Archives for December 2021

USADA Will Not Oversee Horse Race Doping

A deal for the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to police drugs in horse racing cratered Thursday after months of negotiations that the agency’s CEO said did not give it “a reasonable chance to put in place a credible and effective program.” USADA was set to become the regulator for anti-doping and medication control for thoroughbred racing under the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, which is set to go into effect next July.

But in a surprising announcement, CEO Travis Tygart said the deal stalled.

According to

The lack of uniform rules across the nation came into focus after Medina Spirit tested positive for a banned substance after the Kentucky Derby. One key issue was the length of time it would take to corroborate the test with a “B” sample, which was needed to confirm the positive. USADA said part of its program would have ensured a faster turnaround on the “B” sample.

Medina Spirit ended up racing, and finishing third, in the Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown, even though his victory in the Kentucky Derby was in dispute. Earlier this month, Medina Spirit collapsed and died after a workout at Santa Anita.

More on the Horse Race Doping and the USADA

Documentary on Ironman Jockey Perry Ouzts

As any horseplayer around the midwest knows, Ohio jockey Perry Ouzts is the ironman in the world of jockeys.  A winner of over 7,200 races, Perry Wayne Ouzts is still going strong at the amazing age of 67.  He has ridden over 50,000 mounts in his long career on the racetrack!  According to jockey Ouzts is winning at a 17-percent clip in 2021.

“If he wanted to he, he could have ridden at any racetrack in the country. He’s as good as anyone out there,” said trainer W.J. Danner.

Related story: The Hall of Fame case for jockey Perry Ouzts

Ironman Jockey – Perry Ouzts from Dave T on Vimeo.


Bill Vlahos and the Massive Horse Racing Ponzi Scheme

Dazzled by the promise of plum winnings on the racetrack because of a secret mathematical formula, the investors that Bill Vlahos swindled named their syndicates accordingly — Richy Rich, Winners Circle, Oceans 18.

And they opened their bank accounts to him, too, pouring hard-earned savings into a club that he named “The Edge” because it would give participants a secret advantage on other punters.

The lure was strong.

One man transferred $1.2 million directly into the racing identity’s personal bank account, convinced that his investment would generate life-changing cash and on paper, that’s how things appeared.

But in reality, Vlahos was actually the principal of a preposterous Ponzi scheme that hustled investors out of $17,520,224… more about this Aussie man and his horse racing ponzi scheme

Is Horse Racing Dead? Not in New York

The recently concluded 15-day fall meet at Aqueduct Racetrack generated $10,295,293 in average daily handle from all sources, the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced today. With this year’s 11.2 percent increase over 2020, average daily handle at the Aqueduct fall meet has risen 25.4 percent since 2019.

The continued growth in average daily handle aligns with the broader trend at NYRA, as reflected in sustained increases in that metric at Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course. Average daily handle at the Belmont fall meet has grown 39 percent since 2019 with the 2021 summer meet at Saratoga eclipsing $20 million in average daily handle for the first time in history. 

Red Flags on Rag Tag – get the latest handicapping tip

Despite hosting three fewer race days than 2020, all sources handle for the Aqueduct fall meet totaled $154,429,388 compared with $166,702,976 in 2020. The 2019 fall meet, which was contested over 25 days, generated all sources handle of $205,249,710.

The opening of the fall meet marked the return of in-person attendance for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. As a result, on-track handle was $15,268,541, a 35.1 percent increase over 2020 when only a limited number of owners were permitted to attend live racing. The 2019 fall meet, which was contested over 25 days, generated on-track handle of $20,712,645.

With the benefit of two turf courses available at Aqueduct, 74 races were run over the grass with just six races forced off the turf due to weather during the fall meet. In 2020, 68 races were run over the grass with 11 races forced off the turf due to weather. 

Average field size for the 145 total races run during the fall meet was 8.90, a 2.6 percent increase over 2020 and 5.9 percent higher than 2019. 

The 2021-22 Aqueduct winter meet, which began Dec. 9, continues through Sunday, March 27.

