Friday, April 15, 2011

A "New" Stakeholder, Bad Beats & Evil Plastic

The tellers union at the Meadowlands plays chicken with the sport of harness racing. The union, by not voting, said no to Jeff Gural and his takeover plans. They would have been paid about $19 an hour, with full benefits, while his plan to build a new track and save the M was put into place. Why would some folks with a job which has pretty much been made obsolete and will continue to be made obsolete do this? There is a new stakeholder in racing to add to the many - people who punch in bets.

Speaking of bad beats, how about last night's Rainbow Six at GP? One lucky bettor has a 40-1 shot put up via a DQ in the second last leg which allows him/her to be alive on one horse in the last; a 4-1 shot with a great chance. Fast forwarding to the lane, his/her horse, for about $1.2 million has an eight length lead and looks unbeatable, only to falter late and be nipped at the wire. For your next bad beat, remember this poor bettor.

I have not spent much time at all watching California racing this season, but I watched a race yesterday. A horse was eased at the quarter and a horse fell 100 yards from home. It appears this has been happening quite a bit this meet. Rick Arthur shares some statistics. We really do a lot of knee-jerk things in racing, and this seems like it's another.

To think this was a quote in late 2009 by Jess Jackson, owner of Rachel Alexandra, when asked if he was going to Santa Anita for the Breeders Cup to face Zenyatta in a Horse of the Year showdown:

"I have a very strong dislike for plastic surfaces, and I don't believe [Rachel Alexandra] should be exposed to that. I'm not going to run her on plastic. We don't need to risk her that way."

As with most things in racing, it's ass-backwards. A year and a half later the reality sets in. This track is the one that has potential BC entrants worried about safety, not the "evil plastic".

In addition, the nonsense about bettors not betting synthetic surfaces continues to be shown as just that, nonsense. Keeneland's handle is roaring so far this meet. Bettors will bet deep, honest fields with a decent rake. You could run horses on cottage cheese and get handle if you do those two things.

Without a central authority to promote facts, our inmates have been, and will continue to run the asylum with a combination of demagoguery and bias.

More notes:

Mark Steacy's syndicate is doing well and is looking to do some expansion. Mark is an honest fella, so this is nice to see.

HUGE payoff in Cal Expo's pick 4 last night with easy to hit prices. The Cal Expo rake on pick 4's is a low 15%.

St. Elmo Hero goes for 26 straight tomorrow at the Bine.


The_Knight_Sky said...

When are those folks who blame the Polytrack-CushionTrack-Pro-Ride-Tapeta for every fatality going to come to their senses?

The problem is the fragility of the California race horse - always has been.

But not accepting that fact there will be no progress made in the medication arena. This has been (is) a severe problem that finally needs to be addressed by the CHRB and their mates the TOC.

Anonymous said...

Last night in Cal Expo's last race Mighty Kicker gets bet late and wins. It was Tony Succarotte's only ride. Wasn't this a discussion in one of your older blogs? Happen to remember the date?

Pull the Pocket said...

Hey RG,

I seem to remember some Cal Expo sharpie speaking of it in the comments section..... Cant remember who or where!


Anonymous said...

I may not have been clear. I meant drivers hanging around for the last race possibly being well meant. It was probably a couple of years ago. If I remember correctly there was a lot of discussion opinions.

Pull the Pocket said...

Aha! Yes, I remember. Let me see if I can find that.


Pull the Pocket said...

Here it is, including your excellent story in the comments section!


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