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 (

  • *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!!!


    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 wants to let you know there is
  • 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
  • Monday, June 13, 2005

    Now we can move on...

    O.K., so clearly Alex is the man. No surprise there.

    Now, can we move on to making some money? Even though I mentioned Alex's class level in my "Belmont Preview" I still couldn't be 100% behind him.

    Betting the Triple Crown races is extremely difficult as you have to thrown all of your touting "expertise" out the window.

    A hindsight bet of Alex/Andromeda's Hero makes complete sense as AH is a son of the great Fusaichi Pegasus so getting the distance was not going to be a problem for him.

    Oh well, like I said, let's move on b/c the 3 horses I hooked up with Alex didn't finish last, but did mange to finish 2nd, 3rd, and 4th to last respectively.

    *Belmont has a nice $44+ K carryover for Wednesday's card
    *Only 135 days until the Breeders Cup
    *Registration for the DRF Handicapping Tournament at Emerald Downs is currently ongoing for mail-in entries, but the internet entry system begins June 23rd.
    *It is a small shame that G-Zapper was retired today, but at the same time glad to have that type of horse out of the betting picture come Breeders Cup Day Oct. 29th
    *Attendance for Belmont Day this year was a paltry 62,274. Mostly due to the fact that coolers and beach chairs were not allowed into the park for the first time ever.

    Friday, June 10, 2005

    Belmont Stakes Past Performances..

    I should have posted them earlier, but here's a link if you need it
  • Belmonts Stakes PP's
  • Finally some excitement....Final leg just over 24 hrs. away

    For the record, for those of you keeping score at home….I will not be making it to the OTB today.

    Now that I have that out of my system here are some thoughts with the final leg of the Triple Crown a little over 24 hrs. away.

    *I am FINALLY getting excited about the race!!

    *The undercard is absolutely fantastic. Be sure to bet the house on Lost In the Fog to show. If I had $10,000, that would be my bet. ‘Fog has slipped in just in front of Artie Schiller as my new favorite horse. Afleet Alex jumped into a close third with his ridiculous performance at the Preakness. And still, one of my favorites of all-time (keep in mind that I have only been in this game since 1999) is Fusaichi Pegasus (even though he cost me a nice Pick 3 with his dismal showing in the Breeders Cup Classic).

    *Speaking of Artie Schiller. Yes, he cost me money in this year’s Breeders Cup Mile, but I love this horse, and he will go off as the favorite in Saturday’s Manhattan. I would hook him up with a few horses in exactas and triples.

    *And as for my LEAST favorite horse of all-time who happens to be racing on Saturday’s Belmont undercard… do everything you can to bet AGAINST Funny Cide. This plodder has more excuses than I could EVER think of. “It’s too hot… It’s too wet” blah, blah, blah…check out the DRF article from today and see for yoursel how confident Trainer Barclay Tagg sounds….
  • Why Funny Cide Will Lose (my title for this article)

  • Finally my selections for the Belmont:

    I firmly believe either Afleet Alex or Giacomo will finish 1st or 2nd. I am betting against that they both will finish in the top 2. With that in mind, I will make two separate exacta box bets using Alex, and Giacomo separately. So it will look like this:
    $2 Ex. Box 9 w/ 4,6,8 ($12) and 2$ Ex. Box 5 w/ 4,6,8 ($12) I will also back myself up by boxing the other 3 together in a $1 Ex. Box 4-6-8 ($6)

    Good luck and don't forget that ESPN's coverage of the high-quality undercard begins at 3 pm est.

    Wednesday, June 08, 2005

    Not Because I Want to, but Because I HAVE to...

    Here is the AP story on the Belmont draw: (wake me if something happens)

  • Belont Draw from AP
  • OTB ponies up to buff image with the fillies (from the NY Daily News)

    First of all, read this article (it's short)
  • OTB Buffs Image..

  • Secondly, I have been to the Playwright many (many) times and it is the most wonderful place to lose your money.

    Clean, nice, good food, attractive really can't imagine it being an OTB.

    Stephen Travers, (an Irish lad) loves playing the horses while serving as classy Maitre' D/Manager will make sure affore mentioned "$2 Bums" don't make it past the front door. He seems to only hire "off the boat" Irish girls to work the bar (which is fine, just making an observation) and will chat you up about who you like in the 5th at Calder just as much as he'll you ask how your food was.

    If you ever get to 35th st. between 5th and 6th Ave. go on up to the 2nd floor, take a seat at the bar, order up the burger and take a look at one of the complimentary Daily Racing Forms The Playwright provides.

    I am guessing you'll be back.

    Cheers to the NYC OTB for trying to come up with creative ways to get more people into the game.

    Monday, June 06, 2005

    Mondays ('nuff said)

    Feeling a bit slow as Monday begins to wind down.

    Not too excited about the Belmont here only 6 days out. News item on NBC Nightly News was vaguely interesting about backstretch workers at Belmont and childcare provided by the NYRA.

    Decent story, but felt like such a PR ploy to get the Belmont any type of coverage sans Triple Crown possibilities.

    It is interesting to note that as The 137th Belmont Stakes approaches this Saturday, the Daily Racing Form offers its weekly poll question about attendance predictions.

    Exactly. A poll worth 1,000 words.

    My prediction is for a low TV rating, decent attendance (74,000-82,000), and a lot of focus on the lack of a triple crown winner.

    As for me, at this point it is going to be hard for me to even bet seriously on this race. AA seems like the likely winner, and there is just no pizzazz for the affair.

    As usual though, I will be amped to see the big-time horsies on National Television. Always good times there.

    Steven Crist performs his ritual pre-Belmont live chat on this Wednesday at 7 pm est.

    Friday, June 03, 2005's "Sports Guy"

    You just have to love Bill Simmons' column (Page 2) on Page 2

    Here is the final "mailbag letter" from one of his readers in today's column:

    Q: Quick Vegas/Celebrity Story – My buddy Ralph and I are playing craps at the Hard Rock last weekend at the table next to Elizabeth Shue. Every time we rolled a pass we were screaming out "Ali, with an I!" After about 20 minutes, she looks over at my friend Ralph and says "Hey ... that joke. It's really not workin for ya." Ralph pauses, looks her right in the eye, and says "I really like your car Mrs. Larusso!"
    – JT, Holmdel, N.J.

    SG: Yup ... these are my readers.

    A Little Jerry Bailey Story for Your Friday Pleasure

    So I have some friends in NY who are "well connected" (no not in the Tony Soprano way) in the NY sports scene and here’s how the story was relayed to me:

    Local sportscaster wants to do an interview with JB for pre-Belmont segment. One thing leads to another and a few days later the sportscaster receives a call from JB himself.

    JB: "Hey, I heard you want to do an interview with me?"
    Sportscaster: "Def...waddya think?"
    JB: "Well, on 2 conditions"
    Sportscaster: "Really? Uhhh, well o.k."
    JB: The interview gets done tomorrow at Belmont. But first you meet me at 9 am off of exit 41 on the LIE for 18 holes. Then we go to Belmont (3 pm post) and you can do the interview"
    Sportscaster (who is a pretty good golfer himself): "Ummm, o.k."

    So, if you are in the NYC Metro area keep an eye out for a little JB, pre-Belmont interview and I'll let you know more on how the golf game went.

    *Short week this week and the Belmont action hasn’t really heated me up yet.

    *Congrats to big Red who had a fantastic day at Belmont (but winning at Monmouth) yesterday taking home something in the low 4 figures.