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Brendan O'Meara blogs Carryover 2.0. He is the author of Six Weeks in Saratoga: How Three-Year-Old Filly Rachel Alexandra Beat the Boys and became Horse of the Year. Follow Brendan on Twitter
Marc Lawrence - On Sports
Marc Lawrence will be contributing his sports handicapping insights and providing college and NFL Best Bets in his " Playbook" blog.
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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.
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL., March 15, 2014—The running of the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes Saturday at Oaklawn Park wasn’t exactly what you would call a wild west rodeo, but it was pretty damn close.
The Oaklawn stewards got it right when they did not alter the first two placings in which Hoppertunity outfought Tapiture for a narrow, hard earned win.
The Rebel performances by both horses were highly creditable, each proving that he rates among the elite three year olds of 2014. Tapiture, highly rated in most polls going in, lost the photo but little of his stature.
In the race, Strong Mandate, the eventual fourth place finisher who figured to show more speed than he did in the Southwest, did so. Ride On Curlin, who had the worst of the Southwest wide trips, was committed to the pace after breaking sharply from an inside post.
While those two tested each other up front in cat-and-mouse style, Hoppertunity was sitting in perfect stalking position outside. His trip turned out to be the difference in the final result.
Steve Asmussen's nomination for racing's Hall of Fame raises many of the same issues baseball's Hall of Fame electorate faced with Barry Bonds and other steroid cheaters. Are statistics enough for election or should other factors be considered.
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL., February 28, 2014—As Gulfstream Park’s Rainbow 6 Jackpot continues its ascent to well over $1.7 million, the heat on the Florida stewards remains intense in the wake of a non-disqualification in Thursday’s sixth race, clearly a case of “damned if you do and damned if you don’t.”
The undeniable inconsistency in the wake of Saturday’s controversial disqualification in the final leg of the Rainbow 6 Jackpot that denied a single winner $1.6 million, thereby extending the carryover, created a firestorm of bad will.
Thursday’s non-disqualification for virtually the same offense has members of the Horseplayers Association of North America calling for a boycott of Gulfstream’s races until the stewards are either suspended or fired.
The HANA boycott of Santa Anita’s races in 2011 following an unconscionable rise in the rate of parimutuel takeout was extremely effective as horseplayers spoke with one voice for the first time ever.
According to Blood Horse’s figures compiled at meet’s end, gross handle, with eight fewer racing days, declined by nearly 21 percent. The largest declines were off-track; the California ADWs down by more than 20 percent while out-of-state simulcasts were off 23 percent. Total daily average handle declined from $7.5 million to $6.6 million year over year.
While this is a different issue, it’s clear that horseplayers are extremely frustrated and are prepared to take action on what is perceived as a national epidemic of inconsistent rulings. The rules of racing are virtually the same all over but the manner of interpretation varies, sometimes widely, and therein lays a problem.
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL., February 23, 2014—Take this from someone who’s been there, although not to the extent of $1.6 million.
Long ago in a land far away, a place called Saratoga, I rushed into the stewards stand after the second race on Saturday afternoon, August 2, 1986, to inform the New York stewards that when they disqualified Allumeuse, they had taken down the wrong horse.
But that was like a day at Frank’s Beach compared to what happened in the finale on Fountain of Youth day when $20 million was wagered on the Fountain of Youth program, the first time that figure was surpassed in the new structure on a non-Florida Derby day race card.
With over $1.2 million dollars in the carryover pot and another half-million spent chasing it on Saturday, there was to be a single winner of $1.6 million in the Rainbow 6 jackpot when 15-1 Collinito finished first beneath Luis Saez.
But then the stewards posted an inquiry and jockey Paco Lopez, on 39-1 shot Strategic Keeper, lodged an objection against Saez for alleged interference soon after entering the stretch.
The Florida stewards, after their usual lengthy deliberations, disqualified Collinito from first and placed him second.
LOS ANGELES, March 2, 2014—Gulfstream Park’s highly successful Rainbow Six wager has set the stage for some serious debate regarding the accountability of stewards’ decisions.
In the wake of the controversial disqualification of last Saturday’s final race’s first-place finisher, horseplayers were clamoring for clarification of how a lone ticket-holder’s dream was denied by an arguably arbitrary decision. Having reached true jackpot status, the wager should continue attracting a lot of money, but now fear of futility may have become a factor.
