Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Plenty Going on in Horse Racing

Good morning horse racing friends.

There's a lot going on of late in horse racing, and after an early morning work shift, I took a moment and got caught up......

It rarely surprises me. When a track does something cray cray, a lot of people gripe. But with takeout hikes, the people who gripe are oftentimes the most well-spoken and very smart. I just saw Mike tweet this:
Mike is a bright dude; one of those geeky MBA math types who looks at numbers most of the day. He, along with economists, gamblers and industry analysts like Mike Maloney and Lenny at Equinometry are all on one side. Horsemen groups and a corporation, whose CEO said that horse racing is 'no longer a business model' is on the other. It's not difficult for me to pick a side.

The twitter and social media verse blew up a little yesterday when Asmussen said Tapiture would be ridden by Santana in the Kentucky Derby, if he goes. I don't really know the full story because it's on DRF++++, or whatever it's called. If this colt wins, this will be the only time in history that some in charge of a major TV sporting event would actually hope that after the horse crosses the wire, NBC goes to Heidi.

Mike Maloney - good egg, level-headed and knows racing. He has some excellent thoughts on the Churchill Downs takeout hike on the HANA Web log. I wonder if Mike is right and the Kentucky Racing Commission can step in and do something for the good of the sport. He says he is not optimistic, but who knows.

I think Mike is right one one thing for sure: Some of these horsemen groups have to do more due diligence when they are agreeing to pricing decisions. The aforementioned Lenny over at Equinometry showed what happened in California after their rake hike with a huge deep dive into the numbers. Using google to get information on takeout is not too much to ask.

Todd Pletcher announced Constitution will miss the Derby with a hairline. This is minor stuff; stall rest for a bit and back as good as new probably, but selfishly for bettors, this is better than in previous years when horses like Uncle Mo and Eskenedreya were scratched after everyone handicapped them to be racing. If you remember, I Want Revenge and Esky were scratched very late, and both those horses were favorites.

Speaking of I Want Revenge. It's only been five seasons since the "Air Power Detention barn" debacle on Wood day. I remember the reaction at that time from insiders was muted. If this happened this year, if you think it would be muted, I have a takeout hike to sell ya.

Todd Pletcher had 42 or 43 Triple Crown eligibles. I guess for the Derby he is down to three. 

Good name for Zenyatta's new colt: Ziconic. That fits.

Tweets like this are not uncommon. Jim is an every day player that's been around racing forever.

Larry Collmus starts at Churchill Downs soon, embarking on a dream gig. It's a shame that so many good people who work the trenches at Churchill, get lumped in with bosses decisions they have no control over.

Rusty Nash has a blog going about the National Harness Handicapping Championships this weekend.

Have a super duper Wednesday everyone. 

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