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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Big Closing Day Handle at Fort Erie

Fort Erie wrapped up their 2014 season today with a ten race card and a lot of money bet.

       Handle for today's races totaled $1,140,193, the biggest handle of the meet after Prince of Wales day. Average field size was 8.7. The featured race of the day was the two mile and 70 yard marathon "Tour de Fort," a $10,000 starter allowance event which has become a closing day tradition. 55-1 shot Brite Sabbeth blew up the tote board after romping by 32 1/2 lengths, paying $113.50 to win.

     Kirk Johnson took the leading rider title easily, with 42 wins in 213 starts. Finishing second in the jockey standings was Melanie Pinto with 29 wins, with Juan Crawford finishing third with 28. Leading trainer was John Simms, who notched 24 victories in 62 starts. Ken Albu came second with 21, and George Newland finished third with 18.

    Congratulations to Fort Erie on a great 2014 season! Total handle numbers will be posted on this blog once I have them.

Ajax Downs Tuesday Selections

Hard to believe that this is the last day of September. 2014 has just flown by for me, and it's crazy to think that we only have four cards of live racing left at Ajax Downs. Today we have a 10 race card headlined by the richest Quarter Horse race in Ontario, the $133,050 Alex Picov Memorial Championship, a quarter mile dash for the best older horses in the province. It's sure to be a great day of racing! Here are my program selections.


Race 1: 3-5-1
Welcome back to Ajax Downs for a terrific Tuesday card of racing! #3 Jessies Leaving is three-for-six this year, with some high speed figures and strong company lines that including Stakes level mare What Ta Wear and tough starter allowance runner Eyesa Zoomn. She stumbled at the break in her most recent start and it looked to me that the rider lost the irons, so you can cross that race out. If she breaks well today she'll be very tough. #5 Probie won three back against the talented Cat Vision, and has finished second in his two starts since then against Bold Six Love and Sign It Down, who finished 1-2 in a Stakes race at Hialeah back in the winter. If the track is wet, this horse will be very tough; he loves a surface with moisture. #1 Jj Maxwell has had a solid season, most recently exiting a win at this class level over Channelislandflyer (who also appears here.) He's hit the board in 15 of 21 starts, has to be respected. Be sure to play the Early Double!

Race 2: 2-7-1
The Early Pick 3 kicks off here. #2 Code 36 has been an easy winner of his last two starts, first for $3,000 claiming and most recently in this Speed Index condition. I'm looking for the eight year old to score a three-peat today. #7 Catch A Heart has run a couple of good races since coming to Ajax this year, but for the most part has been a pretty average runner. The drop into Speed Index company could be beneficial to him. #1 Cold Hearted Shark finished second behind Code 36 two weeks ago, and came back last week to win. I don't see him turning the tables on Code 36, but the rest of his competitors are not out of his grasp.

Race 3: 5-2-1
#5 Fames Winner competed in a trial for the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity last week against big upset Wild Boyz Victory, Alex Picov Memorial Futurity runner up Arizona Bennie, and Allowance winner Sassy N Ready. This is a significantly easier group. He has already outfinished the morning line favourite back on July 6. #2 Extra Foxy Prince has yet to hit the board in four starts. It's not that he races poorly, but evenly. This is the easiest spot he's raced in. #1 Fool On Fire is a first time starter by Fire Finder out of the Thoroughbred mare What Is It Now. Fire Finder has been a decent sire and the rest of competition is not tough at all.

Race 4: 6-2-3
The $.20 Pick 4 begins here! #6 Storytime Blue has been facing way tougher horses than she faces today, with company lines including Eyesa Zoomn, Cat Vision and What Ta Wear. In her most recent start she was off a bit slow and got forced in. After that she never found her footing and ran an even fourth. Today if she breaks better she'll be the one to beat. #2 Donttellmemybusiness really seems to get along with jockey Aron Hunt, they are two-for-two together. This gelding exits a win against Cole Miner in a $5,000 optional claiming event. I think Storytime Blue is better, but it's not impossible for this gelding to win. #3 Oh Gary started the season off with a win, but after that he got put in spots where he was outclassed and couldn't compete. Two back he raced well in ON-Sired NW2 Allowance; the drop to claiming won't hurt.

Race 5: 2-3-5
#2 Selective Memory has raced well in all three of his starts, most recently scoring a fourth in the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity. He should be very tough today. #3 Chick Flick also qualified to the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity. He broke from the inside and lost some momentum early after taking a bit of a bump, but he didn't seem to recover at all and finished evenly to be sixth. Still outclasses the rest of the field. #5 Jess Shake Em has run two good seconds in her four race career that maker her look better than the longer shots in this race, but just doesn't seem to have the ability that my top two selections do.

Race 6: 3-6-1
This race is an open Allowance for two year olds. #3 Waving Sandy Home won her trial to the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity and finished a very good third in the final behind Jumping Guitar and Arizona Bennie. She also qualified to the John Deere Juvenile Challenge where she got a rough trip. Talented filly who has to be respected. #6 Cause I'm Dancing has also qualified to both the John Deere Juvenile Challenge and the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity, running respectable efforts in both. Most recently she won one of these open Allowance events. She will have to prove she can outrun Waving Sandy Home today. #1 Speed of Life looked like she was going to be the top two year old when she won her debut, a John Deere Juvenile Challenge trial. In the final she got a rough break and rallied well to be third. However, she scratched before the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity trials after flipping twice in the paddock. She then finished fourth in the same Allowance race that Cause I'm Dancing won, but before the race she was sharp and not behaving at all. Watch this one before the race if you're considering wagering on her, look to see if she's more calm and focused than sharp and nervous.

Race 7: 3-1-2
#3 Lil Shaz ran third behind Reckless an Wild in a trial for the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby before finishing seventh in the final. She then went back to Maiden company where she grabbed the victory. She looks to double up today and has found a field where that is possible. #1 Fastaz Task has been running well and finishing close all year, but just can't seem to get the job done. Perhaps today he will change that trend. #2 Another Shark had been running very close against some more respectable than average Maiden groups, but dropped in for $5,000 last time and got the win. NW2 will of course be tougher, but this is a horse who I don't think needed the drop to $5,000 to win. Competitive race.

Race 8: 7-3-6
#7 On the Edge of Glory didn't break straight in her debut on September 2nd, and was actually last for most of that race but made up late ground nicely to be fourth, beaten very little for third. I'm looking for some second time improvement today. #3 Strawflyin Bodacious exits a fourth place finish beaten a neck in a Maiden group that wasn't particularly tough in my opinion. The drop to $5,000 is logical. #6 Chicks Kisses is a tough horse to bet to win, she's six years old and hasn't won in 16 tries. Her last few races have been improved efforts so I won't totally discount her. The Late Pick 3 starts here.

Race 9: 4-9-1
This is our feature race today, the 41st running of the $133,050 Alex Picov Memorial Championship. #4 One Famous Glass is an absurd overlay at 8-1. The four year old gelding has won nine of his 18 starts, including a top level Allowance at Remington Park and most recently his trial for this race. He also finished fourth in the Grade I Leo Stakes at Remington. He's the classiest, he looked like he was going very easy in his trial win, and I think he will prevail. #9 Mitford is always very tough here at Ajax, sporting a local record of 11-6-2-1, not including a win in which he was disqualified. He finished second to One Famous Glass in their trial, and actually defeated him in last year's running of this race. #8 Country Boy Deluxe is another horse who loves it here at Ajax, with an 8-6-0-1 record over the surface. He's looking for his fourth consecutive win after getting up in the last stride in his trial. We'll see if he can double up. Remember to play the Late Double!

Race 10: 5-6-2
#5 Bye Me One Kool Bud either wins or misses the board. He was a Stakes winner at two and had a good three year old season, but did nothing in two starts this year. He's returning off a layoff with two bullet works from the gate, so I'm going to give him a shot to get back to the winner's circle. #6 Varsity Lace exits a third behind One Famous Glass and Mitford in the Alex Picov Memorial Championship trials, but unfortunately was not quite quick enough to qualify. She has run a lot of very good races this year and she has to be considered the one to beat here. #2 Charted By Dm also exits the One Famous Glass-Mitford trial, but he ran a very even eighth with no apparent excuse. He's run plenty of good races this year, including a third (very close to second) in the Ontario Sires Stakes Maturity, so I'll give him a shot for a bit of a rebound today.

Good luck to everyone playing today!

Monday, 29 September 2014

Churchill Handle Falls as Kentucky Downs Grows

Churchill Downs completed their second September meet on Sunday, with total handle for the meet reaching $38,810,285 down 16.15% from 2013. Average daily handle for the 12 day meet was $3,234,190, and average handle per race was $318,117.

      After increasing takeout, handle for the Churchill spring meet was down 11.5%. Churchill has cited lower field sizes as the key cause of the handle losses, but it's worth noting that average field size for the September meet was down only 0.34.

