Archives for June 2020

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – June 30

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BELMONT PARK

JACK AND NOAH (Race 9 @Belmont, Jne 19, 2020) – This 3yo son of Bated Breath is a very, very fast early.  He utilized that speed to run his rivals off their feet in this $80,000 stakes going 6 furlongs on the grass.  Throw out his 1 mile start on Jan. 26, and this colt’s sprint record is rock solid on the lawn.

INDIANA DOWNS

CIELO AZUL (Race 5 @Indiana, June 23, 2020) – 3yo gelding making first start since 2yo season ran a huge race here.  After not showing much in two starts in 2019, he had been training well and nearly pulled off the 10-1 shocker of a dropper from Tampa.

Did you miss… The attributes of an off-the-turf longshot winner?

Handicapping Tip of the Day #58 – The Off the Turf Bomber

Look for These Attributes for an Off-the-turf Winner

Handicapping tips from agameofskill.com

by Rich Nilsen

This is the story of how I gave my buddies a 27-1 winner that won for fun and I think a total of $10 was bet on her.

A few weeks back I picked up my Brisnet Past Performances for the 8th race at Gulfstream Park, an off-the-turf claimer for non-winners of two races lifetime.  First thing I did was look at the MTO (Main Track Only) runner who had drawn into the field and was now the favorite. The four year old filly had so-so early speed and just struck me as a one-paced runner, the type that makes a slow, steady late run that isn’t going to win many races…especially at Gulfstream Park.  She also showed declining speed figures for her 9% trainer.

Immediately, I was interested in who might be able to beat this vulnerable favorite.  The #2, 5, and 12 were all turf runners that had no show little-to-no ability on the main track.  Toss.

That left only the #4, 6, 11, and 13.  The #11 was a terribly slow horse for a bad trainer.  Easy toss.   The #4 had won a maiden $10,000 claimer at Tampa and this was a $25,000 2-life at Gulfstream.   She looked slow and outclassed for this level in South Florida.

That left only two possibilities if I was going to play this race.  The #6 Just A Bit Sassy had run twice on the dirt and had placed twice both times while earning decent figures.  However, she was beaten a total of 18 lengths and had failed to show much early speed.  She was being heavily bet as the second choice and I felt the risk/reward wasn’t there.

#13 Lilo’s Call, on the other hand, had gone wire to wire in her maiden win first time out at Laurel last March.  Off that start she ran a lackluster 6th on the turf (toss).  She was then well beaten in her next two starts in tough allowance races and one of those starts came in the slop.  I only needed to forgive her last start in order to make her a play.

Sometimes you just have to forgive a bad last race for no reason.  Today,  the daughter of Drosselmeyer was making her first start for her new trainer, a low profile but solid 21% trainer John Collins.  She had three solid works for the new barn, a very positive sign that she might revert to her prior good form.  Lilo’s Call was bred to love the distance and dirt, and she was already a proven, front-running winner in a one-turn mile race.  Went I looked at the toteboard on BetPTC.com I couldn’t believe my eyes.  She was 40-1.

I’m a privileged member of the LoneSpeed.com text thread, a select group of really good handicappers.  The small group of six includes superstar handicapper Dylan Donnelly (currently #1 on the NHC Tour) and wanna-be star Justin Dew.

It was 6 minutes to post and I texted my buddies about a longshot that I thought had a big shot.  Radio silence.

They broke from the gate and Lilo’s Call moved up into a perfect stalking position in third, just off the early pace setters.  At the 3/8th pole Miguel Vasquez asked and Lilo responded, cruising to the front.  From there she took command and then proceeded to just run the rest of her rivals off their feet.  She hit the wire 6 3/4 lengths in front.   The MTO favorite plodded along in second.  My phone exploded.

Chart of a longshot off the turf winner

copyright 2020 Equibase.com and Brisnet

The filly paid $57.20 win.  The congrats came in via the text thread, and double NHC qualifer Dew acknowledged that he had a few bucks on her.

Overlays like this aren’t easy to come by.  When you handicap an off the turf race, look for a horse that is proven on the dirt or has an excellent dirt pedigree.  Give the edge to runners with good early speed or strong tactical speed.  Couple that with an angle or two that makes sense, and you have the icing on the cake.   Best of luck!

