With the Derby preps in full swing, many of us are asking where is this year’s winner? The obvious answer is probably somewhere in Bob Baffert’s barn at Santa Anita. This is horse racing however and things are never that obvious. Or are they? On Saturday we get to see the Holy Bull and Swale at Gulfstream. We also will see the Withers at Aqueduct and the Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita. Is the 2020 Kentucky Derby winner running tomorrow? It certainly is possible, and it doesn’t even have to be in one of the races mentioned. That is what is so great about this game. Stars can come from so many different places, and you never know when one may emerge. It would not shock me if a horse in the Dania Beach on the grass transfers to dirt down the line and becomes a consideration for the first Saturday…
With the rather late scratches of the first two choices in the Pegasus, Omaha Beach and Spun to Run, we are left with somewhat of a handicapping puzzle. This is further complicated by the horses running without medications they are used to racing with. Lasix is the obvious drug that stands out, but there are others. Just look at Spun to Run. Had it not been for the ban on medications, he probably would have been treated for his skin breakout and been in the gate Saturday afternoon. We are going to keep this short and sweet today. I thought Omaha Beach would be a tough short-priced favorite to beat in the Pegasus. I did not like Spin to Run, especially with the late choice of Castellano to ride. I did not think he fit the horse all that well. I think Spun to Run needs to be hustled to the…
I always thought the great equalizer between sports betting and horse racing was value. With horses, you can go after wagers that return multiple times on the dollar. In sports, you are usually looking at close to even money unless you go after underdog money lines which coincidentally is my preference.Lately, it is becoming more and more difficult to find value in horse racing. You are lucky to get over the parlay on multi-race wagers when it used to be a given. Three or four times the parlay was the norm. That made those bets worthwhile. Today, between the syndicates, sharks, and low denominations you are up against it. It’s a lousy feeling hitting a pick 4 or 5 that should pay 4K and it comes back $950. We see this more and more and it is not likely to change soon.Adjusting and adapting is absolutely a prerequisite to beating…
It is the time of year for fans of the Sport of Kings to turn their attention to the Kentucky Derby, and the top three-year-old horses. Generally, I like to start fresh, and I overlook or take with a grain of salt much of the two-year-old form. It doesn’t mean much now, and it will probably mean less come the first Saturday in May.Over at Aqueduct the other day we got to watch Independence Hall win the one turn Jerome going a mile in 1:37.2. He left some of his race in the paddock, still won easily, and made the Derby radar of some watchers. Not mine. Nothing about him looks like a Kentucky Derby horse to me. A nice horse, sure, a derby winner, I highly doubt it. We’ll see some other three-year-olds try and make the Derby radar screen Saturday at Gulfstream Park and also at Santa Anita. Bob…
For me, a lot goes into choosing the right single in any multi-race bet. With the exception of a 20-cent jackpot bet, I always like to have at least one single. Obviously, the most important thing about a single is that it wins. If it doesn’t, all else fails. Most multi-race bettors look for their separation or edge in races where they go deep or spread or even use all. I seldom use all. I always look for at least a few horses I can eliminate. Have I been burned, of course, but who hasn’t? In the long run, it helps make scores and have tickets more than once. Eliminating as many losing bets as possible is crucial to the P and L statement at year or meets end. It is easy to see the logic in creating separation or trying to create separation in a leg where you spread or use…
As a horseplayer you have to look out for number 1. That’s you. Believe me nobody else is going to do it. Amidst all the reform we hear about today, granted all of it needed and long overdue, you don’t hear much about helping the bettor. The bettor true to past performances will be the first to get put on the back burner or worse swept under the rug. Beating this game as a horseplayer has always been hard. It is harder today than ever before. All the reform in the world won’t save the sport if nothing is done to help the current bettors, and attract some new ones. How does a bettor look out for number 1? There are several ways we can do this. Be selective and pick your spots. Remember you are not obligated to bet every day, every race at every track. Bet the races…
The Remsen has not exactly been a Kentucky Derby winner factory lately. Nonetheless, whoever emerges victorious on Saturday will be cast into the early Run for the Roses conversation. Given that and all the excitement generated by the top tier two-year-olds around this time, we’ll take a look at the race and run it down. Hopefully, we can find the winner.The Grade 2 Remsen drew a field of 9 going a mile and an eighth around two turns at Aqueduct.On the rail is Chase Tracker, a Verrazano colt for Todd Pletcher. He ran well first out at Parx breaking his maiden in his debut from just off the pace. The race was fast enough but he regressed a tad in his next start, the Grade 3 Nashua. He adds blinkers looking to wake him back up. I’m not sold on him.Forza Di Oro breaks from the 2 post. This looks…
The recently concluded Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge provided a nice example of how different tournament play is from actual play, even in a cash style tournament. I have thought for a while there is a Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge with my name on it. I still think that today, but I’ll actually have to play in one to find out. I almost did this year but passed it up primarily because of the uncertainties surrounding the Santa Anita main track and horses who shipped in to run over it. Make no mistake, when I finally pull that trigger I intend to win and this didn’t seem like the opportune year. I am also going to have to buy my way in. I don’t play in qualifiers. They are not my style. I’ve had several offers to have someone put up the big in and play as partners. I doubt I’d do that.…
There is more than one school of thought on post position draws. After all, you see people voicing selections on social media before races are even drawn. I am not one of those. Post position is indeed a factor in my opinion and I think it is important to know where horses are lining up, and who they are next to before making a wager. The importance of the draw varies from racetrack to racetrack and also at different distances. We all are quite familiar with the dreaded rail draw for the Kentucky Derby. That might just be the most watched and well known draw of them all. The draw in the Breeders’ Cup is very important and especially so at Santa Anita and at some specific distances. It can have a major impact on how a race is run and who wins and loses. Breeders’ Cup races usually have larger fields and…
 While true that the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile hasn’t been a Kentucky Derby winner factory, it still gets me enthused to peruse the past performances and think of things to come. With that in mind, I’ll look at some horses who have caught my attention so far for either good or bad reasons. We’ll see how they do in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and how they progress or if they progress to the oh-so desired Derby Trail. Remember it was right here some weeks back I wrote Code of Honor was most likely to assert himself to the top of the three year old division and I think he has done that. You don’t expect Blaine Wright to have an early Kentucky Derby contender, especially one with only one grass start under his belt. Anneau d’ Or comes to Santa Anita with a route win on the grass at Golden Gate in his…