     Meanwhile, on the southern end of the state, Kentucky Downs had a very successful season, handling $15,880,755 on their five racing days, a 23.9% increase from 2013. Average daily handle for the meet was $3,176,151, and average handle per race was $317,615.

     Kentucky Downs has grown substantially since implementing a massive takeout decrease in 2012. In 2011, prior to the takeout decrease, average daily handle was around $915,000. That has grown by 247% after the 2014 season.

     In 2011, I highly doubt anyone could have fathomed Kentucky Downs being a point where their handle was practically on par with Churchill, but that's where we are at. If Kentucky Downs' trend of growth and Churchill's trend of declines continue, handle will be Churchill will be outhandled by Kentucky Downs by a significant margin.

     Horseplayers are no stupid people. They want to play the product that offers them the best value, and they are moving more and more towards Kentucky Downs. With North America's highest average field size (10.2) and lowest takeout, Kentucky Downs is the best bet in racing. It's as simple as that.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Let's Talk About Shared Belief

Shared Belief is an interesting horse. I've always though he was very talented, but overhyped and a bit unproven. After watching today's Awesome Again, I have finally seen a race that really makes me want to talk about the star three year old.

      Now I am in no way trying to knock Shared Belief, I just want to look at things realistically.

      I'm not someone who gets sucked into "undefeated" as a reason to back why a horse is great. Secretariat lost. John Henry lost. If you want to say "Shared Belief is better than everyone else because he hasn't lost yet!" then I really wouldn't want to waste my breath discussing much with you.

      One of the biggest topics I'm seeing in regards to today's race is the quality of the field he beat. Let's look at that. First we've got Fed Biz, Fed Biz is a capable horse, he's a three-time Grade II winner who's most notable accomplishment is defeating Goldencents in the 2013 Pat O'Brien at Del Mar. Before today he had raced in three Grade Is on dirt and never been closer than 6 3/4 lengths to the winner or finishing better than sixth. He's good on dirt but better on synthetic and turf. Sky Kingdom is next, he's a talented 12 furlong horse who's most recent win came in the American Flag Stakes, a black type, $75,000 race at Los Alamitos. Footbridge finished second in the Oak Tree Handicap at Pleaseanton before running second in the Grade II San Diego at Del Mar behind Fed Biz. Majestic Harbor earned his first Graded Stakes win in the Grade III Tokyo City over 12 furlongs, but really made headlines after winning the Grade I Gold Cup over Clubhouse Ride after a total pace meltdown from Game On Dude and Fury Kapcori. Mystery Train is a multiple Group I winner in Argentina, but his first American start saw his as nothing but Game On Dude's pace pressure who folded to be nowhere in the Pacific Classic. Then finally, Imperative. He was a no-name before getting a golden setup to win the Charles Town Classic, who most recently finished third in the Pacific Class.

      If you want to argue that that field is a super tough, top level Grade I field, go ahead. You're wrong, but I'll grant you the freedom to do so. You can use beating Game On Dude as a reason that these are Grade I horses, but Game On Dude was a super easy target this year and everyone took advantage of that. This was not a Grade I quality field.

     BUT

     Sometimes judging the quality of a horse's race is not in the who they beat, but in the how they did it, and Shared Belief did it pretty impressively today. He was wide the entire nine furlong journey, never saw the rail, never really got into a good position; had he lost, trip would have been a very viable excuse. But he made his move against frontrunner Fed Biz, and when Fed Biz re-rallied and tried to fight back, Shared Belief responded very gamely and proved he was best. He fought, and that's what a great horse needs to be able to do. If you can't respond to a challenge, you're not going to beat the big boys. Before today, I had never seen a race where Shared Belief had really been put in a challenging situation. The Pacific Classic was an effortless looking win, but everything in that race that could have happened to make things easy for him happened. The Awesome Again was a much more important, developmental race.

     Was this the toughest field out there? No. Let's be honest, when the "scary, undefeated" horse is running, people shy away and look for easier spots. No need to risk a smaller money loss when you're prepping for the Classic. But if you want to call Shared Belief a toss because "he hasn't beaten anything," you're clearly not watching the way this horse races. He's got everything he needs to be great. He just needs to beat a great field. We'll see if he can do that in a few weeks.

     


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Tioga Downs Sees Handle Increase

Tioga Downs, the Jeff Gural-owned southern New York track offering some of the lowest takeout available in harness racing, saw 5.4% increase in handle on their 61 day meet.

      Handle for the meet totaled $7,205,635, an average of $118,125 per day. Last year with the same number of racing days, handle totaled $6,639,243. The increased presence of Tioga's simulcast signal is apparent by a 13.4% increase in off-track wagering. Export handle totaled $5,928,921, compared to $5,228,543 in 2013. Unfortunately, on-track handle did not fare as well, as well dropping 9.5% from $1,410,700 in 2013 to $1,276,654.

     Tioga has seen handle increases every year since they reduced their takeout in 2010, with 2013 being an exception. Takeout at Tioga is currently 15% on Win, Place and Show, 17% on Exactors and Daily Doubles, and 21% on all other wagers. Even though it is a small track, Tioga has shown that bettors respond to lower takeout by putting more money into the pools.

    Harness racing at Tioga's sister-track, Vernon Downs continues until November 1st on a Thursday-Friday-Saturday basis with first post at 6:45. The Meadowlands resumes harness racing on October 14, racing ever Friday and Saturday with a 7:15 first post.

Kentucky Downs Set to Close Big Meet

With four days in the books, Kentucky Downs is set to close out their 2014 meet, and as always they have a great card to draw the curtain.

      113 horse drew into the main body of Wednesday's 10 race card, with 15 horses on the also-eligible list. The card is highlighted by the $200,000 Kentucky Downs Turf Dash and two divisions of the $200,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Marathon.

     In 2013, handle for the five days ran at Kentucky Downs totaled $12,814,966, averaging $2,562,993 per card and $256,299 per race. In the four cards run in 2014, handle has totaled $12,337,498, averaging $3,084,364 per card and $308,436 per race. That's a 17% increase in per race handle.

     The all-turf track has dubbed itself "The Horseplayer's Track" and there has been no disagreement; after takeout rates were slashed in 2012 to feature several North American lows including 18.25% exactors, 19% triactors and superfectas and 14% Pick 5, bettors have responded in a huge way. In 2011, before the takeout decrease, bettors put $3.75 million through the windows over 30 races, about $125,000 per race. That number has gone up 59.5% since the takeout decrease.

     First post for the closing day card is 2:35 ET. $.50 Pick 4s are available in Races 2 and 7, and the 14% Pick 5 starts in Race 6.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Ajax Downs Tuesday Selections

Do we have a great card for you today! We're back for another fantastic Tuesday at Ajax Downs with an 11 race card headlined by four trials to the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity and an open allowance race for older horses. We've got lots of full fields for you, before scratches the average field size in 8.8. Be sure to check us out today! Here are my program selections. Just a note, if you're on track, my selections in race 8 should read 4-7-8, not 3-7-8. Typo on my part.

Race 1: 1-5-6
Welcome back to Ajax Downs for a fantastic 11-race Tuesday! #1 Bold Six Love is a late running type who loves 400 yards; he won a Stakes at Hialeah at the distance but was disqualified. I doubt he'll be 10-1, but I think he's a big factor. #5 Cat Vision raced well behind Jj Maxwell and Channelislandflyer (who won last week) last time. He's yet to miss the board in five starts this year, and is the one to beat here. #6 Down Town Sugar exits a fourth place finish in the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby. This is a class drop and the 71 speed figure he ran in that race makes him competitive. Be sure to play the Early Double!

Race 2: 4-8-2
This race is the start of the Early Pick 3. #4 Noisyboy has raced four times and has been competitive in all of his starts. A lot of the horses he has been racing against have been coming back to win; should be competitive. #8 Dees Black Dimples was outclassed in the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby last time, but gets into a more reasonable spot today. She has hit the board in six of 11 starts and has be considered here. #2 Wild Roze closed late and raced a very game second last time. Today she gets an extra 30 yards to work with. She's been on and off this year but right now she appears to be on.

Race 3: 8-3-5
#8 Cold Hearted Shark led most of the way last week but was run down by a much-the-best Code 36. Today he gets in a softer field and cuts back 20 yards. 8-1 would be a big overlay. #3 Eye Dash To Win has raced in a pair of NW2 races where he has not gotten easy competition; Zoomin On Ice was beaten a nose in the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby and Bold Six Love pops up in today's first race. The drop to Speed Index should help this gelding. #5 Eyescap was lucky to qualify for the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby, and finished an even sixth in the final. He hasn't had a very good 2014, but the drop in class should help him.

Race 4: 4-3-7
The $.20 Pick 4 kicks off in this race! #4 Hi N Dry has been competing in the optional claiming conditioned races and has been close against some tough ones such as Halee Hath No Fury, Bold Six Love and Channelislandflyer. This mare has nice gate speed and should appreciate the cutback to 250 yards and class drop to $3,000 claiming. #3 Extravagant Moves has had a very good 2014, sporting a record of 5-2-2-0. She's a speedy eight year old who's almost always close, and I think she's the one to beat. #7 Down Home Girl finished a neck behind Extravagant Moves last time. She's got a good record at 250 yards, 7-2-1-1, and while she may a slight cut below my top two choices she should run well today.

