Skip to main content

Friday's Horse Racing Chatter

Good day racing fans.

Bill Shanklin (rarely a bad read) ruminates about how hard it is to win the Triple Crown. It's an interesting hypothesis. Winning this series of races has gotten more difficult; I do not think there is much question about it. In a way I think it helps the series (with the general public), rather than hurts it. Winning the Triple Crown seems elusive and it draws people into the story. When a horse has a chance to win you tune in to watch history, rather than something that can happen with regularity.

Lots of chatter about whipping, and Victor Espinoza's 32 cracks on American Pharoah. I don't know why we make things so difficult in horse racing. 32 is excessive by any measure. That's against a rule, thus you penalize him. Next year, if you don't want to see the same thing on national TV, you pass, or alter the rule beforehand and let the jocks know in the room that excessive use will result in a 14 day suspension. That would not allow the jock to ride in the Preakness. The jock's - who are professionals - will fall in line and your problem will be solved.

The Preakness cards will have guarantee's for their pick 5 next weekend for both Black-Eyed Susan and Preakness Day. At 12%, that bet is a must play if you are looking for some value. There is a nice carryover today in that pool, by the way.

Horse twitter accounts. I might be in the minority, but I think if done right, they can be fun, entertaining, harmless and at times informative. When they turn human I tune them out.

Monmouth Park opens, and they have been near break even in recent meets.

Bug/Windshield. Political bettors really took a hit in the last election in the US, with the polls being almost perfect, but we forget the times they aren't, and the unbelievable value to be had when that occurs. In the UK last night, the polls were a few points off and with a parliamentary system where there are several parties splitting said vote, a few points can mean a lot.  Early on in the evening this was apparent, yet you could still get over 10-1 on some bets that had a strong probability to occur. Fascinating.

Another fascinating point, I think, is that when people have perceived value they send it in. My friend is a professional bettor and before the election he had access to available data, did some spreadsheets and made lines based on them. He's not from the UK, but he learned what he needed to know and made plays. I suspect he bet between $40,000 to $60,000 on the election outcomes. As for last Saturday, he bet a grand total of zero dollars on the Kentucky Derby. "Too much work and I can't find value." Disagree if you want, but in reality, that's the perception of US horse racing with many bettors nowadays.

Forest for the trees. I was watching the Players Championship pre-game this week and in 1992, then PGA commissioner Deane Beaman increased European participation levels into the event to 15 from 12. This, as reported, almost caused a boycott. Regular US players did not want others into "their event". Now, 23 years later, Rory plays Jordan, Martin is paired with Tiger and there are no "quotas" other than good golf. The event cards the best field of the year, and many consider it to be on-par with a Major Championship. Its TV ratings are good, and the event continues to grow. When those in racing don't want deeper fields, or to change to make the racing better and more competitive, I think the sport loses out (especially as a gambling game), and has trouble growing.

Dave Briggs is doing some work for Ontario Horse Racing. If you are a bettor, fan or insider, please give him a follow

With a hat tip to Pacead poster Valuist, why does Andy Beyer get ripped so much? Whether the article is tongue in cheek or not is not the point. It happens often. Speed figures are predictive, a handicapping tool, and with a Wood Memorial going :53 and a Sunland Derby going in :47 at the same distance, are extremely valuable. That Beyer was doing it when few others were, it gets one on the Wall of Handicapping Fame and deservedly so.

Biggest winners Derby Day? Travis Stone, American Pharoah, CDI earnings, maybe in that order.

Enjoy your day everyone. And have a nice weekend.

Comments