Archives for January 2018

Start Making Better Bets on Horse Racing Handicaps

Guest Post: International Correspondent

There are a number of factors that go into horse racing handicap betting. Investigating these will ensure that your wagers start making better returns. 

How to Bet Horse Racing Handicaps And Win 

Handicap betting can be difficult for punters who enjoy horse racing, since the percentage of winning favourites is far lower in handicaps that it on other grade races. The reason for this is quite simple: it is harder to find the winner of a handicap.

The head of the British Horseracing Authority handicapping service once stated that it could take him around 45 minutes to solve a single handicap – punters looking for a good tip should be spending at least as long doing the same! However, with time being as precious a resource as it is, we have collected together some handy tips to make it easier to choose your runner more quickly.

Keep an Eye Out for Alternatives to the Favourites 

As those who enjoy the services of online gambling casino sites will quickly tell you, blindly backing any outcome is not going to serve you, and this is particularly true when it comes to betting on horse racing handicaps.

Favourites do not perform that well in the company of handicaps, and you need to take that it into account. Look elsewhere in handicaps in order to ensure you get the value you require, with value being a key word when it comes to this kind of racing. Punters frequently overlook penalties in favour of a win next to an animal’s name, and this can be very misleading. If a horse has not managed to win for a while, it could be because it is starting to be well-handicapped.

Start at the Last Winning Mark 

A good place to begin when reviewing a handicap is discovering which mark each of the horses last won off of. If there is an exposed horse who has never won above 70, but stands at 73 for its current rating, that is a negative, and probably one that should be set aside. If a horse has a rating of 67 but its last winning mark was 76, this could be one to warrant your interest. Of course, it is vital that you do not assume that every one of the horses below its winning mark will automatically win, and that every horse above it cannot, since there will always be exceptions. But, as a general rule, it will pay off better if you take these factors into account.

How Has the Horse Been Running?

 Taking into account a horse’s running style in the races it has taken part in previously is very important. If the animal has been held up on the last few starts it has made but normally manages to win when prominent, this is something you will need to consider. Horses that make use of different tactics to those usually in place are interesting too. Are connections putting something else into place? Is the horse being weighted in order to help it win? Similarly, if a horse enjoys being buried in mid-diversion and delivered late, but it has lately been front-running, this is something that you may want to investigate more deeply.

Vegas Odds on 2018 Pegasus World Cup

Gunrunner is, not surprisingly, the overwhelming favorite in the best sportsbook in Nevada, Wynn Las Vegas.  Friend Johnny Avello has sent over his future books odds on the rich race that is to be run Saturday, January 27, 2018 at Gulfstream Park.  Breeders’ Cup Classic runner-up, Collected, from the dangerous Bob Baffert barn, is the second choice over stablemate West Coast.

Horse  Odds

Table Games Drives Increase in Overall PA Casino Gaming Revenue in 2017

Poker Pro Vanessa Russo

Poker Pro Vanessa Russo

HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reported today that the gross total gaming revenue combining slot machines and table games rose slightly and once again exceeded $3.2 billion in calendar year 2017. While slot machine revenue was slightly down in 2017 from 2016, the Board reported that table games revenue… [Read more…]

Horse Handicappers Keep the Races Enjoyable to Watch!

Guest Post: International Correspondent

The handicapping for horses takes into account the ability of each animal, and places it into a Class. This ensures that the horses are evenly matched.

How Horse Handicaps are Structured

There is an extremely well established programme in place for handicap horses, both over jumps and on flats. Handicaps are contested by both the best and worst horses in the country, and, as a result, are split into a range of classes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, with Class 1 being the best and Class 7 being the worst. This makes working out odds easier, and benefits everyone on the track and off.

The Reason Handicaps are Split Into Classes

Handicaps are split in this way so that horses of similar ability levels contest one another in the races. For example, a Class 7 handicap will only be open to horses that have been rated 0 – 50, which will exclude those rated 51 and higher. This ensures that the handicap is competitive, and sees horses of similar ability competing against one another. There are variations in the Class system as to the grade of horse that can compete, too. For example, in Class 5 company, some handicaps may be set at 0 – 65, others at 0 – 70.

 What Happens When Horses Improve

 If you enjoy playing the online pokies NZ has to offer, you will often find that, as you get better at playing one type of game, you will broaden your horizons and investigate other types in order to find those that remain challenging as well as fun. Similarly, if a horse improves hugely and starts winning a number of races, the handicapper will raise that horse’s rating in order to see it facing tougher opposition. If a horse wins twice in the company of Class 6 animals, the handicapper will want to make sure that it faces Class 5 company or better on its next start.

