Stay Tuned: Racing Will ResumeNobody is sure exactly when, but at some point, racing will resume in earnest. There will be changes, some things will be different, but the Sport of Kings will go on.There is something to be said for that fact alone. So many have said in the past few years racing was on the brink. There is no shortage of threatening issues. Maybe in a strange way, this sort of hiatus from what one could argue was over saturation will help the sport.Maybe track management will see less is more. Fewer tracks running head to head can lead to increased handle. Without spreading itself thin all over the place maybe tracks can focus on promoting each other’s quality and opportunities and find a way to share the revenue. Well, we can dream anyway.When things go back full swing, what can we expect, and what can bettors capitalize…
While the world struggles to cope with Coronavirus, Gulfstream Park is intent on running the Florida Derby card sans fans in the stands. The consensus is they won’t run beyond Saturday. Santa Anita, also owned by the Stronach Group, will likely employ a similar plan and try and run through their Santa Anita Derby card. We’ll see.To their credit, Gulfstream has put together a stellar card of racing on Saturday. The Florida Derby has a full field of twelve with an also eligible. I’ll give you my rundown on the race and horses.As Seen On Tv has a nice inside draw and Paco Lopez has been hot. He’s never run a bad one, and he has a nice style for this race in that he can sit just off the speed and save ground. I don’t trust him 100% and may toss him despite fearing him.Shivaree takes blinkers off and…
The Louisiana Derby may or may not be the only game in town this weekend for horseplayers. As of now, they are planning on running, but racing as with many other things just seems to be hour to hour.The prep races for the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks have points but may lose some of their relevance for the two big three-year-old dances. The Derby and Oaks will be run, albeit tentatively, the first weekend in September. Peaking for a prime points race now may get you in, but won’t help on the racetrack.The Travers is scheduled to be run the Saturday before the Derby. If that happens, the centerpiece of Saratoga probably takes a hit. Most with a good three year old will opt for the Run for the Roses.Our industry faces a lot of uncertainty. We have recent indictments that followed a rash of breakdowns that resulted in…
In the wake of the recent indictments that rocked the world of thoroughbred racing, a logical question is, what now? To complicate matters further, the world is dealing with a virus that is changing the way things are done. Races will be run without spectators at most venues, at least for now, while oddly casinos at these same facilities remain open. The Kentucky Derby going off on the first Saturday in May is far from certain, as is whether or not there will be fans in the stands. Sadly, running races for empty grandstands is not as odd as it would have been maybe in the ’80s or ’70s. What now? With all the uncertainty, that becomes a difficult question to answer. Plans for meets like Keeneland, who has already announced the start of the meet will not include fans, and Saratoga, and even the Breeders’ Cup towards the end of…
There are three Kentucky Derby points races on Saturday. The Gotham, The Tampa Bay Derby, and The San Felipe all offer hope and the ever-important points to get into the gate on the First Saturday in May. Sure, these races are fun to wager on, but for me, that is not the only enjoyment I derive from them. I enjoy trying to spot that horse that will peak in the big dance, and not before it. With the inception of the point process a few years back, the option of training your horse up to the Derby was all but taken away. You have to have your horse ready to fire an A race at least once before the goal. For example, Mack Miller did not have to worry about that when his Sea Hero won. Now, your hand will be tipped, but it is still fun, and potentially rewarding, to…
On Saturday before we get to see some Derby hopefuls at Gulfstream we’ll get to see the inaugural Saudi Cup, as of today the richest horse race in the world.The USA has both a strong presence and a big shot to win. For a $20 million purse, you’ll always have horses show up, so it is not any surprise to me that the race has a strong field.I really didn’t plan on betting the Saudi Cup, but I have changed my mind. Sometimes you just see something you can’t pass up.The race will be run mediation free. That means no Lasix among other things. I think this may factor in on how things unfold.Generally speaking, I think when horses are used to racing on Lasix, and then run without it they are at a disadvantage. I would guess this is especially true when shipping far away to race in the…
Last week we saw two pretty good reasons to keep playing this game. I’ll be the first to say the sport has changed, beating it is tougher than ever, and we all know we have many issues to fix, but difference-making scores remain a reality. For me, this makes the Sport of Kings worth playing.We saw a pick 6 get taken down for a cool mil, and we saw a pick 5 go for around 500k. The pick 6 wager was around $50 and the pick 5 around $1000. Both tickets required some luck, but even in skill gambling games luck always helps.As someone who has played professionally for years, I am of the opinion the only way to have a chance to beat the game today is to go for these types of scores. My philosophy is to make every bet you make a potential big score. If you…
One of the most common mistakes I see handicappers make is assuming a horse will run similar or even exactly how they ran in their last start.Horses are not machines, and they don’t run the same every time they race. All too often people look at the past performances or the replay of a horse's last start and conclude that’s what they will see again.I will be the first to agree horses, in general, are more consistent today than in the past. I believe drugs, legal and otherwise are a large part of that but even given that they don’t repeat every performance.Handicapping comes down to predictably and being to see in advance what will or at least will likely happen. If it was as easy as looking at the entrants' last race we would all win a lot more often.Pace changes. Class changes. Competition changes. Conditions change. Distances change.…
A stab to me is not a shot in the dark or a play without some logic and reasoning behind it. It is when I go for one horse over some others I like because of a feeling, or something less scientific than just hard-core handicapping. In some races and instances, I can’t separate the contenders. At times I will use them all in multi-race bets. Other times I will come up with an angle that favors one over the others. Sometimes I will take a stab. At Tampa in the Sam Davis I will be taking a stab. I think the favorite, Independence Hall, who many will have their eyes on as a possible Kentucky Derby horse, is talented and does not absolutely need the lead to win. That said, his best and most recent races have come with him on the engine, and I think he is close to or…
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…