Wigglin’ N’ Jigglin’ Through First Round of Cup Preps
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL., September 27, 2015—We bring you this interruption in our analysis of first-round of Breeders’ Cup preps in order to provide a look at possibly the greatest pacing event we’ve ever seen on a half-mile harness track.
As stated here often, we cut our horse-racing teeth at Roosevelt and Yonkers Raceways, highlighted by those amazing Friday night Free-For-All pacing battles between Eddie Cobb’s Adios Butler and Clint Hodgins’ Bye Bye Bird.
Not long after that came the slugfests between Stanley Dancer’s Cardigan Bay and John Patterson’s Overtrick. Meetings with Frank Irvin’s Bret Hanover would come later, one that required fans to park alongside the Thruway because lots at “The Yonk” were filled.
One picture will be worth a thousand of my words. Suffice it to say that getting hung out for three-quarters of a mile in 27-second quarter-miles, then resurging to win when apparently beaten, just doesn’t happen. A mile in 1:49 3/5, on a half-miler?
Enjoy the race of the weekend: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5IsLdiUGHcwatch
East Side, West Side, All Around the Breeders’ Cup Prep World
With Keeneland hosting its first ever fall championship event, contestants will be coming far and wide--from New York, California and Europe--to compete in the U.S. World Championships.
It follows that both Belmont Park and Santa Anita had to front-load their graded stakes schedules, to the detriment of both. There’s only so many top class runners to go around. Even races such as the storied Jockey Blue Gold Cup, scheduled for Saturday, has not been immune.
As for competition for good horses, other million-dollar events have proven a lucrative distraction to history and tradition. Of greater significance may be the fact that trainers would like to have their Breeders’ Cup preps over the surface which will host the event.
A city like Philadelphia, for instance, is efforting to become a top racing market, entitled to a spot on the national simulcast map, however brief, despite its player-unfriendly takeout policies.
For Breeders’ Cup horsemen, last week’s seven-figure Grade 1 and Grade 2 events provided opportunities to give them what they covet; graded titles, big bucks and six-weeks spacing prior to a possible championship-defining moment.
Round One Confirms, Denies, Potential Promise and Greatness
Sports Betting and Fantasy Sports, Is There Common Ground for Racing?
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL., September 16, 2015—Forget for the moment that Monmouth Park and racing in general is on life support in the Garden State, a state that devotes thousands of acres to green space, a state rich in racing tradition.
Consider instead the issue of whether sports leagues, claiming they don’t want to compromise the integrity of their games, should have the power to dictate what states can and cannot do.
Is the integrity of organized sports really threatened by legalized gambling but not subjected to the same dangers inherent by illegal gambling on it? Could professional sports leagues, especially the NFL, be more disingenuous?
With Week 2 of the 50th anniversary Super Bowl season about to commence, is anyone tired of the Fantasy League commercial spots yet? I know I am.
Apparently, the uninitiated don’t mind it at all. Fantasy Sports players are lining up in droves to gamble on the games/people of their choice, new gamblers who at another point in time might have become horseplayers.
Betting on the races, despite onerous takeout rates, is still the greatest wagering game played outdoors but fantasy players don’t know this, of course, because they are not exposed to it in the same way, at the same rate.
Can’t blame the Fantasy Sports bet takers, though. They get it. They know what they’re selling; easy-to-play fun with a good chance of winning money. They how to sell it, too, thousands of sports fans are signing up by the day.