Winning Penalties in Place to Factor in Reassessment

Handicappers at the British Horseracing Authority, for example, re-evaluate horse handicap marks each Tuesday, which creates the need for a winning penalty to be in place. If a horse wins a race on a Wednesday, it will not be due to for reassessment for another six days, which could allow it to continue racing and winning off of the same mark in the meantime.

It is for this reason that standardised penalties are in place for winning races: 6lbs on the flat, and 7lbs over the jump.

This rule applies to nearly all races, and makes sure that horses are not able to abuse the handicap system. A horse may well see so much improvement that it can win twice in the same week, with penalties totalling 12 lbs, before a handicapper has the chance to reassess it.

Handicapping Ensures Horses are Evenly Matched

This handicapping is what ensures that horses are equally matched when it comes to racing, and that the outcomes that punters, owners, trainers, jockeys, and spectators see are those that are reflective of its ability to run against animals of a similar overall capacity. Seeing a horse of astounding ability compete against one without any would not be very enjoyable, and handicapping in this method sees the sport remain an exciting one to watch.

New Owners Plan to Restart Racing at Yavapai Downs

A Phoenix-based ownership group that also includes Kentucky Downs president Corey Johnsen has purchased Yavapai Downs with plans to restart racing at the Prescott Valley, Ariz. track.

Source: New Owners Plan to Restart Racing at Yavapai Downs

Successful 2017 Hawthorne Race Meet

Despite a rain-filled opening two months of the fall thoroughbred meet at Hawthorne and a cancellation of the closing day card due to extreme cold temperatures, both handle and field size saw significant increases as the meet concluded on December 29.

Total daily handle for 36 day fall meet averaged $1,708,081, up 9.17% from the $1,564,655 wagered per racing day in the fall of 2016. While the poor weather led to a slight onsite decrease of 5% from $54,031 per card in 2016 to $51,284 per card this fall, In-state handle rose 3.74%, $105,305 this fall compared to $101,510 in the fall of 2016. Out of state handle on Hawthorne’s races rose 10%, increasing to $1,551,492 this fall versus $1,409,114 wagered per day in the fall of 2016.

Fans at Hawthorne racecourse. Fans at Hawthorne racecourse

Despite being able to contest only 27 races on the turf this fall, compared to 46 in 2016, average field size for the fall meet was 8.49 starters per race up from the average of 7.80 starters per race in 2016.

With the help of grant funds from the Illinois Department of Agriculture, the 2017 fall meet also brought about the return of the stakes schedule. Longshot My Bariley kicked off the stakes season with a late closing score in the return of the Hawthorne Derby on October 28. Prado’s Sweet Ride and Goneghost were winners in the slop in the Illini Princess and Buck’s Boy Handicap respectively on November 4. In the Showtime Deb, trainer Larry Rivelli saddled a winner in Richie’slilwildcat while RIvelli’s Pass the Gravy was the victor in the Sun Power Stakes.

The grade 3 Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap made its return on November 25 as 2016 Grade 2 Marathon winner Scuba got up in the shadow of the wire to catch Futile. On the Gold Cup day undercard, Shar Ran was the winner of the Powerless Handicap while Goneghost impressed again in winning the Lightning Jet Handicap.

The fall stakes season closed out with Cowgirl Callie just holding on in the Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante while Pass the Gravy stretched out to win the Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity.

“This fall meet was about making things simple and doing everything we could to offer a great wagering product for our players,” stated Hawthorne President and General Manager Tim Carey. “Fans want to see full fields and competitive racing and our horsemen were great about filling races at all levels. We make it a point at Hawthorne to avoid racing on top of other tracks, something our players and simulcast partners appreciate as we aim to be a focus for the bettor. Lastly, the support we receive on a daily basis from TVG with racing coverage along with our online partner in Xpressbet have helped bring Hawthorne back to the forefront in racing.”

With the fall thoroughbred meet complete, there is no rest at Hawthorne. Immediately upon the conclusion of the meet, track maintenance crews and staff will be taking to the track to begin the track conversion to a Standardbred surface as Hawthorne is the final remaining track in the United States to race dual breeds over the same oval. 11,000 tons of dirt will be removed along with the Fontana safety rail as the track will be graded to a perfectly even consistency and pylons placed down, all in a 96 hour period in preparation for a January 5 start to the winter harness season.

