Here are a few things catching my eye this morning:
I believe the longevity of horses, and their ability to stay sound, lies a lot with how they are brought along early. Uphill Battle, bought young from a good horsemen that does not push his stock through kinks, celebrated the last day of his 14th year at the track, and will lead the post parade on Saturday at Northfield. This coincides with this weekends "Back to the Track" initiative by the USTA. He raced 400 times, and seemingly never missed a week. What a horse!
If I could describe a good horseplayer, I would describe him/her as a critical thinker. Yesterday, in what o_crunk called "easily in the running for the most retarded blog post all year", the comments flew from the aforementioned betting degenerates. Horseplayers really diced up the piece, logically, and one dogged poster ("Tinky") simply would not let them off the hook. It was fairly fascinating to watch and read. I have long believed playing the horses is different. Your average horseplayer is pretty smart, and when you get down to brass tacks, it is exemplified in their responses to blog posts, letters to the editor, and so on. You do not see a lotto player on a lotto chat board dice up an argument like that.
Mark Steacy's luck sucks. Like American Ideal a few years ago who also drew the ten in both the Cup and the Pace, Steacy has with Foreclosure. Amazingly, two horses I wanted to use fairly hard - him and Bestofbest Hanover - drew the nine and ten, for this weekend's M Pace.
Speaking of Bestofbest Hanover, I wonder what he must have looked like as a yearling. He's a son of Western Hanover, out of Bunny Lake and he went for $27,000. I know he was small, but wow, that's cheap.
Del Mar opens. Horseplayers have their beware hats on due to the almost 23% ex take in short fields (about as easy to beat as an egg on Mars), but the legendary track sure knows how to do it right. The management there, from a branding and marketing perspective know what they are doing, that's for sure.
I got my rebate from Woodbine for June! But I should have read the fine print. The offer of 5% cash back if you bet Woodbine or Mohawk and spend over $5500 seemed good. If I spent $6000, for example, I would get back $300, for a nice takeout reduction. Apparently that was not the case. The 5% was 'over and above' the $5500 level. I don't play much in that account, because that is the losing one, and yikes, with $70 back on around $7000 bet it's tough to make it a winning account.
Speaking of ADW's, HANA's Jeff Platt wrote a great piece on signal fees and signal distribution. A lot of horseplayers do not understand them, and how high signal fees can really kick them in the ass (and the industry if they ever get super-high). If you are not taking advantage of rebates (and there are many ADW's who offer them to small players) you are truly missing out. If you are a 0.95ROI player and switch to tracks where your effective takeout drops 6% or 7%, you can be betting $250k or more per year in two shakes of a lamb's tail. Not lyin.
Have a good Thursday everyone!
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