Race 5: 3-7-4
This race is the first of four trials for the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity. #3 Sharpe Dressed Man dueled for the win back on July 13 and has gotten some time off since then. On August 27 he posted a bullet 220 yard workout in 12.59 in Michigan. Possible upset. #7 Eyesa Speedy Simon ran a very good late-closing second two weeks ago. He's been inconsistent in his four race career, but if he runs his race he will like 400 yards. Whether or not he actually runs well remains to be seen. #4 George Is Dashing was beaten a nose on Labour Day and would have won with a few more yards. I expect another good run today.

Race 6: 1-9-5
This race is the second of four trials for the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity. #1 Im Aquicktrick was very impressive winner on debut and came back to be a close second in a trial for the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity. In the final she was expected to run well, but lost all chance after a rough beginning and couldn't find her stride. Today she should be very tough if she gets away cleanly. #9 Illbegoneflying looked good winning her debut. She was then entered in the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity trials, but was a steward's scratched. Today she should be a go and has be to considered here. #5 Eye Said Im Ned has improved in all three of his starts, grabbing the win two weeks ago. I don't think he's quite good enough to win, but I don't expect a bad effort.

Race 7: 6-9-10
This race is the third of four trials for the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity. #6 Arizona Bennie won his trial for the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity and came back to race a super game second behind Jumping Guitar in the final. If he breaks cleanly he should win this race. #9 Sassy N Ready is the obvious second choice and if anything goes wrong for Arizona Bennie, this filly should win. She was a dominant maiden winner on August 10th and came back to be a close second in an allowance race two weeks ago. She's a nice filly. #10 Arctic Special Fame has hit the board in four of his five starts. After the top two there really aren't any special looking horses here, so at 15-1 I don't mind this one to round things out.

Race 8: 4-7-8
This race is the fourth and final trial for the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity. #4 Remember The Music was a confident maiden winner on August 26th. A duplicate of that effort should give her win #2. #7 Arctic Special debuts here for trainer Erik Lehitnen with a bullet 250 yard gate workout in 13.97 over a sloppy track. This gelding is out of a mare who raced here in 2007, compiling a record of 5-1-1-2, with a third in a Futurity. An upset contender. #8 A Southern Jess finished third behind Cause I'm Dancing and Sassy N Ready two weeks ago. I don't see this gelding winning, but his last race was good and he could round things out here.

Race 9: 3-6-4
On top of the Futurity trials, we've also got a 350 yard open allowance race for three year olds and up here! #3 One Kool Wave is one of the nicest older horses in Ontario. He currently holds the track records for 110, 300 and 400 yards here at Ajax. He's got ridiculous gate speed, and should be tough here stretching out from 110 yards to a more conventional 350. #6 What Ta Wear has been very tough this year, her seasonal record is 6-2-2-2. In her last four starts her lowest speed figure is 93, with a good second in the Picov Maturity and a third in the Bank of America Challenge. She's very tough, definitely the one to beat. #4 Streakinshagginwagon has won five of six this year, most recently tackling a small group of older horses. This is his toughest race of the season and I'm not sure he's ready to win agaisnt these types. Remember that Late Pick 3 wagering is offered here

Race 10: 3-5-7
This race kicks off the Late Double. #3 Feature My News is a horse who some class coming to Ajax, running well in many Stakes races in Florida, New Mexico and Louisiana. He disappointed for his first few local starts, but showed his true class last time, finishing second in the Bank of America Challenge. If he duplicates that effort, he will dominate this race. #5 Mels Dash was a horse I expected to have a strong 2014, but thanks to some bad luck just hasn't really done anything this year. His last two races were respectable, he can be involved. #7 A Shore Thing has been good this year, but not as good as he has been. He did win a race down in Hialeah over the winter and has been close in all three of recent local starts. Definitely not one to completely toss.

Race 11: 9-4-1
#9 No More Sugar Tonite ran an awesome race two weeks ago, finishing third by a neck after a hard bump. She's been good this season and has a strong chance to win today. #4 Pure Sugar Rush is an on and off type. Her most recent start resulted in a close second for a $10,000 claiming price. I figure she can run well here without being in for the tag. #1 Lookin to Be Iconic has run well for $5,000 claiming in her last two starts. This is tougher, but it's still not a tough field. Her entrymate, #1A Random Audit will be very tough if she draws in off the also-eligible list.

Good luck to everyone playing today!

Monday, 22 September 2014

The Week of Non-Lasix

As many of my Twitter followers and people who know me in person should know, I'm not a fan of Lasix. I cannot stand Lasix. I'm not going to get into that, however.

      I decided out of curiosity to spend a week looking at every Thoroughbred race across Canada and the United States, looking at the number of horses who raced without Lasix in comparison to the number of horses who raced, and see how they ran.

     Before we start, here are some things to keep in mind. The only races used here were Thoroughbred flat races. No Quarter Horse, Arabian, Mule or Steeplechase races were included in these numbers. Los Alamitos' numbers for Saturday and Sunday include the Thoroughbred races that were contested during their nighttime Quarter Horse cards. Races from Lethbridge were not included because Lasix is not allowed there.

 Let's take a look.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Albuquerque
46 horses in total
1 horse off Lasix (2%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 1-0-0-0

Finger Lakes
66 horses in total
1 horse off Lasix (1.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 1-0-0-0

Mountaineer
67 horses in total
4 horses off Lasix (6%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 4-1-0-0 (25%, 25%)

Parx
70 horses in total.
0 horses off Lasix

Presque Isle
71 horses in total
3 horses off Lasix (4%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 3-0-1-1 (0%, 67%)

Suffolk
69 horses in total
2 horses off Lasix (3%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 2-0-0-0

Zia
64 horses in total
3 off Lasix (4.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 3-1-0-0 (33%, 33%)

Day's Total
453 horses in total
14 horses off Lasix (3%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 14-2-1-1 (14%, 28%)
57 races



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Albuquerque
50 horses in total
3 horses off Lasix (6%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 3-0-0-0

Fairmount
75 horses in total
6 horses off Lasix (8%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 6-1-1-0 (16.5%, 33%)

Finger Lakes
73 horses in total
3 horses off Lasix (4%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 3-0-0-0

Fort Erie
56 horses in total
1 horse off Lasix (1.8%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 1-0-0-0

Indiana
62 horses in total
1 horse off Lasix (1.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 1-1-0-0 (100%, 100%)

Mountaineer
55 horses in total
4 horses off Lasix (7%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 4-1-1-0 (25%, 50%)

Parx
73 horses in total
1 horse off Lasix (1%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 1-0-0-0

Presque Isle
64 horses in total
6 horses off Lasix (9%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 6-0-2-1 (0%, 50%)

Zia
53 horses in total
3 horses off Lasix (5.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 3-0-1-0 (0%, 33%)

Day's Total
561 horses in total
28 horses off Lasix (5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 28-3-5-1 (10.5%, 32%)
72 races


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Albuquerque
40 horses in total
2 horses off Lasix (5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 2-0-1-1 (0%, 100%)

Assiniboia
33 horses in total
0 horses off Lasix

Belmont
67 horses in total
3 horses off Lasix (4.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 3-1-0-0 (33%, 33%)

Charles Town
61 horses in total
2 horses off Lasix (3%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 2-0-1-0 (0%, 50%)

Delaware
44 horses in total
0 horses off Lasix

Indiana
67 horses in total
4 horses off Lasix (6%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 4-1-0-0 (25%, 25%)

Kentucky Downs
98 horses in total
3 horses off Lasix (3%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 3-0-1-0 (0%, 33%)

Laurel

69 horses in total
1 horse off Lasix (1.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses  - 1-0-0-0

Mountaineer
61 horses in total
5 horses off Lasix (8%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 5-0-0-1 (0%, 20%)

Northlands
63 horses in total
19 horses off Lasix (30%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 19-2-1-4 (10.5%, 37%)

Penn National
55 horses in total
2 horses off Lasix (3.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 2-0-0-0

Presque Isle
65 horses in total
3 horses off Lasix (4.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 3-0-0-1 (0%, 33%)

Remington
82 horses in total
2 horses on Lasix (2.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 2-0-0-0

Suffolk
70 horses in total
2 horses off Lasix (3%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 2-0-0-0

Thistledown
65 horses in total
2 horses off Lasix (3%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 2-0-1-0 (0%, 50%)

Woodbine
69 horses in total
7 horses off Lasix (10%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 7-0-1-0 (0%, 14%)

Day's Total
1,009 horses in total
57 horses off Lasix (5.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 57-4-6-7 (7%, 30%)
123 races


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Albuquerque
46 horses in total
1 horse off Lasix (2%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 1-1-0-0 (100%, 100%)

Arlington
71 horses in total
1 horse off Lasix (1.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 1-0-1-0 (0%, 100%)

