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Showing posts from August, 2013

6 Reasons To Play Harness Racing & Stakes Night in Canada

Today in HRU a bettor looked at the benefits of betting harness racing.
Making money is fun, and losing money, even if you had a nice souvlaki sandwich from a food truck, or laughed at the wiener dog races, is not so fun. Making money, or having a chance to make money, is why people come back en masse. Harness racing might not have the complexity or cache of Thoroughbred racing, but it does have a lot going for it. You do have a chance to make money. If someone ever asks you why they should bet harness racing, here are a few reasons you might want to share. Any game we play with horses, or dogs, or hold em poker and others possesses some area that gives one an edge. Harness racing still has a few of those left.

Tonight is a major stakes night at Mohawk, with over $2M in purses being handed out in some big races. Here is a free program link.

Have a great Saturday everyone.

Friday Notes & Some Pics

Happy Friday everyone, on the lead-up to the bittersweet long weekend that serves as the unofficial end of summer.

This Saturday evening there's a fantastic racecard at Mohawk Raceway. Several stakes are slated to go, including the $680k Metro for two year olds and the Canadian Pacing Derby for older pacers. Each year this big day kind of stumps me. I don't know if it's because we have fatigue from the summer stakes season, it's just not promoted well, or whatever, but there is always a lack of buzz for this event. And, really, it doesn't make much sense considering the Meadowlands each year is closed, and there is not a lot of good harness racing against the evening. Here are the entries, and I will link out a free program when I find a link.

H/T to Equidaily, here is a story on dog tracks wanting to decouple the gaming from the racing in Florida. Things like this should never be glossed over by those at smaller slots tracks - thoroughbred or harness - who just p…

Racing Truths - "My Horse Needs 'This' Trip"

It's pretty common. A horse has some success with a certain trip, or fails with another, and his or her career can be dictated by instances. Today in the DRF, trainer of Bolt The Duer, Peter Foley, saw his horse last year get beat a couple of times on the front end, only to come back and win from the pocket. That made him a pocket horse.

And this year a pocket horse he was, until the last two races. One was a world record, wire to wire, and one was a Canadian record. Boom, just like that he's good on the front end.

Reviewing Bolt the Duer's race record one wonders. He won the Hempt elim gate to wire in 148.3. He won a KYSS wire to wire in 150, with a last quarter of 25.3. He got beaten a nose and a head trying to take two other races wire to wire. He's a good speed horse, hell, he's probably a good closer.

A couple of 'bad days' maybe when he had a bad week, his feet were bugging him, what have you, changed the tactics for a career so far at 4.

It's not…

It's That Damn East Coast Bias

NBC released its overnight ratings for Saturday's Travers and they were a respectable 0.7.

Comparing that to another niche sport, for a niche event, the ratings for Usain Bolt at the Track and Field Championships were a 0.7 on the main network last weekend.

I checked Google Trends, for a lark, to see if the Travers had enough searches to learn anything at all. I doubted it would, and it didn't, but the east coast bias for the event was da bomb.

It's not too surprising New York got a 100 rating, but Massachusetts at a 95 was a bit of an eye-opener. New York snowbirds were alive and well in Florida, perhaps?

It is nice to see the keyword "Travers Stakes" trending over time, especially in horse racing, which has had its share of customer troubles since early this century.

New York's ADW Tax Screws Joe From Brooklyn

It was reported yesterday an out of state 5% betting tax was passed in New York state. The tax, which on a signal fee of say, 10%, equates to a 33% increase, will only affect New York bettors.

This is short-sighted, and something all-too-familiar in racing: The people in charge have no clue how we bettors operate.

Joe is from Brooklyn. Years ago he played at the OTB and churned about $10,000 a year betting the ponies. He, like most of us, was constantly broke and horse racing was simply a hobby. Then one day Joe discovered ADW wagering. He signed up with a place that offered him back cash rebates for his play - just like Vegas gave to Ernie Dahlman that made him move out of state in the 1990's. With a signal fee of 10% to pay the track and horsemen, and rake of 21%, the ADW kept three points for themselves for operating expenses, with the other 8 points going back to Joe from Brooklyn.

Joe then noticed a funny thing happened. He was betting his usual $100 a day, but at the end of …

The Del Mar Stolen Ambulance: Cub Reporter Inside Scoop

I was recently reading the story about the fellow who stole the ambulance at Del Mar, went the wrong way in the stretch, and caused quite the fracas at the seaside oval. So far the details have been sketchy.

