Archives for April 2020

100% to Charities from the 2020 Arkansas Derby Full-Card Analysis

100% of the proceeds from this sheet are going to two charities.  The first is the Belmont Child Care Association which supports Anna’s House and the families and children on the New York backside (www.belmontchildcare.org).  As you know New York has been hit the hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic. This an ideal charity to support, always, but especially during these times.  The 2nd is Acacia Courtney’s Racing For Home, which supports ex-racehorses.

Rich Nilsen, 16x NHC Qualifier, has handicapped the full 14-race card at Oaklawn Park on Saturday.  It may not be KY Derby Day but it is Arkansas Derby Day and it’s one of the best wagering cards of the year – if not the best.

Nilsen’s Sheet includes:

  • Pace Analysis for all 14 races
  • Selections for all 14 races
  • Expert commentary on all 14 top selections
  • 3 Spot Plays (Best Bets) with wagering strategies
  • Longshot selections for one division of the G1 Arkansas Derby as well as the Oaklawn Handicap – use these horses in your  multi-race wagers!

Not 1%, not 10%, not 25% but the full 100% of your purchase will support two great organizations.  Thank you for consideration, and please consider if you fare well on Saturday, to make an additional charitable contribution to them or the charity of your choice.  During this pandemic many charities are really taking several economic hits.  At times like this we all need to step and help others.

 

$15.00 for instant PDF download

Acacia CourtneyAbout Racing For Home

We are a non-profit, certified 501(c)(3) organization that is dedicated to the after care of Thoroughbreds once their racing career is over. We rehabilitate and re-train our four legged friends in order to prepare them for their second career. We are accredited by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA), one of only two such facilities in Connecticut and one of only 74 throughout the entire United States.

About the Belmont Child Care Association, Inc.

The Belmont Child Care Association, Inc. (BCCA) was established in December 1998 to create a child care center at Belmont Park which has the largest population of backstretch workers of the three New York Racing Association, Inc. tracks. The BCCA set about building a center, selecting a licensed child care provider, and spearheading fundraising to support the continued operation of the center.

Anna House, the centerpiece of BCCA’s efforts, was built in 2002 by Board Chairman Michael Dubb and named for the then two-year-old daughter of major donor Eugene Melnyk. Anna House opened its doors on January 1, 2003 thanks to the support of the Child Care Council of Nassau, Inc. The adjacent playground area is named for Lemon Drop Kid, the 1999 Belmont Stakes winner owned by donors Jeanne Vance and Laddie Dance.

In December 2006, Gretchen and Roy Jackson created the Lael Scholarship Fund to ensure that Anna House would always have sufficient funds to continue to provide early childhood education to the children. The Jacksons make a generous annual contribution to the fund.

Sample Race 1 from Saturday’s Card at Oaklawn

Race 1        Sallow40, 6 furlongs           1:00pm ET 

PACE SCENARIO: Several runners in this opener on Arkansas Derby Day will add to a hot pace – Hawt Mess, True Castle and Miss Imperial.  Look for a runner from off the pace.

Spot Play? None

Selections:

1st- # 1 TIMELY TRADITION (3/1) – this race sets up perfectly for this New York invader.  The 6yo mare has good tactical speed to be forwardly placed and pounce when called upon by top jockey Joel Rosario.  There are few riders as good as Rosario on closers, and this mare is 10-5-3-0 at the 6 furlong distance.  Lots to like.

2nd- # 2 Full Of Grace (4/1)

3rd- #12 She’s A Dime (15/1)

 

NYRA Statement about Spring and Summer Meet Plans at Belmont and Saratoga

Saratoga starting gateApril 29, 2020

“NYRA joins the entire racing community in applauding Governor Cuomo’s steady leadership throughout this unprecedented public health crisis. We recognize that decisions about large scale events are rightly left to our elected leaders and public health officials. At the same time, horseracing is in a unique position as a sport that can be safely staged without attendees. Earlier this week, Governor Cuomo encouraged sports entities to consider how they could operate without fans in attendance that would be economically viable while providing much needed entertainment.

By closing to spectators and reducing employees and support staff to only those who are required under the rules of racing, the running of races would support the small businesses and hourly workers who form the backbone of the sport. NYRA held races at Aqueduct Racetrack safely and securely under these conditions through March 15. Our experience during this period of time, as well as our ability to continue the training operation at Belmont Park throughout the pandemic, informs the strict safety protocols that we currently have in place at Belmont Park and would seek to implement at Saratoga Race Course.

