Vic Zast

From the perspective of being an owner, an industry pioneer in corporate sponsorship, a track president and fan, Vic Zast writes the "Destinations" column for The Blood-Horse. His five-star ratings of international events have shed light on racing in all corners of the globe - from England, Australia, Hong Kong, Dubai to Japan.

Vic is a regular contributor to MSNBC.com, a columnist for the Illinois Racing News and has written on racing for ESPN.com, National Public radio and The Age, Australia's leading daily.

Vic makes his home in Chicago and lives in Saratoga Springs in August.

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Saturday, May 07, 2011


An Odds Morning


(CHURCHILL DOWNS, LOUISVILLE, KY) If Twice the Appeal was Thrice the Appeal in the early wagering, he’d still be under-priced. Official odds-maker Mike Battaglia predicted the upset Sunland Derby winner would be over bet because of the presence of Calvin Borel on his back. But 7-1 is ridiculous.

Horseplayers will have a field day on this day with this field. Although Dialed In opened this dawn at odds shorter than Lookin At Lucky, last year’s favorite at 6.30-1, if you like chalk, you can eat this piece for 4-1. Dialed In’s trainer Nick Zito appears confident, so why not?

People mistakenly believe the advance odds will change drastically throughout the day, although that’s not the history. Oh, sure, they move a point or two here and there, but not significantly. The value propositions remain constant. The threat of rain, on the other hand, could cause some money to shift late if the track comes up sloppy. In that case, Soldat, Pants on Fire and Animal Kingdom bear watching.

American Idol winner Jordin Sparks just ran through a rehearsal. She’s scheduled to sing the National Anthem. Turf writers in the media center didn’t know whether or not to stand as she sang. Like a Derby prep race in comparison to the Derby, it was just merely practice.

Return periodically throughout the day to keep pace with what's going on at Churchill Downs.


Written by Vic Zast

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