If there's something we learned about Kentucky Downs - other than the miraculous handle growth - is that comments from people like Rob are very common.
From what I see, Rob is a fine handicapper. Him struggling is no reflection on his skill, no doubt. We all struggle at Kentucky Downs - don't let anyone fool you on that. It's simple math and circumstance.Nice to have someone on here who is engaging and takes all the body blows for KD like @ceejayjohnsen does. Not gonna lie, I've struggled— Rob (@Smarty3385) September 11, 2017
Kentucky Downs' races are not a six horse field at Santa Anita where you can like a Baffert maiden at 9-5, as the clockers extol her virtues. It's not a Saratoga race where you can have a strong opinion based only on who Chad Brown or Todd Pletcher is training.
When you put 13 horses - coming from all over, on a weirdly configured turf course, with a high breadth training colony - it takes a different mindset...... and some luck. This does not mean things aren't formful - they are - but it's much like old polytrack Keeneland, where you could take a stand on a price horse, configure some tickets right, and make a nice score. And like old Keeneland, your entire meet can be made with one single trifecta, or superfecta, or even a pick 3.
This is the lure of a place like Kentucky Downs. Where your average every day player is priced out of pick 6's, know that they aren't going to ever hit a Rainbow Six for a lottery ticket score, and are generally relegated to play short fields with short prices, it's a track they can sink their teeth into, and if they're right - even once - they can get paid.
My mindset at a place like Kentucky Downs is completely different than anywhere else. I go into each and every race looking for something to attack, then I build around it. After I submit my tickets, I know I am very likely to lose the race. I don't expect to win, or get mad when I lose, because with so many permutations and variables, losing is an obvious outcome.
I think Kentucky Downs is a struggle. If we realize it's going to be difficult, we are very likely not to walk away with eight winners on a card, and we take some shots, it's - and it's not even close - the best gambling racetrack in North America.
This is why, in my view, it keeps growing. It stands out; it's hard. The struggle - and getting paid for navigating that mental struggle - is why we patronize it.
Have a great Monday everyone. And congrats to CJ Johnsen and his dad - along with everyone else at Kentucky Downs - on their record setting meet. Your efforts deserve to be rewarded and I'm happy that horseplayers have responded.