06/27/2009 12:31PM

Cinchy Saturday?



Lucky's Race & Sports Book, which has eight locations in Nevada, has posted an interesting prop on today's two heavy odds-on propositions:

2/7 ($2.57 for $2 to us parimutuel types) that Rachel Alexandra wins the Mother Goose AND Zenyatta wins the Vanity;

3/2 ($5.00 for $2) that one of them wins and one of them loses;

12/1 ($26.00 for $2) that they both lose.

On paper both races are mismatches that would have both of them going off at 1-5 even without the additional fan-club action from casual fans and souvenir-ticket buyers. Even the most stubborn contrarians would have trouble making rational cases against either one.

In theory, Zenyatta has a bigger hurdle, because the handicap conditions of the Vanity have her conceding from 13 to 18 pounds to her opponents, while all Mother Goose entrants carry 121. If either is the slightest bit vulnerable, however, it might be Rachel Alexandra on grounds of how the race might be run. The two other fillies with early speed, Malibu Prayer and Flashing, are drawn to her outside, at least raising the possibility of her getting embroiled in some sort of an early tussle.

[Update 12:35 pm:] Hopeful Image and Don't Forget Gil are late scratches from the Mother Goose, leaving a three-horse field.

The Mother Goose is scheduled for 5:12 pm Eastern time as the 9th at Belmont, and the Vanity will go 18 minutes later at 5:30 pm ET as the 4th at Hollywood.

--It's sunny and in the 70's in New York today, with only a 30 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms before evening, making it so far the nicest day here since the Belmont Stakes three weeks ago. (The 5th and 6th races have been taken off the grass; the 7th, 8th and 10th, the races surrounding the Mother Goose in the $350k guaranteed late Pick-4, remain on turf.)

Friday's last race at Belmont on a twilight card had to be cancelled after a ferocious storm hit the track while the horses were in the paddock for the finale.

The cancellation made the pick-4 and pick-6 pay out with an "all" in the final leg to the tune of $164 for $2 in the pick-4 and $12,926 in the pick-6. There had been one Pick-6 combo alive to each of four horses in the 9th, two of them apparently in Canadian currency. Here were the will-pays if the 9th had been run:

--Serious question: Why was Sovereign Fund 6-1 instead of 20-1 in Friday night's fifth race at Hollywood?

Sovereign Fund, a 3-year-old Giant's Causeway colt and half-brother to Marsh Side, raced twice last fall in New York for trainer Barclay Tagg, finishing a distant 7th and a distant 10th without encountering any trouble or displaying any ability. He showed up Friday night off an eight-month layoff, now in Neil Drysdale's care, as a twice-thrashed maiden facing multiple winners in a N1x allowance race. His pp's showed two Beyers of 60 and 52 in a race where the top contenders routinely earn figures in the mid-to-high 80's.

When I saw he was the third choice at 4-1 on the morning line, I honestly thought it was a typographical error. How could a horse beaten 10 1/2 lengths at 13-1 in a maiden race eight months ago be 4-1 in an allowance race in his next start? But the Hollywood linemaker clearly knows his customers better than I do: Sovereign Fund was 4-1 or 5-1 through most of the betting before drifting late. He finished sixth, beaten 10 lengths while beating one horse.

It's not as if I had a good opinion on the race myself: I took a shine to a 13-1 shot from low-percentage connections who finished only a head in front of Sovereign Fund. But I remain baffled and curious: Was this serious betting action on a horse surrounded by whispers and high expectations, or just proof that bettors won't let anything ridden by Garrett Gomez, champion or chihuahua, go off at more than 6-1?