Belmont
64 horses in total
1 horse off Lasix (1.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 1-1-0-0 (100%, 100%)

Belterra
59 horses in total
4 horses off Lasix (6.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 4-0-1-0 (0%, 25%)

Charles Town
67 horses in total
1 horse off Lasix (1.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 1-0-0-0

Delaware
53 horses in total
3 horses off Lasix (5.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 3-0-1-0 (0%, 33%)

Finger Lakes
66 horses in total
1 horse off Lasix (1.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 1-0-0-1 (0%, 100%)

Gulfstream
80 horses in total
4 horses off Lasix (5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 4-0-0-0

Indiana
61 horses in total
2 horses off Lasix (3%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 2-0-0-0

Laurel
69 horses in total
1 horse off Lasix (1.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 1-0-1-0 (0%, 100%)

Los Alamitos
67 horses in total
0 horses off Lasix

Louisiana Downs
75 horses in total
0 horses off Lasix

Meadowlands
45 horses in total
1 horse off Lasix
Record of off-lasix horses - 1-0-0-0

Penn National
60 horses in total
0 horses off Lasix

Presque Isle
62 horses in total
14 horses off Lasix (22.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 14-1-1-3 (7%, 35.5%)

Remington
82 horses in total
4 horses off Lasix (5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 4-1-0-1 (25%, 50%)

Day's Total
1,027 horses in total
38 horses off Lasix (3.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 38-4-5-5 (10.5%, 37%)
130 races


Friday, September 19, 2014

Albuquerque
39 horses in total
1 horse off Lasix (2.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 1-0-1-0 (0%, 100%)

Arlington
67 horses in total
0 horses off Lasix

Assiniboia
41 horses in total
2 horses off lasix (5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 2-0-0-0

Belmont
78 horses in total
8 horses off Lasix (10%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 8-1-1-1 (12.5%, 37.5%)

Belterra
65 horses in total
2 horses off Lasix (3%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 2-0-0-1 (0%, 50%)

Charles Town
78 horses in total
1 horse off Lasix (1%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 1-0-0-0

Churchill
70 horses in total
5 horses off Lasix (7%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 5-0-0-1 (0%, 20%)

Emerald
41 horses in total
0 horses off Lasix

Finger Lakes
57 horses in total
0 horses off Lasix

Gulfstream
78 horses in total
0 horses off Lasix

Hazel
63 horses in total
0 horses off Lasix

Indiana
64 horses in total
5 horses off Lasix (8%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 5-1-0-0 (20%. 20%)

Laurel
67 horses in total
2 horses off Lasix (3%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 2-0-0-0

Los Alamitos
64 horses in total
1 horse off Lasix (1.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 1-0-0-0

Louisiana
88 horses in total
2 horses off Lasix (2%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 2-0-0-0

Meadowlands
49 horses in total
2 horses off Lasix (4%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 2-0-1-0

Northlands
50 horses in total
5 horses off Lasix (10%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 5-1-1-0 (20%, 40%)

Penn National
54 horses in total
2 horses off Lasix (3.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 2-0-1-1 (0%, 100%)

Remington
84 horses in total
1 horse off Lasix (1%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 1-0-0-0

Retama

68 horses in total
10 horses off Lasix (14.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 10-0-0-2 (0%, 20%)

Stockton
47 horses in total
0 horses off Lasix

Thistledown
65 horses in total
4 horses off Lasix (6%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 4-0-0-0

Woodbine
87 horses in total
8 horses off Lasix (9%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 8-0-1-1 (0%, 25%)

Day's Totals
1,464 horses in total
60 horses off Lasix (4%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 60-3-6-6 (5%, 25%)
190 races


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Albuquerque
59 horses in total
5 horses off Lasix (8.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 5-0-0-0

Arlington
69 horses in total
5 horses off Lasix (7%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 5-0-0-1 (0%, 20%)

Assiniboia
44 horses in total
5 horses off Lasix (11%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 5-0-0-1 (0%. 20%)

Belmont
86 horses in total
11 horses off Lasix (12.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 11-2-1-1 (18%, 36%)

Belterra
54 horses in total
6 horses off Lasix (11%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 6-0-1-1 (0%, 33%)

Charles Town
95 horses in total
5 horses off Lasix (5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 5-0-0-0

Churchill
70 horses in total
2 horses off Lasix (3%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 2-1-0-0 (50%, 50%)

Delaware
60 horses in total
3 horses off Lasix (5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 3-0-1-0 (0%, 33%)

Emerald
47 horses in total
0 horses off Lasix

Fairmount
72 horses in total
3 horses off Lasix (4%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 3-0-0-0

Finger Lakes
51 horses in total
1 horse off Lasix (2%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 1-0-0-0

Gulfstream
103 horses in total
3 horses off Lasix (3%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 3-0-1-0 (0%, 33%)

Hastings
44 horses in total
3 horses off Lasix (7%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 3-0-0-0

Hazel
13 horses in total
0 horses off Lasix


Indiana
63 horses in total
1 horse off Lasix (1.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 1-0-0-0

Laurel
77 horses in total
0 horses off Lasix

Los Alamitos
72 horses in total
1 horse off Lasix (1.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 1-0-1-0 (0%, 100%)

Louisiana
101 horses in total
3 horses off Lasix (3%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 3-0-0-0

Monmouth
76 horses in total
1 horse off Lasix (1.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 1-1-0-0 (100%, 100%)

Mountaineer
72 horses in total
1 horse off Lasix (1.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 1-0-0-0

Northlands
72 horses in total
16 horses off Lasix (22%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 16-1-1-2 (6%, 25%)

Parx
115 horses in total
0 horses off Lasix

Penn National
65 horses in total
3 horses off Lasix (4.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 3-0-0-0

Remington
82 horses in total
1 horse off Lasix (1%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 1-0-0-0

Retama
77 horses in total
6 horses off Lasix (7.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 6-0-0-1 (0%, 16.5%)

Stockton
45 horses in total
1 horse off Lasix (2%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 1-0-0-0

Suffolk
65 horses in total
4 horses off Lasix (6%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 4-1-1-0 (25%, 50%)

Thistledown
64 horses in total
4 horses off Lasix (6%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 4-1-0-1 (25%, 50%)

Woodbine
92 horses in total
10 horses off Lasix (11%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 10-1-0-2 (10%, 30%)

Zia
28 horses in total
3 horses off Lasix (10.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 3-1-0-0 (33%, 33%)

Day's totals
2,033 horses in total
107 horses off Lasix (5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 107-9-7-10 (8.5%, 24%)
261 races




Sunday, September 21, 2014

Albuquerque
58 horses in total
4 horses off Lasix (7%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 4-1-0-0 (25%, 25%)

Arlington
66 horses in total
3 horses off Lasix (4.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 3-1-1-0 (33%, 66%)

Assiniboia
53 horses in total
6 horses off Lasix (11.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 6-1-2-0 (16.5%, 50%)

Belmont
77 horses in total
5 horses off Lasix (6.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 5-0-1-0 (0%, 20%)

Belterra
60 horses in total
2 horses off Lasix (3.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 2-0-0-0

Churchill
68 horses in total
3 horses off Lasix (4.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 3-0-0-0

Emerald
49 horses in total
0 horses off Lasix

Fort Erie
62 horses in total
6 horses off Lasix (9.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 6-0-2-0 (0%, 33%)

Gulfstream
96 horses in total
4 horses off Lasix (4%)
Record of off-lasix horses -4-0-1-0 (0%, 25%)

Hastings
59 horses in total
3 horses off Lasix (5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 3-1-0-0 (33%, 33%)

Los Alamitos
87 horses in total
0 horses off Lasix

Louisiana
84 horses in total
0 horses off Lasix

Monmouth
79 horses in total
1 horse off Lasix (1%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 1-0-0-0

Mountaineer
63 horses in total
7 horses off Lasix (11%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 7-1-0-2 (14%, 42%)

Presque Isle
57 horses in total
1 horse off Lasix (1.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 1-0-0-0

Stockton
43 horses in total
1 horse off Lasix (2.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 1-0-0-0

Thistledown
61 horses in total
2 horses off Lasix (3%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 2-0-0-0

Woodbine
82 horses in total
5 horses off Lasix (6%)
Record of off-lasix horses 5-0-2-1 (0%, 60%)

Zia
20 horses in total
3 horses off Lasix (15%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 3-0-1-1 (0%, 66%)

Day's totals
1,224 horses in total
56 horses off Lasix (4.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 56-5-10-4 (9%, 34%)
164 races



Week's totals
7,771 horses in total
360 horses off Lasix (4.5%)
Record of off-lasix horses - 360-30-40-34 (8.5%, 29%)
997 races


     The fact that only 4.5% of horse are not using Lasix is a pretty sad thing. There is no way that anywhere near 95.5% of Thoroughbreds are bleeders. In my opinion, the fact that this drug has become something trainers use because they can rather than because they need it says something about the quality of horsemanship we have in North America.

