Monday, June 6, 2011

Promo, Mo, & Monday Notes

Jeremy Plonk on ESPN relays a thought on Uncle Mo which has been talked about by fans (particularly on twitter) for quite awhile now. He sums up a lot of people's view pretty well:
  • While it's not the responsibility of horse owners and trainers to disclose all the truths about what's going on with each racehorse to the media and public, this was a different case. This was a horse, after all, for whom the owner created his own website complete with first-person updates written as if they actually came from the horse himself, calling his handlers Uncle Todd and Uncle Mike. They held a fan contest to "Get to Know Mo" complete with breakfast at the barn. You can't do things like that and then, when the media calls your bluff on big talk of full disclosure about racehorse health records, you claim that you'll come clean when everyone else does. That doesn't float. You're either a refreshing breath of new air in the game or just like everyone else. Choose a side. 
Plonk's column this week is really good and worth a read.

I highly doubt there is a better racetrack for promoting their carryovers and deals as well as Balmoral Park. Last evening there was a pick 4 and super-high five carryover and if harness players did not know about it, they are living under a rock. Balmoral has done this for about a year now, (since they lowered their takeout on the pick 4) and people expect and are not too unhappy to hear and be updated on betting news. Not only does the track ask for promotional help with this, they update you the next day. Last evening the track did over $1.2M in handle, and over $80,000 was bet into the pick 4 pool, with over $60,000 into the super-high five.

Tioga Downs is going all out promoting their pick 6. The 'little bet' has been growing the past few weeks with work from them. This weekend it gets a little more of a push from harness players via a Pool Party. Tioga, not to be outdone created a promotional spot on the June 12th pick 6 Pool Party, and it is quite good. Great job guys and gals.

Lisagain set a new Canadian record last night in an action packed Des Smith Classic.

I'm busy this week and last and have plenty to do, however each year it seems the Belmont becomes a snooze fest for me. Unless I love a horse, or am stoked to see a horse race that I think is multi-talented (like for example an Afleet Alex a few years ago), or the TC is in the mix, I am Triple Crown fatigued. Anyone else?

There was plenty of chatter on talk boards this past week about a couple of losses in the Burlington divisions. Phil Hudon took some flack for the Big Jim drive and his "looking around" (how a driver moving his head a few inches left and right affects a final time is beyond me anyway). Better Than Cheddar's loss is also seen as a bit of a shock. The bottom line for me as a bettor is - both horses were put in a position to win, and both of them lost. Cheddar lost to a nice colt trained by a sharp guy who knows how to point a horse to a race. Big Jim lost to a horse with previous soundness issues who put it all together and fired home in a shockingly good effort. What are you going to do?

What the three year old division teaches us year after year since 2008 is that horses like Somebeachsomewhere do not come around very often and when they do, it's better to enjoy them. That colt is getting more respect each year; moreso than he might have gotten from some quarters in 2008. Greatness does not lose a race because a driver might have looked around a little, or have to "prove themself" in a Monday non-winners of two. There has not been a pacing horse born since the Beach that is even close to him in the trifecta of ability, toughness and greatness; and there might not be one for a long time.

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