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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


Friday’s feature, the Grade 3 Forbidden Apple at one mile on the Spa Inner Turf, is wide open–even if it offers a glimpse at a real life Saratoga Horse for Course.

Voodoo Song (3-1) is 5-for-6 at Saratoga, winning four straight at the 2017 meet. At an expected short price we will gamble that he’ll need one, and this race–in fact, for all these horses–is a likely prep for the richer G1 Fourstardave next month.

Chad Brown and Mark Casse will saddle uncoupled entries. We are going to lay the Brown pair, and concentrate on two others to get the money, Casse’s First Premio (10-1), and Kiaran McLaughlin’s Qurbann (6-1).

The latter is getting big time class relief, dropping out of three straight Grade 1’s. He finished a very competitive second in two of them.

Qurbaan is fast, has recency, picks up Rosario, and he won his only start on Saratoga turf. Think bettors would be lucky to get about half his early line odds.

Winless since 2017, he certainly could use a confidence builder and this is the perfect spot despite the field’s competitive nature.

First Premio should be close to his early line quote. Casse needs to know where this horse fits currently, and the five year old could stand to win a graded stakes right about now.

The Team Valor chestnut gets the position-conscious Jose Ortiz and is drawn inside. He lacks Spa experience, is winless in four starts at the route, but rates to save all the ground and could trip-out. Worth finding out at a price.

For the record, we’re going with class on the grass with Qurbaan to win and place, with a saver win wager on First Premio at 10-1 or greater.

Exotics fans should probably include the logical Casse entrant March to the Arch (6-1) everywhere, winner of the G2 Wise Dan last out and who blew out very strongly at CD recently, a half-mile in :47, fastest of 93 peers at the distance that week.

YESTERDAY: Comical won the G3 Schuylerville, paying $8.20. Listing won the G3 Quick Call, paying 4.80.

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9 Responses

  1. To me a saver win bet is an admission that you are not that confident in your initial win bet; further the saver is a bet against yourself where one ticket is an automatic loser. A place bet never pays significantly and should be used as a win bet in another race. A show bet, however, is sometimes very worthwhile when a heavy favorite stops to smell the roses on the turn for home.

    Anyway, good luck today.

  2. Repeat after me: It’s about price, not about horse. Today, is think Qurbaan is the more likely but First Premio can prove extraordinary value. Opinions are offered; how readers interpret the information is on the individual. If first Premio were, say, for some reason, 5-1 at post time, I won’t be betting. If he’s double digits, then I am.

    I thought the idea was to end the day with more money than I had at the start?

    Good luck to you as well…

  3. I kind of thought that the idea of gambling on horses was best explained as a recreational endeavor to simply to get the “two bucks” transferred maybe out of Wendell’s or John’s pocket, and have it placed in our own. Some days Wendell gets the pastrami, and other days JP. Sometimes it will be the rest of us, or at times even all of us. Some of us may bet a saver buck or two against ourselves in the endeavor, but it should be respected that that is our own individual option. I am honestly content with the days where we can all cash a few tickets, and maybe get to enjoy a cold Fosters at the end of the day. No matter who has the biggest sandwich, I simply wish all of us good fortune. Peace out Boys! All in good fun. Life is short.

  4. 8-Qurbaan……..6.5
    7-Voodoo Song……8.67
    5-March to the Arch…….9.13

    And in the 10th for the double, you won’t need to go to SPAC; 6-Linda’s Ballet pirouttes to the wire right here at the Queen of Spas.

    Big Ted

  5. Don’t know if it is wise or not; seems to work for me though. In a race where my top number is sort of a price, but feel chances are suspect due to 1 dubious factor, will play that horse to win, but no place money; if there is a strong 2nd horse that has no dubious factors, and is also a nice price, will play that one to place and not win, thereby, not betting against myself. If my top horse should falter like Hillary on the campaign trail, bolsters my chances of collecting my large place wager. Two things I never do: (1) Argue with a man over the manner in which he bets; advise yes; argue no. (2) Never say “Never say Never.”

    Wise Ted

  6. No, McD, gambling on the ponies is not a recreational endeavor for me; it is serious business and has been for decades. I don’t bet $2.
    Thoroughbred racing is a gambling venture to be taken seriously. And, to not bet accordingly, to bet against oneself , to not take into consideration the odds of the horse and the bet itself winning, and to chase exotic bets and boxed bets will put a horseplayer in bankruptcy in a short time.

    The Thoroughbred industry should rue the day that boxed bets and exotic bets came into existence, as these bets have created false hope for profits and have separated potential bettors from their money faster along with destroying a bettor’s desire to read the past performances and to develop handicapping skills – just bet numbers! thus, the continual drop in attendance and handle year after year. Coupled with most racetracks being on life support with funding coming from sources other than takeout and signal fees, the industry’s future doesn’t appear promising.

  7. Ted, your “dubious longshot” approach is interesting on several levels; thanks for sharing and good food for thought for all, myself included.

    McD, if only everyone had your generosity of spirit, the world would be a better place.

  8. Wendell, You should cheer those of us who bet against ourselves no matter how small our investments. By your assessment that should collectively only allow for more dollars on the table for you to pick up, correct?

    Any hoot, I would never wager any serious dollars on anything as questionable, and presently clouded as the thoroughbred game. Just the thought of late batch money pouring in and the delayed posts alone should argue for restraint on any wager. The Juice Man, Jason 40%, Race Day Meds, all the deceptive breeding practices referenced at HRI, there are just so many additional issues to consider….Sorry Wendell, strictly recreational funds only. I’ll continue to play this game with a pitching wedge thank you and remain safe at second with my retirement accounts. When I do pocket an extra hundred or so on the horses, I walk away and give the extra “fun coupons” to my kids to help cover the Diaper City and Day Care expenses. Cheaper to send a kid to Hofstra today than day care tuition by the way. Maybe with my less aggressive “cheap bastard” approach, my grand kids will never be swept up into the student loan quagmire.

    Looking forward to today’s feature later today. Scored on John’s two selections yesterday. Who know’s, maybe even break out a twenty for tomorrow’s Arlington and Saratoga action.

    P.S. John Boy, funny thing about life, generally I believe what goes around, comes around. What you project outward is the same returned. I’m pretty sure with your demeanor, you are rewarded back many times over friend. Just look at your family, and the life and friends you have, both current and past.

  9. Would sure like someone to find a geek who makes batch bets. I must be really dumb, as I can’t comprehend how anyone can manipulate the odds of more than one horse with late money, since under the pari-mutuel system the money bet on one horse increases the odds of all the other entrants.

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