Archives for April 19, 2018

The Derby Choices of Javier Castellano and John Velazquez

he now has the option to ride [him] in the Derby, and he’s passing.

by Justin Dew

My initial reaction to the news that John Velazquez was going to ride Vino Rosso in the Kentucky Derby, and that Javier Castellano had chosen Audible over Bolt d’Oro was probably the same reaction that many others had; JV thinks Vino Rosso is better than Audible and Javy thinks Audible is better than “Bolt.”  And it may just be that simple. But the more my mind wanders (as it always does during Derby Season), I’m wondering if JV [and his agent] simply chose to stay close to Mike Repole and the other partners in Vino Rosso who were also part of Always Dreaming last year.

As for Javy, maybe he spent a quarter mile trying to get past Justify on Bolt d’Oro and realized there is no way Bolt d’Oro or any other horses is going to beat Justify in the Kentucky Derby, so he chose to be loyal to Todd Pletcher and landed on Audible after Vino Rosso earned the requisite Derby points and won the services of JV. Or maybe he thinks he got the best that he could out of Bolt d’Oro, and thinks that one isn’t noticeably better than Audible, so why not ride for Pletcher?

Another early reaction I had was that all of this meant Vino Rosso was a Derby contender that needed to be taken seriously. This ran counter to my initial inclination, which was that the Wood Memorial wasn’t a strong race and none of the runners from that prep were Derby threats. For the moment, I’ve decided to split the difference. I don’t like any of the Wood runners as prime Derby contenders, but I can see Vino Rosso appearing at or near the bottom of my superfecta tickets.

Audible and Bolt d’Oro are both going to cause me some restlessness between the hours of midnight and 6am in the coming weeks. On one hand, I think both will be overbet in the Derby. But on the other hand, there is no denying that both have a major talent advantage over the vast majority of the prospective Derby field. As I mentioned in a previous post, Audible had a perfect setup in the Florida Derby, and really would have needed to throw in a total dud of an effort to lose. But that can’t be held against him when gauging his talent, can it? And if we assume that JV jumped on Vino Rosso for reasons unrelated to ability, then we are dealing with a Derby contender in Audible who really hasn’t done anything wrong.

Ok, now for Bolt d’Oro. Every year, there is at least one horse in the Kentucky Derby that I dismiss, and then hold my breath with a slight amount of regret and fear. I can’t remember a time that I have been wrong about one of those decisions. We know there are 20 horses, and we know we can’t use all 20. So some difficult decisions have to be made, and this year, it’s looking like Bolt d’Oro might be one that I don’t use. In three straight races, he has failed to run down the eventual winner. That’s the reality. Make whatever excuses you want, and I’d probably be hard pressed to argue with you. But Bolt d’Oro brings a fair amount of hype and low odds with him to the Kentucky Derby, and as I’ve said in countless articles and blog entires over the last decade or so, we have to draw the line somewhere.

handicapper Justin DewOne more thought about “Bolt” and Javy. Javy took the mount on him with the intention of HAVING THE OPTION to ride him in the Kentucky Derby. I think we can agree on that, right? If he always planned to stay loyal to Pletcher, I can’t see him even getting aboard in the first place. And he now has the option to ride Bolt d’Oro in the Derby, and he’s passing. That alone, in my opinion, is reasonable justification for dismissing Bolt d’Oro in the Kentucky Derby. But that doesn’t mean you have to be confident about the decision.

Gronk and Gronkowski Team Up for Kentucky Derby 144

“This horse is a winner and I love a winner,” Gronk (the person) said.

by Rob Gronkowski (for Gronk Nation)

There’s gonna be at least one Gronk at the Kentucky Derby next month — and probably a whole lot more now that the human Gronk has a stake in his namesake racehorse.

Rob has partnered with Phoenix Thoroughbreds Ltd. to get a substantial stake in three-year-old colt Gronkowski, who recently galloped his way to earn a spot in the biggest horse race of the year and the first leg of the Triple Crown.

One of the fastest tight ends in the NFL owning a racehorse (or least part of him), what could be more perfect than that?

“This horse is a winner and I love a winner,” Gronk (the person) said. “When I heard about the racehorse being named after me, I started watching and got really stoked when he started winning. He’s won his last three races and is now headed to the Derby. I’m all in: Welcome to the Gronk Family, Gronkowski the Horse!”

We sure hope this thoroughbred likes to party …

“I really can’t think of anything cooler than having a top-class thoroughbred named after me,” Rob added. “Except maybe having him win the Derby.”

Gronk and his entourage will be at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, on May 5 for the 144th Kentucky Derby, and you can guarantee that all bets will be going on Gronk.

