The battle in Florida

Tuesday, June 25 will be the official closing day of the 2012-2013 meet at Gulfstream Park. You read that right even though there has not been any live racing at Gulfstream since April 5. Then, on Monday, July 1 Gulfstream will begin their new summer meet along with special racing on Thursday, July 4.  Afterwards, they plan on racing every weekend day up until November 30 according to their racing calendar. Calder Race Course has held race dates from April-December for a long time now and they have adjusted their calendar to race Fridays-Sundays only this year.  Also, Tampa Bay Downs is holding a special two-day meet June 30-July 1 with 14 races a day written in the condition book.  Talk about stretching out the horse population! There have been ongoing talks between Calder and Gulfstream to decide whether they want to move on with head-to-head weekend racing or to

» Read more

Handicapping the 2-year-old’s

Summer time is upon us and that means we’ll see more and more races for 2-year-old’s. Handicapping a race filled with first time starters can be a headache, but after looking at some recent winners there may be a way to lessen the pain.   In a study of straight 2-year-old Maiden races throughout the country where the winner was a first-time starter, eight of the nine winners had at least two of three qualifying points listed below: 1. Trainer stats with first-time starters were at least 12% win percentage. 2. Sire stats with first-time starters were at least 13% win percentage. 3. Each horse in their last six published workouts had at least two gate works and/or a fast work. We’ll highlight each horse using Today’s Racing Digest Data Lines along with the date and payout. Bahnah: Churchill Downs June 6 Race 5 $5.80.  Qualified with 1, 2 and

» Read more

You would be intimidated too!

Imagine yourself going to a race track for the first time in this day and age. You enter the gates, you buy a program and you are basically pushed into a tilt-a-wheel ride as your head spins from all the race track and betting lingo. You go to try to make a bet at the windows, but others are yelling at you to hurry up and you still really don’t understand what you just bet.  There are all these TV’s with different races going on.  Is that the track I want to play?  What are all these grids with numbers in the infield?  What about the horse?  What are those bandages around its legs?  Why is its tongue tied? Basically, that’s what a newcomer has to deal with when they go the races unless they are with others that know what they are doing. At most all race tracks, there

» Read more

Three Handicapping Lessons to be Learned

All of us have had our share of bad beats. It could be a bad ride, a bad bet or just plain bad luck. The one that comes to mind for me is with Arcangues in the 1993 Breeders’ Cup Classic. Yeah, the one that was 133/1 with Jerry Bailey that won!  As a budding young handicapper, I would always try to beat the favorite and I could not figure out why they brought Arcangues all the way over from Europe to run in this race.  His form was not good, but I figured they know more than I do. I can remember I played an Exacta box using Arcangues, Best Pal and Devil His Due with the latter two a pair of favorite horses of mine at the time.  By my own stubbornness I did not use the favored three-horse entry of Bertrando, Marquetry and Missionary Ridge.  Looking back,

» Read more

A day at the OTB

Belmont Stakes day is one of my favorite to wager on. I’ve had some big hits and have had a few bucks on winners Sarava (70/1), D’Tara (38/1) and the best being the 1999 renewal with Lemon Drop Kid (29/1) keying a $2 Trifecta payoff of $5,343. The day also includes four more Graded events and large wagering pools. My budget is tight these days and I only had a bankroll of $40.  We’ll take a look at what I wagered with the results of wins and losses. 5th race: I arrived at the OTB for the 4th race, but did not play.  My top selection was Howie’s Tiz (2/1).  Two other contenders I liked were Accelerare (6/1) and Rap D’oro (22/1).  I’m a value bettor and I thought Acclerare was playable odds.  I played a Double with Accelerare with two horses in the 6th and another Double Acclerare and

» Read more

Withholding taxes on winnings to increase?

A new law went into effect in Massachusetts this year for any net gambling winnings of $600 or more will have a 5% withholding tax.  This is not only for exotic wagers it is for win, place and show wagers.  That means if you wagered $100 to win on a winning 6/1 shot at Suffolk Downs, the payout will result in a 5% withholding tax by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. How about if you hit an exotics wager that pays over $5,000?  Not only do you have the 26% takeout on exotics wagers at Suffolk Downs, you have the nationwide IRS withholding tax of 25% (for any winnings of 300/1 or more and pays $5,000 and up) and now you have the 5% withholding tax! Horseplayers are smart, though, as they reportedly are wagering smaller tickets multiple times.  Instead of a straight $100 win bet, they place 10 $10

» Read more

Keep your heads up horse racing fans

There is a lot of negativity in the horse racing industry these days and there is plenty of reason for it. From high takeout rates to short fields to closing of race tracks, there is plenty of blame to go around. While it is human nature to complain more than to compliment, we’ll take a look at five positive things that the industry can be happy about. 1. Hall Of Famer’s still got it:  Every sport has its young stars, but it also has its crafty veterans that can still teach the youngsters a lesson or two.  Trainer Shug McGaughey won his first Kentucky Derby this year with Orb while trainer D. Wayne Lukas saddled Oxbow to win the Preakness with jockey Gary Stevens aboard.  All three human connections are in the Hall Of Fame and it surely makes fans of the “old school” proud.  It also makes for a

» Read more

Instant Racing is slowly starting to spread

Most slot machines are considered a game of chance, but AmTote and RaceTech developed a machine that is based on skill called Instant Racing. These Instant Racing machines look like slot machines, but they are pari-mutuel just like horse racing and the player has to use their “skill” to select winners from past videotaped races. The names of the horses have been changed and there are data charts the player can use to “handicap” each race (spin). As you can see above, the reels spin like a slot machine while the race is shown in the upper right corner in the yellow box.  The player selects three numbers/horses for each spin/race and they can win by selecting the first three finishers in order (Trifecta), the first three finishers in any order (Trifecta box), the first two finishers (Exacta) or any two of the first three finishers (Show Quinella).  Each spin

» Read more

Deep Closers: Are they worth the risk?

As a horse racing fan, there may not be anything more exciting then a horse passing all others in the stretch to win the race at the wire. In recent times, Zenyatta thrilled us all with her stretch rallies and even her lone loss in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic was exciting and memorable. Of course, back in the day there was the legendary Silky Sullivan.  (click his name below for a video) Silky Sullivan As a horseplayer, deep closers are often bad bets especially in main track races (dirt or synthetics).  The pace of the race, jockey error and clear sailing through traffic are all obstacles these runners have to overcome.  As we observed in this year’s first two legs of the Triple Crown, Orb looked great winning the Kentucky Derby, but looked rather ordinary in the Preakness Stakes. After watching a replay of the Kentucky Derby, Orb reminded

» Read more

Drugs: Nationally and Internationally

Whether it is legal or illegal, the use of drugs/medication for race horses will always be a hot topic. Recently, the Breeders’ Cup proposed to be medication free by 2013 for their World Thoroughbred Championships, but so far it has only been able to do so with the 2-year-old races as horseman have been widely against the ban of the race-day anti-bleeding medication Lasix. Currently, a new legislation has been proposed by Senator Tom Udall and four other Representatives from around the country called the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2013.  It basically gives the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which is the anti-doping agency for the U.S. Olympics, the authority to oversee the use of drugs and medications for race horses.  An interesting part of the bill is that for a track or a simulcasting facility to accept wagers, it must have the consent of the USADA. Nationally, horse

» Read more
1 2 3