12/26/2008 4:39PM



3:30 pm:Holidayhangover I swear I haven't been hitting the eggnog too hard, but I just couldn't pull the trigger on today's scheduled carryovers at Aqueduct and Hawthorne. I snuck away from the family to peruse the pp's yesterday, just long enough to see that I didn't know enough about Hawthorne to make a serious play and to get totally confused by the Aqueduct races. Maybe it's just holiday rust, but every Aqueduct race looked like a trap or a lottery.

Wrong. Halfway through the Big A sequence, the whole world must be alive for that free money as favorites have won all three races: Living Out a Dream at $5.50 in the 4th, Kamboo Man at $5.60 in the 5th and Moment Sensor at $6.30 in the 6th. If you played -- and enough of you did to turn a $150k carry into a $639k gross pool -- good luck the rest of the way. Either that or three crazy bombs to give us a triple carry into Saturday's card.

Not very likely. Madam Commander just won the 7th as the 7-2 ($9.90) third choice. Hard to believe that all 81 combos in the last two nine-horse fields aren't covered.

As for Hawthorne, I'm glad I didn't invest any more time because today's card was cancelled due to ongoing snow and weather issues in Chicagoland. They'll try again tomorrow to give away a pot that's built through 20 programs to $227k.

--I wrote the Sunday column about the race between Jess Jackson and IEAH Stables for the Eclipse Award as Oustanding Owner, and in the course of researching the history of the award I was surprised to find how seldom the owner of the Horse of the Year has won that statuette. Here's the rundown for the last 30 years, with the handful of dual winners highlighted in yellow:

4:15 pm: Noble Sound, the $2.8 milion Vindication-Serena's Tune colt who won his belated debut last month as a 3-year-old, made it 2-for-2 taking the featured N1x 8th at Aqueduct. No triple-carry; here are the probables heading into the finale:










