Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A story only a horseplayer could love...

So there I was stuck in a late November Portland downpour. Smack dab in the center of downtown P-town at about 1:45 delivering some RFP for "The Man."

When I emerged from my delivery, I realized I was one short block away from the OTB I usually visit.

"Hey," I thought, "I'm so close, I know it's Tuesday, it is probably closed, but I'll just walk by and see what's up."

When I get there, the place is basically deserted except for the degenerates of the degenerate crowd-all three of them. The only races on the screen were Turf Paradise and Beulah. TP (which I love) had what looked like a competitive race with double digit runners and no clear favorite. The only problem was that post was about 12 minutes away. Too long for my visit.

But wait...BAM!! Good ole' Beulah park was 0 MTP so I pulled up a chair and shook off the excess rain drops.

Looking at the tote board, I notice the 6 (turns out its Halo de Oro) is 1-5. The 9 (turns out its Slew City Max) goes off at 5-1.

The bell sounds (I guess it was a bell, there was no sound in the joint. And as a sidebar, for some reason all of the tote-machines were shut-off for the day, that's how slow it was!)

Anyway, the 6 jumps out to a first-quarter lead in like 22.4 and is starting to look huge as they get to the turn....as they get around the turn, the 6 starts to completely freak out. I could see all that well, but it looked like the jockey was completely pulling the horse up due to injury or maybe equipment malfunction. The 6 (who actually went off at .20-1) is just being yanked backwards ad to the outside as 4 other horses-led by second favorite Slew City Max-continue to pass on by.

I remarked out loud "Jeez, folks are gonna be pissed. 1-5 and he breaks down/gets pulled up."

Well wouldn't you know, just as the 9 starts to turn for home looking like an extremely lucky winner, the 6 comes roaring back. Down the stretch, about a dozen paths out from the rail, the 6 absolutely runs away with the race winning by what Equibase says was 2 1/4, but really looked (and felt) like more.

The point of my story is this...if there is some system available to you all out there....go out and watch the 9th race from Beulah Park. You will be amazed and I think thoroughly entertained. You can also let me know if you see anything that gives more indication than just "bolted approaching stretch"-as per Equibase.

I think you will find this $5K claiming race to be pretty enjoyable.

  • 9th Race Chart from Beulah Park 11/29/05
  • Tuesday, November 22, 2005

    I'm back....

    Sorry for the delays in between posts. There IS nothing more annoying than visiting a friendly site, only to find out the lazy bastard(s) hasn't taken the time to update it in, oh, about 6 months!!

    O.k., so I exaggerate a little bit, but the fact remains-I am sorry to the loyal 3 readers who may have been missing my attempts at entertainment.

    What better way to jump back into the blogging mix, then to combine my two favorite passions-all revolving around my favorite city.

    I've pasted in a little tease from the article(see below).

    This is from one of my favorite websites of all-time: Jambase (www.jambase.com-link below)

    ...."Besides drinking, Vlautin's only other major vice is horse racing, a fact reflected in Post To Wire's title, which is a track expression referring to a horse that leads from start to finish.

    Vlautin observes, 'I just started betting horses when my friends would go out gambling because it takes a lot longer to lose your money. Maybe I am kind of a gambler (laughs). I go every weekend to a local track in Portland called Portland Meadows. I love it. When we're not touring, I spend the summer following a bush league country fair circuit in Oregon. I just go camping and watch all the races. I'm a pretty pathetic handicapper, but I have a good friend who's a professional handicapper and he's also an agent for jockeys. I wrote an instrumental on Winnemucca called 'Twyla,' and that's for a jockey named Twyla Beckner. She and I have become friends over the years. I get to hang out and see the harder side of horse racing. It's an interesting sport, although brutal for both jockeys and horses. I have a love-hate relationship with it, but I do go out every weekend' (laughs)...."

    Who is (Willy) Vlautin? Well if you really care, then read the entire article here.
  • Meet Richmond Fontaine


  • If you are too lazy, I'll just say this:

    It's hard to find an interesting music article with worldwide appeal, whose main subjects are from my adopted hometown, and the subjects somehow manage to mention horse racing AND Portland Meadows.

    This my friends....made my day.

    Friday, November 04, 2005

    High-dee Hoe, Neighbor...

    Well, it’s good to finally get some time to post an entry.

    The last time you all heard from me, I was posting my now infamous BC wagers. Needless to say, I had one exacta (Juvenile) that minimized my overall losses by about 33%. I won’t revisit the entire day, as my compadres in blogging and horse journalism have aptly covered all of the highs and lows of racings biggest and brightest day.

    Sticking with the horse scene, (this IS a horse blog, don’t forget) I am extremely happy to welcome Brad from the city by the bay who is our most recent “joinee” of the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance.”

    Check out “Tote Board Brad’s” blog here:
  • Tote Board Brad

  • If you’ll notice, Brad is an owner. And if you’ll take even a closer look, Brad posted on Tuesday about “his” horse running at Golden Gate on Wednesday in a $17,000 claiming race. Upon further review (hindsight really) you can see that Brad’s horse took the 8th race at GG yesterday and paid a VERY handsome price. Congrats and welcome Brad!
    EQUIBASE:
  • Tote Board Brad's a WINNER!

  • Currently, I am riding the ol’ Amtrak from Seattle to Portland. Known as the Cascade line, this three hour journey usually takes place around the first of the month, every month.

    I am actually so happy to finally have some free time to work on this blog. It is sometimes demoralizing how little time I get to spend doing the things I love.

    Maintaining this blog has (as anyone and everyone who maintains/has maintained a blog knows) been-and continues to be- a labor of love.

    Recently though, I have struggled to devote as much time as I would like to contributing to both the blog community at large, and more importantly the world of horse racing.

    Rest assured, although I may not be posting as regularly as my co-horts, I still actively pursue and peruse the various blogs and news stories pertinent to the sport/life I love.

    Once again, I applaud my fellow Bloggers in their persistence, creativity, and sticktoitiveness.

    There are so many issues facing the sport of kings these days (as is WELL documented via the TBA and other horse racing media outlets). The sport we all love is facing so many challenges; both locally AND regionally; financially and politically.

    Thoughts and ideas bouncing around my brain very much like the old science videos showing neutrons or atoms careening off of each other when heating up. (Since I never could follow anything going on in any of my science OR math classes, please bare with me on the previous analogy! Hopefully you got the image I was trying to portray).

    From NY (NYRA) to San Francisco (Bay Meadows), and north to my adopted hometown of Portland (Portland Meadows) trouble is a foot.

    Alan, over at Left at the Gate does an amazing job of detailing the daily travails of the hapless NYRA. Click below to read some of his entries regarding the current debacle that is the NYRA.
  • NYRA Preparing for Bankruptcy

  • For a glimpse into the troubles surrounding the current meet at Porltand Meadows, and racing in the state of Oregon in general, I highly suggest you read this:
    (please note exactly WHO started the thread)
  • A Trainer Stars an Interesting Topic Thread

  • Cheers to Jolene and Michael for maintaining such a vital piece of the Oregon racing communities heart and soul.

    Saturday, October 29, 2005

    Finally, an update...

    Jeez!! It feels like it's been years since I lasted posted. Sorry about the lack of posts over the past few weeks.

    Finally, though, today I break the streak of 12 straight days without any entries on avghorseplayer.

    All year long, I pretty much wait for this day to come; and now here it is. I am so amped/pumped/excited to see how this all plays out.

    I think the beauty of the BC day is how much enthusiasm and optimism everyone has going. Possibilites ar eendless as $96 horses seem as likely to come home as odds on favorites.

    With that, I will present my selections for the eight races, beginning with the Juvenile Fillies.

    Good Luck..and have a GREAT DAY!!

    JF:
    Win:Orginal Spin
    Place:Adieu
    Show:Ex Caelis
    Juvenile:
    Win:Private Vow
    Place:Stevie Wonderboy
    Show:First Samurai
    F&M Turf:
    Win:Riskaverse
    Place:Megahertz
    Show:Sundrop
    Sprint:
    Win:Lost in the Fog
    Place:Wildcat Heir
    Show:Silver Train
    Mile:
    Win:Artie Schiller
    Place:Limehouse
    Show:Gorella
    Distaff:
    Win:Society Selection
    Place:Happy Ticket
    Show:In the Gold
    Turf:
    Win:Fourty Niners Son
    Place:Better Talk Now
    Show:English Channel
    Classic:
    Win:Super Frolic
    Place:Starcraft
    Show:Flower Alley

    Tuesday, October 18, 2005

    My Breeders Cup Update-Trouble on the Horizon?

    Yes, Powerscourt is out. This I enjoy b/c it makes the turf a bit more interesting betting race. Powerscourt was sure to gobble up a boat load of money. Look for the winner here to pay B-I-G!!!

    More importantly though...

    Blogs have taken a beating in the larger media lately and a lot of it is certainly warranted. Often times blogs fall into the lull of just regurgitating big media stories. Providing links-not actual news stories- is a major weakness in the blogosphere. I for one, with Avg Horseplayer oft times fall into this trap.

    It is similar to a Monday Morning Quarterback: we basically pour over other journalists articles and simply criticize their work (or lack thereof) or just make some commentary over already reported news.

    With that being said, I want to bring up something that I don’t believe has been mentioned anywhere in the news (at least in regards to the world of horse racing).

    What are the prospects of Breeders'Cup day being run under wet, rainy, even SLOPPY conditions? Hurricane Wilma is currently gaining power in the Southern Bahamas. Check out the storm track here:
  • Wilma's Projected Path

  • What is this telling us? Basically the models-which certainly aren’t 100%- say the hurricane should gain strength over the warm waters of the southern gulf, and be east of Florida by Sun. Oct. 23rd-6 days before the BC in NY.

    If you’ve lived on the eastern seaboard for an extended period of time, you know how these storms work. One way or another, Wilma will be making her way N x NE and will be sure to bring moisture to the NYC area.

    When and exactly how much are always the big questions. How soft will the turf get for the grass races? In a worst case scenario-heavy Fri/Sat rains- what will the BC/NTRA/NYRA do? Is this just the full cycle of negative karma that has been so widely reported by Alan here:
  • Scroll Down for NYRA's Woes

  • Let’s go DRF, Bloodhorse, Thoroughbred Times, NY Daily News, NY Post…..let’s start asking some questions. I think this could be a very interesting development to keep an eye on. Sometime between Sunday Oct. 23rd and Sunday Oct. 30th, rains will hit the greater metropolitan area around NYC. When and exactly how much are all speculation but certinaly worthy of investigation.

