Skip to main content

Why I Never Pay Attention to the Top Ten

For years I have wondered if some of the people who vote in the Hambo/BC Top Ten even watch races. I think it really came to a crescendo when a superstar like Rainbow Blue was second to Windsongs Legacy. Well this year, they have outdone themselves.

This week, Dewey is still on top, with 23 first place votes to the Beach's 11. After getting beat last week, and winning his last two races by a half, and three quarters of a length, under Mike Lachance-like stick, it is astounding.

Of course there is the obvious, Beach has won every start but one (and he was second in it, in world record time, after being parked the half), has made the most money, has set the most world records, has beaten the most world record holders; but it is more than that. Voters do not seem to realize that 151 trotters like Dewey who win the bulk of their starts are seen almost each year. In contrast, horses like the Beach who win by daylight in track record and world record shattering times against possibly the toughest group of 3YO's in ages, are lucky to be seen each decade.

There is a debate right now in harness racing grandstands everywhere, with grassroots racing fans. It goes something like this: "Is Somebeachsomewhere better than Niatross?" I'd say it is about 50/50, those who argue for and against that. The absolutely mind boggling thing is that the voters don't even think this is the best horse this year.

Note: To show how handicappers think (I personally know two people that were betting Crazed on Saturday), check out Middleton's column here. He publicly picked against Dewey. So did many others (Crazed was 3-1 from a bad post). Beach on the other hand had someone bet $25,000, not to show (there was no show betting) but to win on Saturday. That is why people were more shocked with Beach's poor last quarter than Dewey getting beat on Saturday. And why it was the biggest story. Handicappers do not expect Beach to show even a sliver of invincibility, many thought Dewey getting beat was inevitable.


Bob Summers said…
Hey PtP: I vote in the weekly poll and have had Beach in front of Dewey for several weeks ... and I live in Ray Schnittker's home town. ... Be careful of broad generalizations... As Mark Twain, another former Buffalonian, once said, "It is the difference of opinion that makes horse racing." ... Enjoy your column, keep up the good work. Bob Summers, Buffalo News
Pull the Pocket said…
Hi Bob,

Thanks for the note. So you are one of the eleven. I am going to go to a Bills game this year and tell your mayor that the only reason I supported the Buffalo economy was because of Bob's Hambo poll vote :)

Now I have to find out who the other ten are, and make sure I do not play the same tracks as them. I'll do anything for an edge.


Anonymous said…
I do believe some industry insiders have been oblivious to the obvious because Beach has only two US appearances. "Out of site out of mind", like an all star ball player playing for the Pirates, or an NHL all star playing in Phoenix, when the voters don't see enough of them for themselves, they tend to overlook the facts.
Mohawk has been spoiled with the live evidence of how god the Beach really is for the past two years, however for the next two months, Somebeachsomewhere will have his opportunity to prove and leave no doubt for all fans on both sides of the border.
Allan said…
The poll you are referring to is based in the US and SBSW has done most of his racing in Canada; this explains it.

Popular posts from this blog

Sword Dancer Shenanigans Proves the Public's Point

Ask any random person who has not watched a horse race, or maybe have seen one or three : "Is horse racing fixed?"

They'll probably say, sure it is; common knowledge.

At that point, racing folks get excited to defend their sport. 99% of the races are clean, there is too much money involved to fix races, etc etc. 

Then we have yesterday's Sword Dancer, where not one of us can blame anyone for thinking like they do about the sport.

It's probably bad enough that a "rabbit" was entered for an old-time form of race fixing, but that the horse was ridden like a quarterhorse made the optics look terrible. That another horse - Roman Approval - had to be physically restrained due to the cowboy style race riding of the horse sent to destroy him, is probably just as bad optically.

But that was just the beginning. The real story had just begun.

At the head of the lane, this rank, spent, heart-ripped out rabbit, needed to do even more work for the 1-9 shot. He had t…

If #harnessracing is Afraid of the Answer......

There's a saying, apparently, from the legal community - never ask a question if you don't know the answer.

Today at the USTA meeting Jason Settlemoir put forth a motion that the USTA ask its membership the feelings on a question regarding slots and marketing. In a nutshell, it asked if a percentage of slot money should go into a slush fund to be spent on marketing and ancillary items to promote and grow the sport.

When the 54 director votes were tallied, the score was 47 to 7..... against.

Yes, the leadership of an organization voted down, in a landslide, asking the grassroots membership a question. 

Sure this seems super-silly, but why they did it, I think, is an easy one. They knew that if they asked the question the answer would be a resounding "yes". Then all hell would break loose. They'd have to try and get that done.

If harness racing is afraid of the answers to questions, they don't ask them. That seems to be the mantra of the sport. And it's p…

PTP's Bathing Index ® Derby Handicapping Angles - This is Much Better than Dosage

Good day racing fans!

It's one week until the Derby, where drunk people, rich people, sororities at almost every University, and others get together to watch, wager, take molly, drink juleps, wear hats, have parking issues, and partake in the annual Kentucky horse racing tradition.

I have scanned the big websites, read almost all social media and was very surprised that there are not a lot of people giving their thoughts on this year's Run for the Roses. It's like no one has an opinion! So in my never ending search for traffic, I decided to pop up a handicapping post. I think this post will help both new fans and old salty handicappers land on a winner.

As most know, physicality is important for handicapping (Leadbetter, et al). A lesser known angle is watching how a horse reacts while getting soapy water thrown on him. As long time handicapper Jessica notes, it can be a key to unlocking Derby betting fortune.


Let's begin with our control group, Kentucky Derby …