Archives for December 19, 2018

$100M plan to subsidize New Jersey Horse racing gets closer

Former Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, ended state support for the industry seven years ago, diverting the money to help struggling Atlantic City.

But under his Democratic successor, Phil Murphy, the state is advancing a $100 million plan to subsidize the racing industry.

A bill that passed the state Senate Monday by a 40-0 vote would appropriate $20 million a year for five years to help racing at Monmouth Park, Freehold Raceway and…

What We Have Learned So Far in the UK and IRE National Hunt Season

International horse racing

When most American racing fans are reflecting on the Breeders’ Cup and perhaps looking back on the year in racing, the national hunt season just starts getting underway in the UK and Ireland. Now, a couple months into the season we are started to get a picture of who is going to be the movers and shakers at events like the Grand National and Cheltenham Festival.

It is the latter, the Cheltenham Festival, that is on the minds of most trainers and jockeys, as the four-day spectacular (12th-15th March) has grown in stature to become the elite event in the national hunt season. Several interesting races that hold clues to the Festival have been already held over the last few weeks. Here are some of the interesting titbits:

Altior on song for Nicky Henderson

There is very little doubt that Altior is the best middle-distance chaser in the world right now and that shows up in the fact he is as low as 4/7 (Bet365) for the Champion Chase. He was impressive on his season debut at Sandown when taking the Tingle Creek Chase. Un De Sceaux gave him a bit of a scare, but, barring injury, he looks like the closest thing there is to a sure thing at Cheltenham.

 

Buveur D’Air also impressive in Fighting Fifth

If any jumps horse can rival Altior for imperiousness over the last few years, it’s stablemate Buveur D’Air. The 7-year-old is aiming for a third successive Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham 2019, and is priced at evens (William Hill) to do so. A brilliant performance in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle underlined those credentials.

Bristol De Mai’s brilliance comes with a caveat

One of the best races this season saw Bristol de Mai go up against Gold Cup contenders Might Bite, Thistlecrack and Native River in the Betfair Chase. Bristol De Mai blew them away, as he does to other opposition at Haydock Park in the past. The only issue is that form isn’t as hot away from Haydock. It’s a puzzler. Bristol De Mai is 20/1 with Betfair for the Gold Cup and, while he is erratic, you can get Cheltenham betting offers, like free bets, to back him. The perfect shot to nothing horse.

End of the dream for Faugheen?

Faugheen, for some the greatest hurdler of a generation, has had several ups and downs over the past couple of seasons. There was a hint of reinvention last April, with a stunning win in the Irish Champions Stayers’ Hurdle at Punchestown. His first run this season was thoroughly mediocre, finishing second in a field of horses who wouldn’t be anywhere near him at his peak. The question is: Has he still got one last great run in him? He is 12/1 for the Stayers’ Hurdle 2019 with Sky Bet and William Hill. Currently, however, BetVictor have put him at just 3/1 and favourite. It’s a measure of the respect that this horse is held in. If he does win, it will see the biggest cheer of the Festival.

Just who is Annamix?

Willie Mullins has apparently got another superstar on his hands with the 4-year-old French import Annamix. The only problem is that a pelvic injury has meant we have yet to get a look at Annamix, except for a lone second-place finish in France. However, that hasn’t stopped the bookies from putting the horse in as the favourite – around 9/1 with several betting companies – for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. The horse must look exceptional in the training yard.

Early 2019 NYRA Horse Racing Dates Confirmed

The New York Racing Association (NYRA) announced the remaining race dates for Aqueduct Racetrack through the end of the spring meet on April 20, 2019.

The Aqueduct winter meet, which runs until March 31, 2019, kicked off on Friday, December 7 with Saturday’s $100,000 Garland of Roses, won by Vertical Oak, as the first of 52 stakes worth more than $7.3 million in purses on offer at the Aqueduct winter and spring meets. The spring meet will get underway on April 5, 2019.

January will feature 17 live race dates contested mainly Thursday through Sunday with the exception of New Year’s Day, a Tuesday card highlighted by the $150,000 Jerome for freshly minted 3-year-olds, as part of New York’s road to the Kentucky Derby; and the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday card slated for Monday, January 21 which features the $100,000 Interborough for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up. There will be no live racing on Thursday, January 3 and Thursday, January 17 to accommodate the special holiday cards.

There will be 16 live racing dates in February with 8 eight stakes races including the Grade 3, $250,000 Withers, while maintaining a Thursday through Sunday live racing schedule with the exception of President’s Day, Monday, February 18, which will be highlighted by the 40th running of the $100,000 Hollie Hughes. There will be no live racing on Thursday, February 14 to accommodate the Presidents’ Day card.

A total of 15 racing cards are set for March, which will see live racing conducted Friday through Sunday, including a pair of graded stakes on Saturday, March 9 featuring the Grade 3, $300,000 Gotham for 3-year-olds going a mile and the Grade 3, $200,000 Tom Fool Handicap at six furlongs for 4-year-olds and up.

The 12-day 2019 Aqueduct spring meet begins on Friday, April 5 and is highlighted by the Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial and four supporting graded stakes on Saturday, April 6. The spring meet concludes on Sunday, April 20.

Source: NYRA