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out. If I’ve missed an article mentioning this, please let me know ASAP. If anyone comes across some of these issues being raised by the media to upper management associated with the BC, I would also love to know.

    Mark it down though folks….11 days before the 2005 Breeders' Cup, a blogger has brought up the potential for a major story that could have worldwide ramifications.

    Friday, October 14, 2005

    Feels like a good Friday...

    Just an absolute flurry of activity going on in the world of thoroughbred blogging…

    I think I’ll start by bringing up a new, friendly rivalry with a “new” blogger known as JB, you can find JB’s (Jon Breslin) thoroughbred blog here:
  • Jon Breslin's T-bred Blog

  • Jon has taken several issues with the newly created Thoroughbred Bloggers Association:
  • T-Bred Bloggers Band Together..Makes too much sense

  • ....and most notably, TBA “member” Patrick, who created the HOY system you find on the pages of the seven TBA participants. If you have the time, check out both JB and Patrick’s blogs as they pose interesting, compelling, well-thought out complaints and possible solutions to the ills that plague thoroughbred racing today.

    I will make one quick declaration:

    JB, as you know, we would love to have you as a TBA participant. Please don’t look at the TBA as dictatorial, militaristic fringe group. We have all banded together for the love of our sport, hoping to see it grow and expand. With the only parameters for participating being posting the HOY standings each week, and making a $50 donation at the end of the year to the winning owners charity of choice, I think you might be able to put some of your pride and distaste for the standings aside, and join the group. If you have such a problem with the way we conduct our rankings system, join us and help be a part of the solution. Let us know constructively and proactively what we can do to perfect it…..that is what we have all joined together to try and accomplish. Strength in numbers my friend, no one person runs or controls the TBA, we are a collective group sharing and feeding off of one another experiences, expertise, and vision.

    In other horse racing news of note, a friend of mine is a writer for The Lowell Sun, and he was kind enough to pass along an advanced copy of his Friday column (review) of a horse racing novel which hasn’t been posted on-line yet. Check back here or the Lowell Sun for his review of the book, William Murray's "Dead Heat". I know Tracy at Turf Luck has been clamoring for horse racing literature, so here’s another option: (search for Paul Daley)
  • Lowell Sun Sports

  • I will reserve any judgment on the new NTRA ads featuring the slogan, “Who Do You Like Today” until I can actually see one or two of them. Initially though, my thoughts are that the focus is all wrong. Again, as passionate as I feel about the marketing and advertising strategies of the NTRA and the thoroughbred world (tracks included) I will hold off on any judgments until I see the actual ads on TV.

    Thanks to equidaily.com for posting a link to a review of the new Breeders’ Cup game for PS2 and X-Box. The review is linked below, and as usual, another good idea is completely flushed down the toilet by poor strategies and execution……just imagine if you could expose a whole generation of gamers to fall in love with horse racing via X-box, or over the computer. It’s really a shame, b/c after a while your continued attempts to penetrate the marketplace just get burned up. It is actually “The Boy that Cried Wolf” syndrome of the marketing world. Read the depressing, but not surprising review here:
  • BC Video Game Review

  • Exactly two weeks from RIGHT NOW, I (and I’m sure many others) will be pouring over the greatest racing form of the year in preparation for the greatest day in horse racing!!

    Wednesday, October 12, 2005

    TBA Day 1a (POE)

    Ok, so our mass release (please see previous post) did not garner as much initial media attention as we all had hoped. We (TBA) thought that sending out a release a solid week before the week before the Breeders’ Cup, we might grab a few writers’ attention.

    Although I am schooling myself on the virtues of patience (it’s a work in progress) I am extremely anxious, and now a little disappointed.

    All is not lost yet though friends. Being the consummate PR pro that I proclaim to be, I realize writers and media types take time to respond to random releases that appear in their inboxes on a daily basis.

    This being said, I was very surprised to receive the following email from a “correspondent” from one of the racing industry’s on-line magazines:

    David,
    Please tell me when the TBA is going to start paying for the columns they post on their sights(sic) written by people for publication elsewhere? It's called royalties in the music industry but the same principles apply. Please clarify.


    In all the weeks and hours we’ve been working on this project, I never, EVER thought I would receive something like this. To me this is crazy. Am I wrong for thinking this “person” is completely off base? Is our little blog group taking food off the tables of struggling thoroughbred writers everywhere?

    I didn’t think so. But then it struck me (actually, it JUST struck me about five minutes ago); this “writer” absolutely just JUSTIFIED OUR WHOLE PURPOSE FOR DOING THIS!!

    I have no idea how old said writer actually is, but his (ooops!) attitude is exactly what's holding the thoroughbred industry from blowing up into something resembling poker, or even NASCAR.

    Old school thoughts caught up in a wave of boxed in realities. If there ever was a need for the TBA, and if there ever was a better example of closed-mindedness, this is it. Right now. Please recognize.

    I thank Mr. Unamed writer for trying to bring social and moral injustices to the forefront, however, in this case I think he is a bit misguided.

    Stay classy.
    Your Avg Horseplayer

    Tuesday, October 11, 2005

    Welcome...

    If you are here b/c of a press release you received ; Welcome to my blog! If you just happen to be passing by; Welcome as well!!

    If you have no idea what I'm talking about....just read the press release below and feel free to peruse some of the recent posts. You'll forgive any timely posts until later today as helping to organize the new TBA [again, see below ;-)] has kept me fairly occupied....Hope you enjoy!!

    Group Unites to Form
    Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance (TBA)

    Announces plans to award first ever TBA Horse of the Year Award based strictly upon statistics


    The World Wide Web-October 11,2005- A group of seven thoroughbred racing bloggers announced today the creation of the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance (TBA). From the United States to Hong Kong - and all points in between - these dedicated racing fans have joined together to support the game of horse racing by using a tool somewhat foreign to the Sport of Kings - the blog. With the formation of the TBA, the group also announced plans to award their first ever Horse of the Year award. Unlike similar awards that are given each year based solely on subjective media and industry voting, the TBA’s Horse of the Year award will be given to the horse with the most points earned in Graded Stakes.

    “The main objective of the group is to bring attention to horse racing as a sport. We hope the rankings start that trend,” said Patrick Patten, proprietor of “Pulling Hair and Betting Horses.” Patten, the creator of the points system, continued, “We feel that by ranking horses we will have arrived at what is a true ‘horse of the year.’ Furthermore, for our champion, it cannot be said that the award was due to a coastal bias or based on foreign form. We feel that nationwide recognition of a championship points system could encourage owners and trainers to enter their top horses in top competition.

    The seven bloggers from across the globe have been posting rants, raves, reviews, and race analysis for the past two years but have only recently begun interacting on a weekly basis - drawn together by the creation of a points system that determines racing’s top horses and a true horse of the year. The system awards points based on where a horse finishes in Graded Stakes races - the industry’s highest level of racing (point system details listed below).

    The inaugural award will be announced immediately following the conclusion of the year, once all the Graded Stakes are completed. The Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championship, held this year at historic Belmont Park in Elmont, NY, will go a long way in determining the championship as twice as many points are on the line that day. The TBA will make a donation to a charity selected by the owner of the champion thoroughbred.

    Monday, October 10, 2005

    Three weeks from today we'll be shoulda, would, coulda-ing and tallying our profits

    First off, congrats to Alan @ Left at the Gate who’s baby four-legger made his debut at Belmont on Sunday. Alan gave me the heads up on Highland Cat’s start the day before and although I had plenty of time to get to the “window”, I shied away as I am an avid reader of LatG and knew HC would need at least one start. I did however, listen via NYRA’s streaming capabilities and new right away HC was not making into the winner’s circle. Anyway, HC finished a highly respectable 3rd and I look forward to following his progress over the next few weeks. I will let you know that for starts 2-4, I will def. be placing wagers of some kind. For more info., details, and photos, go here:
  • Left at the Gate

  • In an interesting story in the NY Daily News, New York’s most profitable (and by far its most hospitable) OTB is featured. Now, let me tell you, the Race Palace is…awesome!! It is comfortable, good food, good looking waitresses, with a slew of huge TV’s (with each seat carrying its own private TV). I spent last year’s BC there with “Red” and despite losing my shirt (pants were not lost) I had a great time. I’ve been there several times and believe it is evidence that you CAN make the game exciting, attractive, AND lucrative. To read the story click here:
  • NY's most profitable OTB..and comfy too


  • If you’ll take a minute to scroll down towards the bottom of the page and look on the right hand column, you will see the latest, updated Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance (TBA)Horse of the Year standings. What the heck is the TBA you ask? Tune in tomorrow for more information on a movement to change the face of the thoroughbred industry…….

    And, just in case you are in the 25-37 year old range and always love any type of dirt, gossip and/or news on your favorite “primetime soap opera” of the nineties, please click here: (and enjoy!)
  • 9021-zeros?

  • Finally, ....STONERS REJOICE: The FBI is coming to its senses. Spicoli, you may now enter Quantico
  • Al-Qaeda look out....the FBI is 'smokin'
  • Tuesday, October 04, 2005

    Early Emerald Thoughts...

    Being locked up in Seattle for a few days has kept me away from my dear blog. The man has me chained to this desk and laptop and only lets me go to pee (once every four hours).

    However, the payoff was to visit Whidbey Island for a visit with The Boss who owns a nice place with some acreage in an area I had no idea even existed.

    The commute this morning was certainly deal-able, even though I had a 4:30 am wakeup call followed by a surprisingly enjoyable 1 hr. and 30 min. commute via car/ferry.

    Anyway, getting more and more excited for the Breeders’ Cup Thoroughbred Championships (thanks to Tracy from Turf Luck for pointing out the “Official NTRA Branding” of the event).

    The week before the BCTC (thank you very much) lovely and infamous (and when I say infamous I mean IN Famous-not “ill-famed: having an exceedingly bad reputation; "a notorious location"-although it is that as well) Portland Meadows makes its 2005-2006 debut.

    I kid. I kid. How can one not eagerly anticipate the opening of their own “home” track- even if it is a step up from a glorified state fair. I am sure I’ll get in trouble as I start to do some interviews with local track officials, but hey, facts are facts.

    It’s not even the racing that bothers me but the entire facility. I understand that Magna has no real vested interest in improvements, but I see such potential in a place like Portland Meadows that it pisses me off when the place is consistently a dump and inaccessible by casual fans and below.