Weather impact, surface switches, equine equilibrium, rider reactivity, starting gate shenanigans, scratches, traffic problems, etc., are all handicapping-defying hazards the horseplayer must accept. The “three men in a room” dynamic, however, has to be the hardest to swallow.
The game as we know it cannot exist without the Stewards’ authority to ensure that races are fairly run. If the actual order of finish were always permitted to stand, racing would soon degenerate into free-for-all, no-holds-barred contests resulting in equine bloodbaths that only the ancient Romans would bet on. Still the process is not perfect.
At the very least, any decision to disqualify should be unanimous, but such information is not currently forthcoming. Likewise, steward performance should receive no less scrutiny than the riders they regulate. Yet no such accountability is required and no review takes place.
LOS ANGELES, February 17, 2013—Governor Cuomo’s Not-Yet-Reality-Accepting racetrack management team is not permitted to bet on races yet they are willing to gamble that:
A: People will be willing to pay exorbitant admission fees on Belmont Stakes day even if no Triple Crown attempt materializes.
B: The weather is going to cooperate.
C: Sufficient quality horseflesh can be attracted to compete for absurdly inflated purses in wager-compelling fields.
By essentially combining Memorial Day and Belmont Stakes Day into one and increasing their total stakes purses by $3.1M, the New York Racing Assn. seeks to make their biggest day even bigger. By gutting other weekend cards of graded stakes and concentrating them on fewer, bigger weekends, they expect to increase total handle for the meet.
Even if that expansion occurs, will profitability even be possible given the recent purse hikes?
Trainer Steve Asmussen, newly-named as a finalist for the 2014 class in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, was at Oaklawn Park on Friday morning to supervise final preparations for his charges competing…
Southern California-based trainer John Sadler is not quite the frequent visitor to Oaklawn as fellow California trainer Bob Baffert, but when he does send a horse, they should be respected. He won the 2010 Arkansas Derby (G1) with 17-1 longshot Line of David and the following year he finished second…
Orseno's Claim of Saint Midas a Bargain With Social Inclusion Victory Decision Due this Weekend on Social Inclusion Blossoming Parranda Seeks Another win in $200,000 Honey Fox Mucho Macho Man Back Home
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Social Inclusion turned a number of heads when…
Story by Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications/USTA
Trainer Joe Holloway hopes to have a good time racing 4-year-old female pacers Shebestingin and Somwherovrarainbow this season and thinks both mares could have strong campaigns as they make the jump to facing older foes.
Mar 14 | Categories: U.S. Trotting Assn., | Comments (0)
Owner Considers Several Offers For Social Inclusion Honor Code Doing Well After 3-Year-Old Debut Maker Names Rosario on General a Rod Swale Winner Spot Works Half Mile ` HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Following Social Inclusion’s record-setting allowance victory at Gulfstream…
Southwest Stakes (G3) winner Tapiture and runner-up Strong Mandate renew their rivalry Saturday in the $600,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) as each colt looks to solidify their position as a leading Kentucky Derby hopeful. The Rebel, which is slated as the 10th of 11 live races at 6:04 p.m., drew a field of eight…
Columbus, OH --- The last two chances to win a free entry to the 2014 World Harness Handicapping Championship in the USTA’s online qualifiers will be this weekend with races from Maywood Park on Friday (March 14) and Balmoral Park on Saturday (March 15). First post time for both tracks is 8:10 p.m.…
Mar 12 | Categories: U.S. Trotting Assn., | Comments (0)
MIKE SMITH, GAME ON DUDE, WINNER: “I knew he was going to run today. I knew it from the post parade when we turned around to go to the gate. He was on his toes today, he was on fire. He’s like that when he runs well. He ran big; I just had that feeling that he was going…
Belmont Stakes Winner Surges Late to Capture 4-year-old Debut
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Palace Malice opened his 4-year-old season in dramatic fashion, surging in deep stretch after being passed by two horses to win the $250,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) on Saturday.
Trainer Todd Pletcher (Palace Malice) “He pressed solid fractions, and was carrying top weight and went a little wide. It looked like they took a couple big runs at him and he fought back. It was a heck of a horse race and a huge effort off the layoff. Those are good horses, too. You’ve got a Travers…