Archives for June 17, 2017

Is Horse Racing Dead? Handle Up on 3-Day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival

Belmont Park horse racingAll-source handle for the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival at Belmont Park was $124,740,193, eclipsing 2016’s all-source handle of $122,816,359.

All-source total on Saturday, which saw Tapwrit win the 149th edition of the Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets, was $93,666,832. Saturday’s on-track handle was $11,594,599, virtually unchanged from 2016’s on-track handle of $11,694,897.

All-source wagering on the Belmont Stakes itself was $47,163,773.

This year’s Belmont Stakes also featured betting in Japan, in a non-commingled pool. The total Belmont Stakes handle from Japan, which is not included in the all-source handle figure, was $4,698,525.

Paid attendance for Belmont Stakes Day was 57,729.

 2017 Handle:

Thursday all-source handle = $10,309,891

Friday all-source handle = $20,763,469

Saturday all-source handle = $93,666,832

Belmont Stakes Racing Festival all-source handle = $124,790,193

Belmont Stakes all-source handle = $47,163,773

Belmont Stakes Japan handle = $4,698,525

Expert Selections for Gulfstream Mandatory Payout Day – 6/17

Source: Gulfstream Park

Gulfstream Park’s 20-cent Rainbow 6 could climb as high as $5 million Saturday, or more, due to a mandatory payout.

Saturday’s carryover is $998,088 going into today.

Gulfstream handicappers Ron Nicoletti, Jason Blewitt and Acacia Courtney look at Saturday’s Rainbow 6 sequence.

Ron Nicoletti

We have another exciting and life-altering Rainbow 6 mandatory payout on Saturday with over a $4 million pool expected. My strategy is to always try to find a race where I can ‘single’ a horse so I can add more choices in races that are tougher to handicap.

It starts in Race 6, and I’m going 3 deep in the opening leg with Sunshine Smile, Crazy for Sophia and Go Astray. Race 7 is another wide-open affair, so I’m going 4 deep with Schettino, It’s a Given, my longshot Valoordo and Golden Point. Race 8 is another competitive field, so I’m going 3 deep again with Dardo, Annie’s Big Boy and Haybub. Only 2 deep in Race 9 with Yo No Se and Great Skellig. In Race 10 I’m using 3 selections with Crazy Frank C, Magnanimous Mine and Capital City. Finally in Race 11 my single is multiple graded stakes-placed Enterprising, who should be the odds-on choice in the finale.

Ron’s Rainbow 6 Ticket

Race 6:  1-2-6

Race 7:  1-3-7-9

Race 8:  1-3-7

Race 9:  8-12

Race 10:  3-7-9

Race 11:  3

Total:  $43.20

Acacia Courtney

Saturday’s Rainbow 6 sequence will cover Races 6 through 11, and I will use a single in the final race to anchor my ticket. My best bet, Enterprising, shipping in from Churchill Downs where he faced Grade 1 company last time out after notching his multiple graded stakes victories at the Fair Grounds in the two races prior, will face eleven other foes in the nightcap, the Soldier’s Dancer Stakes. He is the class of the field and in excellent form for trainer Mike Maker, plus has leading jockey Tyler Gaffalione aboard, who is also very familiar with this horse.

The Rainbow 6 starts with a maiden special weight event for two-year-old fillies, and I’ll use a first time starter in Crazy for Sofia as well as the horse with experience, Go Astray. Having my single in the finale allows me to use some coverage in the middle of the sequence, as Races 7, 8, and 9 in particular are great betting affairs with lots of potential for value. I will spread the most in Race 7 using five horses, and hope for some better priced winners in the races leading up to my single.

Acacia’s Rainbow 6 Ticket

R6: 2-6

R7: 1-8-9-10-11

R8: 1-4-7

R9: 1-8-11-12

R10: 1-3-9

R11: 3

Cost – $72.00

Jason Blewitt

Two-year-old filly maidens ring in the opening leg of Saturday’s monstrous Rainbow 6 mandatory payout! Only two of the nine fillies entered have raced and a good firster will beat both the experienced Go Astray and Holy Diver.  It doesn’t take a genius to see that trainer Antonio Sano has a very “live” runner in Crazy for Sofia, a Mizzen Mast firster who attracted leading jockey Tyler Gaffalione.  Sunshine Smiles may get some play as well, given her decent worktab and the presence of an excellent two-year-old sire in Katharos.

A big field of 11 awaits players in race 7, a $10,000 claimer on the turf.  Little in the ability department separates the majority of this group.  Lay It Down had little luck at the draw with his 11 post, but his last couple of races have been good and shortening just a touch to 1 1/16 miles should help him.  Vedelago and Golden Point should both run well for excellent barns.

In the eighth, Dardo ran a weird but gigantic race first time out. He chased early, suddenly dropped back mid-turn, and then re-rallied late while very green. Considering he caught an extremely wet track and ran so well in his debut, it’s a little surprising Dardo drops in for $10,000. Still, he’s an obvious must-use and will likely find himself a single in more budget-minded plays. Those looking to use another horse may want to look at Mongolian Dancer. If this gelding is going to show anything, it will be in this race as he goes turf to dirt for a trainer (David Kassen) who excels with that move.

A dozen turf runners are entered in the ninth on the turf and this leg is a must spread! It’s likely worthwhile to use every bit of Malibu’smostwanted, Yo No Se, Czarmo and Great Skellig.

Tough lower-level claimers meet in race 10 at seven furlongs. Let’s Go Ben goes turf to dirt for trainer Keith Bourgeois, who is very dangerous in this spot. Capital City is clearly the gelding to beat, given his current two-race win streak. If he fails to score the hat trick, the aforementioned Let’s Go Ben, Phish Fan and maybe Fenerbahce are dangerous and must-uses.

An unforgettable day of racing and Rainbow 6 sequence closes with race 11, the co-featured Soldier’s Dance on the turf.  Enterprising is likely to start as a big favorite and single for many players given the top connections in his corner and his classy resume. A B-minus level from Enterprising won’t be good enough to get it done here, but anything above that and close to Enterprising’s best makes him too much racehorse to handle for his foes. Single.

Jason’s Rainbow 6: 

R6:   1,2

R7:   8,9,10,11

R8:   1,4

R9:   2,8,11,12

R10: 1,3,5,6,9

R11: 3

Total Cost is $64

TV Coverage: Live from Churchill Downs Saturday Night

Churchill winner's circleNBCSN, HRRN To Broadcast Live Stephen Foster Card

NBCSN will be onsite live from 8:30-10 p.m. Saturday to launch its 2017 “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In, presented by Lane’s End Farm and America’s Best Racing” television schedule. Also, Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN) will air live coverage from 8-10 p.m. ET online at www.horseracingradio.net.

This year’s Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, now in its fourth year on NBC and NBCSN, will showcase 11 live programs featuring 17 qualifying races and other major stakes on the road to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Del Mar on Nov. 3-4.

“In conjunction with our partners at NBC Sports, we look forward once again showcasing the biggest stars in our sport competing in the highest quality of races throughout the summer and fall leading to the World Championships,” said Craig Fravel, Breeders’ Cup President and CEO. “We greatly appreciate NBC’s expanded commitment and expertise in covering Thoroughbred racing, and express our gratitude for the support of our presenting sponsors of the Challenge series in Lane’s End Farm and America’s Best Racing.”