    I won’t continue this diatribe of negativity since I am still asleep and it is clearly unhealthy for this level of anger before 8 am (unless you are stuck in rush hour traffic-then by all means curse away).

    Off topic note: The Warriors is out on DVD today…if you’ve never seen it- get it. If you don’t own a DVD player: 1) Get a job 2) Rent the VHS. Two words: Thorough Enjoyment

    Monday, September 26, 2005

    Do you remember James "Buddy" Ryan?

    Did you see the article about the former a-hole NFL Coach who tried to punch out a fellow assistant coach during a game, placed a bounty on opposing players, and devised the famous “46 defense”, who has been humbly “mellowed” by the horses?

    As a life-long NY Giant and NFL fan, there could not have been a more despised enemy than one James “Buddy” Ryan. From his smothering “46 Defense” of the 1985 Bears to his obnoxious, cocky demeanor as a head coach, Ryan did not care to make friends whilst assuming coaching duties during his 30 year career in the National Football League.

    I will never forget his absurd tantrum at fellow assistant coach Kevin Gilbride (now with my NY Giants ironically enough) on the sidelines during a game in 1994. At the time, Ryan was serving as Def. Coordinator for the Oilers, while Gilbride headed up the Oilers offense. After the Oilers’ offense fumbled yet again in an error filled game, Ryan proceeded to attack Gilbride on the sidelines hurling insults and throwing punches.

    I came across the following article and was delighted to read that Mr. Ryan HAS mellowed and I no longer the pompous-ass tough guy he once purported to be. This “new” Buddy Ryan owes a large part of his new found psyche to the horses. Once again, the horsies do more than attract money for gambling. These are the types of stories that I love to read.

    Take a minute to read through this short article I found on Thoroughbred Times’ site and let me know what you think.

  • Buddy Ryan Finds Peace with the Horsies
  • Friday, September 23, 2005

    I am done complaining and whining to the three folks that come here...

    So, what does one do when do when he/she is not able to sit down and come up with coherent, entertaining (at least sometimes), pertinent content for one’s blog? Send you, the loyal reader to sites that will hopefully sate and satisfy your every need for quality literary entertainment.(Sorry for the incorrect links. They have all been corrected now that I am not watching TV, chatting with my girlfriend AND trying to write this blog!)

    For a look at the troubled times and twisted logic that comes with being a thoroughbred horse owner, go here:
  • Left at the Gate


  • To feel the true joy of being an avid fan and following your passions from “Sea to Shining Sea,” go here:
  • Pulling Hair Betting Horses


  • If you can’t remember the feeling of your first year falling in love with this beautiful game, go here:
  • Turf Luck


  • If you would like to know the psychology and philosophy of the gambling mind, go here:
  • RailBird


  • And, if you just want to know about horse racing in the Pacific Northwest, go here:
  • Oregon Racing
  • Monday, September 19, 2005

    What a day!!!

    I have not completed my review of one of the most amazing days I've had in a long time. In the meantime, I have left some images of my glorious day spent at Oakhurst Thoroughbreds farm, site of the 2005 OTBA sale. I am hoping to have all of my thoughts and observations here by end of day Monday. I hope everyone had a great weekend!!




    Saturday, September 17, 2005

    Hi-Ho Hi-Ho...

    It's off to the OTBA Mixed sale. Hopefully I'll be returning from my first sale with some photos and some stories to relay....

    Thursday, September 15, 2005

    Can I Have Your Attention Please...

    For those of you counting at home it’s 44 days until the Breeder’s Cup. For the stat monkeys (and degenerates like myself) that means: 1056 hrs. or 63,360 minutes, or 3,801,600 seconds.
  • Breeder's Cup

  • This Friday and Saturday the OTBA Mixed Thoroughbred sale will be taking place at Oakhurst Farm in Newberg, OR. I am beyond excited to attend my first ever sale and look forward to meeting Jolene and Michael-proprietors of Oregon Racing News. I wonder if the entire sale will top $9.7 mil.-the price Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum paid for a Storm Cat/Tranquility Lake yearling at Keenland the other day.
  • OTBA Mixed Sale

  • Oregon Racing News

  • Storm Cat Colt gets $9.7 mil.

  • Does anyone know the details of Ralph Siraco’s departure from The Las Vegas Sun? I read his final column the other day and it was hard to figure out if he was a) let go, b)the paper completely changed or c)they just eliminated turf coverage. If anyone has any insight I am all ears.
  • Ralph Siraco's Final Column

  • I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful, busy time of the year. I have not forgotten about the Katrina victims but it seems as if things are beginning to work themselves out for everyone involved. The true American spirit shined once we (the people) were able to penetrate the fa├žade of bureaucratic mish-mosh. Shame on our government for letting our own people down. Cheers to the American people for showing the world and our own neighbors and friends that the people are not necessarily (rarely even) represented by hateful, lying, arrogant leaders.

    Until I Can Put Some Thought Into a Post...

    Here is a little entertaining read on that age old, skilled profession: MODELING.
    (Jose Canseco and Barry Bonds don't look so bad after this!!)

  • How Did YOU Spend Your Day Yesterday?
  • Monday, September 12, 2005

    Monday AM (yes, somehow it IS Monday again!)

    Just some quick notes, as I have been neglecting my little love (this blog) for a bit too long....

    First off: Thanks to Pauly at Tao of Poker for “letting” me steal his awesome Homer pic. to use as my profile. It has run its course and the new one is now posted above.

    -Please note and welcome two of our newest additions to the world of horse-race blogging:
  • Turf Luck

  • Triple Crown Racing (previously mentioned)

  • -Another non-lively weekend with the horses. Alan at Left at the Gate notes the measly attendance figures for opening weekend at Belmont. Can the Breeder’s cup get here ANY quicker?

    -As we ease into the most fantastic part of the year-with fall temps., leaves changing, and a plethora/myriad of intriguing sports stories- let’s just take a deep breath, look at what’s going on in the world, find our own place, and take a step back and fully ingest every aspect of life as it is now.

    Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…..

    Wednesday, September 07, 2005

    Quick Notes...

    As I sip my DECAF Starbucks at 8 am, I am embarking on a new stage in my "career". Spending the week in Seattle for orientation with my new company will keep me away from my baby (this blog) much more than I would like.

    That being said, our ever-growing world of horse bloggers continues to grow. Please head over to our newest "member's" site:
  • Triple Crown Racing

  • Less than 2 months until the Breeder's Cup...

    Don't get me wrong, one of my favorite, currently active horses today is Lost in the Fog. But how will he do against older? Hmmmm....that's why we bet!!

    If you've never been to Seattle, it's def. worth the trip. I am staying at the Washington Athletic Club which is a tony, multi-level health club with some hotel rooms similar to places like the Princeton/Yale/NYAC clubs in NYC.

    If you own a Play Station , you best be pre-ordered for the new Breeders Cup game NTRA is putting out in about a week. I am very curious to test her out...

    Will check in later. Hope everyone has a great day!!!

    Friday, September 02, 2005

    Just Bet Baby (our pix to help the cause)

    Potshots aside, we (see below) have teamed up to give you our blog roll horse selections for Sunday night’s card at Evangeline downs in Louisiana. Of course all intake by EvD will be donated to the Red Cross for disaster relief so open up your pockets and follow along. I have been graced with the task of doping out Race 7 on the card with local post time of 9:39 CST:

    It’s hard to bet against horses that win first off their Maiden victories. One of my favorite betting angles is to immediately eliminate Maidens making their debuts in Allowance ranks. That being said, morning line favorite Skymeister not only won first out after breaking his maiden, but did it in a stakes race and followed that up with a solid win in a 3NL one month later. Skymeister looms the obvious threat, especially having post #1. HOWEVER, I am going to take a chance and back 6-1 ML Chocolate Warrior going 3rd off a layoff and coming off an “off the turf” affair 1 month ago. Trainer Keith Bourgeois is firing at a 24% clip while hitting on 51% ITM. With a solid workout under his belt, the 4 yr. old gelding has a highly competitive Beyer Speed figure while getting to the ¼ mark in his last 5 ½ furlong race in 45.8. Rounding out the bet has to be Robbeau ridden by C.J. Woodley the leading rider at Evangeline with an extremely healthy 24% winning pct. Robbeau seems to relish 1st time back from any kind of a layoff posting 2 wins in 2 tries off the break. Robbeau also looks to hold the class advantage of the bunch and must not be forgotten.

    The bet(s): Chocolate Warrior keyed in an exacta box w/ both Skymeister and Robbeau.
    We’ll also play a straight triple keying CW on top with Smeister/Robbeau w/ Smeister/Robbeau

    Good luck and please check out my compatriots selections for this uber-important night of racing:


  • Evangeline Race 2

  • Evangeline Race 4

  • Evangeline Race 5
  • Thursday, September 01, 2005

    Hopefully Things are Improving

    This clearly is a shitty time for everyone in our country. I realize things must move forward, but it seems insensitive and somewhat boorish to look at the front of local newspapers sports sections et. al.

    The Oregonian for instance, today has zero about anything Katrina relate above the fold. They do address the issue of Oregon/New Orleans related athletes FINALLY at the bottom of the page.

    I am so incensed at how our government seems to have just let folks wilt away under horrid conditions. I won’t get political and go all anti-Bush here. I will however blast the ENTIRE government for letting people, American citizens in their own land wallow in their own waste, sweat, blood, and anger.

    The only good news is that FINALLY people, money, and supplies seem to be making their way south.

    On that note, thanks to Alan from Left at the Gate for pointing out that Evangeline Downs will be donating ALL proceeds from their Sunday night card to the local Red Cross chapter.

    Our small family of horse bloggers are trying to put together our own contribution to that cause. As Alan deftly pointed out, “We can even win money and it still helps!!”.

    Stay tuned here and to the other blogs (linked to the right) for more info. on what we are planning.

    Wednesday, August 31, 2005

    Tuesday, August 30, 2005

    Hearts and Prayers...

    My thoughts, heart, and whatever paryers I have go to the folks in the Bayou. It sounds worse and worse as more and more reports continue to trickle in.

    I hope everyone keeps their spirits and wits during these most trying times....

    When (and where) Will It End...

    I know, I know. I should have posted at least once after one of the biggest and best weekends of horse racing since the Kentucky Derby. Chalk it up to laziness. That's all. These past few days I've been the Chekhov of the blogging world...