Mandatory Payout Day Set for Saturday at Charles Town

Source: Charles Town Racetrack

This Saturday, June 27, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races is pleased to offer a mandatory payout of the Charles Town 6-12 carryover which currently stands at $140,718 with only two cards remaining before the weekend.  The Charles Town 6-12 is a jackpot style Pick 6 covering the final six races on each Charles Town card and carries a low 12-percent takeout.

Due to the low takeout and size of the carryover, should the Charles Town 6-12 not be hit prior to the weekend, the wager stands a good chance of paying out more to Saturday’s players than is bet into the pool as the last three forced payouts have seen a resulting players advantage of 8%, 3% and 13% respectively.

Live racing at Charles Town will take place Thursday through Saturday this week with each program kicking off at 7:00 P.M. EST.

New normal for horse racing… in Jamaica

Much to the delight of racing professionals and punters, horse racing returned to Caymanas Park on Saturday last (June 20, 2020) after an agonizing three-month break due to the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.

So, it is the new normal at the Park where the order of the race day was sanitizing, wearing masks, and social distancing.

Did you read – Handicapping Tip #57 Wide with Intent

There was even a new innovation by the promoting company of allowing punters to sit in their cars on the infield, watching the races, betting, and generally enjoying themselves, without entering the stands or any of the restricted racing areas.

There were 11 races on the card and the racing itself was superb.

Truly a good start, with minor tweaks, here and there, expected to come.

The Supreme Racing Guide was present and shares in photos with our readers some of the special moments of the first race day in three months.

The photographer

PA Track and Casino to Resume Horse Racing on July 27

All guests and staff will be required to wear masks and will have their temperature checked at the door, according to the casino.

Only the main, south, and north entrances will be open for guests to use.

The casino will open half its slot machines and half its table games to maintain social distancing.

Casino restaurants will be subject to some changes, including a limited menu for Churchill’s Bourbon and Brew.

Q. Will the BetAmerica Sportsbook be open?
A. Yes, every other seat has been removed inside the Sportsbook. There will be 39 out of the 50 betting kiosks located safely throughout the casino.

Q. What should I do with my BetAmerica sports wagering tickets made prior to closure on cancelled or postponed games?
A. Each event has been handled a little differently. Some tickets have been refunded whilw others are still valid but need to wait until the event was completed. Please call us at 866-ERIE-FUN and ask for the BetAmerica ticket redemptions and they will be happy to determine the answer for you.

More about the PA Track:

Illinois Horse Racing and Sports Issue Still Pending

Despite moving to the brink of a two-year contract for horse racing in 2020 and 2021, Arlington Park and the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association have yet to put pen to paper on an agreement and forced the Illinois Racing Board to recess its Thursday meeting for approval of this season’s schedule until Friday.

The sides were supposed to have a signed contract in place by Jan. 1, 2020 as part of the $12 billion capital bill Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law last June that also legalized sports betting in Illinois. Arlington Park tweeted Wednesday saying it had reached a tentative agreement with the ITHA, but the two sides had a breakdown prior to Thursday’s scheduled board meeting. The ITHA had issue with the language in the contract because purse projections could change if Arlington does not receive the same amount of race days in 2021 that it has in previous years.

More about this Illinois issue:

Belmont Stakes 2020 wagering recap

Make It a Trio. European Racehorse Stradivarius Wins Gold Cup at Royal Ascot Again

Stradivarius was on hand to produce a breathtaking performance to carve a niche for itself as the third horse to win three successive Gold Cups at Royal Ascot.

Frankie Dettori took his time on the ground which had been softened by rain and initially thought to be unfavorable for John Gosden’s exceptional superstar but eventually closed in on the leader and eventual runner-up Nayef Road. After successfully closing in, he went on to win by a whopping 10 lengths.

Got rebates on your horse racing wagers?  Learn more about improving your bottom line.

There were doubts if he would be successful with the hat-trick of triumphs due to the downpour that continued till it was almost time for the race. However, Stradivarius, in black and yellow colors was bent on emerging victoriously.

