12/19/2008 7:42PM

That Uh-Oh Feeling


Duncery Okay, so maybe it's not always a good idea to watch TVG with the sound muted.

After finishing the Sunday column, I was feeling parimutuelly peckish, what with Aqueduct shut down for the 5th of 11 straight days, and decided to play the late pick-4 at Hollywood. Half an hour later, I had crafted a little $304 play, put it in through NYRA Rewards (open during the drought except for Christmas Eve and Day), and switched to TVG but muted the sound as there were still 17 minutes until the first leg. It wasn't exactly a racing festival of a sequence -- a turf sprint, an N2x allowance and two maiden claimers -- but it was action.

I glanced up at the odds from time to time, noting how sunny it was at Hollywood even as snow and sleet pelted the windows here, and seeing that I had craftily smoked out the three favorites in a six-horse field and made them all A's. I unmuted the set just as the horses were going into the gate for the first leg, the turf sprint, and suddenly got the big Uh-Oh: The gate was on the main track and so, apparently, was the race.

A quick re-consultation with the pp's showed that there was a main-track standout with no turf experience or breeding that I hadn't used: Persian Honey, who also appeared to be the controlling speed. Too late to add her: They're off. Persian Honey got to the front, was still there at the furlong pole, but fortunately for me she weakened late as she usually does and my three grass horses went right by her. What an easy game.

Twits I relate this story not merely to burnish my reputation as an occasional idiot, but because I suspect we all do these things more often than we admit -- play a race based on the wrong surface, start a multirace bet with the wrong race, or simply punch the wrong numbers. Just a few months ago, I gave a companion at Belmont a passionate dissertation about why I hated some short-priced favorite because he was strictly a six-furlong horse who had repeatedly failed at today's seven-furlong distance. He tolerated my entire screed before pointing out that today's race was, in fact, at six furlongs.

I'm sure the TVG analysts talked about how the race had been taken off the grass, and if I'd been playing the races in the company of humans rather than hounds, they would have mentioned it. For us shut-ins, though, and those who keep to themselves at simulcast facilities where ALL the tv's are muted until post time, could there maybe be a big, flashing "Off The Turf" logo somewhere on the screen?

As for the rest of the Hollywood pick-4, I'm presently alive for a buck to the 3, 6, 7 and 11 in the finale.

rsdcpa More than 1 year ago
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good year!
Howied More than 1 year ago
If you don't mute TVG, you will go insane; "Great work, Simon, you just hit an $80 pick-4." (his ticket cost $78!)
Forego76 More than 1 year ago
Steve: I hadn't seen a comment from you about the bankruptcy announcement from Hinsdale, home of the dime super. I had my start in greyhound racing there in January 1980, and when we get back east for our annual summer fling at The Spa, we always take one of the busy give-away days off and drive over for the greyhound matinee and to watch goings-on at The Spa from afar. Anyway, when I first trained greyhounds at Hinsdale they still offered harness racing in the summer, but business wasn't that good. I had thought in these recent years that simulcasting and then poker had turned things around but apparently not. This news, coming on top of the Massachusetts banning of greyhound racing does not bode well for the game. The other news that comes out of this, which readers might be interested in is that apparently wagering accounts are among the last considerations when such a bankruptcy occurs.
Hammer More than 1 year ago
There's an old R&B song from the 1940's called "Easy Money" by Scatman Crothers ( he was also an actor in "The Shining"). The song tells the story of overhearing a tip but getting the name wrong.
Dick Powell More than 1 year ago
The upper-class Twit of the Year scene is perfect for the racing industry. Those in charge set the bar an inch above the ground and then gleefully give each other awards when they jump over it. Brilliant!
steel More than 1 year ago
Steve, if you have a chance (or anyone for that matter) can u watch the 2nd at hollywood today (Saturday). to me talamo stopped riding for 2nd and was looking back. was just curious if anyone agreed. thx
Saratoga_Mike More than 1 year ago
Hawthrone canceled today's racing due to the weather (it's 25 below with the windchill). So the $227k Pick 6 Carryover moves to Friday, December 26. They draw for Friday this afternoon. Looking at the condition book, it should be a mix of low-level claimers (several $4k events in the book), cheap MCLs and a few allowances races, if we're lucky. It's going to take five days to figure this potential mess out.
Barry More than 1 year ago
Oh man, that brings back such fond memories. I remember when I first got started in this game; I used to go up to the window and insist on betting the 1A and not the 1.
ernie More than 1 year ago
Acronym Definition ADW Assault with a Deadly Weapon ADW Animal Diversity Web ADW Advanced Deposit Wagering (horse racing/betting) ADW Application Development Workbench ADW Active Data Warehouse ADW Air Defense Warning ADW Agent Defeat Weapon ADW Air Defense Wing ADW Automatic Dishwasher ADW Asymptotic Distorted Wave ADW Area Defense Weapon (antitank weapon) ADW Advanced Datarate Waveform (US Navy) ADW Automated Data Warehouse ADW Advanced Design Workshop ADW Advanced Digital Wireless On a serious note, sorry to anyone who did or will lose $. It has always amazed me that Twinspires couldn't carry their own signal because of disputes with horesemen. In my day, it was work now grieve latter. Run the signal during the racing days, collect the money, and when you come to terms split the money by the new agreement that you arrived at. Even if after the meet has run. The ADW affair is another instance of the horseplayer has been left out of the equation because so many factions take a piece of the handle. Right down to a retired horse. And parimutual racing makes the player an independent agent and one of the factions as well. On a lighter note, once in ten years; I am extremely careful with my bet procurements, it's great when you make an error and at the end of the race yell, "I got it by mistake."
AJV More than 1 year ago
Morning Steve. With today's card canceled at Hawthorne, and racing not resuming until Wednesday out there, we should have ample time to dope out the Pick 6, which carried over at over $200,000 (once they draw entries and post PP's). Does Chicago racing get your blood flowing? I admit I only follow it when TVG shows their races.Seems like the apprentice jock Inez Karlsson alternates with Emigh to win every race. I hope you get the inclination to post some figs... P.S. Happy Holidays and thanks for your blog, articles, insights,, etc. You are as much an integral part of our track tools as a fat bankroll and the Form, a beverage and a leathery Furlong Frank.