Plans to Race Without Fans in Attendance

As such, NYRA is seeking to resume live racing at Belmont Park in the absence of fans and we have prepared operating plans that follow the same model for Saratoga. These plans prioritize the health and safety of employees, horsemen and the backstretch community and include a broad array of risk mitigation strategies developed according to the most updated heath guidance. By closing to the public, layering additional health and safety protocols to our ongoing practices, and reducing the number of employees on-property, NYRA is in a position to provide a small sense of normalcy for fans across the country who can watch on television and online. At the same time, this model will enable NYRA to preserve its ability to serve as the cornerstone of an industry that generates more than 19,000 jobs in New York and $3 billion in annual economic impact.

This is a delicate balance, and one that must always prioritize health and safety. NYRA has experience finding that balance and we are committed to taking every step possible to keep our communities safe while providing entertainment and contributing to the New York economy as we collectively begin the return to a new normal. “

Source: NYRA

Del Mar Meet could race with No Fans.

A horse racing unthinkable could become reality

Gulfstream Park, Tampa Bay Downs and Oaklawn Park are the only three major tracks in action, and Los Alamitos is the only game in town in California.

Del Mar’s meet is scheduled to begin July 18, or 85 days from now. That’s a lot of time for different scenarios to play out as the world continues to combat the coronavirus. Del Mar officials are as perplexed as everyone else as to what the future holds.

But no fans? No hats? No beachgoers sipping margaritas in the paddock while watching the horses get saddled? Del Mar is normally one big party, but apparently not this year.

Harper is preparing for the unthinkable – a Del Mar meet with no fans.

“It depends what the landscape is looking like in June, and it’s going to be here before we know it,” he said. “I think the governor is right in saying don’t look for any large gatherings of people at sporting events this year…

New Zealand horse racing training to resume today?

New Zealand’s Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) has announced initial approval for businesses and stakeholders in the country’s thoroughbred and harness racing sectors to return to work on 28 April.

Subject to meeting strict protocols and guidance established by each code, staff will be able recommence trialling and training, with preparations set to continue over the weekend.

The decision comes after the New Zealand government downgraded to Alert Level 3 of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) alert system, which requires strict social distancing measures to be put in place, but allows for a partial re-opening of the economy. Horse racing in the country had been suspended since 25 March when Alert Level 4 – resulting in a nationwide lockdown – was put into effect.

However, RITA said it is yet to reach an agreement as to when greyhound racing could return, with officials in ..

Spanish Handicapping 101

Gulfstream Park host Claudia Spadaro has put together this 4:40 minute video discussing the different types of race classes.  She is the popular host of the daily Hipica TV Spanish horseracing broadcast.

Identifying the difficulty of the races with Claudia Spadaro

Handicapping Tip of the Day #54 – Risk Evaluation in Horse Racing

By Art Parker for agameofskill.com

In the financial world the “risk-return tradeoff” states that the potential return rises with an increase in risk. Individuals associate low levels of uncertainty with low potential returns, and high levels of uncertainty or risk with high potential returns. According to the risk-return tradeoff, invested money can render higher profits only if the investor will accept a higher possibility of losses.

What exactly is risk? Risk is the likelihood of an adverse event occurring within an identifiable sector, such as the private sector or government sector. Those who are risk analysts often work with forecasting professionals to minimize future negative unforeseen effects.

Profit Risk Evaluation in Horse RacingLet’s look at what happens when you go to the bank for a loan. The bank asks you to complete the application first. Why? This is the primary method by which the bank can analyze you as a risk. If the application looks good the bank orders a credit report, which is a critical way to evaluate you as a risk. If the bank then lends you the money it will tell you the terms, which is primarily the interest rate and other things. If your interest rate is lower than most, it is because you are a good risk.  If it is higher, then you are riskier to do business with. All of this is done so that the lender can expect a certain return with all risks balanced.

As far as horse racing goes, it would be unwise to select a horse in an upcoming race, regardless of the odds, without considering the risks, or what could happen to prevent the horse from entering the “Winner’s Circle.” Once the risks are analyzed it should be easier to grasp what the return should be.

How many times have we seen the lone speed horse miss the start, get squeezed or have early traffic trouble? If that lone speed horse can’t get the lead and no matter what the odds, all is lost. How many times have we seen the closer from hell become a victim of a slow pace or have traffic trouble and just can’t catch the speed?

It reminds me of a friend of mine, a very good player who loved to analyze pace. If he determined a horse was the lone speed in the race he would then look at those in the adjacent post positions. If those runners next to the lone speed have gate problems then the probability of the lone speed could be compromised. That’s very good risk analysis in our game.

In a recent piece I talked about finding the bargain horse, an effort that requires risk analysis in the overall race evaluation. A horse may be a bargain at 7-1, but if the amount of risk is excessive then 7-1 may not be enough.

DFS Site DraftKings Went Public on Friday

DraftKings began trading Friday morning on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol DKNG. DraftKings’ debut as a publicly listed company came one day after it completed a business combination with SBTech and Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp. (DEAC), a special-purpose acquisition company.

