Saturday Notes

Good morning race fans!

On the "track that gets it" meme, the Meadowlands shows that the way we used to do things does not mean it's the right way. Tonight they have two stakes finals, with some pretty nice horses including Warrawee Needy. Not long ago both of these stakes finals would've been looked at as "quality races" and they probably would've been stuffed in both pick 4's.

Instead, in 2013, they are in the first and second races, to be strategically placed outside of both pick 4's.

That's good, because, yes, we like to watch a good horse or two race, but they are both awful betting races.

In racing, race offices used to love "trap pick 4's" where bettors are given a choice of keying a horse, going deep, or (if both horses are 7-5 or so) using both. All that does is kill your ticket, or annoy you as a player who wants to make money. Note to the industry, if the adjective "trap" is used to describe what you are going to do to a bettor or customer, please don't do it.

Speaking of pick 4's, I have to do two tonight for Greg and the Woodbine folks,  and I realized how much I'd suck at being a public handicapper. I only take pick 4's where value is hitting me in the face - fading a chalk, using a separator horse, making sure the sequence is right. I can't do that by getting a ticket in early, and it is not in my nature to spread while betting into 25% rakes.

For example, I think I may key I'm Feeling Good in leg one. The horse is coming off a layoff, is the best horse in the race, and he raced once off a layoff before for Wallace, coming home in 26 flat to just miss. But I certainly would like to see an odds board and the horse score down.

Ditto for my other potential key, Modern Legend in race 8. This horse too is off a mini-break but is by far the best animal in the race. I'd like to see the tote board, because if he's completely dead on the board, my ticket is likely dead in the water. Public handicappers have it pretty tough.

In Harness Racing Update yesterday it was disclosed that Rock n Roll Hanover had a larger than average heart, just like Secretariat did.

I like Pletcher's horse in the Rebel today. With the speed from outside this may end up being a very interesting race. I would not argue with anyone who uses some inside post closers here to juice up a ticket.

A buddy of mine sent me a video of his niece learning to ride a horse - a retired thoroughbred. You could see the horse knew who was on her, and there was almost a motherly instinct about the mare. I can't believe some people eat horses and that we as a society slaughter them. They're like a dog, only bigger.

Olde Time Hockey races in race 5 tonight at the Meadowlands. Last week, while taking money, driver Andy Miller pulled the colt 17 lengths off the gate, and the horse had no shot whatsoever. He came home in 122.3 - almost unheard of in a maiden race - and he'll likely be low odds tonight (smart bettors will probably bet against him because he will be so low). Drivers have to look at odds boards when horses are well bet from outside posts. They need to show some effort because the public is betting their hard earned money and deserve it. No, they don't have to gut a horse, but they have to try a little bit and at least get into the thick of the race. Cory Callahan did this last night on the well bet O Narutac Rokette. She could've won for fun if put into the race off the gate.

Cory and Andy get two minutes in the penalty box to feel shame. That's today's Old Time Hockey reference.

Good luck on your bets today everyone, and enjoy the racing.

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