11/05/2008 2:03PM

The Morning After


Bostongreyhound I disappeared for a few days to have some titanium posts implanted in my jawbone, and emerged from a prescription-opiate haze today to find that voters across the country made some historic Election Day decisions,approving slot machines in Maryland and banning greyhound racing in Massachusetts.

The slots vote will revitalize Maryland racing in the short term, allocating $140 million annually to purses and capital expensitures at the state's tracks while  stemming the flight of Maryland customers to racinos in neighboring states. The passage of the slots measure should be a shot in the arm for Magna Entertainment, which announced today it will seek a slots license for Laurel Race Course.

The Massachusetts greyhound ban is extremely troubling on several counts. The greyhound ban failed narrowly when it was on the ballot eight years ago but passed 56-to-44 percent this time around, despite industry improvements that should have scuttled it entirely. The industry is highly regulated, has a comprehensive injury-reporting system and an adoption program that places virtually all runners, but animal-rights activists prevailed with a well-financed campaign of misinformation. The vote will force Rayhnham-Taunton and Wonderland to stop racing by the end of next year, by which time the triumphant anti-racing zealots may well be turning their attention to banning horse racing as well.

--Meanwhile, there's a $47,821 carryover at Aqueduct today, the third carryover in the first five days of racing at The Big A. Juvenile turf races have accounted for a lot of the big prices, such as Sunday's 4th, where a four-way photo ended with a 39-1 edging a 74-1 with a 3-5 favorite running fourth, burying bridgejumpers and producing show payoffs of $46.20, $125.00 and $12.20. Today's card is deep and tricky and I'll pass and hope for a double-carry into Thursday.

--There was a lot of good 2-year-old dirt racing at Aqueduct and Churchill Downs over the weekend. Breakwater Edison and Hello Broadway got gaudy Beyers of 98 and 95 running 1-2 in the Nashua, and the filly Sara Louise got a 90 winning the Pocahontas at Churchill, six points better than Capt. Candyman Can's victory in the Iroquois on the same card. Break Water Edison, a good second in the Saratoga Special before being thrashed by Vineyard Haven with rail draws in both the Hopeful and Champagne, heads for Florida while Hello Broadway looks like the favorite for the Remsen Nov. 29.

--Update 2:25 pm: It's 1-10 we're looking at a doube-carry into Thursday at Aqueduct after Jacqueline Davis got her first career winner aboard 64-1 Blue Hill Bay in leg 2. Not that there were all that many live tickets after 14-1 Wanda's Double scored one race earlier. Davis is the 21-year-old daughter of retired jockey Robbie Davis.

--Update 3:45 pm: It's official: Nobody's alive, and there's a $152,918 carry into Thursday's card. Races 4 and 6 (legs 1 and 3) are scheduled for the turf, but there's a lot of rain in the forecast.

Flipper Dawson More than 1 year ago
How I Blew My Wad at the Breeders Cup. by flipper Dawson Yes, I made my first play yesterday Nov.5, after bombing out in the BC. Here is what happened: A certain handicapper (who will remain anonymous) was selling selections for $25.00 each day. There was also a free play for anyone wanting it. I decided on looking at this free play. Lo and behold, when I clicked my computer onto FREE PLAY, a malfunction in the capper's computer, not only gave me the free play, but all the plays for Friday and Sat. as well. I was like a kid in a candy store. I printed them off, and armed with my "treasure" went to Picov Downs where each patron has his own TV with private booth. I played $5.00 pick 3's and pick 4's. But I was denied on all counts. Midnight Lute was a play, but my information tells me he was using a bar shoe (heals quarter cracks) So, the only return for me was two tickets I found in a machine. One was good for $39.00; the other was worth $10.25. My benofactor who splits all bets with me was aware of no return. When I caught up to him Sat. afternoon, he was very certain he wanted me to split a $50.00 superfecta in the Classic. I tried to talk him out of it, but no dice--he wanted that bet on. So, we played the RAVEN horse to win, GO BETWEEN, for second, SMOOTH AIR, and finished the super with CURLIN.A stupid bet, but I allowed it as this chap lets me make the bets, while he just goes along for the 50% of each bet. When the smoke cleared, we both had lost $128.00 over the two days. My heart just wasn't in it. I was leery of opening up the wallet over the two days, due to the rubber tires, nails, ketchup, glue, sawdust, etc. over the NO RIDE surface. So, that's over. I think next year, the handle will be away down. Ask Asmussen if he'l return, only to lose due to the crap, (sorry, track.) Flipper is still playing the Super High 5. Knocking at the door to gain a win. The payoffs are very high, and easier to pick than other exotics. So, that's my story of the free selections. I would never pay for them. But when my computer opened up to gain these selection, I felt it was an omen to play them and win. Now, where did I put that Crist book on exotic betting??
Can See'em All More than 1 year ago
What's really sad about the greyhound ban is the proponents of the bill seem to care more about the dogs than the employees who will be out of jobs. The stereotypical comment seems to be "they're low-lifes, they'll find another job". It's sad that an industry can be put out of business by a vote of people who have no knowledge of what's really going on.
Wayne80 More than 1 year ago
mark c you ARE wrong. NYRA had its debt cancelled in exchange for land worth well in excess of the debt. All companies incur debt, but NYRA could not raise capital on the open market due to its quasi government structure. And back in the good old days, when it actually made money, it was required by statute to turn that money over to NYRA by statute. If anything this was a shakedown by the state, the taxpayers come out ahead here in the long run even though Albany has cost themselves millions by their failure to act sooner. Not to absolve NYRA of bad management, which is an entirely different story, but the urban myth of this deal being a bail out is just not true. And, even if it WAS true, a bail out of this industry is was more justified than that provided to wall street.
mark c More than 1 year ago
Wayne..the "land" for bailout deal was this year. What about the last 10 years????
george quinn More than 1 year ago
I would go downtown to play the parking meters before I would put one dime into a Frank Stronach slot machine. George in Tampa Fla
Teresa More than 1 year ago
To the reader looking for an an article on Robbie and Jackie Davis: Here's one from the Times-Union in August.
Gary More than 1 year ago
C, I know exactly how you feel about last Saturday at CD. Our local OTB has a contest the first and third Saturday of the month, and last Saturday it was the CD card. I didn't even bother to attempt to handicap the mess. Nothing like a full card of shippers to humble a person.
SamG More than 1 year ago
Steve Hope you have a speedy recovery.The greyhound ban is troubling indeed.Horse Racing is a rediculous mess right now but it would be a dark day if it was banned. Speaking of the mess I can empathise with Allen but back when I was able to bet Churchill I found some nice prices on horses returning to dirt who had experience on it.You might just want to skip the 2yr old and maiden races.It's impossible to get away from horses who have been running on synthetics but money can be made in the right situations. Does anybody else think the decline in handle at Belmont has at least as much to do with the raise in takeout as it does with the economy?The decline in product can't be helping either.The prevelance of state bred races and turf sprints has to be driving some people away.
horserun More than 1 year ago
More like like great news for the DeFrancis clan in MD, as usual Magna, who could mess up a wet dream, doesnt stand to benefit very much
Hurry Up Blue More than 1 year ago
As Tom Durkin would say, "Arrrrrrrr!!!!". I was alive to a handsome 5 of 6 payout with the 11-horse in the finale at Aqueduct. Very tough beat. And it wasn't the real bomb in the sequence that got me either. I had a nice tip on Jackie Davis' mount today. It was the 14-1 shot in the opening leg that knocked me out right out of the gate. At least there's a nice double carry into tomorrow's card, and I have lived to fight another day.