Prozac Jack More than 1 year ago
Dear Steve, I hope you let me continue my rant, First things first,we the Horse players should all "lobby For a smaller Take" as my friend Fort Marcy states,but the take,and all the expenses, parking,forms, entrance fees are all paid for by the LOSERS,and until you know EXACTLY how much your going to get in return for your investment, FORGET about the dam TAKE.Nobody TAKES more out of YOUR pockets, than the BIG players in the last few minuets at ANY racetrack, you really don't know if your going to get 2-1 or 6-5, so lobby for a reduced take but don't let that interfere with you ability to pick winners. As far as concession prices being in line with other sports venues, this is a "classic" argument coming from the COLLEGE boys at ANY racetrack, supported by their STUPID Billionaire, pompous ass racetrack owner. When I take my son to a football game and get ripped off on their concessions, the big DIFFERENCE for all those MORONS out there in Race Track Management, is the FACT at a Football, baseball,or basketball game, management isn't ASKING you to BET,THAT'S THE DIFFERENCE MR BILLIONAIRE OWNER.When Las Vegas was just a dream, they asked "How in the hell are we going to get masses of people to drive through a DESERT just to gamble, the ANSWER was we'll feed them for peanuts, and the rest is HISTORY. Don't anyone out there worry about prozac Jack, I NEVER had to work a real job unless I wanted to.Instead of sending me to college my father said I think you be better off in life, if I teach you "how to read the mind of F.W. Jones" Yes making a living at this game helps GREATLY if you learn to go inside of a trainers MIND..they as a group are in my "humble opinion" creatures of habit....If you think you can PREDICT the outcome of ANY race better than a quality claiming race, think again, the average mutual price of a claiming race is $9.40 compared to $ 14.60 for all others,People are more accurate with the claimers PERIOD. As far as maiden races are concerned, the tote board is your best friend, but how about those maiden Claimers, here's a horse that's FOR SALE before it ever runs, forget about pedigree and FOCUS on SOUNDNESS, but DON'T card them as the last race on the dam card...Only some of the MOST incompetent people on this EARTH, could take this great game of ours, to the low level that it is TODAY, and I've personally met some of these "out of touch" Billionaires, but don't worry my fellow horse players, prozac jack is as mad as hell, and I'm going to FIGHT for change, so get out your pens and start writing to these OVER-PAID BUMS in power, that all but ruined this game. I don't care if the water fountain doesn't work, write the BUMS a letter, and NEVER,NEVER, UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF THE PEN, your letter may find it's way to a man like R.D. Hubbard that took action and made change happen...WE the horse players can do it...
jim More than 1 year ago
Has anyone noticed that those finger lakes horses are more than competitive on the inner? I have seen three surprise some of these fields lately off the layoff with a little light maintenance. Keep an eye on them folks.
Wayne80 More than 1 year ago
prozac jack, you can run my track anyday, I have been thinking the same thing for years. I have a list in my mind of about a hundred things that could immediately improve the on track experience which can only be discovered from being an actual fan that has repeatedly tried to get others my age, just below baby boomer status, to buy into this sports as a fan and as a gambler. I am talking folks that have no problem wagering good money on a football game, or dropping a hundred to win on the Ky Derby, but can not be bothered actually going to the track. When I ask them to join me at the track this weekend, they will inevitably tell me they would rather play the races from a barstool, with good food and reasonably priced alchohol served with a smile and a joke in the local OTB restaurant. And its not just because its the winter season in NY. I can occasionally get the casual fans, to go out to Belmont and sit in the backyard with a cooler, but the players NYRA should be seeking, those with money that enjoy gambling, find the experience much more rewarding off track. The OTB's are truly parasites, but one thing they have gotten right is the development of their restaurant and simulcast facilities, ideas they took from Las Vegas, of course. Some tracks are fighting back with player clubs etc, but it has been a long time coming and there is much more to be done before folks will commit to spending six hours at below par facilities.
grasslover More than 1 year ago
...At Turfway Park on Sunday 12-28, the 5th race was taken by a 1-2 shot. The 6th race was taken by a horse who paid $279.80 to win. The DD combining these two winners paid a measly $92.20. That's right-$92.20! The 6th race had 11 betting interests, and even with the 1-2 shot shouldn't this have paid a lot more? The DD pool of these two races was $4019, which means after takeout is figured, there were about 35 winning tickets. 35 people out of a $4019 pool had a $279.80 horse on their tickets? If you believe nothing seriously shady is going on then come with me to Brooklyn. I have a bridge I'm willing to sell you cheap.
bochalls More than 1 year ago
America is a CAPITALIST society...why is everyone so butt hurt when race tracks (i.e...businesses) want to make money? Unitas is right. It's about money. Just try livin without it! Your only recourse is to not frequent or play those tracks; but you can't... and that is the hook, my friends. All this griping may be cathartic, but it does NOTHING to change the way things are. If we want the BCS to change to a playoff for the NCAA football title we must stop watching BCS Bowl games...but that ain't happening, and they know it. Those with ownership of businesses make the rules...period...Peace, Shalom, Selah, and Happy New Year!
parsixfarms More than 1 year ago
After all racing has been through in 2008, what message would its leaders be sending by giving Eclipse Awards to Steve Asmussen as outstanding trainer and IEAH Stable as outstanding owner? The message is certainly contrary to one that "we get it" and are committed to cleaning the sport up for the sake of the horse, the gambler and the honest horsemen out there.
fort marcy More than 1 year ago
To Yuwipi and Prozac_ Jack, I agree completely in regard to food and beverage condition at the track. I too, have received the reponse from management that food prices and quality are in line line with other venues. Futhermore, my pet peeve of charging admission fee to a deserted facility makes no sense at all. The biggest problem in racing is the tax situation. This also includes the sliding take out on each wager. I've been going to the track for over thirty years, and it amazes me that some people don't have a clue on the take out at each track and are shocked when they need to sign for a very modest wager. I can have the power to not pay for lousy food, not attend a track which charges admission, but am powerless to pay taxes each year on the signers I have cashed, even though I have lost money on the year. This is the area I purpose that needs revision. Mr. Crist, on many occasions has proposed reasonable with holding thresholds that come in line with the 21st century. In regard to the take out, is it unreasonable to have one universal takeout for any wager? Like the majority of folks who blog on this site and others, I love this game deeply. If it takes a first step to correct some of the blatant injustices that are killing our game, I'm willing to stand and fight.
Nick Briglia More than 1 year ago
Maiden races are the easiest and most playable races on the card.
Unitas More than 1 year ago
Polytrack, Cushion track, Pro-ride, it's all the same...meaning that what these surfaces are all about is THE ALMIGHTY DOLLAR! Think about it...a manmade surface of rubber, sand and wax is a better surface for horses to run on than good old fashioned, natural dirt! Actually, it is a brilliant idea that CEO's of major racing jurisdictions could be sold on the idea that dirt is obsolete! Look at the venues that have installed this garbage, and you can bet(no pun intended) that someone in a prominent position owns some serious stock in these companies who sell and install this garbage. Contrary to popular belief, there are no valid reports or studies that show these man-made surfaces are beneficial to a horses physical well being, and major injuries and fatalities on these surfaces are on par with conventional dirt surfaces throughout this country. Why would the state of California pass a law stating that all major thoroughbred race tracks(sans the fair circuits) HAD to install synthetic surfaces on their tracks by a certain date without doing an intensive study of these surfaces first? It's all about the Benjamins my friends, and, unfortunatley, that is usually the way it works in this industry.
Tom D. More than 1 year ago
How many horses have broken down at Santa Anita? Poly track nonsense vs. dirt seems to be a wash. Horses are going to get hurt. They have been getting hurt for generations. No more poly!