    Instead of talking horses right now, I need to vent about something else: THESE RIDICULOUS GAS PRICES...

    For some reason, I was riding the bus to work today and I noticed the price of gas...$2.71 for regular. I get into work and BAM! the price of oil goes over $70 a barrel. When are we as citizens of this country going to take a stand on this?

    It seems we have lost all self control when it comes to this issue and NO ONE IS DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT. Don't you feel like the price of gas/oil is just sucking the life out from under you? How did we become such silent sheep in this process? We fuel this entire economy (Def. no pun intended), we are in control!

    I am just at wits end AND I DON'T EVEN AN OWN A CAR!

    Do you, Joe and Jane America want to be paying 4,5,6 dollars a gallon? I do realize folks need to drive to work and this country has been set-up to be run by the auto industry. But we need to start doing little things. Car-pooling, tele-commuting (when possible) ANYTHING!! We really just can't sit by idly (again, no pun intended) and watch our hard earned income going up in fumes.

    This is an important time in our world. Where are we going with this? What is the ceiling? What are we going to do about it? What CAN we do?

    Click the link below for what I think is the best solution to date. It may or may not work, but until everyone is able to completely forgo their automobiles, this may have to suffice.
  • California Watches Hawaii's Effort to Cap Gasoline Prices
  • Thursday, August 25, 2005

    Lost in Some Kind of Fog

    Can you believe Lost in the Fog is 1-5 on the morning line? This is by far my favorite horse right now. I don’t see how he can lose in the King’s Bishop on Saturday (which by the way is on ESPN-which is just great-from 5-7pm EST).

    I figure ‘Fog will go off closer to $.05 on the dollar than $.20. Either way he is the one to beat. I think it will be Fog, then “The Daddy” and a semi sentimental choice “Fusaichi Samurai”-by another one of my all-time favorite horses Fusaichi Pegasus (even though his dull off the board finish in the 2003 BC Classic cost me a pretty nice Pick-3). I think the 2 tri box, while also putting The Daddy on top is a nice way to play this race.

    So the good news is there are 3 races from Saratoga on Sat. being broadcast on ESPN. As not having daily access to TVG, anytime the networks broadcast the horsies, I am extremely excited. So that’s the good news.

    The bad news is, I’ll be in St. Helens, Oregon at the 1st Annual Shakedown Fest watching such musical acts as: Les Claypool, Jerry Joseph (one of my personal favs), Skerik (look it up), Robert Walter, Mickey Hart and Particle (aka-Hydra), and the enigmatic Michael Franti and Spearhead. I have been working on the PR for this festival for a few months now and it is finally time for it to arrive. It is three days, but I think I will only be going all day Saturday. I have some extra tickets (comp) so if anyone is reading this and want a free pair, just email me!!

    -I want to give a sentimental “shout out” to my friend “The Kayceman” as he has some family issues currently embroiling his life. I only hope for the best for he and his family.

    -Bob Huggins out as Cincinnati’s head basketball coach…..Must be nice to be offered a $3 million dollar buyout. He will be getting $110k a month for the next three months to “ease the pain of transition.” Oh really? Ease the pain? Sure his ego is bruised, but he will be picked up by ESPN/FSN to be a somewhat controversial analyst, and he will happily hit the course (golf) everyday, and actually live a semi-normal/relaxed life. The guy needs it after suffering a heart attack at too young of age two years ago.

    -If you are in the area of DCel Mar this weekend, be sure to stop by Best Pal Pub Patio by the Paddock from Noon-1:30pm to meet Trainer Richard Mandella and filmmakers Bill Yahraus and Robin Rosenthal. You’ll remeeber, Yarhaus and Rosenthal just released “On the Muscle” a three-part documentary following Mandella and his barn. If you haven’t already, please check the review I did two posts down.

    That’s all for now. Looking forward to catching “The Aristocrats” this weekend as it finally makes its debut in P-Town.

    Wednesday, August 24, 2005

    Back from an extremely brief hiatus

    A few thoughts for those of you out there:

    -Don’t forget to check out the review of “On the Muscle”, one entry below. Great documentary on the Richard Mandella Barn. Check out www.ponyhighway.com for more info. (and no, I have no vested stake in this film at all!!)

    -I think my two favorite blogs these days are:

  • Left at the Gate

  • Tao of Poker

  • -Rescue me is by far the greatest show on TV these days. If you haven’t seen it yet, I would suggest tuning in to FX 10 pm Tuesday nights. (Note: This is not for the faint of heart or those of you who reside on the far right)

    -How much would I have paid to seen to middle-aged, 120 lb. men go toe-toe in a little fist-a-cuffs.

    -Quick carryover report: Today there is a $49k+ carryover at the Spa and Monday’s monster pick-6 at Del Mar paid 5 folks a shade over $400k….nice!

    -Who knew "Urine Power" would be the number two most popular searches on MSN? Sounds like an o.k. idea, but what about the smell?
  • MSN most Pop. Searches-(scroll down and to the rt)

  • -I have been ensconced in some other projects as of late, and have not been able to focus as much time as I would like on this blog. I also wanted to leave my review of “On the Muscle” up as the top entry. No worries…I’m Baaaaaaack!!!

    -p.s. for those of you that care, Oregon Racing has been kind enough to post the official race dates for the upcoming Portland Meadows meet: 80 dates beginning Oct. 22nd at 12:35 pm. (67 days from today)

    Tuesday, August 16, 2005

    Film Review: "On the Muscle: Portrait of a Thoroughbred Racing Stable"

    By Ruben Bailey

    So many things can happen in our everyday lives. Uncertainty, impatience, uneasiness; emotions that human beings deal with in a constant struggle to remain a positive, caring, contributor to larger society.

    When one begins to think of the place that thoroughbred horseracing holds in the minds of ordinary citizens in everyday society, results can range from cynically uninterested to impassioned advocate. “On the Muscle” a brand new three hour documentary series by filmmakers Bill Yahraus and Robin Rosenthal unveils the layers of real life emotion buried underneath the grandstand of America’s thoroughbred racetracks.

    Showcased around events rarely heard, seen, or felt by the public, “On the Muscle” follows Richard Mandella, a horse trainer of 30 years, preparing six horses for what will prove to be a roller coaster ride to the top of the horse racing world. What you are rewarded with in this three part documentary is a rich understanding of the heavy emotional swings and real life ups and downs that come with being a lifetime professional horseman.

    365 days a year is the required attendance for any thoroughbred trainer looking to succeed. In the ever-revolving world that Mandella and his team live in, there are scores of relationships weaving in and out of each other’s lives.

    “What’s the rest of the world doing on a day like this” Mandella says as he walks along the track at Santa Anita Park at 5 am. Just a few minutes into the film and we begin to see where Yahraus and Rosenthal are taking us.

    Several moments later Mandella allows us our first, brief glimpse into the focused life as a full-time horseman. “One time I took a day off from the track,” he begins slowly, “I slept in with my kids and got them dressed, fed them breakfast. It was strange, ya’ know…not being here at the track.”

    Such internal struggles are only the beginning for the California native who grew up tending to tossed-away, injured horses as a young boy. But those internal demons Mandella reveals to us set the stage for the countless battles he must face everyday beginning at sunrise.

    Trainer vs. Horse. Trainer vs. Asst. Trainer. Trainer vs. Press. Trainer vs. Rider. Trainer vs. Jockey Agent. Trainer vs. Barn. Trainer vs. Owner. Trainer vs. Nature.

    These plot elements play out on screen as contrived Hollywood subplots and keep you interested and emotionally vested like an afternoon soap opera. It is only when you can step back and realize that this is no movie script or serial storyline that the true emotions of each character are fully understood. People’s lives are dictated by how fast 1,000 lb. animals run on a racetrack. This film slowly unveils an unsteady ride of emotion bouncing back and forth from joy to dismay; adulation to anger; exhaustion to exuberance.

    Getting behind the scenes and peeling off unknown layers is always a fascinating experience. Documentaries can be beautiful anthropological, sociological, and psychological examinations that give new meaning to events and emotions that usually seem to be both simple and straightforward. Time after time, this film allows viewers with even the slightest bit of knowledge of the thoroughbred racing world true insight into both the physical and psychological workings of what it takes to run a horse racing operation.

    In what may be the movie’s biggest flaw, the directors never take us away from the immediate surroundings of the racetrack. Visits to horse farms in Kentucky, training tracks in California, and glimpses of famous tracks like Churchill Downs and Oaklawn Park aside, we never get to see much of the off-track humanity of any of the main characters in their most raw, everyday normal settings: getting out of bed; sitting down for dinner with family members; or returning home from a long day the track.

    Although the lives of these individuals plays out on a daily basis in a barn or on the track, glimpses into their lives off track would have given the viewer much needed depth and closure.

    Whether it was an overt attempt or just a result of the footage, the strength of the film lies in the overall theme of the film: relationship management.

    For the un-initiated "On the Muscle" provides an entertaining look at the complex workings of a racetrack and the folks that are its nuts and bolts. For experienced horse-folk, this movie will expand your mindset the next time you visit your local track, OTB, or sit down to read a Racing Form.

    Over the course of the 172 minutes, Directors Yahraus and Roesnthal do a fine job illuminating the trials and tribulations of life in the paddock. Documenting “the stories of six elite athletes and their trainer poised on the brink of racing history” was certainly a monumental task. Narrowing the focus down and funneling the subject's human emotions lived through half ton animals is a triumph and a pleasure to ingest.

    Do yourself a favor. Support independent filmmakers. Support the art of the documentary. Support the thoroughbred industry. Go to www.ponyhighway.com and drop the $34 for an entertaining, educational, non-fiction, eye-opening look at a life most of us can barely imagine.

    Monday, August 15, 2005

    Good Days Ahead....

    So my Grand Reward/Artie Schiller theory bombed out, but I was certainly on in predicting Powerscourt’s solid showing. Def. knew KJ was going to be their but at almost even-money, that was no surprise. I didn’t think 49-ers Son would be in the mix, but hey, that’s why they run the races!!

    Overall a really great weekend to watch the horsies.

    Got a chance to watch a new documentary put out by Pony Highway Productions called “On the Muscle.” It is one DVD divided into 3, one-hour “episodes” following the Richard Mandella barn in 2003. My review of the film will be posted later on today, as I need to put some finishing touches on it. My thanks to Bill and Robin for making the DVD available to me prior to today's public release date.

    One quick story that I thought you might be interested in (b/c I am).

    I usually like to combine my vices, so I am not sure where this leaves me…..

