Friday, May 27, 2005

The Itch

Oh man, I'm gettin' the itch. You know what I'm talking about. Antsy, unfocused, anxious to just plop down a few bucks for a form; sit back and inhale the fresh scent of second hand smoke. Does it get any better than that? Winning. Or more specifically, picking a winner.

I have at times threw down some loot on pre-selected numbers (like one will tend to do at jai-lai) or on "tips" that involve zero skill or ability. Sure it's nice to cash a ticket (ALWAYS!!) but it loses a lot of its luster if YOU don't pick the winner. That's why betting on the horses is such a great competition. Sure, it takes SOME skill to pick a footbal game, but all in all it's basically a 50-50 pick. You either pick Team A or Team B. With the horses you have anywhere from 3 (ugh!) to 20 (ok, just in the Derby, but we are in for arguments sake here) possible winners and any number of possible combos that proves you can pick a winner.

As I try and sneak out of work here on an absolutely gorgeous Friday afternoon (Memorial Day Weekend) herein the Pac. NW, I have just noticed that Hollywood Park doesn't post until 7 pm pst, Emerald Downs not until 6:15. I might be able to catch a the last two races at Belmont if I can get out of here soon, but my timing is just awful right now.

Such are the dilemmas of a gambler.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

If you write a blog and no one reads it....

...Doesn't matter. My sincerest thanks to Chip Nelson who remains the lone sole to post a comment on this blog.

I feel a little lull today. All week long I have been about one day off. Tues. was DEFINITELY Wed., Wed. was DEFINTELY Thurs. etc. Until today when today was DEFINITELY Thursday (Definitely Raymond. Definitely). Finally, the actual day!!

The horse world seems relatively quiet. Being that the Belmont is still more than 2 weeks away, excitement is somewhat on the DL. The Peter Pan is this Saturday and everybody is talking about contenders that may emerge from that race for the final leg of the Triple Crown on June 11th.

I for one am not that excited about the Peter Pan and its Belmont implications. Not being a chalk bettor myself, I am afraid that Alex is the logical choice, and in my mind the sentimental one.

Early predictions are that TV ratings will be down and overall handle will be up slightly. That is pretty much the trend with the horsies these days. If the non-betting public doesn't have story to rally around (their TV sets)then ratings will obviously drop.

Memorial Day Weekend will have me uprooting several Rose Bushes in my backyard and making a trip to the OTB. Horse Racing on Memorial Day Weekend? It's as American as Apple Pie. I just hope Belmont can get some decent weather.

Monday, May 23, 2005

2nd Best Story of the Weekend (and other gossipy tidbits)

** After the amazing outcome of Preakness 131, I had to get on the horn immediately to my mentor and partner in degeneracy "Big Red"; never in a million years did I expect this lifelong horse fanatic to have the response that he did:(phone call transcript paraphrased)

RED: Hello?
RED: What?
RED: Why what...? Ohhhh my... You will not believe what happened to me. Did I miss the race? Holy shit I missed the race.
ME: WHAT? You what? No you didn't
RED: I am so embarrassed. You have no idea. I shut my eyes about 10 minutes to post and I fell asleep, I missed the whole race. What happened?

I thusly tried to recapture the moments of insanity that took place just minutes before. In between analysis, I proceeded to take my usual jabs at the old man reminding hi m how embarrassed he should be, but that it's ok, b/c after all, he was getting up there a bit in age.

** Bob O.: I heard you laughed at my notion of Scrappy T with a "Scrappy Who?" Scrappy bottom half of a $152 exacta my friend. Next time try and make your wager BEFORE post time, although sounds like you saved yourself some coin.

** Jebber: Yes, you are still ahead from your Derby score from last year, but those funds are drying up quickly. I'll let you know the next sure thing I come across friend.

Follow up to May 17th Post

Oregon governor signs bill allowing year-round off-track betting

Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski signed a bill on Thursday that allows year-round off-track betting on simulcasts.
Under previous law, off-track betting was only allowed during a track’s live meeting.