“We are very excited to have this talented racehorse running in the Derby and to have Rob Gronkowski join our team,” said Tom Ludt, who directs Phoenix’s global racing and bloodstock operations. “His involvement only adds to our growing credentials worldwide and can help us introduce the best of horse racing to a whole new audience.”

The pair actually share some similar traits as they are both fierce competitors and strike imposing poses on their respective athletic fields. They stand nearly the same size: Gronk the man is 6-feet, 6-inches tall, while the horse is 6-feet, 5-inches (although horses are officially measured in hands and inches).

While Gronkowski (the horse) is considered a “wild card” in this year’s Run for the Roses, so was Tom Brady when the Patriots picked him 199th in the NFL Draft 18 years ago, so never underestimate an underdog especially with a name like that.

The colt is a son of champion Lonhro, Australia’s Racehorse of the Year in 2003-04, and he was bred in Kentucky as the first foal from the mare Four Sugars, a daughter of twice champion American racehorse Lookin At Lucky. Phoenix purchased Gronkowski in 2017 as an unraced 2-year-old in training at the Tattersalls Craven breeze-up sale in England.

Trained by British-based Jeremy Noseda, who is well known in American racing as the trainer of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Wilko and European classic winners Araafa and Sixties Icon, Gronkowski will be ridden in the Kentucky Derby by his regular jockey, Jamie Spencer. The colt will be shipped to Churchill Downs from Noseda’s stables in Newmarket, England, a week before the Derby, and soon thereafter the football star will be introduced to his equine namesake for the first time.

It may be the horse’s first time at the Derby, but who can forget when Rob partied there over mint juleps in 2015 wearing this epic suit …

copyright Gronk Nation

What Dictates How Fast You’re Paid Out on a Bet?

When it comes to betting on the horses, there’s no doubting that the rise of online gambling has ensured it’s never been easier. Whereas once we were limited to bookies alongside the track, we now have access to dozens – if not hundreds – of betting outlets right at our fingertips.

It’s led to a situation where there’s more information than ever before, better odds than we’ve ever seen and more control than we’ve had in previous decades. It’s great, but one area where online gambling falls behind though is in how you cash in your winnings.

copyright Pixabay

With a physical bookmaker there’s rarely an issue, simply wander up with your ticket and collect your winnings. For larger sums, there may be a small delay but in general, you can expect your money within a few hours – at the very most.

Online gambling, however, typically sticks you with a pretty frustrating delay – often up to 72 hours before your withdrawal hits your bank account. For those of us who regularly flit between multiple bookmakers in search of the best odds, the process of waiting multiple days to receive our winnings can be a real killer.

But what is it exactly that slows down your withdrawals and is there a method to reliably improve the speeds? Let’s take a look.

What Affects Withdrawal Time?

While it’s true that some websites are better than others when it comes to withdrawal times, the biggest factor in how fast your withdrawals come through is actually the payment method you opt for. We all know that fast payouts are important, but how fast they are is often not up to the bookie but to the payment processor.

By far the most common payment method used is bank transfers and card payments, but this also the slowest thanks to the large numbers of transactions banks complete every day. Checking the validity of payments isn’t too quick on their end, and so payments typically take between one and three days to complete.

copyright Pixabay

However, if you’re using the likes of Skrill or another e-wallet like Neteller, payments are almost instant following approval from your bookmaker. It’s why we always recommend making the shift to an e-wallet when you’re gambling online.

Another major element which can slow down your withdrawal time is the details linked to your account. If any information is missing, like age verification, the bookmaker will halt your withdrawal until you can sort the details out. As such, it’s always worth making sure your documents are up to date and you’ve supplied your bookie with whatever information they require.

Perhaps the most common reason for your withdrawal being halted though comes from the strong anti-fraud measures in place at online bookmakers. By tracking the IP addresses you use to access their website, they can get an idea of where and when you access their services.

If your account is spotted doing something suspicious, like betting from a completely new location and device, the bookmaker may well put a halt on your account. It’s a similar sort of protection method that your bank undertakes, so it’s not particularly out of the ordinary.

How to Avoid Withdrawal Delays

Here are our top tips for avoiding withdrawal delays:

  • Make use of an e-wallet for deposits and withdrawals to cut out bank processing times and enjoy almost instant withdrawals
  • Ensure your details are up to date with your bookmaker, with valid ID and details supplied
  • Try to avoid making bets on computers and phones which are unfamiliar, as this can raise red flags with bookmakers.

And that’s it! Get out there and enjoy your ultra-fast withdrawal speeds.

U S Navy Flag to Start Season in Irish 2,000 Guineas

Aidan O’Brien saddled three of the four runners in the Ballylinch Stud Irish 2,000 Guineas Trial Stakes April 15 at Leopardstown, including last year’s European champion juvenile male U S Navy Flag.

Source: U S Navy Flag to Start Season in Irish 2,000 Guineas