  • Gambling and Alcoholism May Have Different Roots
  • Saturday, August 13, 2005

    Saturday Stakes, etc.

    Just to be on record:

    My pick for the Arlington Million today is:
    (3) Grand Reward- Not too much science here as I have my own betting systems/theories and one is to bet around/with Artie Schiller. Grand Reward under Jerry Bailey 2 months ago dusted Artie Schiller in the Manhattan at Belmont. That's really all I need to see. Don't get me wrong, (1) Kitten's Joy will be there at the end, but I am not sold on her at 6-5/even money. I like the first time States starter (2) Touch of Land to have a nice showing, but my solid second pick is (9) Powerscourt. I remember vividly the backstretch of last years millions and how dominant and strong P-Court looked. Yes, he's "o-fer" since then (9-0-1-2) but I think he loves this track, loves the states, and throws on the blinks for a run at the $600k first prize. Don't throw out (6) Better Talk Now. On class alone, you gotta love him.

    So let's clean this up: I love the 3 and will key him in exactas with 1,2,6,9.

    Good luck and don't forget there is some nice coverage on ABC this afternoon of the Sword Dancer, The Vanderbilt, The Beverly D, and The Million.

    Can you smell the Breeders Cup slowly creeping up on you?

    Wednesday, August 10, 2005

    Countdown Set to Begin

    It is true that I have been slacking in my posting over the past week. It is also true that my life has been an up and down whirlwind over that time span. I think not coincidentally, the excitement of both summer highlight meets has worn off on me as each approach their 3rd and 4th weeks respectively.

    Which brings us to Saturday’s Arlington Millions day. For some reason, every year this race day kicks off for me the early stretch run leading up to “the greatest day in racing.”

    The annual kick off of both the Del Mar and Saratoga meets stirs up a unique brand of excitement in my horse racing mind. Those annual summer meets just feel right and smell right. Evoking similar feelings to those of the fall when football season rolls around and it begins to “just smell right.”

    The running of the Arlington Millions and the Beverly annually at Arlington Park for some reason bridges the gap between the summer meets (which I can’t get to) and the upcoming fall extravaganza which I (and millions of others) anticipate immensely year.

    Maybe it’s the grass. Maybe it’s the million dollar purse. Nonetheless, Saturday’s stakes filled day in Suburban Chicago mark 78 days from The 2005 Breeders Cup at Belmont. This Saturday I will be tuned into the Breeder’s Cup as Kitten’s Joy tries to backup all of the hype he has deservedly gained from impressive pp’s.

    I will be looking forward to the live television broadcast and a high class turf field preparing for their own respective runs to the top of the racing world. Whoever comes out on top, we will all still be 2 months and 16 days away from horse racings greatest day.

    I am certainly excited. For those of us stuck in the summer doldrums away from the pomp, circumstance, and excitement of Southern California and Upstate NY, this is our wake-up call from a brief hiatus of the excitement that these beautiful animals and colorful characters bring us on a daily basis.

    Monday, August 01, 2005

    Just Another Manic (blah blah)..

    Happy 63rd B-day to the late Great Jerry Garcia (see below)

    Please note updated blog standings to the right and slightly down the page. Thanks again to Patrick from Pulling Hair Betting Horses for those scientific numbers.

    Semi-boring weekend of horses. For what was supposed to be some exciting stakes races, in my mind totally flubbed.

    Congrats to Oregon Racing's Jolene and Michael for publishing their first print newsletter. Very well done guys. To subscribe (it's free) just click on their link to the right (Oregon Racing).

    No results yet from this weekends giant DRF Handicapping Tourney from Emerald Downs. I wasn't able to make it due to lack of transportation.

    Nice carryovers today at both Del Mar and Saratoga.

    One of my favorite horses will most likely goof as the favorite in today's feature at Saratoga.

    The $150K Gr. 2 Barnard Baruch goes off as the 8th race and a diminished 5 horse field. Artie Schiller WAS 9-5 on the morning line, but that was when their was a full field of 8. Even though this 4 yr. old colt broke my heart losing as the 7-2 (ish) favorite in last years BC Mile, he remains one of my favorite horses to back (sentimentally of course). Originally I loved Artie' and Not Phone in a little exacta, but with all of the defections, I will certainly not be betting AS at somewhere around 4-5 (at best). For those of you in the Sartoga Showdown contest though, AS would be a great bet to finish in the money.

    Some interesting stories from the "Real World" below:

  • Fatties Unite


  • Michael Moore at it Again


  • J. Garcia Remembrances
  • Monday, July 25, 2005

    Is it Monday Again?

    Can you believe Jessica from Railbird
  • Railbird
  • actually gets to spend the WHOLE meet at Saratoga. The jealously is just oozing out of me...

    I actually forgot that DMTC runs today (Monday) which is a nice little feature.

    I am highly anticipating the annual return of DRF Chairman and Publisher Steven Crist’s Daily recap of events at the ‘Spa’. Entertaining AND informative; isn't that a nice little tandem..

    A great weekend for TV and Horses. I love ESPN’s work on NTRA coverage, and it was super nice to have a 2-hr. feed of TVG on FSN on Sat. My only complaint with ESPN’s coverage is that one race for an hr is a little too much time. Two pushes the limit and I think 3 really hits the number for a one-hour broadcast. Enough time for one or two features, and enough coverage of all the horses/jockeys/trainers involved in each race.

    So it’s Monday and since I am on the west coast, I have the advantage/disadvantage of catching up with my east coast compadres on horse news. So today, I thought I would list a few good stories compiled from everywhere. Hope everyone has a great start to the week….

  • Former Aussie Sets North American Record on 'Debut'

  • Racing Towards Opening Day

  • Ex-Jock Turns to Bass Fishing..

  • Brad Free’s DMTC Pix for Mon.

  • Is It the Power of Love?
  • Friday, July 22, 2005

    Some Thoughts on Nerds..

    I enjoy reading the blog of a local "radio personality". I thought his 7/21 entry was worth passing along:

    Fatboy's Blog
    July 21, 2005

    The fact I'm a big nerd, dork, and a spaz shouldn't really be surprising. I don't know if this is a dirty little secret of radio or not, but a full 95% of the jocks on the air in any market anywhere are either nerds, dorks, or spazzes, or varying combinations of the 3. It's a fact. DJ's who think they're cool are deluding themselves. There's no such thing as a "Cool" DJ. It doesn't work that way. DJ is the job the people who can't dance take so they can still be involved in the party. "DJ" is what high school projectionists aspire to, when they're not dreaming of hitting the screenplay lottery. Cool people don't gravitate towards that job, because cool people don't pay attention to the music outside of who they get to grind on while it's playing, or who they're going to beat up while it's blaring out of the truck, or whatever. Only a nerd would be hanging out with friends, and go "You know what'd be super-cool? to be the cheesedick guy with the overcooked voice introducing this Sister Sledge song at 2am"

    What's cool is that nerdity isn't a negative anymore. Our culture is slowly waking up and realizing we're all pretty nerdy when it comes down to it. We're just nerdy about different things. Being a dork isn't cause for stigma. Hell, if you're a big enough dork, people ENJOY hanging around your dorky ass JUST FOR being dorky. I won't say it's "trendy" because dorkdom is eternal, and is genetically encoded into most of us, but it's definitely appreciated a lot more now as our society is effectively, being run by dorks now. We're starting to get a grasp on how ridiculously overrated "cool" is.

    I mean, think about it. Our president was a CHEERLEADER. Dork. The last president played in a Marching Band. Dweeb. Casey Kasem, Howard Stern? DORKS. Bill Gates owns the goddamn WORLD essentially. We're all toting around various form of electronic device that we HAVE to become geeks to even work properly--and people are realizing that superficial, sneering "cool" is mostly cliche, passe, and outdated. Sure, the cool kids are trying to adapt, infecting the dorks with a need to create geek heirarchy, replacing leather jackets and cigarettes with a thrift store fashion sense and a faux jaded, world weary sneer that matches their 30 dollar pre-weathered "Vintage" tee, but even that's not really catching.

    But yet, people still cling as hard as they can to the idea that THEY'RE cool, and it's the other people that are dorks. That's retarded. We're all dorks. Geeks. Dweebs. Stop deluding yourself, and just give into it. You'll be happier that way. Trust me. Sure, you might wind up at some highly dorky convention or something at some point (just like magazines, there's a convention for EVERYTHING now) and you'll be reminded that some of your fellow geeks were born missing the "self-aware" switch that stops them from stumbling into every awkward situation they entangle themselves in, but I'd prefer that to the mind-numbing playacting that so many hipsters and condescending douchebags relegate themselves to in the fear they'll be considered anything less than "cool." I'd rather be an authentic geek telling doofy jokes on the radio than be a walking stereotype wrapped in a ready-made identity, and blister packaged and bar-coded for convienience.

    Nice Carryover with a Prediction...

    Yes, DMTC's first carryover, only 3 days into the season ($111+K)
    My prediction (hope) is that no one hits it today and it will "carry over" into tomorrow.

    Here is drf.com's take:

  • DMTC Carryover $111,414
  • Thursday, July 21, 2005

    Paradise!!

    Pick the Degenerate...




    I thought we could play a quick game called pick the degenerate....

    What was yesterday?

    Not such a great start for me with the DMTC meet yesterday.

    Both of my picks flopped as one was a long shot and one was the favorite. Oh well...

    Moving on...

    Today I like one selection and that is the #8 in the 7th race.

    Going across the board on this long shot. I love the lat time out win whilst the 3rd place finisher went on to a victory. Plus she is the only entry in the race to have a practice run over the new DMTC course.

    Good luck, and I'll be back with some more stories after I clean my office here at work!!

    Wednesday, July 20, 2005

    Opening Day..

    For those of you waiting for hump day, well it’s here.

    And for those of you waiting for the start of summer horse racing (read: Saratoga/Del Mar) you are pretty much there.

    Del Mar kicks off today, while Saratoga opens up next Wednesday. Being a native East Coaster, this time of year usually means preparing for 6 weeks of Saratoga. Since my permanent move west, however, I will be making my inaugural “Del Mar Delving” starting today.


    And by the way, today the high temp. in Las Vegas is looking like 117, at Del Mar, the high was projected to be a comfortable 80 (with some clouds). Have you ever been in 117 degree heat? I have not, but would like to experience it for about 4 seconds. That would be plenty for me, thanks.