Magna Entertainment Corp. cited the old law in threatening to pull out of Portland Meadows after the meet that ended on April 16.

Preakness 131 (pt.2)

What a race. Never have I seen something like that in my life (granted I have only been following thoroughbred for about 8 years now!).

Unbelievable. Standing inches from the television screen, I could not believe my eyes as Ramon Domniguez lost complete control of Scrappy T and just jumped right in front of a surging Afleet Alex. 2,000 lbs. of flesh moving 35 one instants disbelief, fear, excitement, pure wonderment.

Again, my tickets were losers (although I did like Scrappy T)in another leg of the this years Triple Crown, but again I walked away from my losses with a sense of satisfaction.

If there is not to be a triple crown winner this year, Afleet Alex is the closest thing and it will be hard to bet against him in the Belmont.

Maybe I am just to emotional, but I am still reeling form the events that took place Saturday as the horses turned for home in the 131st running of the Preakness Stakes.

My love for this sport only continues to grow.

Friday, May 20, 2005


Ok, so Eddington showed some great class firing home the final 2 furlongs, blowing past Pollards Vision and finishing strong easing across the finish line.

The bettors clearly loved this horse as they pounded him down to 5-2.

Presidentialaffair looked like a possible winner turning for home, as did Pollards Vision on the inside rail. With just less than 2 furlongs to go, it looked like a wall just slapped down on the inside and outside horses, as Eddington rushed to an impressive lead closing for home and cruised to a very nice G1 victory.

Can't be too upset. I did have PV in my double bets, but clearly it was Eddington’s day.

A 4th place finish by Funny Cide somehow makes me smile a little bit. Fans clearly love this horse and consistently bet him down to odds that make him unplayable, thusly easy to root against. Don't get me wrong, the whole Sackatoga stable/yellow bus thing WAS a great story, but that was some time ago; time to move on and re-focus on business.

Never a good thing to lose money, but if you do have to lose, this one we can stomach. Still have an exacta box for tomorrow's festivities that includes 4-5-6-7.

Here's my bitch of the day: The race day is over at Pimlico, and the NTRA places so much importance and promotion on the Special/Preakness double. SO WHERE ARE THE PROBABLES? I went to and of course Magna has nothing to offer the casual bettor except to send them to Expressbet where you have to sign up to get any kind of info. is teets-on-a-bull. This is a perfect example of the industry not embracing the bettor. The industry needs to embrace and not shy away from the "stigma" of betting. does a fantastic job of showing live race day probables, why can't someone be more attentive to the ongoing needs of the bettor who wants to be involved on a daily/internet ready basis.

UPDATE: This is why and Steven Crist are the absolute leaders in the sport:Special/Preakness Dbl. Will Pays If it weren't for them, where would we all be? And by the way, if you haven't read Steven's book yet, it is so fantastic, you will love it. Enough of the ass-kissing, just giving folks their due. That's all.

Preakness Weather Update

Since it has just been pointed out to me that the current track at Pimlico is "Sloppy" and the weather forecast is for more rain through Saturday, I have made change in my Preakness picks.

Although I would love to keep Wilko as my winner, the sloppy track cannot add to Wilko's chances as a clsoing power. In that same vein, I am also eliminating Noble Causeway from my picks.

Therefore my new double picks for the Special/Preakness will be as follows:

4-8-9/4-5-6-7 remaining a $24 investment.

My win pick for Saturday is now: Scrappy T

Preakness 131

“All righty then…” A little more than 24hrs. until Preakness 131 and just a few thoughts.

To my boy Bob O. Beanie-Burger: Try and make your money last until the big race my friend. Sources tell me Bob O. had a rough day two weeks ago on the Derby under cards and barely had enough to throw down for the big one. Pace yourself mi amigo.

To The Jebber in Philly: Getting one horse in a 4 horse exacta box is NOT almost winning.