Source: Press Release

Industry Profile: Jockey Antonio Gallardo

Two seasons ago, Antonio Gallardo rode a 3-year-old first-time starter named Imperial Hint to an eye-opening victory in a 7-furlong Tampa Bay Downs allowance in a sizzling time of 1:22.39. The Luis Carvajal, Jr.-trained Florida-bred colt lowered that time to 1:22.15 in his next start with Gallardo in the irons, the Florida Cup Ocala Breeders’ Sales Sophomore Stakes.

“That is the dream of every jockey every year, to have a nice horse like that,” said Gallardo, who watched Imperial Hint race to a second-place finish in the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint last month under Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano. “In this game, you stay positive because you can find a good horse anywhere.”

The 30-year-old Spaniard, whose meteoric rise upon moving to the United States resulted in three consecutive riding titles at both Tampa Bay Downs and Presque Isle Downs in Erie, Pa., has shown a knack for winning all kinds of races, including five graded stakes the last two years.

But while Gallardo’s quest to secure another “big horse” continues at full speed, he’s a devoted family man who strives for the right balance between his professional and personal lives.

Gallardo’s early-meeting Oldsmar performance, with 17 victories, has earned him the SenÞor Tequila Mexican Grill Jockey of the Month Award.

When the 2017 season at Presque Isle Downs in western Pennsylvania ended in early October, Gallardo, his wife Polliana and their two children, Carlos, 9, and Christa, almost 4, traveled to his hometown of Jerez in Cadiz, Spain for about a month to visit his relatives.

Gallardo’s ambition to be known as one of the world’s best jockeys hasn’t changed. But the pull of home, both in Spain and Tampa, helps charge his batteries to succeed on the track.

“That (traveling to Spain) helped me a lot. My family is real close, and I was able to have fun with them and forget about the horses for a while,” said Gallardo, who got to visit his parents, his sister, his grandmother and other relatives. “If one of us is crying, everybody is crying, and if one of us is happy, everybody is happy.

“It was good for me mentally and good for my muscles and my bones. If I have a chance to go next year, I’m going again,” he added.

After riding in New York last season, where he finished seventh in the 2017 winter meeting standings at Aqueduct with 19 victories, Gallardo has returned to his home away from Spain on Florida’s west coast.

Gallardo, who finished second in North America in victories in both 2015 and 2016, riding 652 winners during that two-year period, recently bought a home on a farm a few miles from Tampa Bay Downs. The property includes a seven-stall barn, several paddocks and a riding arena.

Gallardo said the reasons he has returned to Tampa Bay Downs are “simple. It’s my home, my family is here and the weather is good. I was making more money in New York, but I wasn’t as happy.

“As a jockey, you risk your life every day. Yes, you have to make money, but you have to have fun and enjoy your family. Money comes and goes, but when time leaves, it never comes back to you.”

Gallardo finished third in the Monmouth Park standings this year with 50 victories. On Dec. 16, he won the inaugural $125,000 Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association Marion County Florida Sire Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on 3-year-old gelding Mo Cash with a bold move between rivals on the turn.

Among his five graded-stakes victories is the 2016 Grade II Nashua at Aqueduct on Hemsworth. He also won the $400,000 (ungraded) Poseidon Handicap last winter at Gulfstream on Imperative on the Pegasus World Cup Invitational card and finished fifth on War Story in the $12-million Pegasus.

It appears Gallardo’s next major assignment is a matter of “when,” not “if.” Whoever it happens to be with, the connections can rest assured their jockey will know the way home.


Source: Press Release

Horse Racing and Hockey?

NY Islanders Bid Selected For Belmont Park Development

You may have recently heard … the state of New York has selected a bid by the NHL franchise Islanders to build an 18,000-seat arena on a 43-acre site at Belmont Park.

Source: NY Islanders Bid Selected For Belmont Park Development

Mahoning Valley Increases Purses for 2018

Is Horse Racing Dead?

Mahoning Valley Race Course, in cooperation with the Ohio HBPA, announced a 5-7% purse increase effective Jan. 2.

Source: Mahoning Valley Increases Purses for 2018

Crazy Events in the History of Horse Racing

Winx winThe sport of horse racing can occur in the most uncontrolled environments. Horses running at 40 mph, weather conditions and human interaction can make this game unpredictable and, at times, even absurd.

A victory for West Coast on the East …

Source: In horse racing, expect the unexpected