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The March of Dimes Rolls On
--Starting soon, you won't have to be a Rockefeller to play a 3x5x7x9 superfecta partwheel in New York. All it will take is $36 and a dream.
"We are hopeful to have 10 cent superfecta wagering for the start of the Belmont meet," writes NYRA CEO Charlie Hayward in an e-mail. "We have not had any further discussion internally about bet minimums beyond that but would be willing to entertain those conversations."
--After doing the work on yesterday's races, I don't have much to add or report beyond the following:
Race 3: Russian Gypsy's A1x victory in the third race came up a strong one (95 Beyer). The 3-year-old Unbridled's Song filly led all the way and stopped the timer in 1:16.46 for 6 1/2 furlongs, 2.10 seconds faster than the 2-year-old filly Morakami's debut victory in the previous race. Runner-up City Bird, beaten just a neck, also ran a big one.
Race 8: Loose Leaf, who won the $80k Lemon Drop Kid Stakes by 3 3/4 lengths, earned a 97 Beyer and has the look of an improving 3-year-old. The Notebook colt made a wild premature move to the lead in the Iowa Derby last time out before fading to fifth.
--The track finally got a good soaking here this morning and was still muddy (officially "good") for the first race on an overcast but thusfar otherwise rainless day. [Update: As of 3:47 p.m., it's raining lightly here.] The turf course could really use some water and when it eventually gets some, it may be worthwhile later in the meeting to play against some of the front-runners who were helped by a rock-hard course the opening two weeks.
--The main attraction on today's card is the grass debut of Nobiz Like Showbiz in the featured Hall of Fame Stakes. Everyone seems to be picking against him, but I'm not so sure a legitimate Grade 1 dirt horse isn't capable of beating G2/G3 grass 3-year-olds like Hill Prince winner Marcavelly and Lexington winner Distorted Reality. I'm using all three in equal strength in my pick fours.
Dime supers are a great bet. Allowing a small player to have a piece of a six figure payout is a good idea. I started playing them a couple of years ago and have found them to be a nice way to enhance the wagering experience and have had a couple of very meaningful scores. Let the betting public decide what it wants. Don't let the old traditions dictate what we bet tomorrow. The days of WPS, early and late doubles only plus a few selected "exacta races" are gone and not missed by many. Dime supers, 50 cent pick 4 or pick 5, place pick all, rolling doubles etc.. are all available outside of NYRA. Why limit our options based on old school thinking - this is the 21st century and racing needs to keep developing its fan base.
what are the rules when the only winning ticket on a superfecta is a ten cent play? Do they still receive the entire pool? if so, then wouldnl't a fundamental change need to occur in how payouts are displayed with the minimum bet being the defacto.I would like to see minimums reduced on all bets except for the pick 6. There still needs to be one 'jackpot' that is seemingly unattainable in order to mintain the 'mystique'.
wow, these pick 6's are something else. have seen at least 4 cards that undoubtedly should've carried over but were hit. now this, a $335 pick 6. sure, all the horses were must users (even for a tightwad like me), but come on, $335! what in the heck is goin on up there?
Good to hear about the 10cent supers. Have you heard anything about Meadowlands/Monmouth refusing to take the Laurel signal because of their reduced takeout? If true, another example of poor management that can't see the big picture (on the benefits of reduced takeout in the long run). I noticed they quietly dropped Laurel from their simulcast list on their web site. I e-mailed them last week but no reply. I guess this NJ customer will have to bet Laurel out of state. Thanks.
Why is it that the ONLY places you consistently see non-starters and frequent gate scratches are NYRA tracks (particularly Saratoga). And what is their affinity for giving refunds on favorites, thereby decreasing their handle significantly? I only say that because I find it a little odd that the last three non-starters at Saratoga I can remember off the top of my head are Phone Home (Yesterday at 1-1), Rumspringa (Last Wednesday at around 3-2), and a horse in the opener on Whitney Day a few years back (who was 1-1). There may be other instances, but I just find it strange that the two most recent (and another example a few years back) were all odds-on favorites. Also, I'm sure you already took note of it, but I thought Desormeux's perserverence to the wire with his mount in the 7th on Sunday was a bit questionable (just like Arroyo in 2nd on Derby day at Belmont). Combine that ride with his terrible use of the right whip last Wednesday, causing his DQ from 2nd, I am leading the crusade to send him back to California.
