02/12/2010 6:19PM

Makeup Weekend


With several stakes being rescheduled due to recent rain and snow, this holiday weekend features 14 graded stakes around the country and a third try at launching the twice-cancelled Magna 5:

The Las Virgenes, Lewis and Strub were all rescheduled for Saturday after Santa Anita scrapped its Feb. 6 card due to ongoing drainage problems with its Pro-Ride track. Laurel moved the Fritchie from Saturday to Monday as it continues to dig out from this past week's snowstorms.

Laurel is still planning to run Saturday, and if it does we'll finally have a Magna 5, which was called off both Jan. 30 and Feb. 6 due to Laurel and Santa Anita cancellations. The five-race $1 bet includes two graded stakes, and four of the five races are for 3-year-old fillies, ranging from a Grade 1 stakes to a turf sprint and a maiden-claimer:


Closer to home, Aqueduct has no graded stakes until the G3 Gotham and G3 Toboggan March 6, but will again offer a $250,000 guaranteed pick-4 on Saturday's card. You wouldn't know there are any stakes races at all in New York these days if you look for them in the feature-race spot, because it has become standard operating procedure to bury the stakes races early on the card even when they're not four-horse affairs with an odds-on favorite.

Saturday's Busher drew a field of eight but is still being run as the 4th instead of the 9th in the mistaken belief that pick-4 players require three rather than two full fields of cheap claimers in the sequence. Sunday's Dearly Precious is also being run as the 4th despite having a field of seven.

John M. More than 1 year ago
Thanks Steve and jefftune for your responses to my question concerning the first Monday of the meet at Saratoga being labeled as dark on the NYRA calendar. My opinion has moved from thinking it is likely a mistake to being virtually certain. Still no response to my e-mail to NYRA or correction on the calendar.
jefftune More than 1 year ago
John M. - Yes, Saratoga is racing that first Monday. You can check out the ticket/seating application at: http://www.nyra.com/Saratoga/GeneralInformation/Tickets/10Lottery_4Pages_0.pdf
williamd4 More than 1 year ago
Leon: KD Futures Rule 1.3. ...There is no 24-24 ticket..."By way of example, with #24 representing the Mutuel Field/All Others, a finish of 1/24/24/24/3 would result in an exacta payout to holders of a 1/24 ticket; a finish of 24/24/24/9 would result in an exacta payout to holders of a 24/9 ticket.)"
Walt P. More than 1 year ago
Jeff: I have been following the TV ratings for 25+ years, which is something I simply enjoy doing. One thing doing that has allowed me to see is how the TV ratings have plummeted in the last decade (something that now is really no secret) and at the same time seeing how that dictates how shows are often scheduled. It also shows where there are in this case opportunities for the Sport of Kings to take advantage: The Apple Blossom is a perfect example. Friday nights in April are not exactly important nights for NBC, which is why can see NBC (which as noted is already scheduled to televise the Arkansas Derby the next day) working out a deal to show the Apple Blossom on Friday 4/9 from 8:00-9:00 PM ET (7:33 PM local post at Oaklawn), and also possibly the Blue Grass and Arkansas Derby in the same 8:00-9:00 PM ET time slot the next night (8:10 PM ET post for the Blue Grass at Keeneland, 8:35 PM ET post for the Arkansas Derby). While tracks and traditionalists may not like the idea of going well into the evening, if the sport is going to get back into the eyes of the mainstream media outside of the Triple Crown, it is going to have to go into sometimes non-traditional time slots where networks would be more open to carrying horse racing, especially Saturday night prime time that is basically now "throwaway" for the networks. The Apple Blossom on Friday 4/9 and Blue Grass-Arkansas Derby on Saturday 4/10 provide such an opportunity.
putting_green More than 1 year ago
Steve...regarding your "pricy promotion" article in the 2/14 issue of DRF...I have wondered how much money Doritos spent on advertising during the Super Bowl. What about selling an add placed right at the finish line at Oaklawn? Or two or three? Whether the result is a photo finish or a romp, the finish of the race will be played on every local sportscast thoughout the country and probably Europe. Not to mention how many horseplayers will watch it on replays for years to come. Since it is the Apple Blossom, how about an add for Apple computers? Just a thought.
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
Steve, Thank you for the column on the DREAM MATCH UP you took all the questions I raised about this and answered them truthfully. Very nice! When I didn't see my comments posted I ASSumed you considered them to sour to print but you took my advice and wrote the column I asked you to and made it clear that this could not be a profitable thing for Oaklawn. The honesty is very refreshing. I like that you came out and said that racing for most involved on any level is a value REMOVED proposition. Now if we can get the blood-sucking STATES to eliminate their skim a small portion of that could be returned to horsemen and the lions share could go back to the patrons enabling more of them to stay in action and allowing the 10% that can sustain a profit to make a decent one. bravo! P.S. See I can dish compliments as well as insults afterall. you are now my hero THANKS
Larry in Miami More than 1 year ago
Since I have no life, I just looked at the official rules + it say's that if the race finishes 24 / 24 / 24 / 9 that the exacta payoff is for 24 / 9. I check your blog everyday. It is great + a must read for anyone interested in this sport. Keep up the good work + stay warm up in the Northeast.
Curt A Vassallo More than 1 year ago
Steven, There R some people on this blog who don't read UR articles from the beginning thru the end, I think U made it crystal clear that Mr. Cella put up the $5 mil for this 1 particular race. Unless I missed something along the way, I think the 3 race scenario has gone out the window, at least 4 now. I'm all ears ?
rawlawltd More than 1 year ago
Rumor has it that the Belmont will be run as the 5th of a 21 race card this year so as not to interfere with any double, pic 3, 4 or 6. When asked why, Junior is reported to have said, "You want '73 all over again?? That pool would never carry!!"
John M. More than 1 year ago
The first Monday of the Sarataga meet is labeled as dark on the NYRA website. I think that is likely a mistake and used the e-mail address on the website to inquire a couple of days ago. No response. Why am I not surprised? I am planning trip up from central PA for that weekend so the question is not an academic one for me. What do you know Steve? [John M: Pretty sure it's a mistake. The announcement was that four days were being added to the meet and that it would start on a Friday, so you have to thing the meet opens with Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon cards. --SC ] Thanks for you blog and columns over the years. I've enjoyed them immensely.