Atras Has the Ones to Beat in Queens County

the Big A race horseTrainer Rob Atras will have two chances to win the Queens County on Sunday when he saddles You’re to Blame and Olliemyboy in the $125,000 stakes for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/8 miles over the main track at Aqueduct Racetrack. 

A well-traveled 7-year-old son of Distorted Humor, You’re to Blame joined Atras’ barn two starts back when he was claimed out of a winning effort for $80,000 by Michael Dubb and Karen Murphy. Starting his career with Chad Brown, You’re to Blame broke his maiden in October of his 2-year-old season and earned his first graded stakes placing at 3 when he finished third in the Grade 3 Bay Shore at Aqueduct. 

Moving to the barn of Todd Pletcher at the end of 2017, You’re to Blame earned his lone graded stakes victory when he took down the Grade 3 Greenwood Cup at Parx as part of a three-win campaign in 2018. An allowance victory in April of his 5-year-old season would prove to be his last until his optional claiming victory two starts back, picking up three more stakes placings and a second in the 2019 Grade 3 Pimlico Special in between. 

Learn more about what makes a strong handicapping play.

Third in his latest start at Churchill Downs going 1 1/6 miles, the bay was beaten just two lengths after being held off the pace by jockey Joel Rosario. Asked by Rosario to make his move for the lead at the top of the stretch, You’re to Blame ran into some traffic trouble and was bumped by runner-up Major Fed to his inside, causing him to lose momentum. Despite the trouble, You’re to Blame kept to task and finished well to hold onto show honors. 

After dabbling in the marathon division since a start in the Flat Out at Belmont last June, You’re to Blame seemed to relish turning back in distance this fall. 

“I think he likes the mile and an eighth going two turns,” Atras said. “It hits him right between the eyes. Hopefully he runs a good race for us.”

You’re to Blame will break from post 1 with Dylan Davis in the irons. 

Olliemyboy, an Ontario-bred son of Union Rags, will be making his second start for Atras after joining his barn in August. The 4-year-old’s first start for his conditioner came after a five-month layoff, finishing fourth in an optional claimer on August 30 at Delaware Park where he tracked in third but failed to threaten and tired in the stretch. 

Fifth in his last start at Churchill Downs November 21, the dark bay went four-wide through the first turn and into the backstretch while being held off the pace by Ricardo Santana, Jr. Briefly taking command at the three-quarter marker, Olliemyboy once again faded in the stretch and was beaten four lengths.

“He had a couple of issues so it took us a while to get started with him,” said Atras. “He lost a shoe in his first race back. In his last race, he was a little too keen and close to the front. He took the lead and only got beat a few lengths.”

A win in the Queens County would provide Olliemyboy with his first stakes victory after finishing off the board in the Queens Plate at Woodbine last year and in the Grade 2 New Orleans Classic at Fair Grounds this year. 

Manny Franco will ride from post 4. 

Charles Hallas’ Backsideofthemoon will try to earn a repeat victory in the Queens County after taking last year’s edition by six lengths. Trained by Rudy Rodriguez at the time of his victory last year, the 9-year-old gelding is now under the care of Patrick Reynolds, who received the gelding in August after finishing sixth in the Grade 3 Westchester for conditioner Robert Klesaris. 

Backsideofthemoon’s best effort for Reynolds came when he was defeated by You’re to Blame by a head in an optional claimer on October 2 at Belmont. Settled to the rear of the field by Tyler Gaffalione, Backsideofthemoon tracked in fifth as Letmeno led the field through a half-mile in 46.77 seconds.

Roused by Gaffalione in the turn, Backsideofthemoon took command in the stretch and dug in gamely as You’re to Blame made his closing bid to his outside. Finishing three-quarter lengths ahead of third-place finisher First Constitution, Backsideofthemoon lost his advantage in the shadow of the wire and had to settle for second. 

With a third and a fourth in his last two starts, Backsideofthemoon will be vying for career win number 9 in the Queens County. 

Jose Lezcano gets the call to ride from post 2. 

Bourbonic, trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, is searching for his first win since upsetting this year’s Grade 2 Wood Memorial Presented By Resorts World Casino in April with a last-to-first victory by a head over Dynamic One, giving Pletcher the exacta in that race.

