Thursday, April 4, 2013

Thursday Notes

Good morning racing fans!

I am publishing this post now, but to our millions and millions and millions of readers, please embargo this until noon today.

I enjoyed reading fellow blogger Heidi's post regarding not hearing the racecaller, and having to "listen" to a race in other ways.
  • I do not need background narration to guide me through what is happening before my eyes. I see every little detail, I understand every fraction of a second, every move the jockeys make, and every expression the horses give. I see the perfect rhythm of Secretariat’s strides, I see the courage in Rachel Alexandra, I see the powerful surge of muscles in Zenyatta’s hindquarters, I see the flick of Winter Memories’ tail, and I see Royal Delta’s ears pricking as she takes the lead. It all comes together and creates something beautiful for my eyes
The reality of what's happening in Ontario racing is settling in. Flamboro, host of the Confederation Cup, will be racing from October through March, and its signature race is probably kaput. The Confederation Cup was one of my favorite races to watch and attend. Summer heat, heats, a big crowd and a whole pile of racing fans. No more it appears.

Keeneland opens tomorrow with a nice card. The Masters means spring for some in the Northeast. For me, the Keeneland opener is spring. Great fields, solid stakes races, and good betting tilts, where we see just how good of a handicapper and bettor we are. If I lose money at a Keeneland meet, I know I have to brush up on my skills. It's a true test, and an enjoyable one at that.

Keeneland has added Jeremy Plonk and Mike Battaglia to their twitter arsenal for this meet. I was thinking the other day how technology works backwards, in some ways. Typing short messages to each other via twitter or facebook is simply a sped up telegraph. Talking live, on the phone, would seem to be the next logical technological progression, however we've been doing that for decades.

The way horses - harness and thoroughbreds - are brought into major races today has changed dramatically.  One trainer who has not strayed from his horsemen roots is Shug McGauhey, the trainer of Orb. Paul Moran wrote a very nice article at ESPN about it.

We were discussing women bettors recently, looking at some stats and so forth. Melissa Keith wrote an article on it in this month's Horseplayer Edition of Trot about that exact topic.

There are detention, or surveillance barns, for the Wood and the Santa Anita Derby this year. This is probably the wave of the future, in my opinion.

I think Vyjack is going to win - or at the very least race well in - the Wood. I don't look at Santa Anita, but I will be cheering for the Headley horse.

If you can ignore the silly part of this article, there are some pretty interesting numbers regarding this weekend's Grand National in the UK.
  • Choosing the horse is one thing, how people bet is another and despite betting on the Grand National being a once a year flutter for many Brits, they still have a good idea of how they will bet and how much they will wager.  Nearly 65% claimed they will bet £5 or less this year, nearly 50% (48.8%) of those questioned said they would bet each way with a further 26% betting to win. Over 46% of workers take part in an office sweepstake with 42% of women joining in.  When it comes to seeking advice on which horse to pick, 21% turn to family and friends with 17.4% referring to tips in the papers.
I can't watch the Grand National. It's just not for me. But I am obviously in the minority.

Enjoy your day everyone.


Heidi E. Carpenter said...

Thanks for the mention!

Pull the Pocket said...

No, thanks for writing it. Reading what you wrote brought me a different way of thinking about the race unfolding. Excellent imagery.

Altho, it might not be that much of a compliment considering the source. I haven't met a word I couldn't spell :)


Heidi E. Carpenter said...

I admit that until my husband told me he wished I could hear Rachel's race call, I never thought about my perspective in horse racing being different. But I did originally start that blog in order to educate others, so I figured I may as well write that. So, who I am plus the fact I'm a hopeless romantic equals seeing horse racing that way (disclaimer: I do not wear rose-colored glasses :)

I think any mention is a compliment, and particularly so from larger blogs, so thank you anyway!

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