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UK Horse Racing Epsom Derby 2013
, a personal favourite is fast approaching. A really great resource to read ahead of the event is the Racing Post's Derby microsite. It covers all news stories as they unfold as well providing all the racecards, free tips and plenty more.
The Queens horse racing show piece. Latest news, odds and tips provided courtesy of the Racing Post.
LOS ANGELES, December 6, 2013—New York Governor Cuomo took his lumps recently when he referred to Aqueduct as a “waste;” reviving speculation that the Ozone Park facility would be closed and its racing operation transferred to Belmont Park 10 miles away.
Whether the State maintains two tracks or three, NYRA must offer its patrons a new approach to the racing experience that deploys those facilities to their best advantage.
The sprawling Elmont plant, which contains the only 12-furlong oval in North America, is capable of hosting crowds exceeding 100,000 but it hasn’t filled to capacity since 2008. Such happenstances are limited to attempts to win the Triple Crown; an average of twice per decade since Affirmed in 1978.
Races around both turns of the huge dirt track are rare, and those at 10 furlongs which are forced to start on the clubhouse turn are even rarer. Inadequate maintenance of that section of the track recently compromised the start of the Jockey Club Gold Cup.
Could this be another obstacle besides weather and politics to prevent Belmont from hosting the Breeders’ Cup; a situation that further devalues the venue? Is there another head-turning option out there?
Los Angeles, November 5, 2013--The term, “foreshadowing,” came to mind with the news that jockey John Velasquez was injured after his mount sustained a catastrophic injury in Saturday’s first Breeders’ Cup event.
My concern for the rider’s well-being was accompanied by the question of who would replace him on the now twice-jockey-jilted Palace Malice; the co-carrier of my schemes to conclude the day successfully with a late running three-year-old in the Classic.
The call eventually went to Rafael Bejarano, the goat of last year’s Classic for failing to get the favored Game On Dude off to a good start. Bejarano, however, proved the difference in Friday’s Dirt Mile when he gunned Goldencents from the extreme outside slip to win the race wire-to-wire.
It was no surprise, then that trainer Todd Pletcher plucked Bejarano from the sidelines to ride Palace Malice as the two had experienced success together with Overanalyze in the Arkansas Derby. But wouldn’t you love to know which other riders were under serious consideration? I would.
My only plays on Friday were in the races comprising the Pick Three starting with the Dirt Mile. My insufficient confidence in the winner’s ability to overcome his dreadful post position against Pletcher’s vaunted Verazzano led me to play trainer Bob Baffert’s win-and-you’re-in entrant, Fed Biz.
The foreshadowing may have already begun with this speed-favoring exhibition, not to mention Golden Ticket’s second place finish which undoubtedly alerted some to the strength of the Awesome Again as a Classic prep. Perhaps Verrazano’s loss foreshadowed the fates of Pletcher’s stablemates.
Eleven stakes races were run Saturday in South Florida, the eight Claiming Crown events at Gulfstream as well as a pair of Grade 3's and a listed stakes at Calder. It was the most ever in one day in South Florida and shippers dominated, winning eight of them.
Gulfstream and Calder have been running against each other all summer and fall but they have not had a showdown like the one Saturday when Gulfstream presents the eight-race, million-dollar Claiming Crown and Calder counters with three legitimate stakes, two Grade 3 and one listed.
MIAMI, Dec. 6, 2013--Conventional wisdom was the Gulfstream-Calder war would never come to pass. There would be an 11th hour settlement. Even if there wasn’t, the conflict wouldn’t last longer than the U.S. invasion of Grenada before cooler heads prevailed.
The conventional wisdom—I was part of it—was wrong. Five months later, the conflict has taken on the feel of Vietnam, a conflict with no end in sight.
SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY, December 3, 2013—For me, last weekend’s holiday horse racing feast only one negative: Discovering that “America’s Turf Authority” doesn’t take its brand slogan very seriously anymore.
If it did, Daily Racing Form wouldn’t compel its customers and racing fans to pay a premium to read, of all things, routine stakes advances meant to showcase the game’s brightest stars while keeping fans informed and engaged.
In an age where mainstream racing coverage has all but disappeared in markets not named Southern California, Kentucky, or Saratoga, thoroughbred racing’s paper of record is no longer in the business of bringing you all the news needed to follow the sport comprehensively.
It’s what happens when the corporate mission is to monetize everything.
SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY, November 24, 2013—If you’re a fan of NCIS, America’s top rated television series, then you probably know that its lead character, Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, does not believe in coincidences.
Neither do most horseplayers, albeit to a fault on many occasions. Well, here’s what’s happened over a three-day period this week , Wednesday through Friday.
On Wednesday, the state of California, shocked to discover that horse racing was being conducted back East, got out in front of Thursday’s Congressional hearings on horse racing by joining their Mid-Atlantic brethren and others in the Uniform Rules for Medication and Drug Testing consortium. This follows the lead of Illinois which only recently came on board, and Kentucky is thisclose to joining the confederation in short order.
