Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Beach Balls, Handicapping and Flexi Bets

The balls are being throw at the Beach. Not the beach at Amherst Shore near Truro, Nova Scotia, but the Beach as in Somebeach. Everyone, well virtually everyone, wants this horse to go to the Jug. The chat boards, letters to the Harness Edge, and the grandstand is buzzing about this and it will not let up. Will it happen? It might. Remember, this horse was not slated to go to the Confederation Cup either, but he did.

I understand that the Jug is a bit of an anachronism, but it is our anachronism, so I fully expect people to be asking Brent to take the horse there. On the flipside, this is their horse, and they do not have millions in the bank that they have made time and again in this game, or elsewhere. We are not talking Jess Jackson here. So they have to plan out the best way to make their horse money, and make the horse last the year. I understand both sides of the argument, and respect both sides too. Is there an easy answer? I don't think so. If he does go to the Jug and jogs, well that will certainly quiet the masses. But we do have to wonder just how bulletproof he is. If he goes there it would be a full eight races in about 6 weeks. We're talking 1980's durability if he withstands that. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

In a rather unique new handicapping challenge, SC has created a contest to be held at Mohawk on September 22nd. With only 30 max entries this can be lucrative, and since you are bidding on horses, rather than just betting who you want, there is a strategy involved. Interesting to say the least. I think I am going to enter this and give it a shot.

Flexi bets have made Hong Kong. Hong Kong continues to be on the cutting edge and refuses to lose handle without a fight. Remember this is the place that gave some monster rebates to increase churn, and have offered all kinds of unique bets that have caught fire like the Triple Trio. This bet was discussed at the Standardbred Wagering Conference's new bets section and I thought it was a winner, for various reasons. In effect, if you want a 1000 combo pick 7 ticket, you can specify an amount you want to spend, then the flexi calculates what the dollar base is. Want that ticket and only spend $100? Well you can. Your payoff will be based on a 10 cent hit, rather than a dollar one. I think some are trying to get this going here. It is an easy promotional bet, and the track/jurisdiction who gets it first might win.

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