     Now let's look at some of the numbers. With 997 races, 2,991 horses hit the top three, or 38.5% of the horses who raced this week. Off-lasix horses hit the board in 29% of their starts, not faring as well, but not doing poorly either. 13% of the horses who raced this week won, compared to the 8.5% of off-lasix winners. The numbers are by no means surprising, but I think it's fair to say that if the off-lasix sample size was larger than 4.5%, we'd see much more even numbers. For example, at Northlands Park, where off-lasix horses made up 21.5% of the runners, we saw off-lasix horses hitting the board at 32.5% and winning at 10%.

     I think these numbers tell you what you need to know: even though they represent the vast minority of the Thoroughbred population, off-lasix are more than capable of racing as well as their on-lasix counterparts. Take the numbers how you will. I don't believe Lasix enhances performance and I certainly don't believe that 95.5% of Thoroughbreds are bleeders who need the drug.

    Have a great day everyone.




Saturday, 20 September 2014

Wigmore Hall Reminds Us that Racing Needs to Clean Itself Up

As I'm sure you have all read, dual Grade I winner Wigmore Hall tragically broke a leg at Doncaster Racecourse this past weekend and had to be euthanized.

     Breakdowns are a part of racing. They're an absolutely terrible thing that we as an industry need to make sure we work to prevent from happening as much as we can, but the unfortunate reality is that it isn't possible to completely eliminate them from the game. It happens. It's awful and heartbreaking, but it happens.

     The Wigmore Hall story is yet another one of these very sad stories, but it took a turn for the disgusting when the Daily Record released an article containing photos that revealed Wigmore Hall was put down via a bullet to the head. A screen was put up in front of the horse so the public could not see, and a silenced pistol was put to the horse's head. I don't care if it was a quick death, or how difficult it is for a horse with a broken leg to recover, you do not under any circumstance euthanize a horse with a shot to the face.

     Racing has had no shortage of bad publicity when it comes to the welfare of horses as of late, the Del Mar meet was nothing short of a disaster and the Steve Asmussen/Scott Blasi story that looked at 2011 Kentucky Derby runner-up Nehro took the industry by storm this past spring. Bad publicity is not something racing has an easy time avoiding.

    But the Wigmore Hall story, in my opinion, is considerably worse publicity-wise than the two aforementioned stories. Del Mar officials didn't make a conscious decision to have track surfaces that weren't  entirely safe and Steve Asmussen did fire Scott Blasi (but eventually re-hired him.) In the case of Wigmore Hall, a racetrack and/or industry employee made a conscious decision to put the horse down in the atrocious manner he did. This is a story that should have been a very sad story about a top level racehorse who suffered an awful fate, and has instead become a story both about a top level racehorse suffering an awful fate, and the fact that despite any progress the racing industry tries to make, there is always someone keeping the industry's foot in its ass.

      The racing industry needs to make sure that all racehorses are treated in the most humane way possible, and stop putting itself in these positions. We need to clean ourselves up. There is no excuse for what happened, and I hope that everyone who was involved in this incident hold their heads in shame.

     I don't have much more to say about this issue. We as an industry are responsible for our image. Morally, as a person who dearly loves these terrific animals, I am thoroughly disgusted. This never should have happened. It's as simple as that.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Ajax Downs Tuesday Selections

We're back at Ajax Downs with a fantastic nine-race card of Quarter Horse action! This week's card is highlighted by a pair of trials to the Alex Picov Memorial Championship, with Ontario's best older horses looking for their spot in the final over the classic 440 yard distance. For our on-track players, we've also got another handicapping contest. It's a $10 entry fee, with $300 going to the winner, $150 going to the second place finisher and $50 going to third, plus every player receives a free hat and t-shirt! Here are my program selections for today's races.

Race 1: 2-5-6
Welcome back to Ajax Downs for a great Tuesday afternoon card of racing. We kick the day off with a $3,000 conditioned claiming race. #2 Chiseled in Kisses takes a big drop in class here. He started off the season with a very good third, but failed to be a factor in his two next races. His speed figures are strong for this group. #5 A Royal Look had little to offer in his seasonal debut, but came back two weeks ago with a good fourth place finish. He's not the winning sort but he does run plenty of good efforts. #6 Kool N Kinda Special stumbled at the start on July 20th and raced evenly. Since then he has not raced well. The class drop and small field should help him improve today. The Early Double starts in this race.

Race 2: 2-3-6
Early Pick 3 wagering is available here, in this two year old maiden dash. #2 Fiesty Icon finished second to Jumping Guitar in an Alex Picov Memorial Futurity trial before finishing an unlucky ninth in the final. Any horse who's finished second to Jumping Guitar has to be given a lot of respect, that filly has been terrific since coming to Ajax. #3 Arctic Special Fame showed a lot of improvement last time out, finishing third by a neck, placed second by DQ. Another effort like that makes him a big factor here. #6 Chew On My Caboose debuts here for Bob Broadstock. She is out of a mare who won seven times, including her career debut at Manor Downs in Texas. Decent 250 yard gate workout in 13.78. A longshot to consider.

Race 3: 5-2-1
#5 Eyesa Zoomn is the horse to beat, sporting a record of 4-3-0-1 this meet, 20-11-4-1 at Ajax Downs, and speed figures to match it. There's really not much to say about this horse, he's just a tough gelding who knows how to win and does it a lot. #2 Jessies Leaving You actually defeated Eyesa Zoomn on July 20 and came back to win a 110 yard dash. She's looking for her fourth consecutive win, has to be respected. #1 Channelislandflyer won a $7,000 claiming NW3 two back easily, then ran a very good second in a $7,000 starter allowance behind a nice horse named Jj Maxwell. He loves to hit the board and has run well from the inside post in the past.

Race 4: 5-2-7
The fourth race is the first leg of the $.20 Pick 4, so be sure to get into that action! #5 Code 36 is a very interesting horse here.To qualify for this race you need an average speed index of 80 or less. This horse's average speed index is 74. However, in six of the ten races on his form, he's run speed indexes of 80 or higher. He won easily on August 17, the horse to beat. #2 Not too Much is a Stakes winning filly who competed in last week's Ontario Sires Stakes Derby. This is almost the biggest class drop she could make. Hopefully the easier company helps her perform better. #7 Yessir E Bob is two for three this year, most recently winning a $5,000 NW2 confidently. I like him to round things out.

Race 5: 10-8-2
This race is the first of two trials for the Alex Picov Memorial Championship. #10 One Famous Glass spend some time at Remington Park in Oklahoma back in the spring and did Ajax very proud, finishing a very good fourth in the Grade I Leo Stakes before winning an open allowance race. Very few Ontario horses can even compete at lower levels in Oklahoma, never mind win at the higher levels. His two most recent works were bullets; very dangerous here. #8 Mitford finished a disappointing, even fourth in the Bank of America Challenge on August 26th. On paper he should have been first or second in that race but did not fire at all. Very classy horse, usually loves to win, but you have to be concerned off of that last race. #2 A Plain Brown Rapper has been very on and off this year, most recently finishing last in a three horse race. He has big back class, last year he was beaten a nose in a Grade II at Prairie Meadows. The bottoms of this race are wide open, I don't see why this horse couldn't round things out.

Race 6: 9-2-5
This race is second and final trial for the Alex Picov Memorial Championship. #9 Country Boy Deluxe is a horse who loves it here at Ajax, he has a local record of 7-5-0-1. He has run good races at the 440 yard distance before, including a fourth in the 2012 Hialeah Derby and a second in the 2012 Fort Erie Derby. I like his chances to get his third consecutive win today. #2 First Down the Track was a dominant winner of an open allowance on August 3rd. She's a very talented mare, an earner of almost $150,000, and one who always has to be respected. #5 The Fdd Map is a classy gelding with almost $175,000 in the bank. He hasn't had a great 2014, only winning once in seven tries. Most recently he ran an okay fifth in the Bank of America Challenge. This is a bit of an easier spot, but he will need to improve some if he wants to win today.

Race 7: 2-8-5
#2 Caraways Zoomto Fame finished third against Ontario Sired Maiden company on Canada Day, then attempted the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby trials. The horses he faced there were ridiculously tougher, and he finished fifth of six. Today drops all the way down to Ontario Sired $5,000 maiden claiming where he probably belongs. #8 Dick Greyson was a well beaten second last out against open $10,000 claming maidens. He drops again today, draws outside and should run well. #5 Everything Fast loves to be close but doesn't want to be first, he's still a maiden after 19 starts. He did run a very close second last time; perhaps 20th time's the charm. Remember that the Late Pick 3 starts here.

Race 8: 3-2-7
Late Double wagering is available here. #3 This Chics Leaving is a five year old mare making her debut here for trainer Lee Baker, who won with another five-year old first in I Like Chics on July 8. She posted a decent 250 yard gate workout in 13.72, I'll take a shot with her at a price. #2 Lil Shaz exits a seventh place finish in the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby. Her third place finish in the trial for that race is quite respectable; the one to beat. #7 Executive Dash has been knocking on the door, his record is 8-0-3-3. In his two most recent efforts he's been close against open company. Today he returns to the Ontario Sired ranks. One to be considered.