The mother of all trips. 6 hours drive to Monmouth Sunday morning for the Haskell day. The card produces very chaky results with no horse paying over 12 dollars. I cash a less than inspiring 82 dollar pick 4 ticket which cost me 81 dollars to play....Huge! At least I got to meet Gary Stevens- my favorite jockey of all time who was very gracious to talk to me for a few minutes. Next I set out for the Spa up the Garden State Parkway and hit 6 lanes of bumper to bumper traffic....wow...unreal. 5 hours later I arrive in Clifton Park. Up early for breakfast at the Spa and the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. I thought it was very well done and loved it. Silver Charm is my favorite horse of all time and I always said I would be there when he was inducted. Over to the Spa for a chalk filled afternoon. Just when I think I may cash a ticket on Stonewood after Phone Home looses the jockey at the start....He is declared a non starter and 5-1 turns into 5-2 and my nice start to the pick 3 is ruined. The pick 4 then proceeds to run chalk chalk chalk and it is time for me to go. 8 hours later I arrive home at 1:30 a.m. Hours driven: 19 Miles driven: 1000 Winning Favorites or second choices: 21 (YUCK!) Being there: PRICELESS priz
Regarding a 10 cent Pick 6 - there is no requirement that a 10 cent single should expect to receive the entire mutual pool. Having bet 5% of the "standard" wager, the payoff would be 5% of the pool leaving 95% for your precious carryover. With some thought, there's a Pick 6 fractional bet that could be win-win for all parties.
Hey Steven, I hear ya... as you know, there are lots of ways to stretch a few bucks. Take the tri, for example. Instead of boxing 3 horses for $6, one can take a minor stand and get similar coverage for $3. consider: AB/ABC/BC. You're only requiring that 'A' is 1st or 2nd and finishes ahead of C. In the super, 4 horses can be put in the 4th slot for a total of $12. In the tri, each additional 'B' horse costs $3. There are lots of little tricks like that for various bets. I'm convinced there's a (somewhat) cheap and clever way to approach every wager, with the exception of the P6. C
C: Excellent post, and while I don't ultimately agree with you, you make some very good points. I don't buy the idea that access to supers is going to lower payouts, with one obvious exception: Allowing dime bets obviously means fewer one-winner pool scoops and fewer 1-2-3-all payouts. So for the super player whose game was trying to be the only winner, I agree the lower minimums hurt. Otherwise, though, why should payouts be lower? There's still the same # of combos and if anything there will be more poorly-informed money in the pools. In any case, I think any payout concerns are trumped by providing access for what are currently simply unaffordable bets. Why should a guy whose budget is only $24 a race be excluded from any realistic chance of hitting a super? And just to be clear: I do NOT advocate lowering the pick-six minimums, because of the uniqueness and importance of carryovers. For other bets, though, I say the more (the less?) the merrier. But thanks for taking the time to state your reasonable point of view.
Hi Steven, RE: tom_marin's post above... wondering what your take is. I'll give you mine. First, let me make it clear that I'm not directing this at Tom or you. I'll use 'you' loosely to refer to the masses, most of whom would agree with you and attack me with spears. That's ok. Lowering the betting minimums has the advantages of bringing small bettors into the pool and possibly avoiding the IRS. However, I see a drawback... by making the pools too accessible, I think the bets (like dime supers) become too easy to hit, producing a higher proportion of winning tickets, and thus lowering the overall value of the bet. The data may not support that claim. In fact, it might suggest the total opposite. Either way, I just have a philosophical problem with the idea of reducing minimums below $1. I'm the only serious handicapper I know that cringed when dime supers were born. SUPERFECTAS ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE EASY! They're hard-- that's the whole challenge, guys! You'd have to be a pretty bad handicapper to box 7 horses in a 9-horse field for $84 and miss. If you can't hit that bet 96 times out of 100, then you're doing something wrong... frankly, avoiding the IRS will be the least of your problems in this game. I don't mean to sound elitist, but come on, it's like shooting fish in a barrel. I know the benefits, but I'm against the overall principle. What's next, pennies? These bets (supers, P4s, P6s) are hard to play because the combos add up quickly. That's the point... they put a premium on superior handicapping. Sloppy handicapping and bad wagering strategies (like boxing and wheeling) will get you in trouble most of the time. That's why they're challenging and that's also why they pay so good if you hit it. There's a sense of accomplishment when you bag one for a few grand. On the other hand, there's no skill or pride involved if you can box the whole field for a dime. There's a good reason why the P6 is not for novices... the bet requires you to be a good handicapper first, unless you have billions in the bank. Look, the big whales are always going to have an advantage over the little guys. The reduced minimums won't change that. Also, reduced takeouts are the best way to increase handle, as Ellis has shown. As far as the IRS, there are laws that need to change, as Steve points out in his book. In my opinion, lowering minimums should be viewed as a temporary work-around, not a solution. You can't take the difficulties out of the bets: imagine if SoCal lowered their P6 to 50 cents. You will NEVER see another carryover there again. Is that a good thing? I don't think so either. thanks, C