Monday Notes from a Relatively Wild Weekend

Good morning everyone.

First up, there are a whole lot of Derby bath pics showing up. Here's a really nice one.
Get ready for them. They're coming fast n' furious. By the way, Carpe Diem looks like a cool horse. I bet I'd get along with him.

As for other, less professional pictures, here's my dog.
Now that that's done.......

It was a pretty interesting weekend out there and a lot of  the fireworks was about Shared Belief. The commentary on twitter and on chat boards is what it is, and I guess I could wax on about it, but in the end I'm just happy the guy is alright. He's a classy horse and he always seems sound and happy. A stifle issue, if that's all it is, is not a huge deal, and every horse owner has had a horse with them from time to time. Let's hope he's back soon, because horse racing is better with him in it.

And I am obviously not the only one:

Moreno, because he seems to show up to everything like a Lukas horse (and sometimes throws in a mediocre effort), never seems to get much respect. He raced well, circumnavigating the bull ring in 148.4. He's made over $3 million now. 

I saw more and more of this, this weekend:

There are simply very few good betting races - and this has been going on for some time. Sure the heavily rebated teams are doing the whole hammer down to rebate thing. Sure the $2 bettors out for a good time are still betting into the So Cal four horse field superfectas; something that the CHRB should've long outlawed. But for the $50,000 a year player, who might one day turn into a $250,000 per year player, it's dead out there. When you add more and more short-sighted signal fee hikes, takeout rates going up, and all the rest, things are not palatable. 

Woodbine, who seems to do better with field size on the poly than most, is in the midst of a bad wave. Their serial bets, something they push constantly, are falling fast. Despite a big bump in exchange rates since last season, the pick 4 has not hit the guarantee yet this year. The poorly thought out Pick 5 is deader than a doornail. They took advantage of low takeout pick 4 frenzies and charging more for them (notice they never tell you the pick 4 rate), but players are different today; they notice things.

Over at Keeneland, short prices on the dirt have ruled the day. To card some dirt field size this happened:
I don't know the answer to that, but I would guess it has not happened? Keeneland is having a rough go. It's looking like the handles of 2013 will be their watershed; for the near future anyway.

At HRU this weekend:
  • There are those that say common sense can’t work, like somehow circumstantial evidence is not used in any case in the history of man, and it’s some sort of affront to due process. Nonsense. Horse racing is a privilege not a right, so using common sense should be easier in a sport, not more difficult.
In HRU I notice handles at Yonkers were brought up. The big purse New York oval usually does around $600k, while the low purse Balmoral does over a million. It is a fascinating part of harness racing.

The three year olds are coming back in harness racing, and Saturday, Father Patrick's brother looked good at the Big M. He dropped 6 seconds off his Q. I am not sure if that's a good thing or bad thing in April, but the horse has some go. 

There was an interesting twitter brouhaha Sunday, started with a rather innocuous tweet from a DRF fellow who covers Hawthorne, wondering if the Beyer might be a bit high for the Illinois Derby. It was fascinating to read so many talking about it, but in this close-knit game, I guess it is should be expected.

California Chrome is going to be in tough. I am totally pulling for this horse.

Last up, and I know this is not a stretch: The woman has talent. Note that this was taken and tweeted before Shared Belief raced.

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