Race 9: 4-9-7
We wrap the day up with an NW3 or optional $5,000 claiming race. #4 Probie won a optional $7,000 claimer two back over a nice horse named Cat Vision, then finished a good second behind a nice three year old called Bold Six Love. He loves 350 yards, 7-4-0-1 record at the distance, and has outrun a few of today's competitors in the past. #9 Jesswatchme has been third in all four of his local starts this year. He's a very consistent sort, the only races on his form where he's off the board were his two tries at Hialeah; respected. #7 Catch a Heart too a few starts this year to get the gears going, but won at third asking. He came back in a $7,000 claimer and didn't run as well. He's been given a month and half off now, and I'll give him a shot to round things out.

Good luck to everyone playing today!

Monday, 15 September 2014

Handle Records for Kentucky Downs, Woodbine Mile

Apparently people really wanted to bet big turf races this past weekend, as Kentucky Downs shattered their their single day handle record on Saturday and Woodbine followed on Sunday with a record handle for Woodbine Mile day.

      Kentucky Downs' previous handle record came last year on their closing Wednesday card, $3,371,476 over 13 races, an average of $259,344/race. Saturday's 10 race card handled $4,253,567, an average of $425,356/race. That's a 21% total increase and a per race increase of 39.1%. Kentucky Downs continues to offer one of North America's best racing products, with the lowest blended takeout, the largest fields, and growing handle. There are two days of racing left at the Franklin, KY track for the meet, Wednesday, September 17 and Wednesday, September 24.

     The next day, all eyes were on Woodbine for the Grade I, $1,000,000 Woodbine Mile. After Wise Dan had scared off the competition the previous two years, winning the 2012 and 2013 editions against short fields, this year's race was Dan-less and featured a full, competitive field of 11. This year's handle was $7,004,235, a 4.4% increase from last year and a record for Woodbine Mile day. Wagering on the big race itself totaled $1,606,093, up from $1,522,657 last year, a number which was buoyed by some show pool bridgejumping on Wise Dan. The exactor pool was up 33.3% and the triactor pool was up 15%.

     Have a good week, everybody!

   

Thursday, 11 September 2014

The Meadowlands Jackpot Hi-5

The Meadowlands is adding a low takeout (sort of) Jackpot Hi-5 come November. Here's how the wager works.


  1. 8% takeout
  2. $.20 minimum
  3. If there are multiple winning tickets, 75% of the pool is paid out and 25% is added to the carryover.
  4. On the first night of a new carryover, the pool is seeded with $10,000
  5. Mandatory payout day is August 8, 2015 (Hambletonian Day.) The carryover can go from one calender year to the next.
Now of course, this is a better bet than every other jackpot bet out there, but we all need to remember that unless you're the lucky guy who hits the jackpot, you're not playing into an 8% takeout pool.

      Lets do some math. Let's say the pool is $10,000, but there are multiple winners. First, we take 8% out, leaving us with $9,200. Then, 25% of that, $2,300, is added to the carryover, leaving the bettors with $6,900. Effective takeout = 31%. Not an easy bet to beat.

      However, like I said, this is still better than most jackpot wagers. The effective takeout of Gulfstream's Rainbow 6 is 44%. WEG's Jackpot Hi-5 is 57.5%. The Meadowlands hasn't made it easy, but they've softened the blow. While Jackpot bets may not be a smart wagering opportunity, there is a demand for them. The customers have spoken, and the Meadowlands has listened.

      Harness racing returns to the Meadowlands on Friday, November 14. They are the best bet in harness racing and I encourage everyone to check them out.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Ajax Downs Tuesday Selections

Welcome back to another day of racing at Ajax Downs! This week we have a feature in the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby! This race was scheduled to be last Tuesday's main event but was rescheduled after the card was cancelled due to weather. This week everything will be a go (knock on wood.) Here are my program selections for this week's races.

Race 1: 2-5-3
Welcome back to Ajax Downs for another fantastic Tuesday card! Race 1 is the start of the Early Double. #2 Extravagent Moves ran a good race at the 110 yard distance on Labour Day. She's got great gate speed and drops down for $3,000. The one to beat. #5 Fly Fast for Kayley broke very well last time at 300 yards, but was caught late. If he breaks like that today he could be tough at 220 yards. #3 Down Home Girl always races well at 250 yards. She's the highest earner of the field and should be involved somewhere.

Race 2: 5-2-1
Two year old maidens look for their first win here. #5 Marthas Jess Gold is an Oklahoma bred first timer who faces five Ontario and one Quebec bred here. Her works have not been flashy, but she comes from the top stable. Should be respected. #2 Eye Said Im Ned is the horse to beat here. After a decent debut in the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity trials, this gelding was beaten only a neck in the open maiden ranks.Very dangerous with a clean break. #1 Arctic Lake showed next to nothing in his first two starts, but raced gamely in his most recent effort, where he finished fifth but was placed fourth. The Early Pick 3 begins in this race.

Race 3: 7-2-5
#7 I Like Chics debuted back in June with a win, and has since run three respectable efforts. Speed figure wise he has yet to dip below 50. We'll see if today is the day for win number two. #2 I Am Perfect actually raced against I Like Chics on July 27th and finished narrowly in front to be fourth. He makes only his second start of the year and could be tough. #5 Cash in for Sugar had hit the board in three of his first five starts, but dropped in class on Canada Day and got up for the win. The layoff is a bit concerning and I don't think she's fast enough to win, but she can grab a share.

Race 4: 7-5-6
This race is the start of the $.20 Pick 4. #7 Shade of Grey drew the outside post in her debut and closed well to be beaten only a half a length. She came back two weeks later on August 17 cutting back to 250 yards and she had nothing to offer. I think that drawing outside again and getting some more distance back will be good for her. #5 Speedalicious had nothing in her debut, but showed improvement second time out finishing fifth, close for third. Third time out, perhaps more improvement is on it's way. #6 Dee Dees Winner finished fourth in the race where Speedalicious finished fifth. She has been on and off, running some respectable efforts and following them up with even runs. She's got the most experience, however, and perhaps that could be an edge.

Race 5: 1-7-6
#1 Lexia returns after a win in the AQHA Maiden Challenge over Mr Victory Six with a strong 86 speed figure. That figure makes her very tough here, and although she's a one time winner in a non-winners of three race, I think she's a big factor. #6 Ivory Injun did not race particularly well last time, but prior to that his 2014 form has been very respectable. He's qualified to the two Derbies that have already been run, and finished third in the Adequan Derby Challenge. Hopefully his last race was a one-off. #6 Mr Eazy has raced twice against Ivory Injun this year and has finished behind him in both of those starts. He's hit the board in four of six this year, but I think he's a cut below the top two choices.

Race 6: 7-1-4
#7 Cause Im Dancing has raced four times, three times against star filly Jumping Guitar, and winning her other start which was an Alex Picov Memorial Futurity trial. She's qualified to two Futurities and hasn't embarrassed herself in either; the class of the field. #1 Sassy N Ready broke like a rocket in her debut and drew off to win by 1 1/2 lengths with a respectable 49 speed figure. It will be fun to see what she can do in the future. Her entrymate, #1A Speed of Life was a super impressive winner on debut, then ran a good third in the John Deere Juvenile Challenge after a bad break. She was scheduled to run in the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity trials, but she flipped twice in the paddock. She's very nice, but watch how she behaves. #4 A Mere Outlaw broke her maiden nicely on debut with a 51 speed figure, then came back to be fourth in a trial for the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity. She didn't qualify, but she's got some ability and has be considered a factor here. Late Pick 3 wagering kicks off in this race.

Race 7: 9-6-2
This is our featured event today: the $73,850 Ontario Sires Stakes Derby! This race was scheduled to be run last week but was pushed back after the races were cancelled. We've got a very tough looking horse here in the form of #9 Reckless an Wild. Last year's Alex Picov Memorial Futurity winner took a few starts to get into gear this year, but he's run three very nice efforts in a row now, including an easy, confident win in his trial for this race. He will be very tough to beat here. #6 Zoomin On Ice is looking for his third consecutive victory. He won his trial for this race in 18.200, .17 slower than the favourite. Not a likely winner, but an exactor factor. #2 Arctic Fame has not won this year in six tries, but has qualified to two Derbies before this one and finished second to Reckless an Wild in their trial. A handy horse when he's on his game. Be sure to play the Late Double.

Race 8: 9-6-10
#9 No More Sugar Tonite finished a good third in her most recent start. She's only had one start in her five race career that wasn't a good effort. She's caught a very beatable field here; tough to beat. #6 Sweet Okey is still a maiden after ten starts, but has hit the board in three of those tries and has competitive speed figures. If she's ever going to win, today could be the day. #10 Corona Four Twenty finished last in her debut for $10,000 claiming, then ran a respectable fifth for the $5,000 tag, beaten only 3/4 of a length. Today he draws outside, and doesn't have to be great to finished third here.

