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Monday, May 27, 2013

Belmont Monday (Early)

As per the comments section in the last post, it's a beautiful Memorial Day, and the grills will be fired up in backyards around the country come the late afternoon.  Which means that I, and many others, will not be at the track or front of the TV come 5:45, post time for today's Met Mile.  I remember, back in the days when there were actually - gasp - regularly scheduled single admission doubleheaders in baseball, the Pirates used to start theirs at 10:30 AM so that fans could catch a couple of games and be home in a timely manner.  That time seems about right to me as the first race post time on a day like today.

However, that not being the case, let's have some fun and try a couple of longshots in the early races at Belmont today.

In the 1st at Belmont, Noosh's Tale (10-1) goes second off the layoff for trainer Pat Kelly, a low percentage but quite capable barn as we've mentioned in the past.  Sent off at 41-1, jockey Alex Solis had to work his way out to the widest path upon turning from home, and having lost any forward momentum from there, rallied nicely to finish less than a length behind Toy Cannon (5-2) and Gossip Column (5-1).  This son of Tale of the Cat earned an excellent figure with my numbers in a 2yo stakes race last year, and seems excellent relative value, with a smoother trip, to turn the tables on those two who figure to go off at significantly lower odds; value play.  In any case, With Exultation (9-5) was a well-bet winner in his debut for Christophe Clement and figures to be the one to beat.

In the 5th, Rakin Gold (12-1) returns off a 148 day layoff for trainer Dominick Schettino.  I'm looking at the trainer's record in the range of 110 to 185 days (25% around the length of today's layoff), and though I don't see any wins, he's 50% in the money over the last three years with a couple of very close I'm gonna say that his horses are generally well-prepared in this scenario.  Her last two efforts before the layoff, on dirt, are horrendous; but this horse has some nice turf efforts, especially the two that were not on a yielding course.  Her maiden win came in a key race at this distance on this course, and she was caught wide both turns in a subsequent mile allowance race, earning, in both races, figures, with my numbers, well fast enough to be competitive here at a big price.  Satin Sheeks (7-2) had some nice grass form last year and returns off a 345 day layoff for the proficient layoff barn of Mike Hushion.  Morning line favorite Omelia (5-2) had no apparent excuse as the favorite in her last, succumbing to the uninspiring and poor speller Mah Jong Maddnes; move outside to the 10 post here is no help.    Best of luck and have a great Memorial Day.


steve in nc said...

What's up with the DRF chart caller? Flat Out got stopped in his tracks, Durkin yelled about it, and it isn't mentioned by the chart caller.

The chart also doesn't tell us what path the winner took on the turn, instead waxing poetic using phrases like "loped along" and detailing which hand held the whip. Maybe they should hire someone who handicaps.

Figless said...

Had a great time out there today, despite having a couple of real tough beats including Noosh in the first.

A real nice crowd out their enjoying the fab weather, but it did noticeably thin out prior to the rousing Met Mile which is quite a shame, sure the hot dogs tasted good but they all missed a great race.

Does seem to be some merit to starting the races earlier, I arrived at noon and the place was hopping just waiting for the first race, could certainly go with a noon post time and could have eliminated the bottom maiden claimer in the middle of an otherwise very nice card.

El Angelo said...

Announced crowd was shy of 12,000 and I have to think based on Figless' comment that it was well shy of that by 5:45. They do it on Thanksgiving; it would make sense to do an early start time and can a race on Memorial Day too.

Anonymous said...

Starting at noon would be a handle killer. Given the handle was about $20.4 million yesterday, compared to about $14.6 in 2012, it's hard to argue that the placement of the races was a mistake.

Dan said...

I went to Belmont yesterday- a few thoughts-

1) I arrived at 1pm sharp & they ran out of the "give away" item- This isn't a big deal however I was surprised by this since the crowd was about 12K.
2) I had trouble using my NYRA one card on the self service machines- half the machines wouldn't read my card & I noticed a lot of the machines were "flashing red" so these machines would not accept tickets. I know NYRA will get a new tote service later this year but please these machines should work. I find it a lot easier to bet at home with my computer.

I agree the handle would suffer if they moved post times up to 11:30AM. a little less than 18 million was bet off track yesterday.

Figless said...

Obviously starting earlier means less West Coast handle, tough call, balancing on track attendance, which creates future fans, with off track business.

MLB sided with TV revenue over attendance this week moving all the "rivalry" games to midweek, they exchanged better ratings for sweeps week for lower attendance, clearly TV matters more.

On solution would be to run the card at the same time but move the Graded races to earlier in the day so the on track patrons could stay for them.