07/13/2008 3:38PM

Why the 4th?



Kip DeVille, the reigning Breeders' Cup Mile winner and the nation's leading grass miler, is based at Aqueduct but made his first start ever at a New York track in the Poker Handicap Sunday afternoon. So why was the race buried as the fourth on a 10-race card instead of being given proper respect and scheduled later on the card as the afternoon's featured race?

Califonia tracks sometimes run their most important race of the day as the 4th or 5th but this is done largely to accomodate the national simulcast-betting audience. A 2:30 pm rather than 5 pm Pacific post time makes midwestern and eastern bettors more likely to play the race at 4:30 or 5:30 local time, amid their local live racing, rather than at 7 or 8 pm. But a 2:30 eastern post time for the Poker did just the opposite, since the race went off at 11:30 a.m. in California.

The other reason California sometimes does this, and presumably the only reason Belmont did it today, is to keep a race with a small field and an odds-on favorite out of the pick-six sequence in the hopes of increasing the chance of a carryover. This is a rinky-dink move and a completely unnecessary and misguided one. What in the world is wrong with having an odds-on favorite in a pick-six sequence? If two people hadn't hit the carryover at Belmont Saturday and there had been a $234k carry into Sunday's card, more rather than fewer people would have taken a shot with a seeming free bingo square through Kip DeVille in the sequence.

Instead, in the 9th-race slot where fans expect to see the best race of the day, and weekend fans expect to see a stakes race, Belmont presented what is becoming its signature race: a turf sprint for New York-breds. I can't imagine that this, coupled with the loss of California betting on the Poker, resulted in a net business gain, but that's supposed to be besides the point.

Part of the NYRA's argument for its franchise renewal was that it is a not-for-profit entity managed by people with a high regard for the sport, as opposed to craven casino operators who would just as soon be running pig races or jai-alai matches if the profit margins were higher. Running the Poker as the fourth race Sunday does not reflect that position.

