Archives for August 2019

Hall of Fame Rider honors Roberto Clemente with every ride

From the Saratogian (the newspaper of Saratoga Springs, NY)

…“I introduced him to my grandsons, because they didn’t know how important he is to the sport,” Dietrick said, “and I told them that he was from Carolina, Puerto Rico, and then I said, ‘Carolina is also the home of the great Roberto Clemente.’”

[He] looked up from the programs he was signing.

“That’s right,” he said.

Clemente, of course, is the first Latin American and Caribbean player to be inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame. He played for the Pittsburgh Pirates for 18 years, and in 1972, he died in a plane crash while bringing relief supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

“Roberto was always a hero of mine, not only because of his status in the sport,” Dietrick said, “but because of who he was and how he died. He was killed the year my youngest son was born, and we named him Robert in Clemente’s honor.”

Great Horse Racing Videos – RIP Randy Romero

A great rider, and by all accounts, a great man, Hall of Fame rider Randy Romero passed away due to serious health issues.  He was the regular rider of Personal Ensign, one of the all-time greatest mares and one of the few undefeated champions in history.  This was very final race.

Rest in peace, Randy.

Is Horse Racing Dead? Travers Card Sets Records

2019 Travers Stakes Card sets Record Handle numbers

Source: NYRA Press Office

For the second consecutive year, the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) generated a Travers Day record all-sources handle as fans wagered $52,129,344 on an afternoon that featured the 150th running of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers.

On-track handle was  $11,657,493, which is also a new Travers Day record.

Saratoga canopy walk throughA paid crowd of 48,213 witnessed Code of Honor secure the fourth Travers victory for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey and second for Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez. Code of Honor, owned by William S. Farish and Lane’s End Farm, posted a final time of 2:01.05 in the Runhappy Travers.

For the first time in history, fans nationwide watched the Runhappy Travers action unfold on the FOX Broadcast Network as part of a special one-hour telecast. Overall, the FOX Sports family of networks broadcast 6 ½ hours of live racing action from Saratoga which included all seven graded stakes on Travers Day.

The 150th Runhappy Travers was one of six Grade 1s on Travers Day, including the Grade 1, $850,000 Sword Dancer; Grade 1, $700,000 Personal Ensign presented by Lia Infiniti; Grade 1, $500,000 Ketel One Ballerina; Grade 1, $600,000 Forego presented by Encore Boston Harbor; and Grade 1, $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial presented by Runhappy. Rounding out the blockbuster card is the Grade 2, $400,000 Woodford Reserve Ballston Spa.

The 2019 summer meet at historic Saratoga Race Course continues through Labor Day, Monday, September 2. For more information about Saratoga Race Course, visit NYRA.com.

Travers Day Handle 2015-2019

2019 Travers Day

August 24, 2019

All-sources: $52,129,344

On-track: $11,657,493

 

2018 Travers Day

August 25, 2018

All-sources: $52,086,597

On-track: $11,466,264

2017 Travers Day

August 26, 2017

All-sources: $47,870,987

On-track: $10,862,095

 

2016 Travers Day

August 27, 2016

All-sources: $45,596,367

On-track: $10,778,993

 

2015 Travers Day

August 29, 2015

All-sources: $49,668,754

On-track: $11,472,451

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – Aug. 26

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes for AGameofskill.com visitors

August 26th Edition

DEL MAR

WARREN’S SHOWTIME (Race 1 @DMR, August 21, 2019) How much was the best was this favorite in the opening race?  The turf runner was blocked badly on the far turn until the top of the stretch, but when an opening finally occurred, the 2yo daughter of Clubhouse Ride exploded with a strong run to draw off.   Has a future on the lawn for trainer Craig Lewis.

SARATOGA

SOMBEYAY (Race 7 @SAR, Aug. 2, 2019) – Pletcher runner relished the switch to firm turf (off yielding in prior) and the stretch out to one mile.  3yo ran huge, looking like a winner in deep stretch before getting nailed by a determined Casa Creed.  This guy should be super tough in 6f to 8f turf stakes on firm ground.