And Mark C. in Tokyo: Drink as many Red Bull and Sake’s as needed so you can catch the Preakness at 4am local time. The Japanese love there horses and their gambling, so go find a joint and enjoy it… American style.

As for me, I’ll be betting the Pimlico Special/Preakness Double today skipping out of work at about 2:30 local time. This gives me just enough time to make it to the local OTB about 3-4 minutes before post.

My picks for the double are:
Offlee Wild/Pollards Vision/Grand Reward with Wilko/Closing Argument/Noble Causeway/Scrappy T making it a $2 dbl. 9-4-8 w/9-7-5-3 for $24. I like the 9-4 ex. in the special with the 9 on top (Offlee Wild) and I am sticking with my Derby pick of Wilko to bounce back in the Preakness.

Don’t forget post time for the Special is 5:43 est. TODAY (Fri.) and post time tomorrow for the Preakness is 6:09 est.

And in case you missed it, Vic Zeigel has a very interesting article on the future of The Preakness in today’s NY Daily News:
  • Pimlico Even Money to Lose Preakness
  • Tuesday, May 17, 2005

    Very Important Oregon Racing Bill

    Important story on the futue of OTB in Oregon:

  • Oregon Bill Allowing OTB Throughout Year(from Thoroughbred Times)
  • 4 Days to Preakness and a Correction

    So, in my last post I wrote about "Lost in the Fog's" race at Golden Gate and mentioned a %10 ROI if you were to take the chance. What I should have said was, it was a %5 ROI (5 cents on the dollar not 10). Turns out 'Fog rolled home in record setting fashion setting a track record at GG Fields for 6 furlongs.

  • Lost in the Fog Sets Track Record (from

  • As far as The Preakness goes, it is too late to find a huge long shot that will give us payoffs anything like last weeks Derby.

    Here's how this phenomenon works in horse racing: Everyone decides one or two horses are fantabulous; the unbeatable get beat (badly), the next chance folks get, they look for an equally big upset...when that time does come, someone winds up to be an under-priced winner.

    Can't wait to see.

    PP's are drawn for the 130th Preakness Stakes at 5pm (est) on ESPN.

    My worthless picks to follow...

    Friday, May 13, 2005

    This Weekend's Sure Thing

    So this weekend, the 3rd race at Golden Gate Racetrack in S.F., Calif features "Lost in The Fog" battling it out against 2 other foes. That's right, I said 2 other horses will try and upset the 5-for-5 3 yr. old Colt who has never won by anything less than 4 lengths.

    'Fog will go off at 1-9 no doubt, bringing this question to the table: Is there EVER a sure thing? and if there this it? Where else can you almost gurantee yourself a 10% return on your investment (ROI)?

    Here's a link to Chuck Dybdal's article on the race from today's DRF
  • 'Fog' foes resigned to inevitable

  • Do you have the guts to lay $5,000 to get back $5500? The last time I looked the stock market was headed downhill, and where else can you virtually guarantee yourself $.10 on the dollar?

    Are you willing to take the chance this weekend? When Lost in the Fog takes takes his first steps out of the gate at 2:07 pm (pst) we shall see who has put up, and who has shut up.

    I can tell you one thing....I will certainly be shutting up!!

    Tuesday, May 10, 2005

    "Where Have All the Experts Gone...

    Long time passing..."

    So it is now approaching 72 hrs. since Derby 131, and only one of the 3 MAJOR DRF handicappers has come out with any sort of column.

    This is where information/niche/news sites falter. In order to keep people involved and informed, you need to be timely. The DRF needs to look at those who participated in the series of live chats leading up to the Derby, and realize that they can increase interest and participation by staying timely everyday.

    Yes, Steven Crist is the Publisher and Head Honcho at the paper, but Stevie-baby… WHERE ARE YOU NOW? All of your throw outs were winners, and all of your winners are still running?