Under the deal, DraftKings becomes the first vertically integrated, pure-play sports betting and online gaming company based in the United States with full control of its back-end technology and trading platform.

“By bringing together our leading consumer brand, data science expertise and industry-leading products with SBTech’s proven techno

Industry Profile: Perry Ouzts, The 66-Year-Old Jockey Who Won’t Quit

Perry Outz John Engelhardt photo

John Engelhardt photo

Being a jockey is all Perry Ouzts has ever wanted to do. He wasn’t a thrill seeker or a daredevil as a kid. But he grew up in small-town Arkansas with a gaggle of cousins nearby. One of them, Earlie Fires, became a Hall of Fame jockey in 2001. Most of Earlie’s eight brothers also worked in the horse industry.

One day, fifth grade Perry Ouzts sat at his desk. He was the kid whose feet still couldn’t quite touch the floor. His assignment? Write about what you want to do when you grow up.

“Well, this is the first year when my cousin Earlie — when he started riding. This is 1965.” Perry says. “And I got to hear the stories about him and stuff, and I got to thinking, ‘Well, that would be a really cool job,’ because I liked horses already. I was small. And that’s what I wrote about: I wanted to be a jockey…

continue reading about Perry Ouzts

A Virtual Kentucky Derby on the First Saturday in May

Event Designed to Raise $1M+ for Charity

LOUISVILLE, KY (Thursday, April 23, 2020) – Churchill Downs announced plans to celebrate the first Saturday in May, the traditional date of the annual Kentucky Derby, by hosting a day-long at-home Kentucky Derby party to raise $2 million for COVID-19 emergency relief efforts. Though the 146th Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve was postponed until Sept. 5 this year due to public health concerns related to the spread of COVID-19, Churchill Downs invites fans to honor the annual tradition while staying “Healthy at Home.”

Fans can tune in to a special broadcast on NBC on May 2, from 3 to 6 p.m. EDT, which will feature the 2015 Kentucky Derby that began the legendary American Pharaoh’s historic Triple Crown run (full NBC Sports show details to be announced next week). In addition, the NBC broadcast will highlight Churchill Downs’ first ever virtual horse race—The Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown, a computer-simulated version of a race under the historic Twin Spires of Churchill Downs. The virtual race, created by Inspired Entertainment, will feature the 13 past Triple Crown winners and use data algorithms including historical handicapping information about each horse, which helps to determine the probability of their potential finishing positions.

Virtual Grand National Raises Millions for health workers during Covid-19

Beginning on April 30, fans will be able to visit www.KentuckyDerby.com to choose their favorite horse to win the virtual race and also join Churchill Downs in making a charitable donation to COVID-19 emergency relief efforts. All participants who select the winning horse will be entered to win the ultimate Kentucky Derby 146 VIP Experience. Churchill Downs has pledged to match up to $1 million of donations with funds to be directed to the Team Kentucky Fund and Direct Relief. A small percentage will be earmarked for the R.E.I.N. Fund (Relief for Equine Industry Needs), a program managed by Churchill Downs Foundation designed to benefit workers of the backside whose livelihood has been impacted by COVID-19 and also to help ensure essential care for horses throughout the pandemic.

Gulfstream Park Pick 5 odds, predictions: Proven handicapper reveals April 23 horse racing best betsA full day of online festivities is planned on May 2, designed to encourage the perfect interactive Kentucky Derby party at home. Churchill Downs will join the Kentucky Derby Museum and other partners to offer virtual tours, Derby cocktail and fascinator-making instructions, ideas for party decorations, kids’ crafts, Derby-inspired recipes, an at-home Derby fashion contest and much more.

“For many fans around the country, the first Saturday in May has become a part of their family’s yearly traditions,” said Kevin Flanery, President of Churchill Downs Racetrack. “While we eagerly look forward to the 146th Kentucky Derby this year on the first Saturday in September, we will celebrate the annual excitement of our traditional date with our fans and community by offering ways for us to join together for a great cause. Our fans will be captivated by the realistic view of the virtual race and we can debate, as we do each year, our favorite to win.”

“The anticipation of which Triple Crown winner will emerge as the ultimate champion is thrilling,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs Incorporated, “but most importantly, we are proud to use this platform as a force for good by raising money for these worthy COVID-19 emergency initiatives. We urge fans to join us by donating and celebrating with us from home.”

Join the virtual party by posting your home Derby Party experience using #KyDerbyAtHome on Saturday, May 2, and follow @KentuckyDerby on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on the first Saturday in May to engage with a full day of exciting content and other at-home Derby parties from across the country. Visit www.KentuckyDerbyParty.com regularly for an updated schedule of activities, recipes, ingredient lists, style tips and decorating ideas so that Kentucky Derby fans can be ready to celebrate the first Saturday in May together from home.

