Thursday Notes - CO, Jackpot, Doug Squared & More

Good morning racing fans.

Some things I am not smart enough to understand; yes I am sure regulars know this and have a joke to insert. I just can't get the logic behind this:

Cobalt use, over 50 ppb, is being treated as a Class II.

Cobalt is a penultimate shady drug. Its uses are shared by innuendo, rumor, as are its benefits. It's the exact type of thing that kitchen sink trainers try to use to get an edge.

"Psst, try Cobalt, they are not testing it and it can build red blood cells like EPO and you can win races!"

"Is it bad for the horse?"

"Well they say don't use it, but they never want us to use anything. Here's some, inject away."

Because it does not apparently do what the shady man says it does - build red blood cells - well, we won't treat it as a class I. I say hooey to that. This is exactly the type of drug that should be treated as a game changer. There's no prescription, no guide, no nothing, and the people who use it are the ones who would probably lean towards getting any edge they can with a flavor of the week untestable drug. A cobalt positive is like a big flashing billboard sign: "I'm the type of person you don't want working with horses"

I get the feeling that if bad people on a backstretch get wind that battery acid is a good prerace and does not test, we'd say, Class II, six months off, because, well, battery acid didn't do what they thought it would do.

** Note/edit, a wrinkle announced just now and this is new. Via Ray Paulick: "#RCI model rules set 25 ppb threshold on cobalt for warning letter, 50 for Class B violation, 300 for recommended 10-year suspension." Much better.

Boardroom Dougie Sal wrote a pretty interesting blog on Twinspires today.  It's about suspended trainer Kellyn Gorder and it touches a whole lot of neat topics and angles. These are things we - mostly as handicappers - go through each day when we analyze what's happening in certain barns in this day and age. For the RMTC and others, it's a mindset that they don't get to see often from customers. But it's what happens.

I think American Pharoah - if he draws a decent post - will be a bigger favorite than many suspect come Derby day.

I think Carpe Diem will be - posts equal - much lower odds than Upstart, and I believe that last year's Breeders Cup Juvy showed that Upstart is a better horse than Carpe Diem is. 

That's all I got for the Derby because I don't start looking at it until a few days before.

I proclaim there will come a day when every new bet ever created is a jackpot wager. Going to the track, will be like going to an ATM that does not pay any money. It will just pay out six Saturday's from now. OK, not really, but Doug (a different Doug) looks at a new one here. 


With slots maturing and saturating, with casinos popping up like WalMart's, with lotteries and everything else being used for revenue, I have this weird feeling that in fifteen to twenty years you will not want any of those things. You'll want to buy a racetrack, where something different is going on. Hopefully takeout is not 44% then like in Italy. If it isn't, I think it has a shot.

Sounds about right.....

Have a nice Thursday everyone.


Ron said...

You were spot on about poly at Keeneland. Trainers in the east , especially N.Y. just refuse to fill cards on dirt. Even the mighty Saratoga which has insane purses and only runs 4 dirt races per day can only get 7 horses a race on dirt. Oaklawn is the exception when it comes to dirt.

Pull the Pocket said...

It fascinating Ron.

When we were talking about Keeneland last year we were stressing "niche". OP has a niche and fills dirt fields; no turf dedicated meet, slot machines with purses. Kentucky Downs, niche. Keeneland was niche - turf trainers came, entered on turf, brought fall backs for poly, or filed poly fields. It was a magical perfect niche mix.

Now they're like everyone else. It's why last meet looked like Churchill Downs east.

The old guard wants to run to the past, to be like everyone else. In the new foal crop world, those tracks can not fill fields properly.


Anonymous said...

8 races at woodbine tomorrow, largest field is 8. Where are all the synth horses? keep railing on keeneland though

Pull the Pocket said...

Hi Anon,

I expect you are not aware of the early season visa issues. Several US barns are not at Woodbine early this spring.

A better barometer is last year, to compare standardized data. Woodbine's poly meet field size was on par with others, while Keeneland's fall dirt meet field size was decimated.

Closer to home, Turfway's winter meet handle increased 8% with a very nice field size of 9 on the poly.



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