Good luck to everyone playing today!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Fort Erie On-track Handle

Fort Erie has recently run their final Twilight Tuesday card of the year. Twilight Tuesdays, 4:15 post time, were an experiment started two or three years ago that have proven quite successful in growing handle.

     A couple of months ago I read somewhere, either on Twitter or a forum or something, an idea from someone. If I recall correctly it was @Cangamble. He suggested that since Fort Erie is a smaller town with lots of shift workers, the crowd and live handle on a twilight Tuesday would be about the same as a Sunday, so perhaps moving Sunday cards to a different weekday would be a smart move. I don't necessarily disagree, but I got curious about the on-track handle numbers. With the twilight Tuesdays finished, here are the results.

Tuesday
1-$92,126, 8 races
2-$39,792, 8 races
3-$46,775, 8 races
4-$35,883, 8 races
5-$40,299, 8 races
6-$58,291, 8 races
7-$40,109, 8 races
8-$66,549, 9 races
9-$55,742, 8 races
10-$263,006, 9 races*PrinceOfWales
11-$63,363, 9 races
12-$62,119, 9 races
13-$75,485, 8 races

Total-$939,539, 108 races - PoW included
Total-$676,533, 99 races - PoW not included

$72,272.23/day, $8,699.43/race - PoW included
$56,377.75/day, $6,833.66/race - PoW not included


Sunday
1-$70,401, 8 races
2-$45,698, 8 races
3-$105,075, 8 races
4-$65,564, 8 races
5-$62,106, 8 races
6-$77,728, 9 races
7-$41,687, 8 races
8-$55,284, 8 races
9-$55,088, 8 races
10-$68,559, 9 races
11-$60,469, 8 races
12-$75,220, 10 races
13-$60,058, 9 races
14-$89,804, 9 races

Total-$932,741, 118 races

$66,624.35/day, $7,904.58/race


    When we take the Prince of Wales out of the Tuesday handle, as that is an event day that draws the largest crowd of the year by far, we see that Sunday cards are driving an average of $1,070.92 per race. With 118 races, at a theoretical 20% rake, that's an extra $25,273.71 in revenue.

     The questions that must be asked is if Sunday racing was replaced with another weekday, a) would off-track handle necessarily be similar to that of a Tuesday, and b) how much would on-track revenue decrease? Twilight Tuesdays usually handle something in the $600,000-$850,000 range, while Sundays do about $300,000-$500,000. If another weekday could consistently match a Tuesday, you would have to think switching away from Sunday would be worthwhile. However, if the second weekday did not perform as well, say an average of $500,000, the switch may not be smart.

    In my opinion this is a tough puzzle to figure out. I'm curious to see if Fort Erie tries something different with their schedule in years to come.

    Have a good day.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Ajax Downs Tuesday Selections

After a great Labour Day card featuring Jumping Guitar extending her win streak to four in the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity, and then a fantastic win from Jm Miracle in the Grade I All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs, we're back with another card of Quarter Horse racing from Ajax Downs! On track fans, we have a promotion for you: the first 20 people to wager on Race 7 win a prize. If you're playing off track from HPI, if you wager $50 or more on today's card you get entered in a draw to win $500. Our feature today is the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby. Here are my program selections.

Race 1: 6-2-1
#6 Three Points N Gone has run twice this year and hit the board in both attempts. Most recently, he was bumped while facing tougher company. With a clean trip he could throw a winning effort here. #2 Oh Gary is a horse who can win when he faces the right bunch, but is usually in over his head. He exits a fifth place finish in the Ontario Sires Stakes Maturity. This is the kind of field he could beat. #1 Fly Fast for Kayley makes his 2014 debut after ending 2013 on a winning note over a sloppy track. He may need a race coming off of the layoff. Early Double wagering is available here.

Race 2: 4-6-1
This race kicks off the Early Pick 3. #4 The Diamond Cartel drops in for the $5,000 claiming tag after being beaten a neck in an Ontario Sired maiden event. A horse improving in form and dropping in class should be dangerous. #6 On the Edge of Glory debuts for Janet Grice with a decent 250 yard gate workout in 13.94. This gelding is out of Stakes winning dam Electrolyte Fish, who won her career debut. A possible threat from the outside post. #1 Another Shark has the looks of a professional maiden, hitting the board in six of eleven starts but just can't win. To leave him off of your exotic tickets would not be a sharp move.

Race 3: 4-2-5
#4 Streakinlilsis takes a class drop into $10,000 maiden claiming after two last place finishes, albeit against much tougher company. She shows a nice workout returning off of a bit of a layoff, and she should be a factor against the easier foes. #2 Dick Greyson has run a pair of respectable efforts against Ontario Sired maidens. He could be able to put it all together dropping in for the tag. #5 Aforgone Conclusion has not raced since January at Hialeah. He's run for the tag before and has not been successful. However, this is not a tough field, likely the easiest spot of his career. The layoff is concerning.

Race 4: 7-1-2
An optional $5,000 claiming field of nine will start the $.20 Pick 4 today. #7 Sign It Down has had a very good 2014, with a season's record of 5-1-2-1. Most recently she finished second behind the very nice Mr. Victory Six on August 17th. She is two for four at the 330 yard distance, big factor. #1 Halee Hath No Fury is undefeated in two starts this year, most recently winning a NW2 over next-out winner Holey Foose. Never worse than fourth in her six race career, she cannot be discounted. #2 Bold Six Love exits a win in another optional $5,000 claiming race at 400 yards. If this race was 400 yards he would be my choice; he's the classiest horse in the field, but I think he needs more than 330 to run his best race.

Race 5: 1-4-6
#1 Zoom Zoom is definitely the horse to beat here; he would be my single in the Pick 4. He won a maiden race last time by 3/4 of a length, but was disqualified to sixth. Today he gets to face maidens again, a task he's proven to be very capable of. #4 Down On Cash debuted on July 27th and ran a respectable third. They brought her back in the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity trials, a significantly tougher race, and she finished seventh. She fits much better here. #6 Redwing Mill has been okay in both of his races so far. There's not much to say about him, but okay is enough to be third here.

Race 6: 2-1-4
#2 Jj Maxwell won at this $7,000 starter allowance condition last time. This is a very competitive field, but I'm going to give him the nod to double up. 9-2 on the Renee Wilson/Daniel Rose combo is not a price you get very often. #1 Jessies Leaving You is looking for her fourth consecutive win. She certainly fits at this level. The one to beat, but by no means a lock. #4 Ourfirstorphan has only missed the board once in six tries this year. His last three races have been good efforts, a second to Jessies Leaving You, a second to the super tough Eyesa Zoomn and a win in a three horse race. He's a consistent hard knocker, but I don't know if he's as fast as the top two choices. Late Pick 3 wagering begins here.

Race 7: 9-6-2
This is our featured event today: the $73,850 Ontario Sires Stakes Derby! We've got a very tough looking horse here in the form of #9 Reckless an Wild. Last year's Alex Picov Memorial Futurity winner took a few starts to get into gear this year, but he's run three very nice efforts in a row now, including an easy, confident win in his trial for this race. He will be very tough to beat here. #6 Zoomin On Ice is looking for his third consecutive victory. He won his trial for this race in 18.200, .17 slower than the favourite. Not a likely winner, but an exactor factor. #2 Arctic Fame has not won this year in six tries, but has qualified to two Derbies before this one and finished second to Reckless an Wild in their trial. A handy horse when he's on his game. Be sure to play the Late Double.

Race 8: 4-8-7
#4 No More Sugar Tonite finished third in a good maiden field on July 6th. Prior to that she ran a respectable fourth in an open maiden field. This bunch is likely easier, and her 220 yard breeze in 12.32 looks good to me. #8 Caraways Zoomto Fame is always close when competing in the maiden ranks. He most recently tried a Derby trial where was not effective. Today he returns to maiden company and looks good for another close finish, or possibly a win. #7 Sweet Okey has been third in her last two efforts. She was off form in June and July, but has found her better races now. We'll see if she can round things out.

Good luck to everyone playing today! Thank you for joining us at Ajax Downs!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Labour Day Handle at Canadian Tracks

With Labour Day comes a day of holiday racing across Canada and the States. Here are the handle results at each Canadian Thoroughbred track for the holiday.

Assiniboia Downs
2014
8 races - $177,109
$22,138/race
5.75 average field size

2013
8 races - $190,272
$23,784/race
6.375 average field size

Total handle - -7%
Per race handle - -7%
Average field size - -10%

Hastings Racecourse
2014
8 races - $633,025
$79,128/race
6.875 average field size

2013
8 races - $399,955
$49,994/race
5.375 average field size

Total handle - +36.8%
Per race handle - +36.8%
Average field size - +21.8%

Northlands Park
2014
8 races - $226,459
$28,307/race
7.25 average field size

2013
10 races - $363,732
$36,373/race
8.1 average field size

Total handle - -37.8%
Per race handle - -22.2%
Average field size - -10.5%

Woodbine Racetrack
2014
9 races - $2,590,731
$287,859/race
7.33 average field size

2013
10 races - $3,616,209
$361,621/race
8.1 average field size

Total handle - -28.4%
Per race handle - -20.5%
Average field size - -9.5%

This all illustrates something we all know well: bigger fields get more handle. Congrats to Hastings for a great Labour Day. I hope everyone enjoyed their day off.