HAPPEN (Race 9 @SAR, Aug. 2, 2019) – Euro import  for O’Brien had no chance facing the likes of Concrete Rose when allowed a ridiculously slow pace up front.  War Front filly showed class overseas and deserves another look in a reasonable spot.

Slot Machines Seduce their Victims, Then …

Slot MachinesThis article was first published in Psychology Today.

Slot machines are often displayed as bright, shiny objects. Similar to video games, they feature creative, trendy themes, bright colors, flashing lights, and a combination of sights and sounds designed to lure potential customers.

Appropriately, Mike J. Dixon et al. (2019), in conducting research into gambling as a form of escape, began by noting the allure of slot machine play as a form of entertainment. Unlike slower games such as lotteries, slot machine payoffs (when they occur) are immediate, often accompanied by attention-grabbing music and high tech animations. In addition, slot machines are by nature unpredictable—due to what the authors refer to as a “variable-ratio reinforcement schedule.”

They focused on players who entered the “slot machine zone,” a state of absorption during which the game dominates their awareness, causing time to pass by without notice, a state many players find extremely pleasurable. Unfortunately for some, however, despite the similarity to the concept of “flow” in positive psychology, slot machine-induced flow often leads to negative consequences — in terms of time management and monetary loss.

Depression and Dark Flow

Dixon et al. describe the phenomenon of …

Travers Full-card Analysis by Rich Nilsen

with Wagering Strategies & Spot Plays by Rich Nilsen

Rich Nilsen handicapperRich Nilsen is the founder of AGameofSkill.com and one of the top tournament players in the country.

Nilsen only does a few sheets a year and this is one of them.  He offers up his full-card analysis for Saratoga on Saturday, August 24th.  In 2016 Nilsen crushed the Travers Day card, selecting Haveyougoneaway who upset the G1 Ballerina at odds of 10-1!   But Nilsen wasn’t done.  He followed up that score up by giving out top selection ARROGATE, track-record winner of the G1 Travers Stakes who paid an amazing $25.40 to win for followers of the sheet.  Another top pick ran 2nd at odds of 17-1 in race 3 on that day, returning a huge place payoff.

The analysis provides selections for every race plus best bet spot plays along with wagering strategies.  Each race includes Nilsen’s detailed pace scenario which explains how the race will set up.  Nilsen provides his top selection for the Travers’ Stakes,  commentary on his top Travers’ contenders, and he offers up his recommended win, exacta and trifecta wagers for the big race.

Put an expert on your side as you attack Saratoga on their biggest day of the year. Get all 13-races for under $1 per race.

2019 Travers’s Day – All 13 Races

only $12.77

Full card analysis – instant download

 
Download instantly to any device. 10-page PDF document.

The Travers Day card features over $1.6 Million in Guaranteed wagers. The $1 Million Guaranteed Pick 4 begins on Race 8.

Previous Travers’ Testimonials:

“Great job, Rich!” ~ Jeff S.

“Rich: nice job Travers Day! Thanks to Arrogate, you gave me a good day. How in the world did you land on him? I suspect you’re doing some kind of voodoo pace analysis. If you ever decide to give lessons or a seminar, let me know.” ~ Kelley S.

2019 Travers Results

All 13 winners were listed among Rich Nilsen’s selections.  His top Travers selection, Tacitus, ran 2nd completing a low paying exacta under 4th choice Code Of Honor.


About Rich Nilsen

Founder of AGameofSkill.com, Nilsen is the winner of 8 major handicapping tournament and a 16-time qualifier to the multi million-dollar National Horseplayers Championship (NHC).  There are a lot of pretenders out there.  Get affordable, expert advice for this year’s awesome 13-race Travers card.