About Churchill Downs Racetrack
Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented the Kentucky Derby since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) will conduct the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve on Sept. 5, 2020. www.ChurchillDowns.com
About Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) Churchill Downs Incorporated is an industry-leading racing, online wagering and gaming entertainment company anchored by our iconic flagship event – The Kentucky Derby. We own and operate Derby City Gaming, a historical racing machine facility in Louisville, Kentucky. We also own and operate the largest online horse racing wagering platform in the U.S., TwinSpires.com, and we operate sports betting and iGaming through our BetAmerica platform in multiple states. We are also a leader in brick-and-mortar casino gaming with approximately 11,000 slot machines and video lottery terminals and 200 table games in eight states. www.churchilldownsincorporated.com

About NBC Sports Group and Horse Racing
NBC Sports Group is the exclusive home to the most important and prestigious events in horse racing, including the Triple Crown, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Royal Ascot, and Pegasus World Cup Invitational Series. NBC has been the exclusive home of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes since 2001, and the Belmont Stakes since 2011, when NBC Sports Group reassembled the Triple Crown.

About Inspired Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: INSE)
Inspired offers an expanding portfolio of content, technology, hardware and services for regulated gaming, betting, lottery, and leisure operators across retail and mobile channels around the world. The Company’s gaming, virtual sports, interactive and leisure products appeal to a wide variety of players, creating new opportunities for operators to grow their revenue. The Company operates in approximately 35 jurisdictions worldwide, supplying gaming systems with associated terminals and content for more than 50,000 gaming machines located in betting shops, pubs, gaming halls and other route operations; virtual sports products through more than 44,000 retail channels; digital games for 100+ websites; and a variety of amusement entertainment solutions with a total installed base of more than 19,000 devices. www.inseinc.com

About Kentucky Derby Museum
Kentucky Derby Museum, a 501(C)(3) non-profit public charity organization in Louisville, Kentucky has a commitment to ENGAGE, EDUCATE and EXCITE everyone about the extraordinary experience that is the Kentucky Derby. www.DerbyMuseum.org

About Team Kentucky Fund
The Team Kentucky Fund was initiated by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear to provide assistance to Kentuckians who have been severely financially impacted by the COVID-19 emergency. www.kentucky.gov

About Direct Relief
Direct Relief’s COVID-19 Fund for Community Health supports healthcare workers’ safety and essential services they provide at America’s safety-net community and health centers and clinics. More than 30 million of the country’s most vulnerable residents rely on these local nonprofit providers for health care – over 65 percent of whom are members of ethnic and racial minority groups. The funds will be disbursed to community health centers, free and charitable clinics and pharmacies, and other non-profit health providers in Direct Relief’s partner network, which includes thousands of community-run nonprofit health facilities in all 50 states and U.S. territories. www.directrelief.org

About R.E.I.N. Fund
Relief for Equine Industry Needs (R.E.I.N.) was established by the Churchill Downs Foundation in response to the growing needs in the racing industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent interruption of customary racing operations. The emergency relief fund specifically addresses the needs of backside communities by providing meals, micro-grants and financial assistance with emergency needs as well as the fulfillment of essential care for horses. The Churchill Downs Foundation was established to support industry charitable initiatives such as Thoroughbred aftercare and health and education opportunities for the valued backside community.

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – April 23

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes, compliments of Agameofskill.com

GULFSTREAM PARK

COWTOWN (Race 10 at Gulfstream Park, 4/17/2020) – First time turf runner overcame a brutal trip to storm home late as a better-than-it looks winner in the finale.  The son of Tonalist was in traffic throughout, was knocked off stride down the lane, but quickly recovered to burst home in the final furlong.

EAGLES PALACE (Race 10 at Gulfstream Park, 4/17/2020) – Another first time turf runner from the same race as winner Cowtown.  This colt was bumped hard around the first turn.  Around the final turn he was blocked and steadied.  Recovered to rally wide but flattened out late.  Can improve off that effort for trainer Bill Mott.

Did you read Handicapping Tip #53 – Love Them Before You Bet Them.

OAKLAWN PARK

FLAGSTAFF (Race 8 at Oaklawn Park, 4/18/2020) – This guy broke awkwardly, spotting the field 2-3 lengths.  Was trailing the field early on and was actually steadied briefly at the 5/8th pole, further compromising any chance of winning.  Despite that, Flagstaff absolutely blew by the field down the stretch and just missing catching up with 3x Count Fleet Sprint winner Whitmore at the wire.  Impressive performance in defeat.

HOROLOGIST (Race 10 at Oaklawn Park, 4/18/2020) – The 2019 Monmouth Oaks winner wasn’t going to win the G1 Apple Blossom but she lost all chance when rallied into a wall of horses at the top of the lane. From there she had no where to run and actually finished sneaky well to end up in the front half of the field.  Could be a sneaky play next out in the right spot.