    In today’s form, Brad Free makes some spot plays
  • Free’s Opening Day Picks

  • I offer you my spot plays for today’s opening card:

    4th Race: The 4 horse Perfect Mode has the highest last time out Beyer, while the 9, Dealers Choice is just one point behind (93-92) I can’t see the 9 hole fairing that well in a two turn mile race on the new turf course, so I’ll stay away from the morning line favorite (Dealers Choice). I love the 7 and the 8 also, but the 7 Fancy Foxtrot has more attractive times to me and is 3rd off the layoff looking to improve. Thusly, I like the 7 to win and hook him up in exacta boxes with the 4, 8, and 9.

    6th Race: Morning line favorite Eastern Sand looks tough to me in the first leg of the Oceanside (1Mile Turf). I like Eastern Sand and will box him in an exacta with the 7 (Avanti Avanti)

    My two personal favorites from today based on NAME ONLY:

    Runner up: LEO GETZ (#5 in the 6th race) What a fantastic name. If you don’t get it, then you better ax someone.

    Best Name of the Day: Yes, I can be a snob, (and even called elitist once or twice)but when I hear the name NO TORO (#6 in the 5th race) I have to laugh out loud. For anyone who loves (or even just likes) sushi, it seems every time you try and ask for the “fatty tuna” you get the same response from the Japanese waiter/waitress: “No Toro”.

    Classic.

    Tuesday, July 19, 2005

    If you're bored at work...

    Here's something that will make you laugh (def. worksafe!!)

    Since I am swamped and can't do much horse writing (and still steaming at the NTRA fiasco) I thought I'd post this for you...

  • Work Safe Entertainment


  • (def. need sound. It is not nearly as good without sound)

    Monday, July 18, 2005

    Too Good to be True....


    If you can tell me who these two are, then you are special....

    I know I shouldn't, but I will anyway cuz' it's good...

    So this is now a few days late (it has been circulating the net, so maybe you've seen it already) and I realize it is partisan, and has nothing to do with horses, but I just love it and I wanted to share (in case you haven't read it yet). Hopefully you will enjoy....

    I know you're a blue stater in a red state (some of you). Thought this is
    not only clever but true.

    From the new country of New California...
    . . .

    We're ticked off at the way you've treated California, and we've decided
    we're leaving.

    We intend to form our own country, and we're taking the other BLUE STATES
    with us.

    In case you aren't aware, that includes Hawaii, Oregon, Washington,
    Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all the Northeast.

    We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to
    the people of the new country of New California.

    To sum up briefly:

    WE get stem cell research and the best beaches.
    YOU get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states.

    WE get Elliot Spitzer.

    YOU get Ken Lay.

    WE get the Statue of Liberty.
    YOU get OpryLand.

    WE get Intel and Microsoft.

    YOU get WorldCom.

    WE get Harvard.
    YOU get Ole' Miss.

    WE get 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs.
    YOU get Alabama.


    WE get two-thirds of the tax revenue.

    YOU get to make the Red States pay their 'fair share.'

    Since OUR aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian
    Coalition's, WE get a bunch of happy families.
    YOU get a bunch of single moms.

    Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti-war,
    and we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once.

    If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they're
    apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don't
    care if you don't show pictures of their children's caskets coming home.

    We do wish you success in Iraq, and hope that the WMDs turn up ... but
    we're not willing to spend our resources in Bush's Quagmire.

    With the BLUE STATES in hand, WE will have firm control of 80 percent
    of the country's fresh water, more than 90 percent of the pineapple and
    lettuce, 92 percent of the nation's fresh fruit, 95 percent of America's
    quality wines (you can serve French wines at state dinners), 90 percent
    of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the U.S.
    low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy
    League
    and Seven Sister schools, plus Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.

    With the RED STATES, on the other hand, YOU will have to cope with 88
    percent of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs),
    92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100 percent of the tornadoes,
    90 percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent of all Southern Baptists,
    virtually 100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones
    University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.

    WE get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

    Additionally, of those in the RED STATES:
    - 38 percent believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale
    - 62 percent believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death
    penalty or gun laws
    - 44 percent say that evolution is only a theory
    - 53 percent believe that Saddam was involved in 9/11.
    - 61 percent of you RED STATE folks apparently believe you are people with
    higher morals than we "liberals."

    By the way, WE'RE taking most of the good pot, too.
    You can have that 'dirt weed' they grow in Mexico...

    Sincerely,
    Author Unknown in New California.

    Is it Monday Already?

    Oy!! What a weekend. I almost melted as temps. rose above 90 for the first time in months. I was beginning to think we would never see sun again here in the lovely, picturesque (I love that word) Pacific NW.

    It was so hot, I was unable to catch most of the equine action this weekend, but I will let you know that I participated in the NTRA's national Claiming Crown Handicapping Championship at Canterbury.

    I didn't do too badly. Based on one pick per race, $2 Win/Place, I had 4 winners and two places. Not too bad, especially considering I touted all at once which is never that successful, especially in a tournament setting.

    My major issues with shi deal is that the NTRA had a site up and were doing a great job of updating standings every race. That is until about the 3rd or so race when the leader board went blank (as it it still is today).

    WHO WON GUYS? WHERE THE HECK DID I FINISH? Did I enter just for fun? I don't think so.

    This is where the NTRA and other "older school" horse entities fail to capitalize on promotions/marketing. Here they go with an awesome idea of a free handicapping contest (I mean really, the Claiming Crown is pretty cool, but how excited does one get over 150K claiming races? Well I was pretty darn excited when it was promoted as a free tournament with a seat at the national finals on the line.

    Then they go and screw it up by not keeping up the momentum of a great idea.

    It is truly annoying (for lack of a better term) and completely unnecessary. Just another example of poor management and marketing showing a lack of internet savvy and project completion. Did I miss something? If you have any information on this, please let me know!!

    On a slightly different note....

    With the passing of the weekend, the $7.5 mil. WSOP finally ended and after 13+ hours at the final table 39 yr. old, father of 4, former chiropractor Joe Hachem outlast over 5100 other poker players to win the largest payoff from the largest filed of competitors ever. The saddest part of this for me is that Paul at taopoker.blogspot will no longer be filling my days with visions of crystal meth neighbors (never fun, but often time funny), hookers, free drinks, and poker shenanigans (oh yeah, he also provided runny commentary throughout the 6-week WSOP extravaganza)

    Big-ups to Pauly for keeping us all informed. My work last week was severely limited to do constantly refreshing my browser looking for updates. If you want to check out Pauly's site here you go:


  • Tao of Poker


  • I shall return later as my blood starts to get flowing a bit...

    Friday, July 15, 2005

    Been a Few Days. I know This...

    Around the horse-blog-o-sphere, my compatriots have been well documenting everything that is going on.

    Jessica at Railbird notes only 12 days to go until Saratoga (Del Mar only has 6 days until opening)

    Alan at Left at the Gate keeps us informed on the short fields and low-priced winner sat Belmont and reminds us how pleasant and refreshing a trip to Monmouth Park can be (if you haven't been, you MUST go!)

    So I will let all of you know about something cool in terms of Handicapping Tourneys... The NTRA is sponsoring a free, on-line handicapping tournament Saturday, based around the Claiming Crown Day at Canterbury. It is free, and all you have to do is sign up here
  • Claiming Crown Handicapping Challenge


  • And of course, I am sure everyone is well aware of the travesty taking place with injured jockey Shannon Cambell and how she is getting royally screwed by the sport that we all love. Here is the latest from drf.com:
  • Paralyzed rider's coverage: $50K


  • In other non-horse, betting news, the WSOP is down to its final table. If you don't want to know who is left....
  • Don't Click Here
  • Tuesday, July 12, 2005

    Busy Day...

    If you look below you'll see a few recent posts which are basically some stories I've come across that I thought you might want to read. I am extremely busy with work this week, and today is a short day for me, so I just thought I would post some good stuff to read.

    The "Fearsome Fivesome" of horse bloggers (Railbird, Left at the Gate, Pulling Hair/Betting Horses, Athlone, and myself) is serving as the base to what will become a large on-line community bridging the gap between old and young; past, present, and future horseplayers. We are basically the answer to Mr. Crist's current column (see below).

    For those of you interested in the WSOP (if you don't want to know who's been eleminated STOP READNIG NOW!!) below is the list of chip leaders as of this morning:(thanks to Taopoker.blogspot.com)

    Top 10
    1 Greg "Fossilman"Raymer $ 1,064,000
    2 Rodney Pardey Jr. $ 1,041,000
    3 Brad Kondracki $ 962,500
    4 Johnny Howard $ 910,500
    5 Bob Larsen $ 796,500
    6 Tim Phan $ 746,000
    7 Phil Ivey $ 722,500
    8 Steve Marx $ 679,500
    9 S Bartholomew $ 659,000
    10 Gabe Wells $ 655,500

    11 Bryan Stelbuger $ 648,500
    12 Oskar Silow $ 638,000
    13 Bob Hotchandani $ 627,500
    14 Raymi Sanchez Thorn $ 595,500
    15 Manelic Minaya $ 594,500
    16 Tex Barch $ 590,000
    17 Jon Lane $ 585,000
    18 James Ocson $ 583,000
    19 David Bergsdorf $ 579,500
    20 Tom Sartori $ 574,500

    21 James Pollack $ 557,500
    22 Karlo Lopez $ 556,500
    23 Terry Burt $ 550,500
    24 Joe Berry $ 542,500
    25 James Butt $ 542,500
    26 Minh Ly $ 530,250
    27 Casper Christensen $ 525,500
    28 Thomas A Roupe $ 525,000
    29 Gregory Rice $ 523,000
    30 Aaron Kanter $ 503,500

    31 Howard Lederer $ 496,500
    32 Matt Fitzpatrick $ 490,500
    33 Randal Brooks $ 490,000
    34 Jon Kalmar $ 469,500
    35 Hung La $ 467,000
    36 Nick Gibson $ 466,000
    37 Nani Awad $ 460,500
    38 Hunter Pappas $ 455,500
    39 Mike Matusow $ 454,000
    40 Sean Daulat $ 452,500

    41 John McGrane $ 452,500
    42 Nani Dollison $ 448,500
    43 Tiffany Williamson $ 441,000
    44 Mark Forrester $ 440,000
    45 Yomtov Shabot $ 427,000
    46 Samir Shakhtoor $ 414,000
    47 Russell Salzer $ 412,500
    48 Chris Short $ 411,500
    49 Can Kim Hua $ 404,000
    50 Krystal Nelson $ 395,000