gk_in_wisc More than 1 year ago
Just a reminder to all- one more week until July 29 and opening at Saratoga. And one week until Hattie's chicken! What a great time and the horses will be coming- see opening day has 5 turf races ... and only one sprint- a stakes race. Won't be long.
Chuck Berger More than 1 year ago
While I am not singling out anyone in particular, I feel that when a trainer is a repeat offender he should be ruled off for life. How can the betting public take into their calculations who is "juiced" in a race he is betting? As an owner back in New Mexico years ago, my horse was second in the Texas Derby by a horse who was on a strong drug. The winner died the next day. How can the betting public compete or get a fair shake if certain trainers are using illegal performance enhancers? Racing commissions need to protect the public as well as owners and trainers who run their horses clean. If trainers cheat bar them for life. Tell me what purpose it serves to allow these low lifes to make a living by cheating the public and other honest horsemen?
prozacjack More than 1 year ago
Dear Steve, And fellow players. You should KNOW what you are going to do, and your HOMEWORK should be all but DONE before you get to the track. Forget about the last MINUTE "smart money" I don't want some OLD rich DRUNK that STAGGERS to the window and bets a bundle to influence my bets, and either should anyone else. Hell I've personally placed bets for my RICH drunk friend, this is a guy that changes a TOTE board at most tracks. Learn to make your OWN decisions and stick by them. Anyone interested in a COLORFUL Old mutual ticket from 1978 I would be glad to send you one, those were the good old days, when all it took is one quick glance to check out your ticket. Today the tickets are as exciting as a grocery receipt...LOL
Dan Baedeker More than 1 year ago
Are the Saturday Beyers on Rachel and Zenyatta in yet? Rachel was certainly the more visually impressive of the two. And what are the highest Beyers for each of them?
John N. More than 1 year ago
ml/nj, I agree with you. My post didn't describe the old-style mutuels properly. There were many good things about them, and I enjoyed the aesthetics of the old tickets and the direct, swift manner in which the tellers would punch them out. The different colors for each denomination, the more substantial light-cardboard composition of the tickets, and the smaller size of exacta tickets are all factors that lent character to the mutuel betting process. I should have included some statements like that in my post. That is a great idea of yours for tracks to create express lines for single ticket bettors. Maybe that is something we can push for on this blog and get some tracks to try it. Even if the express lines accomodated WPS and exacta wagering only, it would be an improvement, and would keep us from getting stuck behind people placing trifecta, superfecta, 10-cent superfecta, pick-3, pick-4, and pick-6 wagers. It seems to me that express windows would probably increase the handle as well as the convenience at tracks, especially on big days. Best regards,
bochalls More than 1 year ago
Tracks need to install $25 or $50 minimum betting machines, just like the $50 min window. The machine will not accept a winning ticket or voucher under $50. This will keep that genius who has a $3 voucher from exploring EVERY way possible to bet it (they usually settle for a few $1 show bets on 9-5 horses). This 'exploration' can sometimes take up to 5mins as he will cancel and reenter his selection numerous times. It is akin to the 'handicapping at the window' guy we are all familiar with. How about the 'odds checker' at the window; guy who keeps looking over his shoulder at the monitors to check that last flash of the tote! When you get to the window the teller should cut you off after a pregnant pause of indecisiveness(lets say 15 seconds of silence or 'uhhhh')...you obviuosly don't have a clue how to bet your cash so you should just keep it. Either that or you just drop through a trap door in the floor, Monty Burns style...they could also release the hounds on you! Believe me ya'll, the recetrack strangler is coming to a betting wiindow near you...soon.
ml/nj More than 1 year ago
bochalls: You must have been standing on line near me with the minutes ticking away one day! (I frequently advocate the 30 second trap door when some guy is taking two minutes or more.) Either that or great minds think alike. And BTW, I usually use the machines and purposly look for folks with small balances. It sort of limits how many bets they can make.
gk_in wisc More than 1 year ago
Steve - was at arlington park yesterday and thought of last yr and really enjoying your visit and handicapping info last year. Are you coming back to the midwest this summer??? Hope you can come back this year. I love all the polytrack- "crap"- talk and agree with most of it- BUT when the nearest race track is poly and as beautiful as ARLINGTON - what can you say ... stay home or go and enjoy the great horses... there is NO question. Bill Finley was there yesterday and he has his Synthetic book and claims... number 1- NO racing exec ANYWHERE will consider synthetic at ANYTIME now, since the santa anita mess and the cushion track fiasco! Too expensive and questionable. That was interesting and number 2- he claims 90-95 % FROM his limited reseach (3-4 years of data) 90% will run to form! There are exceptions BUT racing is racing and the horses will perform. He did make one last point- whoever "figures" poly out will be the one making the money in the next few years as "Beyer" did and "Crist" did per pick six thinking- all those things that now others are using because great handicappers or bettors have shared their info!! He is right - if you play it - and I do not play it much- I know !! some of you will never bet a dime there! BUT the pay offs are amazing! He is right - if you play and can handicap it you are rewarded WELL. Come on back to the most beautiful racecourse- that just happens to have POLY crap. )oh by the way - called NYRA today and Saratoga tickets were mailed last week and YES I got them... engishchannel hang in there yours may be on the way!!) The blog is great!
BBranch More than 1 year ago
Steve, I believe you've pointed out on more than one occasion that HOL (or CA tracks) run a feature race early, leaving it out of P6 or late P4 wagers, their reason being exposure to or for the benefit of the earlier time zones...then they run the G1 Vanity as Race 4 on Saturday and the G2 Beverly Hills late on Sunday...has anyone @ HOL ever offered an official explanation as to why they do what they do....if I were HOL, I'd try to be consistent and please their fans in CA...there are a lot more of them than I see in attendance @ KD.
george quinn More than 1 year ago
Forget Zenyatta The fact that they are aiming for the Clement Hirsch in early August tells all of us they have no plans on venturing off of plastic. I would also be very shocked to see her run in the classic. They have spoon fed her to this point what is to keep them from two more and then breed her undeafeated? I just know she ain't leaving Cali. George in Tampa