All American Futurity + Ajax Downs Labour Day Selections

It's finally time for the biggest Quarter Horse race of the year! The Grade I $2,600,000 All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs is this year's richest Quarter Horse race, and features the best juveniles covering the classic 440 yard distance. Let's take a look.

The All American Futurity
This race should have Kiss My Hocks, who should win. But due to wind speed and the two day trial system, Kiss My Hocks didn't qualify and chose to skip today's All American Juvenile. Nevertheless, even with Kiss My Hocks out, there is one horse in here who I love and I think will be very tough to beat. #3 Jm Miracle has won trials to all three Triple Crown races and has qualified to all of them. He finished a good second to Kiss My Hocks in the Ruidoso, but was pinched back at the break in the Rainbow and finished eight. In his All American trial, he broke very well and held safely by 3/4 of a length, earning a 100 speed figure, the highest of the first day of trials. To his inside is his main competition, #2 Bodacious Eagle. He has also won trials for and qualified to all of the Triple Crown races. In the Ruidoso he was third, a length behind Jm Miracle, and in the Rainbow he was fourth beaten only a 1/2 a length, but he was yielding late. He seems to not being able to sustain his run when the competition gets tougher. His trial win was very nice, rallying late to get up by a nose. 102 was his speed figure, the highest of the second day and all the trials overall. He's a nice horse, but I think he's a step behind Jm Miracle. The actual morning line favourite here is neither of these horse. Instead, #10 Im a Fancy Pyc. I've heard that this horse is scratching but I don't know for sure. His claim to fame is winning this year's Remington Park Oklahoma Bred Futurity. He also qualified to the Grade I Heritage Place where he got bumped at the break and finished seventh, placed sixth. He was a very impressive trial winner, but was vanned off after the race. If he's running, I think he should be faded. If he's scratched, that's that. There are a few nice horses to put underneath. #6 Sam Crow ran second in the Ruidoso Juvenile, then won a Rainbow Futurity trial by a length after stumbling at the break. He won his All American trial by 2 1/4 lengths with a 96 speed figure, and he's 15-1 on the morning. He can be involved for a share. 5-1 shot #1 Apollitical Blood was an impressive trial winner, 2 1/2 lengths, 94 speed figure, who qualified for and finished fifth in the Grade I Ed Burke Million Futurity. Two horses I'm not a fan of are #8 Exquisite Stride and #9 Thunderball B. They qualified only because the wind turned in their favour, but they don't have the class or probably the talent. #5 Mad About the Moon is a horse I should mention, he was a nose behind Bodacious Eagle in their trial, got a 101 speed figure with that, fought very gamely and lost the bob. 20-1 on him has to make him worth involving. I love #3 Jm Miracle, I think he's the winner.
My plays for the All American Futurity:
WIN - #3
TRIACTOR - 3/2,5,6/1,2,4,5,6 $12 for a $1 base.


We've also got a great card of racing at Ajax Downs for the holiday! Our feature is our richest race of the year, the $131,450 Alex Picov Memorial Futurity! Ontario's best two year olds go 400 yards for their share of the big purse. Here are my program selections.

Race 1: 4-5-1
Happy Labour Day! We have a great holiday card here at Ajax Downs today, so thank you for joining us! A field of six maiden two year olds start the day. #4 Mountain Cartel is a debut runner for trainer Jason Pascoe. He is very well bred, by Grade 1 winning sire Carters Cartel and out of local Stakes winning dam Rona Mountain. On August 13th he worked 250 yards from the gate in 13.63. Looks good to me. #5 Favorite Leader is a Texas bred who debuted back on July 20th for leading trainer Renee Wilson, but had little to offer. She has had a bit of time off now, and improvement could be in store. #1 Ttt Kellys Second debuted in a trial for the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity, but showed no run at all. That race was won by Stakes winner Jumping Guitar. This is much easier company, but improvement is necessary if this horse wants to win. Be sure to play the Daily Double in this race!

Race 2: 2-5-1
The Early Pick 3 kicks off here. #2 Make Out Artist made his season debut on August 3rd and caught a field that included What Ta Wear, a very tough mare. With some second off the shelf improvement, this is the horse to beat. #5 Charted By Dm exits a third place finish in the Ontario Sires Stakes Maturity on August 19th. He really ran a big race there. I'm not sure cutting back to 350 yards is the best move for him, however. #1 Mels Dash made a big run to be third last week after stumbling at the start. That race was won by All Wacked Out, a multiple Stakes winning earner of over $215,000. With a clean break this gelding could be a factor.

Race 3: 3-5-8
#3 Kool N Kinda Special has raced four times this year and has been facing some very tough horses such as Piranhaaa and Eyesa Zoomn. He drops in class here to a level that is certainly within his reach. #5 Cole Miner cruised in a $10,000 claimer last time, beating A Shore Thing and Cat Vision. That was a tougher spot and his speed figure last time was strong; the one to beat. #8 Down Home Girl had the lead most of the way in a 330 yard $5,000 starter last time. Today she cuts back to 300 which should benefit her, but faces tougher foes. She can round it out.

Race 4: 6-3-1
Race 4 is the start of the $.20 Pick 4! #6 Six Shootin Tex competed twice last year in races that created several next out winners. He returns with some decent workouts, most recently 250 yards from the gate in 13.88 on August 6th. I'll give him a shot off the layoff. #3 Arising Hero had failed to hit the board in her first seven starts, but turned things around and ran second on August 17th. Today she looks to improve more by dropping in for $5,000 claiming, and should be considered a big factor. #1 Lookin to Be Iconic showed little in her first two starts but dropped in for the tag on August 10th and ran a much improved second. She certainly fits in with this bunch.

Race 5: 2-6-8
This race is an open allowance for older Ontario Sired horses going 250 yards. #2 Cruwysn the Arctic is a four time winner in 2014 from six starts. He exits a runner up finish in the Ontario Sires Stakes Maturity, where he broke quickly but was no match for the always tough Jesskissmytexas. The completely on fire Aron Hunt takes over riding duties today. #6 Not Looking to Shake loves 250 yards, sporting a record of 5-4-0-1 at the distance. His wicked gate speed always makes him a factor in these shorter races. #8 Pegasos One Underpar finished fourth in the Ontario Sires Stakes Maturity last time. His speed figures this season got lower once he hit 400 yards, so I'm thinking the cutback will be to his benefit.

Race 6: 2-5-1
Speaking of shorter distances, here's a 110 yard 'Gridiron Gallop!" #2 Tough Twist ran a very good second at the 110 yard distance last time, just getting nipped at the wire. A duplicate of that effort should be good enough to win today. #5 Freds Angel was not running well early in the season, but turned things around on August 4th to win at a big price. Despite being winless at 110 yards, she has hit the board in half of her ten attempts. #1 Extravagant Moves exits a win on July 27th going 250 yards. Her two tries at 110 yards have both been respectable, but in my opinion she's not worth playing at 8-5. Late Pick 3 wagering is available here.

Race 7: 8-5-4
This is our feature race of the day, the $131,450 Alex Picov Memorial Futurity. Ontario's best two year olds will line up for the 400 yard dash. #8 Waving Sandy Home finished sixth in the John Deere Juvenile Challenge, but she got a rough trip and lost all momentum; completely forgivable. She came back in her trial for this race,broke alertly and won by an open length easily. I'm going with her for a mild upset. #5 Jumping Guitar is three for three since coming to Ajax, including a Stakes win in the John Deere Juvenile Challenge. She's very fast and has a powerful run in her. A very big threat, the likely favourite. #4 Arizona Bennie was the fastest qualifier due to a tailwind that wasn't there for Jumping Guitar. He looked good in his trial win. It's interesting to note that American rider Shanley Jackson, who won last week's Bank of America Challenge Championship under Joltin Jess, returns to ride this gelding. Certainly a contender. Be sure to play the Late Double, full fields of 10 in both ends!

Race 8: 5-10-2
Ontario Sired maiden two year olds are our finale on this Labour Day card. #5 Itsallaboutramblin debuted on August 10th, wasn't super quick from the break and ended up trailing. I think he may break better today now that he's had a start. This is Shanley Jackson's only other mount on the card, so he'll be an interesting one to watch for sure. #10 Not Stepping Down debuts for Kim Ito off of a bullet workout on August 21st, 250 yards from the gate in 13.56. If he shows that kind of speed today he should be a factor. #2 Truly I Can Fly would not behave in his first trio of attempts, bucking and rearing, but he tried actually racing last time and was only beaten a neck at today's distance. He's the likely post time favourite in my opinion. Competitive race.

Good luck to everyone playing today!