    51 Espen Saltnes $ 388,000
    52 Marcello Del Grosso $ 386,500
    53 Kevin Kim $ 384,500
    54 George Kelly Dickson $ 377,000
    55 Scott Numoto $ 376,500
    56 Larry Prugh $ 372,500
    57 Carmen Menechella $ 370,000
    58 Russ Hamilton $ 365,000
    59 John Juanda $ 354,000
    60 Jose M Rodriguez $ 352,500

    61 Nick Camarts $ 348,500
    62 Ron Ware $ 345,000
    63 David Plastik $ 342,500
    64 Franklin Caldwell $ 339,000
    65 Alex Morales $ 337,500
    66 Sarah Bilney $ 332,500
    67 Bobby Law $ 325,500
    68 Jarl Lindholt Joergensen $ 320,500
    69 Yakov Hirsch $ 316,500
    70 Tuan Vu $ 316,500

    71 Chris Drozdowski $ 315,000
    72 Tom Shaneberger $ 309,000
    73 Michael Kessler $ 297,500
    74 Roland Israelashvizi $ 289,000
    75 Kenna James $ 287,500
    76 Michael Cribb $ 282,500
    77 Rafael $ 282,000
    78 Daniel Shak $ 280,500
    79 Jason Lester $ 280,000
    80 Jason Kaplan $ 274,500

    81 Bing Wang $ 272,500
    82 Gen Watamabe $ 271,000
    83 David Richardson $ 269,500
    84 Terry Myers $ 269,000
    85 Bjorn Lindenberg $ 265,500
    86 Tony Pirone $ 265,500
    87 Patrick Madden $ 265,000
    88 Paul Vicary $ 265,000
    89 Scott Lazar $ 264,500
    90 Niklas Flisberg $ 260,000

    91 Robert Turner $ 260,000
    92 Darryl Tennefos $ 259,500
    93 JC Tran $ 259,500
    94 Andrew Black $ 257,000
    95 Bryant King $ 253,500
    96 Kevin McCarthy $ 251,000
    97 Joe Stillman $ 249,500
    98 Joe Simmons $ 245,000
    99 Shahram Sheikhan $ 243,000
    100 Paul Mannetta $ 240,000

    101 Tony Abesamis $ 237,500
    102 Francis W O'Brien $ 234,000
    103 Patrick Hayden $ 233,000
    104 Joseph Hachem $ 231,000
    105 Erick Richardson $ 227,000
    106 Josh Prager $ 225,000
    107 Mark Cole $ 224,500
    108 Joe Connor $ 224,000
    109 Mitchell Klein $ 219,500
    110 Daniel Alaei $ 219,000

    111 Alan Singer $ 217,000
    112 Jack Ward $ 207,500
    113 Webber Kang $ 206,300
    114 Kevin Wright $ 202,000
    115 Richard Lapwood $ 202,000
    116 Richard Kirsch $ 200,500
    117 Conor Tate $ 200,000
    118 Dennis Savelkoul $ 197,500
    119 Anthony Laughing, Jr $ 192,500
    120 Kelly Zoudo $ 192,500

    121 Dmitriy Eidelman $ 189,500
    122 David Steirman $ 181,500
    123 Lee Watkinson $ 181,000
    124 Joe Toth $ 180,500
    125 Stephen Deetz $ 180,000
    126 Derek Dix $ 178,500
    127 Joseph Chiosie $ 178,000
    128 Anthony Hill $ 173,000
    129 Joe Beevers $ 173,000
    130 Louie Calvo $ 170,500

    131 Vadim Shlez $ 170,500
    132 Louis Lo $ 169,500
    133 Michaey Leahy $ 169,000
    134 Adam Friedman $ 166,000
    135 Dietrich Alex $ 159,500
    136 Cliff Cantor $ 159,000
    137 Radu Butan $ 158,500
    138 Mark Graves $ 154,000
    139 Mike May $ 153,500
    140 Kit Phaphon $ 150,500

    141 Jake Minter $ 146,500
    142 Glyn Banks $ 144,500
    143 Bernard Lee $ 143,000
    144 Peter Hedlund $ 141,500
    145 Mehrdad Yousefzadeh $ 136,500
    146 Kevin O'Brien $ 136,500
    147 Tom Koral $ 132,000
    148 Steven Dannenmann, CPA $ 131,000
    149 Per Hildebrand $ 131,000
    150 Farzad Bonyadi $ 129,500

    151 Dustin "Neverwin" Woolf $ 127,000
    152 Tom Pniak $ 126,500
    153 Alejandro Pachero $ 126,500
    154 Chris Podlewski $ 126,000
    155 Babak Rozi $ 123,000
    156 Kevin Kaikko $ 122,000
    157 Mark Tenner $ 112,000
    158 Paul Fisher $ 110,000
    159 Ayhan Alsancak $ 109,500
    160 Mark Bryan $ 109,000

    161 Amit Sander $ 109,000
    162 Michael P Mollay $ 104,500
    163 Kjetil Praesttun $ 102,000
    164 Tom Clark $ 94,500
    165 Dutch Boyd $ 92,000
    166 Joe Leibman $ 88,000
    167 Sean Blanton $ 87,000
    168 Adam Brosius $ 86,500
    169 John R $ 85,500
    170 Joseph Vannata $ 84,500

    171 Matt Fitzgerald $ 81,500
    172 Michael Capener $ 80,000
    173 George Thomas Huber $ 73,000
    174 Doug Gehring $ 73,000
    175 Martin Cedercrantz $ 71,500
    176 Frank Hernandez $ 67,000
    177 Jon Hoellein $ 63,500
    178 Mike Wattel $ 62,500
    179 Paul L Darden, Jr. $ 60,000
    180 Jeffrey Geiger $ 48,000

    181 Tom Drotleff $ 41,500
    182 Brett Wiesner $ 36,000
    183 Ed Pellegrini $ 23,500
    184 John McLaughlin $ 16,500
    185 Imad Samouna $ 7,400

    Monday, July 11, 2005

    This is an Awesome Idea...

    That will no doubt thrive:

  • McCarron to Open Jockey School
  • Updated Standings

    Patirck at Handride has sent out this weeks updated HOY Standings. Check em' out below...

    Ahhhhh Back....

    All righty…I’m back!!

    What a great week. Spent 3days in lovely Lake Tahoe, came back for a ¾ day at work Friday, and headed out with about a dozen friend to Mt. Hood National Forest for some high-quality, top-notch camping.

    Excellent car camping as we feasted like gluttonous Kings on short ribs, hot dogs, biscuits and gravy, beer, wine, etc. Props to Rev. Bill Stolti (no not really a Rev., but the name works) for putting the whole trip together.

    As for “business”, the trip to Tahoe was excellent. I got to spend some time touting the horses (all day Wednesday) and spent quality hours at the poker table at the Horizon (see below). Caught two blistering nights of Widespread Panic at Caesars, only spent 15 minutes with my head in the toilet!! (I know TMI, but deal with it!).

    Basically, South Lake Tahoe is a mini-mini Las Vegas. Reno is a mini-dirtier Vegas. S. Lake Tahoe is smaller than Reno, but waaay nicer and consists mainly of 4 Hotel/Casinos. I ventured around for a little taste of each and sample each’s offerings:

    Caesars: I’ll start there b/c that’s where I stayed. Solid Casino, with two late night clubs providing music, and a pretty good bar within the confines of the casino. Sports book here is way less than avg. The “concert venue” within Caesars is just awesome. Being able to access your room and anywhere else you wanted to go freely throughout the two nights of shows, is difficult to replicate almost anywhere. Overall nice job, except for the less than inspiring sports book…

    Speaking of sports books….I found myself absolutely LOVING the sports book at across the street and up one “lot” at Harvey’s. B/c this was the Wed. following a holiday Monday, many tracks were dark which prob. Worked to my advantage. With only 3 (to start, a 4th track, Pleasanton went off later in the day) tracks running (Monmouth, Philly, and Delaware) I could concentrate on races from all of those tracks and pick and choose as I saw fit. With 5 GIANT screen TV’s showing all of the action, the middle screen airs a stationary view of Lake Tahoe from the top of Harvey’s while occasionally a caption runs a cross the bottom of the screen reminding you: “View from the Top of Harvey’s”. Tellers were both friendly and helpful. Major props to Harvey’s on their sports book.

    Need to get back to work now. More reviews and notes later. Haven’t received this weeks updated standings from Patrick, but will certainly post em’ when I get em’.

    Friday, July 01, 2005

    So Long, Farewell....

    Not forever though!!

    Of course we have the 3 day weekend, and I will be extending that to take a few days off to venture down to Lake Tahoe for some music and gambling. Will be hitting the sports book for all kinds of action (Do I really FINALLY get to bet Monmouth Park?)

    Will be checking out 2 nights of Widespread Panic at Caesars and as I ALWAYS do (YES, THIS IS A RULE!) the first Roulette table I see upon entering Caesars, I will lay down some coin on 2 & 14. That will set the tone for the entire "weekend"...

    Until then, I leave you all in good hands with our friends at Railbird (she'll be returning from vacation), Oregon Racing, Left at the Gate, Katrina, and Patrick keeping you up to date on anything and everything horses.

    Have a great 4th everyone!!

    Thursday, June 30, 2005

    Lots O' Good Stuff....

    *We are proud to welcome to the blog the newest feature...Weekly Blog Standings. The standings were created by Patrick at Pulling Hair and Betting Horses. We (in our measly little horse blog world) are using this non-opinion, point-based poll as one of the few statistical ways to gauge who is doing what in the horse racing world. According the formula, points are given out to horses based on where they have finishes in Grade 1 & 2 races, with a double value for victories in the Breeders Cup. Here is the Official Explanation from Patrick himself:

    "Points are to Graded events for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and also ran as long as they complete the race. I separate into 9 categories (2yo filly, 2yo colt, 3yo filly, 3yo colt, older horse, sprint, turf, filly & mare, filly & mare turf) Older horse is for 3&up or 4yo only and raced at a mile or longer. All races restricted to 3yo even if on the turf are in the 3yo category. I created these categories based on the Eclipse awards. Handicap races get the same points because a grade I is a grade I. To qualify for my personal year end awards a horse has to win a grade I race. This would eliminate any trainer from entering a horse where he doesn’t belong. “Ah-lukas-choo” excuse me, just couldn’t control that sneeze. Currently Memorrette is the top 3yo filly, but she has never won a Gr I race so she is not eligible currently. If she wins a Gr. I in any category she’d be fine. Also at the end of the year I compile all info into HOY where I weight some number for 3yo’s taking on older and or girls taking on the boys. Overall the process isn’t really that hard and I think many could benefit from it. God forbid our sport moves more towards the mainstream and make things easier for casual sports fans to get involved."

