Archives for November 6, 2018

Equestricon Ticket Construction Panel

AGOS Founder Rich Nilsen participated in one of the handicapping panels at the recently concluded 2018 Equestricon conference in Louisville, KY.  Unfortunately, this panel was not videoed, but another one was – the panel on ticket construction.

The following links to the wagering ticket construction panel that was on day 2 of the 2018 Equestricon Conference.  Included on this panel was my friend Mike Maloney, one of the best horseplayers and bettors in the country.

Velka Pardubicka Steeplechase is the most difficult horse race few people know about

by International Correspondent

Horse racing fans are familiar with famous races such as the Kentucky Derby, Grand National, and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Many consider these three of the top and most difficult horse races to win in the world. However, there is one race tucked away in the Czech Republic that trumps all others in difficulty. The Velka Pardubicka Steeplechase is known as the world’s toughest horse race and few people know much about what amounts to an endurance contest for horses. Horse race aficionados looking for great offers can get them courtesy of Borgata casino promotions and never miss a fantastic event.

What is the Velka Pardubicka Steeplechase?

The Velka Pardubicka Steeplechase takes place 60 miles outside of Prague. Due to its location in Eastern Europe, it is unknown by many horse race bettors. Held on the second Sunday in October, the steeplechase has been run for 144 years having been established in 1874. It is the oldest cross-country horse race in the world.

While other countries boast exciting steeplechase events, the Velka Pardubicka Steeplechase tests endurance more than any other. The race is 6.9 kilometres long and snakes across the Czech countryside. Not only do horses navigate 31 obstacles, they must run over fallow farm fields and through water hazards. Most of the race does take place on grass, but the natural quirks of the Velka Pardubicka Steeplechase make it even more difficult to finish.

How difficult is the Velka Pardubicka Steeplechase?

It is called the most difficult cross-country race in the world. Horses and jockeys must navigate 31 obstacles and natural hazards. The race covers 6.9km and horses have their endurance tested throughout the race.

In the Velka Pardubicka Steeplechase’s near century and a half existence, there has never been a race in which all starting horses have finished the event. It is a testament of just how tough a race it is to run much less win.

The course’s Taxi Ditch has become known as its most infamous jump obstacle. How difficult is the Taxi Ditch? Horses aren’t allowed to practice using the jump and only experience it on the day of the race. It is a leg breaker of a jump and one poor leap over it can end the life of a race horse. The Taxi Ditch features a 1.5-metre-high hedge with a one metre deep, four-metre-long ditch on the other side.

The Taxi Ditch isn’t the only difficult jump, although it has become known as the toughest on a course of seemingly impossible obstacles. Horses and riders must climb up and down a steep bank known as the Irish Bank. They must also get past the French Jump which features two closely set hedges that must be jumped together.

Despite it being a difficult race to run, Zeleznik won it four times. Jockey Josef Vana rode the horse to victory on all four occasions. Vana went on to win the Velka Pardubicka Steeplechase four more times during his 28 attempts.

Innovative Jockey Silks Hit Grand Slam

Accelerate’s Breeders’ Cup Classic win follows Justify’s triple crown

Amarillo, Texas – November 5, 2018  —  Jockey Joel Rosario was wearing an innovative style of jockey silks in Saturday’s $6-million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G-I) aboard Accelerate: Speed Silks®, the same brand worn by Mike Smith in all three of Justify’s 2018 Triple Crown races.

The new style of jockey silks –launched a little more than five years ago– are made entirely of Aero Dimplex®, a patented aerodynamically-engineered technical fabric that is dimpled to reduce drag. It’s used in uniforms for other speed sports like cycling, downhill skiing and speed skating, but Speed Silks are the only jockey silks that use Aero Dimplex.

copyright Darron Cummings AP

Speed Silks inventor and company owner Matt Darby says he’s not surprised by the success that his customers have had on the track, but that he didn’t expect to see so many huge wins so quickly after opening his doors. In addition to this year’s Kentucky Derby (G-I), Preakness Stakes (G-I), Belmont Stakes (G-I) and Breeders’ Cup Classic wins, jockeys wearing Speed Silks have also won the 2017 Belmont Stakes, 2016 Kentucky Derby, 2016 Preakness Stakes and 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic.

“That’s pretty good for a product that didn’t even exist five years ago,” Darby says. “We’ve been blessed by having some very talented trainers, aggressive owners and fast horses using our product, but I don’t want to undersell the importance of aerodynamic drag in horse racing; it’s critical – more important than weight, in fact.”

Darby says the aerodynamic advantages of his product were a tough sell at first, but that steady growth has been an encouraging sign. 2018 has seen some of the product’s fastest growth ever.

“The Aero Dimplex fabric allows us to make silks that are definitely distinctive, but don’t go too far afield from what people would clearly identify as jockey silks,” Darby says. “As much attention as we paid to making them as aerodynamically-efficient as possible, we get so many orders from owners who just like the way they look.”

The silks have a dimpled texture which, when combined with Speed Silks’ form-fitting design, greatly reduces skin friction and form drag. Colors and markings are applied to the silks via dye-sublimation, a process that dyes the color directly onto the fabric, making the silks entirely seamless, no matter how complex the design.

Darby says jockey feedback has been universally positive; Unlike the Spandex or Nylon used in other silks, Aero Dimplex fabric is thin, breathable and it wicks moisture away from the skin. This summer, Speed Silks added a new technology to its product: a treatment called Coldblack®, which blocks and reflects almost all ultraviolet light. Speed Silks now help keep the jockey much cooler in direct sunlight.

Speed Silks are patent-pending. The product lineup includes silks jackets, racing helmet covers, jockey pants and a product unique to Speed Silks: Aero Dimplex boot sleeves. Examples of the product can be seen at Matt Darby is available for comment at (806) 570-6920 or Customers wishing to inquire about Speed Silks can e-mail or call (806) 333-8589.  Asia-Pacific customers e-mail

Laurel Park Fall Meet Up Big

Laurel Park’s Fall Festival of Racing, featuring the 27th running of the Frank De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) and six other stakes races, handled $5.073 million Saturday, an increase of 35.5 percent over last year’s program.

Total handle in 2017 on the corresponding day was $3.743 million. Handle in 2016 was $4.513 million and in 2015 $3.775 million.

Woodford Racing’s Switzerland was an impressive winner of the De Francis. Switzerland’s victory was the third stakes win of the day for jockey Feargal Lynch.

This year’s De Francis marked the fifth and final race in the 3-year-old and up dirt sprint division of the revived Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championship (MATCH) Series, an assortment of 25 races at tracks in Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, which kicked off May 18 and 19 at Pimlico. The original MATCH Series debuted in 1997 and ran for five years.

Is Horse Racing Dead? Not in Maryland

“The Fall Festival of Racing was a great way to start what will be a memorable month of Thoroughbred racing in Maryland and Laurel Park,” said Sal Sinatra, President and General Manager of the Maryland Jockey Club. “There was a lot of great energy and excitement today, and we want to thank everyone who came out to watch and wager on this great program. We also think the MATCH Series has been a great edition to the Mid-Atlantic calendar.

“We witnessed some incredible performances by our equine and human athletes, and we expect that will carry over to our program Saturday featuring the Baltimore-Washington International Turf Cup (G3) and the inaugural running of the Bald Eagle Derby. And this year’s Maryland Million will be very special with the edition of the great entertainment The Stronach Group has planned for Clubhouse Festival.”

Source: Laurel Park