The six-year-old who was released as the 4-5 favorite made the odds appear seemingly generous as he initially settled behind Nayef Road and Withhold before coasting into a winning position as Dettori brimmed with confidence.

Regardless, the odds proved to be well-placed as Dettori was able to applaud the achievement of passing the post in an isolated manner before coming up with his trademark flying dismount as he returned to the winner’s enclosure.

This was the case even as there were no crowds due to the social distancing procedures being deployed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The performance effectively meant that Stradivarius had matched the achievement of the race’s fellow gold hat-trick heroes in the past, namely, Yeats and Sagari. However, Yeats still stands alone after winning it four times in succession for Aidan O’Brien.

Dettori revealed how excited he was in an interview after the race. Dettori said:

“I’m so proud of the horse. He’s been a joy to be around. He’ll go down as one of the great stayers, like Yeats and Sagaro. Who knows, maybe we’ll try for for next year.”

He added: “Even with no crowd I’m quite emotional. A very proud moment.

 

“I was worried about the rain. They were talking up the Martyn Meade horse (Technician) a lot. It was a concern. He actually really surprised me, because he went through it like a hot knife through butter. I had everybody covered. I was surprised I didn’t have anyone to challenge me.

“It’s always that scary moment when you get to the furlong marker – will he pick up or not – but he did and he stretched away by 10. Amazing.

“We purposely all stayed wide on the fresh ground. That helped a little bit, but nevertheless it was still very soft. It just shows what a fighter and how versatile he is. It’s all about Stradivarius today. He’s a wonderful horse.

“You’re never on the bridle in the Gold Cup a furlong out. Usually everybody labours by the three, so it was an amazing feeling and a fantastic performance. The horse deserves it. I’m very proud of him.”

Gosden added: “I’m very proud he’s won three and particularly proud for the man who’s done it, Bjorn Nielsen, the owner-breeder – he’s passionate about breeding and keeps trying to breed a Derby winner, but he’s got a very good Cup horse. For him it is profoundly fulfilling and it’s just a pity he can’t be here today.

“It’s down to Bjorn whether we come back for a fourth. We might just look towards the Goodwood Cup next, he’s won three of them already, then we might take a pull as there is talk of running in an Arc. He ran brilliantly in the Coronation Cup, so an Arc on Autumn ground isn’t out of the question.”

$67.7M in Handle on Belmont Stakes Day 2020. Tiz The Law Dominates.

Saturday’s 12-race Belmont Stakes Day card, featuring six graded stakes and highlighted by Tiz the Law’s victory in the 152nd running of the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes, generated all-sources handle of $67,753,336.

Tiz the Law, the 3-year-old colt owned by Sackatoga Stable based in Saratoga Springs, became the first New York-bred to capture the Belmont Stakes since 1882.

To align with required health and safety measures implemented in New York to mitigate risk and combat the spread of COVID-19, the Belmont Stakes Day card was held without spectators in attendance. To properly account for the schedule adjustments made in response to the pandemic, the Belmont Stakes was run at a distance of 1 1/8-miles instead of the traditional 1 ½ mile test.

For the first time in history, the Belmont Stakes served as the opening leg of the Triple Crown, with the Kentucky Derby moved to September 5 at Churchill Downs and the Preakness rescheduled for October 3 at Pimlico Race Course.

All-sources handle on the 152nd Belmont Stakes itself, carded as Race 10, was $34,088,475.

The 2019 all-sources handle was $102,163,280, a NYRA record for a non-Triple Crown year.

The Belmont Park spring/summer meet continues through Sunday, July 12, with live racing conducted Thursday through Sunday. First post is 1:15 p.m.

Rich Nilsen’s Belmont Stakes Analysis

For additional information, visit www.NYRA.com.

Source: NYRA

Mandatory Rainbow Six Payoff Set at Santa Anita for Sunday

Saber's Santa Anita horse racing wagering picksSunday’s closing day of Santa Anita’s shortened spring meet could include a massive mandatory payout of the Rainbow Pick Six if no one ticket hits the 20-cent wager Saturday. Heading into Friday’s nine-race card, there was a $924,314 Jackpot carryover. There are 12 races scheduled Saturday and Sunday, with four stakes races both days. Flavien Prat has wrapped up the jockey title with an 83-60 edge over Abel Cedillo heading into Friday’s card. The trainer’s race is wide open, with Peter Miller (32 victories) leading Bob Baffert (31) and Richard Baltas (27).