    So keep an eye out for these standings on horse racing blogs everywhere.


    *After the highly anticipated return of racing to Evangeline Downs, the results from yesterdays "overstocked" card are in. 6 favorites, a 5-2, 8-1, 8-1, & 4-1. Not bad.
  • Evangeline Results..


  • *A little pick-6 action today at the bustling metropolis known as Ruidoso Downs, there is a $42+k carryover. You better get there early as a sell-out is expected.

    *DRF National Handicapping Story (goes to show, you are never too old to win money!!
  • Retired 75-year-old takes top prize (drf.com)


  • *From the Poker world... with the $10,000 No limit Hold 'em Main Event ready to launch next Thursday (with a record amount of prize money on the line) former "Welcome Back Carter" star Gabe Kaplan fell just short of winning a WSOP bracelet in the $5k Limit Hold em’ event. "Mista Kah-TARE" finished in second place behind Dan Schmiech. Kaplan takes home a very nice $222,515 for his efforts.

    That’s all for now. Must get back to work!!

    Tuesday, June 28, 2005

    For Some Reason I Love Juan Serey...

    Glad to see him back training...


  • Juan Serey Back After Forced Layoff
  • A Quick Digression to Poker

    If you don't know by now, the WSOP is currently going on (the Main Event starts July 7th) in Vegas.

    Here is a quick update with a lovely, famous actress winning a ladies-only event.

    I think kind of cool!


  • Jennifer Tilly Wins WSOP Bracelet
  • Ahhhh Refreshed...

    So, I took a few days off; sue me!! I don't have my internets connected at home so weekends are always tough (soon that problem will be fixed!).

    Some quick notes here:

    *I started back on the caffeine: After trying several days without the daily fix, I have reverted back. Why not?

    *Some good stakes action this past weekend that you can read about over at our friends' Left at the Gate and Railbird's blog (see links to right).

    *A couple of very nice carryovers for tomorrow's (Wednesday) Belmont and Churchill Cards. Here are the DRF stories on those:
  • Belmont Carryover

  • Churchill Carryover

  • *Emerald Downs released the 250 names "randomly" drawn for their July 31st DRF Handicapping Tourney. Yours truly was left out as a contestant, but stay tuned for other possible participation...
    *Finally, some of us horse bloggers are in the early stages of discussing posting "Blogger Rankings" for HOY awards. stay tuned for those developments.

    Now back to work, which with this fresh cup of coffee (heavy sugar) is breeze (at least for the next few hours until the inevitable crash!!)

    Friday, June 24, 2005

    A Few Quickies...

    *folks must have read yesterdays post as bettors piled nearly $400,000 into the Pick-6 pool at Hollywood. With only the first leg producing a post time favorite, the payout was a nice $62+K for about 4 or 5 ticket holders.

    *You can still get in on a $12+k Pick-6 carryover going on at Churchill today. Let's see if it can make it into Saturday without being hit...

    Other than that...

    *Folks on the East Coast have been bitching about the qualtiy of fields recently at Belmont. You can read more about that at our newest friend Alan's
  • Blog
  • We offically welcome Alan and
  • Katrina
  • to our blog roll, and applaud them on all of their work. Def. check them out.

    Wednesday, June 22, 2005

    Pick Six Got Hit...

    Oh well, the combination of 1-3-4-2-5-3 paid folks $4,366 at Belmont today. The pool was $234,000 which is pretty solid. Still would have been nice had a long shot come in somewhere and brought that pool into Thursday!!!

    Churchill has an $8,000 carryover for Thursday's card.

    Interesting Story Out of Louisiana/Fair Grounds

  • Rapid Proof disqualified from Mervin Muniz victory
  • Is Tuesday the New Hump-Day?

    After reading this article
  • Is 40 the New 30?

  • I think we can all take a big, deep breath and relax on the notion that turning 30 is "the end of the world."

    For those of you already over 40, well that's a whole other story!!!

    Anyway....

    As I explained to my lovely, freshly 28 yr. old partner last night, Tuesdays (and Mondays generally, except in the summer & Holidays) are industry-wide "dark days". Only a handful of tracks are open, and a lot of simulcast facilities will even shut down for the day.

    Thusly, I think in the world of horses, and "horse-playing" Tuesday should actually be hump-day.

    As we slide on down the backside of hump-day and into the beginning of the racing week, there is a nice Pick-6 Carryover at Belmont of $42,568. After reading Dave Litfin's column in the DRF,
  • 6/22 Belmont Carryover

  • hope remains that this carryover puzzle will NOT be solved today!!

    There's nothing better (to me) then a several day carryover. Even though I rarely (if ever) play the Pick-6, I love following the hype, hoopla, and impending drama of a large multi-day carryover.

    Finally in other gambling news, the WSOP moves on. Check out some of the poker blogs links I've posted over on the right side of the page.

    This is one of my favorite spots to read (especially during the WSOP) and I think you'll enjoy it too.
  • WSOP Blog
  • Tuesday, June 21, 2005

    Random Tuesday Thoughts

    As the longest day of the year starts to wind down I would like to say Happy Birthday to my lovely partner Sara who turns 28 today.

    There was/is nothing too interesting for me to get into today in regards to the world of horse racing, so I will leave you all with just a few thoughts:

    *Rescue Me” Season Premiere (2nd Season) is on tonight at 10 pm on FX, I highly recommend it.
  • Good Review from Knight-Ridder


  • *If you haven’t caught Spielberg’s “Into the West” catch it…good times for all

    *Try not to balance your allergies with Sudafed uppers and Children’s Benadryl as downers, it’ll just make you crazy

    *Tuesdays always suck in the horse racing world!!

    Monday, June 20, 2005

    Too Good Not to Post..

    This was posted on Craigslist Chicago this morning:

    As seen on Craigslist Chicago this morning
    How many members of the Bush administration does it take to change a light bulb?

    1. One to deny that a light bulb needs to be changed;

    2. One to attack the patriotism of anyone who says the light bulb needs to be changed;

    3. One to blame Clinton for burning out the light bulb;

    4. One to arrange the invasion of a country rumored to have a secret stockpile of light bulbs;

    5. One to give a billion dollar no-bid contract to Halliburton for the new light bulb;

    6. One to arrange a photograph of Bush, dressed as a janitor, standing on a step ladder under the banner: Light Bulb Change Accomplished;

    7. One administration insider to resign and write a book documenting in detail how Bush was literally in the dark;

    8. One to viciously smear #7;

    9. One surrogate to campaign on TV and at rallies on how George Bush has had a strong light-bulb-changing policy all along;

    10. And finally one to confuse Americans about the difference between screwing a light bulb and screwing the country.

    Some Monday News Racing and Poker...

    From Thoroughbred Times:


  • Bay Meadows emerges as leading bidder for Hollywood Park


  • Churchill stewards suspend three jockeys over Derby ads


  • From the Poker World, the WSOP is in full swing and this article is pretty good from Tao of Poker..
  • WSOP Recap
  • Weekend Recaps..

  • NTRA Pick 4 Payoffs


  • Saint Liam takes aim at top


  • Mr. Makah upsets Budweiser Emerald Handicap
  • Thursday, June 16, 2005

    Have You Seen This Man?

    My Hero

    Yes, this is a drunk Kid Rock, but then again is there any OTHER kind?

    New Links to Some Great Blogs

    Somehow I wound up at
  • LACW
  • You know how it is, once you start surfing around, you never know where you'll go how the f you got there!

    Anyway, from "Love and Casino War" I got turned on to two awesome blogs live from the on-going WSOP in Vegas. Def. take some time and look through them.

    I took some time looking through the lsit of winners so far, and the cast of no-name mooks interspersed with some real pros is quite interesting.

    I have added a new set of links to blogs that I know of that at the very least are mildly interesting.

    Wednesday, June 15, 2005

    O.K. So someone (several people) hit it...

    As the favorite in the last leg of the pick-6 and the favorite in the last race, 3rd time starter "Smiling Cat" (C. Clement) closes out a $1,020.00 pay-off.

    Belmont's Pick 6 Carryover Today...

    Well, it is a little late to bet into the $44,000+ Pick 6 at Belmont today. But here at Avg. Horseplayer, we like to play contrarian. So, for those keeping score at home...

    The winner of the first leg (Race 4) was: Little Miss Zip payin 19.20 to win as the 5th favorite in the 8 horse field.

    Do you think Steve Klesaris's filly just wiped out multiple tickets?

    Here's to hoping no one hits it today!! And in case you missed the preview article, David Grening in the DRF.com wants to let you know there is
  • ONE SURE SINGLE
  • in hitting this Pick-6.

    We shall see....

    Rescue Me Season Premeire Next Tuesday...

    I know, this has nothing to do with anything, however...

    Cruising through the numerous channels we are all so privy to theses days, I caught a promo for the Season Premiere (2nd Season) of the Dennis Leary Produced (and star) "Rescue Me" on FX.

    Now, before everyone gets their panties in a bunch, if you haven't seen the 1st season, be opened minded, shutout any nay-sayers and buck up your attention spans for the 2nd season.

    First of all, it's a Tuesday night (10 pm) in the summer, so nothing else worthwhile is even on.

    Secondly, you will love this show and after about 2 commercial breaks, you will start wondering, "am I watching HBO?", then as you realize you are still in "basic cable land" you will wonder, "Why the F isn't this on HBO? How much better would this show be if it were."

    Then this thought will arise, "This show is pretty f'n good. Holy S"

    And yes, you WILL find yourself grasping for adjectives other than those NOT allowed on Primetime TV b/c Rescue me contains a boatload of "dirty" language (making NYPD Blue look like Sesame Street) and graphic scenes that are right up there with anything the Sopranos has to offer.

    So, let this be a reminder and a heads up that the 2nd season premiere of Rescue Me is NEXT Tuesday, June 21st at 10 pm on FX.

    Give it a shot, you will be pleasantly surprised (and I will be sure to remind you next Tuesday during the day).

    In the meantime, here are a few links for your amusement.

  • NY Newsday Aritcle on Rescue Me


  • Rescue Me Homepage
  •