    So with that criticism, I applaud Andrew Beyer who was right on top of it and had his response ready for the nation some 24 hrs. after the Debacle at the Derby.

    Let's keep our niche news sites timely and allow readers to participate more and more. This will only increase interest and allow fans to be true fans on an everyday basis.

    Monday, May 09, 2005

    The Dust Has Settled (Part 2)

    Also, Part 2 of The Dust has settled.

    AS I shoved tasty-salty-grease down my throat, I moved my head back into a central place of normalcy, and began to focus on the weekend’s upcoming delight...the Derby.

    I had paled my list of possible winners down to 5 and felt like I needed to make that number shrink to 3, and ultimately 1.

    My pick turned out to be 21-1 Wilko. I was picking against the 0-for-Juvenile jinx and hoping the 22nd time would pay me well.

    I like Afleet Alex, Noble Causeway, Sun King and Bandini to round out my top 4, covering all of my bases with one dollar bets totaling $55.

    Fully knowing this Derby was going to be a crapshoot I left Bellamy Road, the morning line and post time favorite off of my tickets for 3 reasons:
    1) George Steinbrenner
    2) If BR could come anywhere close to his 120 Beyer from the Wood, then so be it. Nice win my friend (and on to the Preakness we would go)
    3) George Steinbrenner

    Taking a break from painting the kitchen cupboard in my newly purchased bungalow, the girlfriend and I moseyed to a local brew pub for a bite and some horses. We took a seat at the bar where there was a tv with the race on its screen (we actually got there about 10 minutes before post).

    Just as I was making a call to my friend "Red" back east (my horse playing counterpart) so he could play the audio feed over the phone, the unsuspecting party of 3 at the table behind us requested that the waitress turn up the volume for the race. TO say that I was overjoyed is an understatement.

    After all of the hype, all of the touting, it was finally here. This excitement could only be trumped by actually being at Churchill Downs on this (and every) First Saturday in May.

    The Dust Has Settled (Part 1)

    So the dust has settled after the fastest (and arguably the greatest) 2 minutes in sports.

    Before I get to Saturday, I would like to begin Friday afternoon at about 2:20 pm PST.

    With grand plans being laid to plavce about $30 worth of Oaks-Derby Double wagers, I felt like I gave myself enough time to slip out fo work, hit the ATM, and make it to the local OTB with time to spare.

    Who knew the clock on my computer screen was 15 minutes slow!! After arriving at the OTB IN THE MIDDLE OF THE OAKS I was horrified to see Summerly emrge as the winner. Jerry Bailey at 9-2 was a very nice pick, but thanks to my trusty computer screen, I missed keying Summerly with 5 possibles in the next day's Derby (see previous post)

    Incensed was not evev close to how I really felt.

    8-10 expletives and an order of large Fries from Mikey D's later, I cooled down and chalked it up to the mavens of fate above.

    Friday, May 06, 2005

    D.B.D. (Day Before Derby)

    It is the day beofr ethe Derby and I want to focus on betting the Oaks/Derby Double. Picking a winner of the Derby is hard enough...picking the Oaks AND Derby winner is definitely no easy peach.

    Reading the transcprits from The Daily Racing Form (DRF) Online chats with Stevn Crist and Lauren Stich just adds my theroy that nobody knows nuttin.'

    Feel free to base your picks on these two "knowledgeable" horse folk, and good luck finding a winner.

    As far as my picks go, I am putting some small $2 dbl bets using:
    Runway Model/In the Gold/Summerly with Andromeda's Hero/Sun King/Noble Causeway/Wilko/Bandini ($30)

    In the Derby I love the Fusaichi/Gian'ts Causeway Angel and feel one of their progeny will come out on top. I also love Wilko, even with the 0-for BC Juvenile jinx.

    If I had to plunk Los Benajaminos down on one horse on Saturday, it would be jinx-laden Wilko.

    Looking forward to the best 2 minutes in sports!!!