Radiohead and Miner's Reserve last time out, and did run slower than those two, but he also happened to run faster than the two graded stakes for fillies later on the card, so it's not like he ran slow. Also note that he blew the start, hopping pretty badly to be off well behind the pace. That cost him a few lengths, which makes the margin between he and the other two a good bit smaller. And lemme tell you, he looked VERY smooth when rallying into the lead around the turn, then was just toying with the field as he coasted to the wire without ever being asked for run. And don't overlook the fact that this horse has already beaten Miner's Reserve. Makes his two-turn debut today, but he's bred top-and-bottom for routing, and he also figures to enjoy a tactical advantage here as there's a ton of speed entered in this race, and as mentioned he looked great coming from off the pace last time. Wide-open race here, but i think this horse has as good a shot as any of them, and as you can tell by the morning line, he's being very much overlooked here. Upset special.
Discreet Picks: Think you got it wrong dude. You should go one up to #6 First Dude.
I just read that Ice Box, Pleasant Prince, and Rule are all three going straight to the Derby now. This anouncement comes on the heels of Odysseus, who is reportedly heading straight into the Derby off his nose win @ Tampa last week.Is it just me, or does it appear that trainers nowadays are more interested in simply getting their horse into the Derby starting gate, rather than preparing him to actually win the damn thing? It seems like the standard rule of thumb now is that if your horse has at least two starts as a 3yo, and has enough graded earnings to get in, that's it. You're done. Go straight to the Derby. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.
DP, I agree with you. I get the kid gloves approach if you've got a horse that's injury prone and you're worried that he'll break down with more starts. But horses like Big Brown are the exception. You usually need a horse that's been tested.
I kinda posted the same thing a few days back after reading about odyseuss and homeboykris. I think it makes the most sense, if you just wanna get there, to win a grade 1 at Saratoga or Hollywood park as a 2 year old, and train up to the derby.And whoever keeps reposting my thoughts on YouTube - keep up the good work.Dirty.
The final round of the pari-mutuel Derby futures is this weekend, accompanied of course by the ultra-short morning lines. For that reason, I decided to take 25/1 on Awesome Act tonight (which I think is a decent price), because I know he's gonna be listed @10/1 or thereabouts and all the hotels are going to start slashing prices as soon as they see that (which I believe happens tomorrow). Unfortunately, I was too late (at least at the place I went to), as Awesome Act had already been cut nearly in half down to 15/1. While I was there, I also checked the price on Sidney's Candy, and he too had been cut in half (from 20/1 down to 10/1). So if any of you guys are either in Vegas, or betting offshore, and are considering placing a Derby future wager, I would strongly consider doing so as soon as possible, for the reason mentioned above. As long as you feel the current price offers some value, of course. Just because a horse is listed (or is about to be listed) @ 10/1, it doesn't necessarily mean that he offers value @ 20/1 or 30/1 or even higher.
March 24, 2010 3:07 PMNY Democrats fight subpoenas in Aqueduct probeSenate Conference Leader John Sampson says state's inspector general has no jurisdiction over the Legislature in investigation into the award of a video slot machine contract.(AP) - The Democratic majority in New York's Senate is fighting subpoenas from the state Inspector General's office seeking information about the awarding of the lucrative video slot machine contract for Aqueduct race track.Senate Conference Leader John Sampson says the inspector general, who investigates the executive branch, has no jurisdiction in the Legislature and no authority even to request documents involving a contract with the executive branch.Instead, Mr. Sampson says he will have Senate lawyers review records and release those deemed appropriate for public review.Joseph Fisch, the inspector general, has opened a probe into the selection of the Aqueduct Entertainment Group to run the operation.The AEG group included two partners with longtime connections to top lawmakers in Albany.
Just read that Odysseus will run once more before the Derby. Wise decision, i think, because he clearly needs to improve off his Tampa Bay Derby effort in order to have any kind of chance @ Churchill.
What bets from the KDFW pool 2 look good right now? Field, Odysseus, Lucky, Esky, what else?
I think Setsuko was mildly interesting @ 65/1, but he lacks graded earnings right now, and therefore must run at least second (i think) in the Santa Anita Derby in order to make the Derby field. He also seems like a good candidate to find traffic trouble in the Derby even if he does make the race, as he lacks tactical speed and would likely get buried somewhere in that 20-horse stampede. Talented horse though, reminds me a bit of his sire Pleasantly Perfect. He's got an awfully nice late kick when allowed to get outside and stretch his legs, and i could see him potentially winning the Derby with the right kind of trip. Especially with the projected field being very top-heavy with speed. Interesting longshot, should he get in.Regarding your comment about "which Pool 2 horses look good now", that's kind of a pet peeve of mine. When placing a future bet, you have to go by the information (and insight) that you have at the time. And you MUST get the requisite odds, because let's face it, picking the Derby winner is hard enough on raceday, let alone 2 or 3 months ahead of time. The odds you see being thrown around by guys like Watchmaker and Battaglia and the guys out here in Vegas (Avello, etc.) are just flat-out ridiculous, in the vast majority of cases. Sure, you can occasionally pick up a nice ticket here and there, but even if you're lucky enough to peg a top-flight animal, and you still have to avoid potential injury, not to mention avoiding the kind of nightmare trip that many horses face in the Derby. You also never know when the ractrack might turn into a sea of mud, as it was last year. Just as an example of the kind of thing you face when making future bets (even good ones), i had tickets on The Pamplemousse (125/1) and Quality Road (60/1) last year, both of whom looked to have a huge shot at this very same time of year, but neither of whom actually made the race (let alone won it). At least i was getting some good value there, but when you start taking prices in the small double digits or even lower (i've seen several horses being offered at less than 10/1), you simply have zero chance of winning with those bets long-term. But regardless of that, you'll still see guys like John Asher (or whomever) jumping into the Wayback Machine and pointing to how such-and-such horse offered "great value" in the futures just because he ended up having larger odds in the KDFW than he did on raceday (as if a horse has anywhere near the same chance 10 weeks before the race than he does when he's actually standing in the starting gate). And don't even get me started on the "Future Exacta". What they really need to do is start offering wagering on all 300 or so horses, but i guess if they really wanted to do that, they would've done so already. Besides, i know from looking at the Vegas futures that just because you have the option of betting on that many different horses, it doesn't mean you're going to get fair prices on any horse with a pulse. I mentioned to Dave Tuley when the first round of the KDFW came out this year, i considered Lookin at Lucky the legit favorite, but i still wouldn't have given him any better than a 50/1 chance at that point in time. And what was he available at in the KDFW that weekend, something like 10/1? The whole thing is just a complete joke.The other aspect of the KDFW (which i alluded to above) is that the Vegas books use the ridiculous KDFW morning lines (and/or the closing prices) as an excuse to slash prices in their own future books, which of course are much too low to begin with. And you know what, each would probably point to the other as some form of validation. Like you know, if enough people say it, then it must be true... Sorry for the rant, it's just something that's bothered me for a long time.
