Good morning everyone. Here are a few things that caught my eye over the weekend.
Sebastian K was beaten at Mohawk on Saturday, as most know. Intimidate, the always fast but sometimes not sharp and sound trotter, nailed him in the final stride. It's pretty clear the off track bothered Sebastian K, as it does with tons of horses at Mohawk. Shoeing is pretty important on those days and Sebastian, who is reported to race barefoot, probably slipped and slid his way around the oval.
After the race Modern Family, the super-nice trotter of Daryl Bier's who finished fourth, passed away in the paddock. That's horrifying. He was a nice trotter. The first person to comment on the passing in the Sc story was Intimidate's owner. They have class.
In Las Vegas a redone and remodel superbook is planned at a Westgate Resorts casino in Vegas. One line caught my eye:
"The spokesperson echoed Siegel in saying the biggest change will be a move more toward sports betting, with two-thirds of the venue geared to
that and one-third to horse racing."
In Vegas, with so much to bet, 4.5% juice on sports betting rules the day. Old timers still like the track it seems, but as we all know, 21% (and rising) takeouts make for an unpalatable wager oftentimes.
Saratoga's meet is off and running through opening weekend. Logic would dictate, with fewer races and a likely dip in field size, handle might be off this meet by 5% or so, but I must say opening weekend was enjoyable from a betting perspective. NYRA gets clipped on social media often, but I find they are much better than the left coast tracks in promoting and offering good bets. The effects of the admission increase, which I think they handled poorly, are still TBD, but I figure it won't mean much either way. Revenue streams from admission for big race meets is something racing has to explore.
I know people like Del Mar as well, and if you say anything bad about it sometimes the west coasters take it personally. I can't say much either way. I have not played California racing since the takeout hike in 2010. The buzz for the meet seems okay, though.
Trixton won easily at the Big M on Saturday, as did Nuncio. Let's hope and pray for an 11 horse or so Hambo, with no eliminations.
Trotters with some European flavor continue to impress in driving web traffic, and interest. Greg on twitter said he put up two races on Youtube this weekend, the Battle of Lake Erie from Northfield and the Maple Leaf trot. The former featured the richest horse in harness racing, Foiled Again, the latter Sebastian K. The Maple Leaf Trot's hits were about 7:1 the Battle's.
Have a good Monday everyone.
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