elliott factor More than 1 year ago
i want to know why druggist trainers are not prosecuted for violation of federal laws prohibiting the interference of public sporting events OR of local laws prohibiting "theft by deception" they are clearly violating both and they are stealing money from the public
Bobby P More than 1 year ago
NYRA stewards really need to go back to school for racing rules. Many of the inquiry signs and disqualification are just not consistant. Stewards jobs is to judge and justify the betting public, owners and the trainers. People should invest in other tracks were justice is really monitored.
D Bruder More than 1 year ago
Never thought I'd say the Aqueduct inner track meet has become the highlight of the NY racing season. No turf sprints!! Seriously, it's a real shame what's happened here the past couple of years. I have no problem with turf sprints, one a day, two tops, like in California. But this has become some sort of joke. Everyday, usually three races at 6 or 7F,almost always NY Bred races. What happened to the 1/8th-1/4 races? They've pretty much disappeared. Most of the horses competing in these races probably would be running at Finger Lakes if not for the turf sprints. But I guess as long as people bet on the lousy product, nothing will change. So I guess we can blame ourselves.
bochalls More than 1 year ago
George Weaver strikes again ya'll...Thou Swell pays $45.60 on Saturday at BEL. He didn't fit my usual Weaver pattern, but a hot trainer and good price trump all other factors. my first SAR trainer nugget....D Wayne Lukas has lost 51 straight times with MSW first timers...but is awesome with STS and second start of the meet. All you P6 chasers...when is the last time you picked 6 winners in a row? Sucker bet! Steve and others (ok, not Steve) do you show any profit in playing the P6? What is your winning % when playing this wager? For me, the TRI is still my favorite...usually takes about 1.5mins to hit and you need only be right about one race. Find that race and crush it!!!!
ljk More than 1 year ago
I couldn't agree more with cjgrant. The New York Bred program is a local breeding industry subsidy, pure and simple. To add insult to injury, NYRA plans to run the Yaddo as a Saturday feature races at Saratoga. Ugh!
Wayne80 More than 1 year ago
Debo, I am more likely to play a non-carryover P6 when I can isolate one or two singles. If I can not, I skip the wager that day. I lost significant money (for me) on Saturday's carryover and regret it. I had Red Rocks but still managed only 4 of 6 due to the inscutable remaining races in the sequence.
Flipper Dawson More than 1 year ago
Flipper and Asmussen Team Up For EXACTOR and LATE DD At Woodbine When I woke up on Sun. Morning, I could hardly wait for the early changes. Salty Langfuhn was supposed to run on the turf for S. Asmussen in race 9. (He was trying the lawn for the first time.) So, race was off the turf, and he was left in the race, and had won at the same level before on Poly Crap. Steve Flint, asst. to Asmussen left him in, and it looked to me like it would be another win. So, out came a 20 dollar bill to WIN, and the same for an exactor with Allezzandro, the hot 2-1 favorite, who I felt would get up for second. A 20 Dollar Double onto the morning line choice in race 10 was in order .So, $60.00 was spent in total The win odds on the tote went like this for Salty Langfuhn:8-1, 8-1, 6-1, 4-1, 4-1, 7-2, 7-2, and finally 3-1. These 2 battled down the stretch, with Salty prevailing by a length.. The win price on Salty was $8.50, and exactor with Alezzandro checked in at $25.30. The last race did not disappoint, as Salty onto MLF in last, paid $33.80 in the DD. The key, as you can see, was leaving Salty in the race when it came off the turf; yes, leaving Salty to run back to his last race at same level. If an Asmussen horse is next to the late DD, they win I have used this angle 3 times in the last 8 days--all 3 won. I guess what I am trying to say, is that it matters not where he (Asmussen) is located, his hired help is so used to winning, and getting calls, no doubt as where to enter. This one came out of detention barn, as well. Perhaps, the Asmussen stock are getting more sleep in the sin-bin, as it doesn't stop their wins, once in the gate. My day concluded with some supers in last at FE, where my key horse (and DRF longshot ) ran 4th at big odds.. Still have all tickets in business attache case I take to the races.I like to go over them quietly at home. I sat beside a friend who I like, but he was playing 6 tracks at once with the predictable outcome. It was dirty, and messy, and I gently tried to tell him to stay on one track and two at the most. Could not hear me–was playing the trotters when I left at 6 bells.
Stewart More than 1 year ago
cjgrant, The decline in the overall quality of the Belmont cards is based upon the fact that these are the types of races that are filling. The Racing Secretary's firstand foremost responsible is to card races with full fields that will attract bigger wagering pools and create bigger payoffs. The sad fact is that there are fewer high price claiming races and allowance races, particularly on the dirt, in NY because there aren't enough horses stabled in NY to fill these conditions on a regular basis. So what is the Racing Secretary supposed to do? In my opinion, this has been caused by two factors: 1. The increased purses (due primarily to slots) for allowance races and optional claiming races at Delaware, Philly Park, Monmouth and other tracks have clearly siphoned off horses from NY. Top trainers like Pletcher, McLaughlin, Clement and others are routinely sending previously NY based horses to these tracks to face softer allowance and high claiming competition for similar purses. Check out the win percentages for these trainers at these tracks. Also check out Bruce Levine's stats at Mth. Its smart business and makes money for their owners, which is the name of the game. And this does not include trainers such as Larry Jones, Graham Motion and Michael Matz who would, prior to the days of slots-inflated purses, would be stabled in NY and adding quality allowance horses to the daily entry box. 2. As you suggested, the NYB program has created a substantial increase in the number of horses and races, especially given the ability to race as a NYB horses with top non-NY based sires such as Distorted Humor and Pulpit because of the eligibility "rules". Give the size of the purses for NYB MSW and allowance races, your NYB can now earn approximately $100k simply for running through its state bred conditions. Its a no brainer for owners and breeders. Moreover, the NYB optional claiming races allow you to run your horse back for a $50k+ purse even after its run through its conditions.
yuwipi More than 1 year ago
As everyone here who plays the NYRA cards knows, turf sprints have become something we all have to deal with in one way or another. I know some like them. I find them mostly aggravating, but am trying to cope with them by studying them as best I can. Just thought I'd put this down in case it interests someone: NYRA has carded 56 turf sprints (less than a mile), not including 4 wash offs, in the last 5 weeks. These include 19 restricted to NYSB horses (of which 4 were maiden claimers), 9 open company maiden claimers, and 6 restricted to non winners of 2 lifetime claimers. Turf sprints were 25% of the carded races over 5 weeks. The list of winning sires for these races does contain some you would fully expect, but there are more than a few I have never heard of, and breeding is a part of the game I've always followed. I'm not making a point of this to throw a dart at NYRA or the racing secretary, to demean the courage and beauty of horses who simply can't run as fast as more gifted others, or to deride owners who are involved on the lower dollar side of the game. Heck, if it was the only game in town I'd line up for 9 maiden claimer NYSB turf sprints before I'd quit this game. I just think the powers that be don't realize how far the quality angle of NYRA racing has deteriorated.
Tim More than 1 year ago
I actually like seeing a graded stakes race early on in the card, out of the pick 6 sequence. Lets be real, the pick 6 is a lottery that cost more to play than your standard $1 one and pays far less. Sounds like some people want races like this in there just to make it easier. Blah. Everybody is going to single Kip anyways, so why is this even an issue? Its really no advantage to single this horse. What you really should be looking for are singles that are like 10/1, the 4th or 5th choices in the betting. Ones that few others have the nuts to single. And horseplayers need only check the times of the races that morning to not miss a 2/5 shot like Kip Deville romp over a bunch of gerbils like Operation red Dawn. Its really not that complicated and its not like most horseplayers have much else going on. Their whole lives are centered arond what times the races are going off.