I have a good size field bet from pool 2. I'm pretty sure I made it on Crisp/Proviso day. I think 3-1 is about fair for a fistfull of decent closers, awesome act, pleasant prince, rtg, and both barba horses. I cried on Santa Anita Derby morning last year, even though rumors were rampant at the track earlier in the week that the 'mousse was scratched (Btw he was WAY better than Rachel).Also DC - mike smith claims the whip broke on SC Song Girl and she would've won. I haven't seen the replay, but did it really "blow up" or did he drop it?
I see dirty's infatuation with and bizarre hatred of Rachel Alexandra continues with no end in sight...
While the field has a fair shot to cash, I'm not sure it's a value at 3-1. Unless Awesome Act blows away everyone in the Wood, every horse that covers will be a good price on Derby Day, when you could just bet them individually.
I didn't notice anything like that with SC Song Girl. It looked like she just tired. Where did you see that comment from Smith?
DC - I was there in person. He told machowsky the whip " blew up." The chart just says he dropped it.
March 26, 2010 3:05 PM 1 CommentThe OTB Issue »By Elizabeth BenjaminAside from the delay caused by Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson's health scare, another wrench in the budget negotiation is apparently being caused by the perennially ailing city OTB.Lawmakers in both the Senate and Assembly tell the DN's Glenn Blain they are trying to figure out a way to keep the financially struggling gambling operation afloat into May - at least through the Kentucky Derby.Sen. Eric Schneiderman said he has proposed giving the OTB $1.5 million. He described this as a "deferral of payment," but didn't provide any further details as he walked into the Senate Democrats' conference room.Senate Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson told Blain: "City OTB, that's the problem."(He said this after emerging from behind closed doors to have his photo taken with several Olympians, who are in the Capitol to lobby for funding for ORDA).On Monday, the city's OTB Board voted to send pink slips to 1,300 employees and threatened to shutter all 66 of its betting parlors after the close of business on April 11 unless Albany agrees to throw it yet another financial lifeline.The OTB filed for bankruptcy in December, citing debts of close to $100 million.
The Fair Grounds OaksFair Grounds - Race 9#6 Visavis (8/1 ml)Another Margolis filly here. This one came off a long break to run huge in her first start over the track, missing by a nose to our pick My Jen, who you may remember was running extremely well at the time. Visavis came out of that race to score a sharp win next time out, and it's interesting to note that she was entered in a two-turn race prior to that win, but ended up being scratched when the track came up sloppy (if memory serves). So apparently Margolis has been planning to stretch her out for a while now, and she figures to sit a good trip here laying just off the flank of Quiet Temper. She's also been working lights-out for her return, with consecutive best-of-117 and best-of-58 drills. Just a very talented filly here who clearly enjoys the surface, and as mentioned she should get a pretty advantageous trip as well. Hard to say how well she'll fare around two turns here, but apparently Margolis has been targeting this race for quite a while, and it sure seems as though she's going to be overlooked on the toteboard here. Also worth noting that the 3/1 ml favorite here (the Pletcher shipper Ailalea) has never been two turns either, and happens to be breaking from the extreme outside in Post 11. Looks like a good spot to get some value on a fast, talented filly like Visavis. If she handles the distance okay, i think she can be tough at a price.
Visavis went off @ 8/1 and was siting in perfect position down the backside, but started getting niggled at by the rider approaching the turn and just didn't seem to respond at all. Either somethung went wrong, or she simply didn't care for the extra distance. Either way, she finished well-beaten.
She broke through the gate DC. You know that does a filly in every time...
Really? I was watching the Fair Grounds simulcast signal, and I never saw that. I did notice that the rider was off her at one point, but it looked like she was the second horse loaded and the rider got on her once she was in the gate.In a related matter, have you guys noticed that whenever there's any kind of loading incident, the camera PURPOSELY is directed away from the incident? Like they're afraid people might cancel their tickets or something .
I didn't watch the race. I got that tidbit from Twitter actually DC. To answer your question DC, I think they want to have some of their "loading techniques" for dificult horses kept from public view.