11/21/2009 8:30PM

Back to Aq


So, where were we? I'm fresh, fit and dangerous off a post-Breeders' Cup freshening and already am looking ahead to the 16 graded stakes (including five Grade 1's) next weekend at Aqueduct, Churchill Downs and Hollywood:



--In the meantime, there's a little $44,705 carryover at Aqueduct tomorrow, and no, that's not a two-day carryover, which you might think from some of the recent pools at the Big A meeting. There have been weekday carryovers as low as $14k, the lowest I remember in the 25-year history of the bet in New York. As Dave Litfin noted in today's DRF:

"Where did all the pick six money go? Since the switch from Belmont to Aqueduct, handle on non-carryover weekdays is down more than 40 percent. Handle on the six non-carryover weekdays at Belmont in October ranged from a low of $40,293 to a high of $56,975 and averaged $51,262. Handle on the seven non-carryover weekdays at Aqueduct through the first three weeks ranged from $22,929 to $36,398 and averaged $29,920.Doesn't anyone have $2 and a dream anymore?"

All the off-the-grass races sure haven't helped, and I think that after a while players just get exasperated with not knowing where races are going to be run until (if they're lucky) an hour or two before first post. Surface switches have become the rule rather than the exception, with three grass races a day routinely carded even when there's plenty of rain in the forecast. It's nice that NYRA tries to squeeze in some November grass racing at the stakes and allowance level, but carding grass races for $25k statebred maiden claimers, just to scrap them, seems excessive.

Incidents like Thursday's card, when the 6th and 9th races were taken off the grass in the middle of the day after the sequence was already in progress, lose even the loyalists. Confusion reigned among pick-4 and pick-6 players, and the ultimate disposition of the pick-6 was straight out of Alice in Wonderland. The two surface-switched races became "all" events, and there were plenty of 6-of-6 tickets, but because of conflicting state rules the winners were paid only $109.50 each out of a consolation pool and there was a $20k carryover into Friday's card.

Frustrated NYRA officials say they were obligated to pay off this way under existing statutes they have been trying without success to get changed by the State Racing and Wagering Board. It seems that when well-intentioned rules regarding surface switches and minimum numbers of races were instituted several years ago, there were language conflicts that were never reconciled.

This is beyond tiresome. There are several commonsense changes that the Board needs to put through, regarding not only pick-six situations like this one but also permitting superfectas in races with coupled entries and adopting a more consistent refund-vs.-favorite policy with multirace bets. Lawyers and tote experts from the Board and the tracks really need to be locked in a room one day and not fed or released until all this stuff is ironed out.   

mark More than 1 year ago
And to all you synthetic loathers. It's not Zenyatta's fault the BC decided to race 2 years in a row at Santa Anita. But all the handicappers pointed out how miserable the dirt horses perform on the synth. can you blame Zen's connections for leaving her in Calif, if the goal was the BC? It's not even Santa Anita's fault they have a synth. track. The Calif horse racing board MANDATED they have it or no license to race! But it is a fact that the synth. tracks are a part of life for most players in this game, owner, trainer or bettor. Keenland, Hollywood, Santa Anita, Del Mar, Arlington and Woodbine hold some of the biggest races and if so, it's fair to hold the BC on synth. once in a while. 2 years in a row was a mistake, but once every 3 or 4 years is fair. And to you players, the synth. tracks are very playable. Golden Gate and Santa Anita are 2 of the easiest tracks to play because the stretch runners excel consistently, and because of horse players tendencies to play front runners and with national simulcasting, these 2 tracks are the most beatable.
EnglishChannel More than 1 year ago
So now the Cigar is likely down to a 5 horse field with 4 betting interests since the Godolphin horses will be coupled. How disappointing is that!! Is 300k just not enough to get anyone interested?
steven_crist More than 1 year ago
Primo: You can only calculate a very broad range of possible payoffs because place and show prices are heavily dependent on exactly which two or three horses are involved in the payoffs. So you would have to perform "best case" and "worst case" calculations involving your horse with those taking both the most and least money in the pools. blotbuggy: My understanding is that NYRA was compelled to follow the conflicting wording of the existing rules, which treat the pick-4 and the pick-6 differently.
JLB More than 1 year ago
NY area harness fans remember that the now-defunct Roosevelt Raceway had a tote board that did exactly what the writer requested, giving a range of high/low prices for the place and show pools. I have visited well over 100 t-bred, harness, quarterhorse, and greyhound tracks over the last 45 years, and I do not recall seeing that type of tote board anywhere else.
Arcstats More than 1 year ago
How and when did we as a society become so passive to getting gouged on a regular basis? Whether its an increase in the takeout on carryover days in New York, or paying extra to get in Churchill Downs next year when they turn on the lights, we now treat these types of conditions as the "norm". Now comes word that at least 3 major airlines will be charging a $50 surcharge per passenger on all outgoing flights from Miami on February 8th. That just happens to be the day after the Super Bowl is played in Miami. Something tells me a similar situation will be in place May 2nd in Louisville. Didn't there used to be something called the Consumer Protection Agency to prevent such doings? We're all so pathetic with our tolerance levels today.
primo More than 1 year ago
Mr. Crist, Is there a way to calculate what kind of odds you can get on a horse to place or show by looking at the pools?.
Saddle Up More than 1 year ago
Mr. Crist: Why not sell tickets to the lawyers vs. tote experts smackdown? You'll make more than you would on any of these pathetic P6 carryovers. Happy Thanksgiving! SU
SherpaGuide More than 1 year ago
Happened to have last Thursday off and played the P4 @Aq. Spent 30, got back 111, still can't explain it, but from what everyone else is saying we will never know. 50 cent P4's @Churchill, that is where my wagering money is going, except for one P4@Aq....NYRA needs to implement this wager, it is so much more fun to have a healthy ticket for $42 instead of $84. Too bad they are almost done for the season...$1 P4 @Aq just won't have the appeal 50-cent P4's do.
blotbuggy More than 1 year ago
Hi Steve: Can you please clarify why NYRA did not pay out on all for races 7 and 9 on Thursday on the late Pick 4 after they were taken off the Turf during the day and not before the First race.
Bernard Downes More than 1 year ago
Bruce Friday, The Bookie option does offer the bettor much the best value for money. Indeed, competion amongst the British bookies is now so fierce that most of them give you a Guaranteed Price - say you take an early price of 5/1 and the horse eventually starts at 3/1. The bettor is paid at 5/1. On the other hand, if that horse eventually starts at 8/1, you get paid at 8/1. Brilliant eh? The downside, and there is always a downside, is that not having strong Tote betting means the racetracks are starved of funds and most British races are run for pathetic prize money. And I do mean pathetic, not just poor. Regards - Bernard