For the last seven race cards of the year Woodbine has decided to move the start/finish line up 235 feet closer to the turn. This makes the homestretch a whopping 1215 feet, and makes the first quarter sprint more on the turn, rather than on the straightaway.
This could be interesting. The float out/hard sprint will be replaced by more traditional gate driver dynamics, like at the Meadowlands. Will it make a difference? We'll see.
I won an inquiry last night at the Meadowlands for a ticket cash. In race 7 the promising looking Noel Daley colt Western Posse was making his '09 debut. I guess the outside post scared many away as they let him go at 7-1. The huge chalk with Andy Miller got a fairly easy lead and looked to be well on his way to victory until he made a break at the wire. He was more than one length ahead of Western Posse and not lapped on. But with the vague breaking rulings we see sometimes, they pitched him. It is nice to win bets I do not think I should win, but I wish they would explain the breaking rule in the lane more to bettors. I have been around this game for a long time and never know which way they are going to go with this rule.
During the afternoon I played a pick 4 at Keeneland. I spent a few dollars as there is usually a bomb or two in the deep Keeneland fields, the pick 4's are both usually pretty big pools, and I can find a bit of value. Chalk pick 4's and taking them are a ticket to the poor house with the takeout, so I tend to seek in those tickets. But yesterday I think I took stupidity to a new level and it was a bit maddening. In the first leg I used three horses, and a 22-1 shot came in. I was covered for the next three legs, 3 by 5 by 4. In the second leg (for some reason I am not quite aware) I used 4,7,8 but not the chalk. Sure enough, the chalk came in with my horses running 2nd through 4th. I was out and somewhat annoyed at my playing. What took the cake is leg three, where I used the winner - who paid $102. When the will pays came up I was annoyed even further. Two of my horses were paying 3 of 4. I would have been alive on two pool shots had I used a 2-1 chalk in leg two. Thankfully the chalk won the last leg and the pick 4 only paid $22,000. I had him, but it stung less. My potential pool shot horses ran 4th and 6th. This is a humbling, fascinating game. And one where second-guessing is done by everyone, which at times is hard to control even though we all know we should control it at all costs, or suffer at the windows.