As trainer Turo Escalante would say after saddling one of his improbable longshot winners: “What a surprise.”
When we get to these early December contests, teams are either playing for all the marbles or there is very little on the line; rarely does the importance of the contest fall anywhere in between. For the Cardinals, it’s basically option #2. While QB Teddy Bridgewater’s name comes up occasionally in Heisman discussions since Johnny Manziel, Marcus Mariota, and Bryce Petty imploded down the stretch, the invitations to the trophy ceremony will have been distributed by kickoff; thus, even a huge performance tonight will not get him to the party. As for his Cards, they have no shot at the first-ever AAC crown – the loss to Central Florida basically took care of that. Still, an 11-1 mark and a finish in the Top 20 are strong accomplishments, and a win over a rival school less than 100 miles away can do wonders during the approaching recruiting season. Unfortunately for Charlie Strong, his offense is in serious decline since the UCF loss, averaging just 348 YPG in the last three contests (down over 100 YPG from their 455 YPG season average). Meanwhile, the Bearcats are one of the hotter teams in college football and have plenty to play for – they’ve won six straight contests (making that early October loss to South Florida a real headscratcher). and since they didn’t play UCF this season, they still have a slim chance of winning the conference title if the Knights lose to SMU. This will also be an interesting matchup between two of the nation’s top defensive units (Louisville is #2 while Cincy is #10) and while the Bearcats are 11-3 ATS as an underdog with rest, the Cards are just 1-4 ATS coming off a bye. Also, while Louisville has not covered in any of their three weekday games this season, Cincinnati is 4-1-1 ATS versus the number with the extra zzz’s recently. The most important call of all comes from the tag-team of the SMART BOX (‘Puttin’ On The Stats’ from Issue 12) and the AWESOME ANGLE (on page 2), who put their heads together and come up with a no-doubt call on the Bearcats.
Don’t look now but both the Ravens and Steelers are main players in the AFC Wild Card chase. Thanks to a 5-2 rebound from a devastating 0-4 start, Pittsburgh has pulled even with Baltimore to join three other teams at 5-6. With it, this North division battle suddenly looms large for both squads and accordingly our mean machine reports a troublesome spot for Big Ben as sub .600 NFL road dogs off a SU division road dog win are a measly 10-32 SU and 14-27-1 ATS since 1980 when facing a foe off a SUATS win. Adding to Pitt’s dilemma is the fact that the Steelers themselves are 1-5 ATS in games off a SU road dog division victory. In addition, the MIDWEEK ALERT does not like the fact that the Steelers were outstatted in each of their last two games, both SU underdog wins. Enter the Black Birds, knowing that defending Super Bowl champions with a losing record during the 2nd half of the season are a glitzy 14-3 ATS when not favored by more than 3 points since 1988. Add to that the Ravens ‘D’ is once again beginning to assert itself (held Jets to season low 220 yards last week and the Bears to a 2nd-low 319 yards two games ago). Revenge rears its ugly head here tonight when Baltimore improves to 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS home under Joe Flacco in double revenge-exact division
games. Toss in the Turkey Day home favorite stat outlined above in the Lions contest and it appears the Steelers’ goose is cooked here tonight. The Clincher: The Ravens are 7-0 SUATS at home with a losing record under John Harbaugh.
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Two starts after nearly winning a Grade1 stakes at Saratoga, Jackson Bend ran in the $150,000 Sunshine Millions Classic Preview at Gulfstream Park on Nov. 9, carrying the high expectations of the bettors and trainer Stanley Gold.
Promising 2-year-olds Kick off Saturday's Gulfstream Card
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Gulfstream's Championship Meet has historically been a proving ground for youngsters from the nation's leading stables. Last winter, the speedy Verrazano was a stylish debut winner for trainer Todd Pletcher…
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - A horse like Deputiformer might not be your typical headline maker, but the redoubtable gelding epitomizes the type of runner celebrated in Saturday’s Claiming Crown at Gulfstream Park.
OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Miss Mischief and Baby J, a pair of 3-year-old fillies exiting stakes victories, will take on older runners when they compete in the $100,000 Garland of Roses on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (December 5, 2013)—Unbridled’s Note, who was defeated by less than two lengths when fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint Nov. 2, will make his Betfair Hollywood Park debut in the $100,000 Hollywood Turf Express Sunday.
Dec 6 | Categories: Hollywood Park, | Comments (0)
EIGHTTOFASTTOCATCH LOOKING FOR 10TH CAREER STAKES SCORE IN SATURDAY’S BROAD BRUSH STAKES
LAUREL, MD. 12-05-13---After finishing third in the 2010 Maryland Million Turf, trainer Tim Keefe decided that Eighttofasttocatch needed a change. The son of Not For Love has responded with 11 victories…