Coincidentally, I open my email this morning and it's from Cub Reporter, the no-holds-barred underground gumshoe journalist, who from time to time has the inside scoop on such matters. He did not disappoint. He asked me not to reprint his work, but as usual I publish his work for you here.

Ambulance Theft a Bold Statement, by Cub Reporter

Much has not been released about Saturday's stolen ambulance situation at Del Mar Racetrack. Cub Reporter has been working the phone, the email, the SMS, the tweets, the instagrams, the facebook, even the Myspace and the Usenet to find out more.

"I took it", said former minor league baseball star, serial emailer and horseplayer advocate "Racetrackandy".

"I wanted to highlight the stewards this meet. They've bee…

Handicapping: Three Reasons to Play With a Betting Bankroll

Many years ago when I started playing racing in a serious fashion, one of the most difficult things to do was manage a bankroll.

I remember as a student working the summer at a meat packing plant. I'd be in at 7AM and out at 3:30, head home on the subway (while reading the past performances); getting ready for an evening of racing.  I was making okay money at the union job, but I was also using that to bet. I'd walk into the track with my $50 or so, and that was my bankroll, my food money, hell, it was my subway money for the next morning. Managing $50 and betting in any type of optimal way was impossible.

What would continually end up happening was me making a run to the ATM, when there was no money in the ATM. It made racing completely frustrating. I was picking great horses, but I was broke all the time.

One day I entered the track after a day of work and made a nice score. I got lucky on a horse I had been following and I think I made upwards of $6,000. At that point, aft…

At Saratoga Is More, More?

This past week the DRF's Steve Crist penned an excellent column titled "Are there too many races at Saratoga?"
Proponents of the more-more-more position say that in the absence of a law requiring patrons to bet on every race, why should anyone object? If nine a day is your limit, you can always skip a few, and why deprive those who can’t get enough of getting a few more?
The more-is-less advocates say that the extra races dilute the overall product, making Saratoga less special and some afternoons more reminiscent of Aqueduct than Ascot. Eliminating the two or three worst races every day would make the meeting shinier, cut down on the workload for handicappers, and those who can’t get enough can always play simulcasts. Steve then goes on to talk about the relationship, pre slots and takeover, between the state and NYRA. This, whereby NYRA had to show revenue gains, and the easiest way to do that was by lengthening a solid meet like Saratoga.

This is really nothi…

A Long Day of Betting

It's pretty tough to be a bettor or a complete racefan when Saturday starts at around noon and ends at after midnight, but yesterday was pretty exciting.

I will spare the details regarding the Arlington Million day and the DQ, or my big bet against Princess of Sylmar in the Alabama ("I'm sure she's not winning", said Pocket), and concentrate on a little harness racing.

For the racefan in me, I watched a little bit of the Gold Cup and Saucer card, as I usually do. The spectacle - from the singing of the island hymn, to the spotlight post parade where you can see the passion in the local connection's faces - is always neat for a fan. We, in any type racing, do not see anything like it.

The race itself was a barnburner with Carl Jamieson parking out the 2 horse, the 4 horse and horses that weren't even in the race, it seemed. This set up a come from behind win by Escape the News in track record time.Watch the video, the race was a blast.

I watch the Preaknes…

A Flabbergasting Horse Racing Court Ruling

A trainer has been found not guilty of fraud and cheating at play by an Ontario judge. This is believed to be the first trial of this nature in Canada. That headline might not sound too thrilling, but how he was found not guilty will certainly rankle you if you are a bettor.
 Though he [the judge] accepted the prosecution’s claim that Riesberry attempted to gain advantage by injecting a horse Sept. 28, 2010 with performance-enhancing drugs and intended to do so again Nov. 7, 2010 when he arrived at Windsor Raceway with two fully-loaded syringes and a horse in tow, Rogin couldn’t find that the public was either cheated or defrauded by the action. Drawing on numerous precedents on either side of the border, Rogin essentially ruled bettors are observers not participants in horse races. The bolded part is mine.

I know I am an observer of football games, I like to look at the stars sometimes, I also observe TV shows. When I was younger I observed pictures the articles in Maxim magazin…

Blood Passports and Testing: The Sport Should Rally Around Jeff Gural