This sheet contains:

  • Top selections for all 13 races
  • Sophisticated Pace Scenario for all 13 races
  • Spot Plays (Best Bets) on the undercard w/ wagering strategies
  • In-depth Analysis of the Travers Stakes with Exacta & Trifecta strategies.

Get all 13 races on the Saratoga Saturday card.  Download now for only $12.77 to any device.

Frankie Dettori says Enable will have to bring her A-game to beat Magical

This is the year that has kept on giving for Frankie Dettori . He rode his 13th Group One winner of the season aboard Coronet in France on Sunday and this week at York ’s four-day Ebor meeting he can look forward to partnering such as Enable , Stradivarius […]

Enable is his Group One banker this week in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks on Thursday and, with so many top races to come at home and abroad over the next couple of months, it will be a surprise if Dettori, at the age of 48, does not achieve a personal best.

In his latest blog for Ladbrokes, this is what he had to say about his rides at York over the first three days of the meeting.

Dettori told Tom Stanley about King Of Comedy after his win at Sandown this year

I kick off the week on Cobra Eye in the Group 3 Acomb Stakes (2.25). He is a nice horse who won at Glorious Goodwood. This race is a big jump for him as it is a really competitive race but he has given me a good feel and is an improving type. I think 7f will suit him. I don’t know a great deal about his rivals though.

Next up is the Great Voltigeur Stakes (3.00), where I am on Logician. I rode him once at Newbury last month. He keeps on improving but he has got a bit to find on ratings. I think York will suit him. We know we are taking a leap forward with him but we want to see if we can make him a Leger horse. That’s why he’s there.

Saratoga Race Track Attracts Famous Fans

NFL Star Among the Celebrities at Saratoga

Without question the biggest celebrity/fan at Saratoga Race Track is former Giants, Patriots, Jets and Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells.

The soon-to-be-78 Parcells does two things that every retiree aspires to do: Golf and go to the horse track.

However, the Pro Football Hall of Fame coach is not just a fan of horse racing, but is active as an owner.

Last week his 2-year-old colt, Tuggle, finished third in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special.

The two-time Super Bowl champion told ESPN four years ago that horse racing is in his blood.

“I’ve always been interested in horse racing since I was a young man. My father liked to take us to the track when we were little. This is a very happy place for me with this umbrella blue sky. The track is going to be fast. The turf’s going to be firm and I’m going to be with my friend. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Crystal Ocean Headlines G1 Juddmonte International on Wed. Morning

Breeders’ Cup Turf Prep on Tap

The world’s highest-rated horse, Crystal Ocean, will face eight rivals in the Aug. 21 Juddmonte International Stakes (G1) at York.

Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, Crystal Ocean will face high-class 3-year-olds King of ComedyCircus Maximus, and Japan on the opening day of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival in a contest with a purse in excess of £1 million. As expected, Enable, who has Thursday’s Yorkshire Oaks (G1) as her target, will not run in the 1 5/16-mile test.

More about G1 Juddmonte International on Wed. Morning

Industry Profile: QnA with Hall of Fame Jockey Mike Smith

After over 40 years in the saddle, Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith remains at the top of his game. To date, the 54-year-old (as of today — happy birthday, Mike!) jockey has 26 Breeders’ Cup wins, the winner of two Eclipse Awards, and an Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award. Mike has won horse racing’s largest races including two Kentucky Derbies, two Preakness Stakes, and three Belmont Stakes and has piloted some of the best-known Thoroughbreds like Unbridled’s Song, Arrogate, Bodemeister, Zenyatta, Songbird, and 2018 Triple Crown winner, Justify…

4. Who is your favorite horse at the moment?
McKinzie (four-year-old colt, with seven wins out of 12 starts and $2,238,560 in earnings).

5. Which racetrack do you enjoy riding at the most?
In California: Santa Anita and Del Mar. In New York: Belmont and Saratoga. I love Lexington, Kentucky, and Oaklawn Park in Arkansas. All special for different reasons.