Here are a few thoughts from today (and yesterday).
Breeders' Cup handle was about flat, when we take into account the pick 5 carryover from last year, along with the fact that there was one fewer BC race this year (they ditched the Marathon, which I was the only person on Earth that found a good betting race). I suspected it would be up, with the field size, but alas, the business ain't what it once was.
Unlike in harness racing, where four or five guys control all the good mounts, there were 13 races with 13 different jockey's handed the hardware.
The Euro's - long thought to have a big edge on the green - were shut out on the turf this year (as I have been alerted, the Japanese bred who races in France is a Euro; don't blame me I look at speed figures). Maybe they were not good enough, maybe that hard, speed favoring turf course was not up to their standards, or maybe it was simply random. For whatever reason, if you were leaning on those speed figures with no pace figure past performances of the Euro's, you got bit.
The aftermath of the Classic was surprising; to me anyway. After seeing what Bayern did happen in 1,000 races at Mountaineer, or Sunland or a half dozen other tracks that I play (including in So Cal, a couple times costing me money over the years), I just thought it was a non-starter. I was kind of shocked they even looked at it. When something happens on national TV I guess it gets more play. Regardless, the masses were upset and asking for an "explanation". The only explanation that's true is "this happens a bunch of times, horses get wiped out, and we do nothing, and since it happened today we're doing exactly what we always do." That probably wouldn't have gone over well.
Speaking of Bayern, that's one good horse. He was lights out at Belmont, lights out at Monmouth, at Parx, and at Santa Anita. A couple of those wins were world class. Ironically, if he didn't get wiped out at the Preakness out of the gate, California Chrome probably has no shot at the Triple Crown. Since that helped NYRA gain about a hundred million in handle for Belmont day they should send the two riders that wiped him out at Pimlico a Christmas card.
California Chrome, well, good for him. He showed up. That horse is important for this sport, as all charismatic Derby winners are. The Parx handle was through the roof when he raced there, and so was the Classic handle today (up 20% or sumptin as reported by Hegarty). He took a ton of
I can't stand betting Santa Anita and it's more than due to the fact that taking 22.68% of two horse exotics is insanity. In my view, that dirt track is worse than any dirt track that I know of and the turf that doesn't even look like it has grass on it isn't much better. I have been a huge supporter of the BC at Santa Anita - the setting, the weather, how it plays on TV - but I am happy the BC is moving next year. I hope Keeneland is better for betting.
Two of my three big plays this weekend were Wonder Gal and Upstart. I didn't like either ride and I think those two horses will end up being quite good. In their respective races there was a lot of fireworks. In the Juvy fillies, a bomb (a horse that traded at 140-1 at Betfair) went gate to wire, which made social media really mad. In the Juvy colts, Daredevil must have bled or had some sort of issue and Pletcher's other colt didn't race any great shakes either. He looked blah, although he did get up to nose me out of a very nice exacta and tri.
For the first time in years I watched the TV coverage that everyone complains about. OK, I know why you complain now. I know what the BC is trying to do, but wow. Being a bettor who watched the coverage in the 80's and 90's, it was a culture shock.
I was happy to see Bobby's Kitten win. He got pushed on the front last year by a horse and rider who came last by like 100, and he raced super. He was coming around big time when he grudgingly gave up the lead in a brisk pace a few weeks ago at Woodbine. He's a good athlete who deserves to find himself.
Tonalist memo: Don't go back to last by 27 because it worked last time. You were racing at Santa Anita. Go out for some position.
Rich Tapestry probably had some mucous or otherwise to explain that result. No lasix, and 72 hours.
Dank turned out to be a bad chalk. Sometimes you can't train a big Beyer out of them. The connections were confident and so were the bettors. Off those lines, those of you who said she was massively overbet, were correct. She was flat as a pancake.
Wesley Ward, off long layoffs with two horses, had them "cranked" however. One of them - Hootenany - was panned by every expert on the internet, including, I think, the woman that sings that Best is Yet to come song.
The Goldencents' crews after race interview on NBCSN was hard to watch. Compare it to Graham Motion's interview after he won the 12f Turf for a juxtaposition.
I hope everyone had a great weekend. I'm tired now. Lucky we're falling back, not springing forward.