Wednesday Reflections

Some notes this Wednesday.

Interesting interview that the Horseplayer Association did with Betfair and some of their players, including Scott Ferguson who posts a comment or two on this blog from time to time. The comments from racing are well-known about betfair, so to me it is neat to read answers to questions from both players and the organization. Some players are playing hundreds of millions there and are certainly worth being read. Similarly, being an internet guy myself, seeing how a company with a value up in the stratosphere like they have thinks is an added bonus.

On competition: Mr. Cunningham answered that competition and choice is a good thing. "It’s worth noting, in fact, that the money that goes to horseracing in Britain is almost twice as much, a decade on, from when Betfair launched, and while we obviously can’t claim the credit for all of that, there is no doubt that competition in wagering product has been a major contributor to it."

On being a horseplayer there and how they look at racing here: "I'm not the common player though. UK punters can be very parochial, but there are more people warming to the idea of global racing, or US racing in the evening because the time suits their lifestyle."

Full interview is here.

I have had a few days to reflect on the Breeders Cup. I watched that replay of All Speed Hanover again. Man he was huge. I spent a half hour trying to find replays of horses who made a move like that at Woodbine in even fractions and won and I could not find one.

I wonder about two year olds. Remember in August? They were running off the screen and a lot of folks were grovelling over the crop. Now it seems there are only a couple who seem remotely capable of doing that, or even approaching August sharpness. Is this a trend? Will the shining lights for our horses be July and August when they are two? If we ask horses like Nebupannezar, Major in Art, Moon Beam and Duneside Perch I think they might agree. I made a bet earlier in the season when the 2yo's were hot like a pepper that next year's NA Cup and M Pace winner will not have qualified before September 12th. All Speed qualified late, but not that late for me to take advantage, but y'know what? I don't feel too bad about that bet. I think there is a strong chance that next years superstar has not started yet.

I know one thing - I am going to wait until long after the season to judge a two year old crop from now on. There is something-a-funky happening in harness racing.

I watched the Well Said race again, not to watch him, but to see if I could make a horseplayer excuse for Vertical Horizon. I bet him pretty good. No luck, no dice, and I did not even bet show.

The handle was $2.7M. Sign of the times? It appears so. I am predicting the fourth quarter will be horrid for both thoroughbreds and standardbreds. Tons of racing, short fields, bad weather. This just feels really ill.

We're at that time in harness racing where the stakes dry up a little bit. But there are a few on tap that we'll be watching. The Matron, Messenger and a few others might turn out to be betting affairs. Last year at this time two excellent colts, Southwestern Dream and Bettors Sweet were just getting rolling. Maybe a couple of those will show up.

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