Sunday's Here

It's Sunday and it's raining for the International. Free PP's are here if anyone wants to do some betting. I might have to take a pass on the card to run a few errands, but I'll watch the race. It's on about 5:45ET.

Nick Kling shares his thoughts, which I thought were kind of funny.
Speaking of international racing, Frankel goes next week in the UK for the last time in his career. Europe has proclaimed him the world's best horse, without racing outside of Europe. He's no Goldikova, that's for sure. It's a shame really -  International racing, through things like the Breeders Cup, Canadian International, Dubai World Cup, or off-trips like Black Caviar made this year are what the sport should be about.

Who's the best trotter in the World?  Most would say Chapter Seven. But, unlike with Frankel, we in harness racing will get to find out. Commander Crowe is coming to the Breeders Crown. This makes the aged trotting event the must-see event again this year. As most remember, San Pail battled two of Europes best last year, to rave reviews. A field that includes Chapter Seven, Mister Herbie, Daylon Magician and Commander Crowe is pretty special.

The Forest City Yearling sale - usually a sale of some higher quality, was down 37% from last year, for day one. This is much better than the Canadian Classic was, but it's terrible. I was certain some signal from the government would've happened before the yearling sales to ensure some sort of "down but not out" narrative. That would've helped the sales, but none came. We'll see what happens, but those who bought quality Canadian stock might've gotten themselves a pretty decent deal. I can't see the OSS program being hugely different, and some sires, like Kadabra can compete on the world stage anyway. Still, I surmised the top end would be no worse than 30% off, but it appears 35% or so is more likely.

I have not seen the handle numbers yet, but Keeneland is really putting on a show this year, thus far. They've had some super cards, deep fields, quality racing, and even some carryovers. What I like about the Keeneland poly is that sometimes speed figures can be so horribly overbet, like in the last race yesterday. For handicappers willing to take a chance on a horse or two, you can find it at Keeneland.

Tote in the UK has raised their win takeout.  Two points with that: 1) It was done because at 13.5% overseas punters, who deal with higher than 13.5% takeouts, could not bet the signal. This is kind of like what happened when Keeneland wanted to drop the rake to 12% in early 2000. Other tracks said no. 2) It's not really a huge a deal like it would be here. At bookmakers and with exchanges, price conscious players can get 5% or less win takes. Regardless, if you go to the UK to do some betting, you want to look elsewhere in the win pools.

Speaking of mutuel pools, I often wonder why we in North America do not slice less of (especially) place and show pools. The handle in those pools across NA are anemic.

Mel Mara won the OSS gold final on Friday at Flamboro, beating Michaels Power. The former is starting to show a bit of the promise we all thought he would last year. Warrawee Needy was a mediocre third, but I discount his half mile track races. He, I believe, is pretty poor on four turn ovals.

Who are the disappointments and surprises of 2012? These were looked at in harnessracingupdate this past weekend (page two, pdf)

Hey, allegedly an Aussie jock bet a horse to win, one that he was racing against, but not riding. If you read the story, he did not lay his own horse on betfair, he just bet someone else.  Hmmmmm, you mean corruption can happen without a betting exchange? Go figure.

Have a nice Sunday everyone.

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