Times Are Changing
Handle per race day was down in April, with purses down, and I think, even with Ohio, getting slots, this narrative will go on for some time:
- Purses at U.S. racetracks are heavily subsidized by casino revenues. In most U.S. states, revenues for casinos have fallen this year as more and more states have legalized casino gambling, leading to increased competition for the gambling dollar.
I've been caring for my dog who is getting on in years, so I've tried to stay around and watch him pretty closely. I've been getting some down time by reading. Instead of reading business books, which I have on the night table all ready to go, I foolishly went through my handicapping library last week and pulled out several to read again. Last evening I read Bet With the Best, from DRF press, published back in 2003. In the first section, Beyer noted nuggets of information that you could glean with trainer moves (this was before Formulator of course). One he mentioned as 'gold' was trainer Eddie Plesa Sr, "stretching out after a one mile work". I did chuckle at that, because Eddie Plesa Jr worked It'smyluckyday one mile before stretching out to 10f in the Derby.
What, Were We Stupid?
Kicking oneself is a part of wagering. There is much more than usual this year in twitter and internetland I think, because Orb truly was a Derby horse. He had almost everything you wanted to see - looks, breeding, stride, connections, workouts and a winning feel. I rewatched replays before the Derby and I flipped to the Florida Derby, to solidify or eliminate my feelings on It'smyluckyday, not Orb. I felt vindicated about my IMLD bet, as I expected he was less keen than earlier in the year and he'd return to his form. However, I looked up and watched Orb in the lane for my second watch. At the wire he looked like he could've run another two furlongs in 24, he was that fresh and happy, and I noted it. Did I hammer the all too obvious Orb? No. So I'm with y'all.
Woodbine needs a casino. I'm convinced they could have a decently solid thoroughbred meet without one, but for their overall health, and the overall health of the harness racing industry I could not agree more. It makes little sense to have a casino in Vaughn, or North York, or whereever. Woodbine should be the place.
In the Money
Props to JJ Hysell who runs the In the Money blog. She nailed the Derby exacta cold. The only person I saw who had that exotic pegged before the race. That's great handicapping.
Where's the Data?
"Sell Puts" is a stock trader with 11,000 or so followers that I follow. He is a young guy who depends on charts, computer screens and mathematical formulas to survive. He also is a very casual horse racing fan. It turns out he went to the Derby this past weekend and tweeted:
This is why exchanges with open API's like Betfair tend to attract people like Sell Puts, and this fellow.
The "new shooter" (yes, I agree with @keenegal and hate that overused phrase) is one the masses say we have to watch in the Preakness - Departing. I agree with the masses. His Illinois Derby was spot on, and I think he beat a couple of decent colts. Can he beat Orb? I don't think so, but we'll find out soon, and it will be intriguing I think.
We've spoken before about it, probably when fading Super Saver in the Preakness, but Toddster's charges not making it to Pimlico should be no surprise. I don't know what his methods are, but returning within a couple of weeks continues to be a rare thing for any of his horses.
Have a great Tuesday all.