Read the full news here

Nilsen’s Belmont Stakes Analysis

Rich Nilsen handicapperby Rich Nilsen, founder of Agameofskill.com

To say this is an unusual Triple Crown year would be a huge understatement.  We have a 1 1/8 miles Belmont Stakes as the first jewel of the Triple Crown with the second and third legs not run until September and October, respectively.   With several recent,  major defections, this year’s running is a pretty weak group overall.  Let’s take a look, starting with the legitimate favorite #8 Tiz The Law.

#8 Tiz The Law has done little wrong for Sackatoga Stable and trainer Barclay Tagg, the same team that brought us the loveable Funny Cide.  The son of Constitution was an impressive debut winner last summer at Saratoga and then quickly stepped up into Grade 1 company where he crushed the field despite stumbling at the start.  He was then a troubled third in the slop in his last start as a juvenile.  He’s returned this year and rolled to victory to two stakes at Gulfstream Park, the G3 Holy Bull and the G1 Florida Derby.  The colt has the perfect tactical speed, two works over the local surface  and is simply faster  than the majority runners in this field.  His main fear is…

#1 Tap It To Win – trainer Mark Casse goes for his third consecutive victory in a Triple Crown race, so don’t take this colt lightly.  The Tapit runner was simply spectacular last time out at Belmont Park, crushing a quality allowance field.  This was a jaw-dropping performance because he easily outran some other speed while setting swift fractions and then just continued on to a dominating win.  I don’t know what happened to him in his two starts in Kentucky last fall, but he looks like a new horse as a sophomore colt.

#4 Modernist – The Bill Mott runner showed his talent by stepping up of a maiden win at Aqueduct in the mud to score in the G2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds over 10 rivals.  He didn’t have the best of trips last out in the G2 Louisiana Derby but still managed to run a respectable third.  Who would ever think we would see a ‘turn back’ horse in the Belmont Stakes?  It’s that type of year.  This guy is a major sleeper at square odds.  Get the latest Belmont Stakes news and notes.

#2 Sole Volante – was a horse to watch for me after some subtle trouble and then finishing strongly up the rail in the G2 Tampa Bay Derby.  This gelding has finished well in all six of his career starts, including a solid win last out at Gulfstream Park.  The biggest concern with this closer is jockey Luca Panici, an average jock who is unfamiliar with ‘Big Sandy.’  Knowing when to make your move over this track is a critical trait.

#10 Pneumatic – Uncle Mo runner won back-t0-back races at Oaklawn Park and then was a good third last time out behind Maxfield, who would be co-favorite in this race if he was running.  Owns good tactical speed and starts for a Belmont winning trainer in Steve Asmussen.  Certainly a contender but not sure he’s good enough to win.

#9 Dr Post – runner from St Elias Stable has done little wrong in three starts for Pletcher and is coming into this race in sharp form.   This is still a big step up off his last race at Gulfstream and he’s no bargain at 5/1 on the line.

#3 Max Player – has ability and is going in the right direction for Linda Rice.  He’s also been working well and has a new rider in Rosario, who is great on closers.  Chance for a piece.

#5 Farmington Road – could be overbet due to the Pletcher factor and there are better closers in this field.  Playing against this maiden winner.

#6 Fore Left – I had this horse in the Tremont S. victory last spring.  This isn’t the Tremont.

#7 Jungle Runner – Pass.

Wagering strategy:  Superfecta partwheel 1, 8 with 1, 2, 4, 8 with 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10 with ALL ($21 wager for every $.10 increment).

 

If you end up doing well on Belmont Stakes day, please consider giving a donation to one of the following great organizations:

Belmont Child Care Association which supports Anna’s House and the families and children on the New York backside (www.belmontchildcare.org).  New York, of course, was hit the hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic.  Another is Acacia Courtney’s Racing For Home, which supports ex-racehorses.