09/30/2010 11:33AM

Super Saturday Lineups


Here are the lineups for Saturday's nine Grade 1 races, five at Belmont starting with the Vosburgh at 3:23 pm (all post times are Eastern time) and ending with the Jockey Club Gold Cup at 5:48 pm, followed by four at Hollywood starting with the Norfolk at 6:18 pm and ending with the Goodwood at 8:20 pm. The two columns following each horse's name are his her or her highest winning level and top Beyer Speed Figure:

At least there are no overlaps in post times for the Grade 1's, but there also are no bets linking the Belmont and Hollywood races, which would have been fun. For conflicts you have to add in the three rich Grade 2's at three other tracks: the $750k Cotillion (Blind Luck vs. 4) at Philadelphia Park (4:58 pm ET), the $500k Indiana Derby (Lookin at Lucky vs. 8) at Hoosier (6:05 pm) and the Hawthorne Gold Cup at 6:25 pm.

The Belmont quintet comprise the first five legs of the Pick-6, a sequence that concludes with a statebred maiden grass race, and there's a $500,000 guaranteed all-G1 pick-4 on the Flower Bowl, Beldame, Joe Hirsch Turf Classic and Jockey Club Gold Cup.

t's raining so hard on Long Island that Belmont has already cancelled racing today amid forecasts of two to five inches of rain. It's supposed to clear up tomorrow and be sunny by Saturday, but the turf courses are likely to be quite different from the parched surfaces both here and at Saratoga.

Television coverage beyond the racing networks consists of a one-hour show from 5 to 6 pm ET on MSG+ for the Belmont races; live coverage of the Hollywood Stakes on ESPN Classic; and scheduled break-in coverage of Zenyatta in the Lady's Secret during college football on ESPN at 7:15 ET.

I'm still at that preliminary stage of my handicapping where I'm suppressing the morning line in the pp's and trying not to be influenced by anyone's opinin, but I couldn't help seeing -- and recoiling in disbelief -- at the lines for races where I thought the favorites yould be odds-on: 

*Blind Luck is listed at 7-5 with Havre de Grace at 9-5 in the Cotillion. Given that Blind Luck has twice beaten that rival at much shorter prices, I would expect her to be less than even money.

*Blame is 8-5 with Rail Trip at 5-2 in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Really? I would have thought Blame would be somewhere in 4-5 to 6-5 range coming off a victory over Quality Road in the Whitney, and with Rail Trip trying dirt for the first time and coming off a 12-week layoff.

*Whie the above two propositions are debateable, I think there's no question that a morning line of 5-2 on Lookin at Lucky in the Indiana Derby is simply preposterous. It seems highly unlikely he'd be higher than the 6-5 at which he won the Haskell, a better race against a better field than the one assembling at Indiana Downs, where his principal rivals appear to be the 3rd and 5th place finishers in the West Virginia Derby.


Bob Grant More than 1 year ago
What, Steve... No Blogging on Gold Cup Day? Have Disney Suits kidnapped you? [Just a late start...see next entry.]
marc gordon More than 1 year ago
I agree with you Steve and for that reason, i rarely look at the morning line. I was thinking the same thing when i was handicapping the stakes races.
Whackymacky More than 1 year ago
Steve When I see a morning line of 2/5 and 3/5, I sit back in the weeds ready to pounce on the BRIDGE JUMPERS. I watch the show pool and wager $100 to show on the other runners. I have hit on 11 of 62 so far this year. Check out the results from Calder on Sept 25th, Race #8. Show prices were $54.80 / $81.00 / $37.80. Those New York Hedge Fund Boys are looking for that quick 5%. Watch out for those short priced horses from around the country. Anthything can happen as you know!!!! Whackymacky Out!!!
Ron-d More than 1 year ago
Agree that a weekly national multitrack bet (i.e. a 50 cent pick 5) on the major stakes races would be fun to handicap and great for creating interest in the sport--never happen though--too many egos and government regulations involved.-------Not sure why Oak Tree at Hollywood started with a week night program. Compared handle to last year' opening day at Santa Anita and it is significantly down (almost half). Hopefully, it will improve, though except for this coming Saturday, I doubt it will all that much. The battle for next year's Oak Tree dates will be interesting. Stronach verses Oak Tree.---Applaud Stronach for spending millions to change to a dirt track and for once (hate to admit it) agree with him that he should be entitled to the additional days.
Vin C More than 1 year ago
Steve, Can you please explain how a track like Parx can survive when its purses are three times there on track handle .Even with revenue from the slots its hard to image they will be around for long.
george quinn More than 1 year ago
But Steve you forgot about one important morning line. 1-9 on Zenyatta? That is realistic. Why do I feel as if I am going to see the same race I always see out there. And why do I feel as if I am going to hear Vic Stauffer come out of his chair again? He is such a homer. George in Tampa
Putting_green More than 1 year ago
Years ago, I read that the Morning Line was never meant to predict the post time odds of any horse, but rather, it was designed to encourage wagering on all horses. If the oddsmaker truly believed that a horse would leave the gate at 2-5, he might make the Morning Line at 8-5, to at least give the impression that other horses might have a chance. In today's game, I don't think you are fooling too many people.
Alan G More than 1 year ago
The multi-track P3 and P4 betting options are missed. I recall linked bets, using the Wood Memorial when Congaree won a leg of P3; another time an Arlington Million and two races at Saratoga - paid $2,600. Pomeroy was one of the SAR winners at 4-1 and my key bet.
rawlawltd More than 1 year ago
Is it my imagination, or have purses at Monmouth been slashed drastically from those promised at the start of the meet?? Looking at the 7th on Saturday, many were in the same condition running for $84K that seems to have sunk to $54K in weeks; or am I missing something?? [This is the lesser "fall" meet at Monmouth. It was announced back in May that purses would be significantly lower now than during the "Elite Summer Meet." -SC]
Walt P. More than 1 year ago
Vin: Concerning how Parx (formerly Philadelphia Park) can pay the purses they do, it's because they receive shares of ALL of the handle after winnings are paid out on all slots statewide, including at non-racetrack casinos like the Sugar House in Philadelphia that just opened in the last week or two. Concerning the nine Grade 1s on Saturday: The way you could have hooked up the Grade 1s would have been to have an all-stakes pick-9 that I would have offered as a 10-cent wager with a $500,000 guaranteed minimum pool if I had been at the NTRA. This would have been a perfect opportunity to do it, especially if sufficient ad buys could have been found to air the whole thing on ESPN Classic (as it actually is being done for the Hollywood Park races) and also on ABC Family Channel (The two ESPNs obviously are tied up with a massive plate of college football). Speaking of the Hollywood Park races, this is where if I were at Disney, I would have actually used the fact that Stanford-Oregon was being moved from ESPN (where it had been originally scheduled to kick at 11:15 PM ET) to ABC to also move the Hollywood Park broadcast from ESPN Classic to ABC, with the Hollywood Park broadcast airing on ABC from 7:30-9:15 PM ET and Stanford-Oregon kicking off after that at 9:15 PM ET (post time for the Lady's Secret, which would have been the last of three races on ABC would have been slated for 8:52 PM ET), with the two games originally slated for ABC at 8:00 PM ET (Notre Dame-BC and Washington-USC) moved to ESPN2 with whichever game not airing on ESPN2 locally airing on the DT-2 Channel of local ABC stations. Doing so would have at least the fourth quarter of Stanford-Oregon airing AFTER the Florida-Alabama game on CBS finishes, so to me, it could have benefited multiple fronts.