Earning enough points to qualify for the Kentucky Derby with his Wood Memorial score, the son of Bernardini made the trip to Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May and finished 13th in the field of 19. 

Fifth in the Grade 1 Belmont next time out, the Calumet Farm homebred’s best finish this year came when he finished third beaten just 2 ¾ lengths with another off-the-pace effort in the Grade 3 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer in August. The 3-year-old colt stepped back up to Grade 1 company in his next start and finished fifth in the Pennsylvania Derby. 

Fourth in the Discovery last time out, Bourbonic worked a half-mile in 50.48 over Belmont’s dirt training track December 12. 

Bourbonic will be racing with blinkers off and breaks from post 3 with Kendrick Carmouche up. 

Trin-Brook Stables’ Forewarned defeated a large field of Ohio-breds when he took down Mahoning Valley’s Best of Ohio Endurance two starts back by a comfortable 3 ½ lengths. Trained by Uriah St. Lewis, the son of Flat Out broke next-to-last in the field of 12 and made steady progress throughout under Sonny Leon. 

Tucked into the rail down the stretch for the first time, Forewarned began to pick off his foes after three-quarters in 1:12.62, cruising through the inside path under a strong hand ride from Leon. With the top five runners bunched up towards the middle of the racetrack at the top of the stretch, Forewarned continued to find running room along the rail and was clear at the eighth pole, pulling away strongly to finish the 1 ¼ miles in 2:06.73. 

Fourth in the Richard W. Small at Laurel last time out, Forewarned has made two starts at the Big A with a fourth in the Bernardini and a fifth in the Cigar Mile in 2019.

Dexter Haddock will ride from the outermost post 9. 

Rounding out the field for the Queens County are Shooger Ray Too [Post 5, Luis Saez], Empty Tomb [Post 6, Eric Cancel], Bal Harbour [Post 7, Javier Castellano], and Mystic Night [Post 8, Jose Ortiz]. 

The Queens County, named for the political subdivision of Aqueduct Racetrack, is carded as Race 8 with a 3:37 p.m. Eastern post time. First post for Sunday’s nine-race card is 12:20 p.m.

America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the winter meet at Aqueduct Racetrack on the networks of FOX Sports.

Source: NYRA

The Top 10 Betting Apps in the U.K.

Lots of UK sports fans now prefer to use a mobile device to bet on the big game of the day. Android sports betting apps are therefore getting more and more popular in the UK. Most of the top sports betting sites now offer an Android sports betting app.

Here are our picks for the top 10 Android sports betting apps in the UK right now:


Arguably the largest sports betting site in the UK, Bet365 also offers a top Android app. Features like Cash Out, Auto Cash Out and Partial Cash Out are all available to use.

Bet365’s market-leading odds and outstanding betting bonuses can also be found here. Android users can benefit from Match Live Alerts to stay up to date with the latest action on the app too.

With streaming of UK and Irish horse racing also included, the Bet365 Android app is a must.


Rivaling Bet365 to be named the best Android app in the UK is Betfair, which offers a total of over 100,000 live events each year to ensure it is an absolute mecca for in-play betting.

Betfair users who grab the Android app can also look forward to top promotions including Beat The Drop, while keeping up with the latest scores is a cinch thanks to push notifications.


Among the UK’s most established betting brands is Betfred, which has…

Doc Alan’s Spot Play: Army vs Navy Analysis with Wager

Dr. Alan is one of the best sports handicappers in the country. He is beating the books, especially in Prime Time games where he is hitting over 62%!

He loves his play in this major game on Saturday afternoon. Dr. Alan is fresh off a big win in the SEC Title game where he picked Alabama +6 1/2, the dog that won outright easily!

A three-time top 15 finisher in the prestigious WestGate Las Vegas Super Contest, Alan dissects every game, determines which teams are motivated for this particular match-up, and then, he picks his spots after hours of careful deliberation.  He does the homework you need to do to win at sports, and he has the track record to prove it.

Get his play for the Army vs. Navy game with wager.  Only $40


KY Derby Champ Medina Spirit Dies of Heart Attack. Adds to Long Ugly History for Bob Baffert

Kentucky Derby ‘winner’ Medina Spirit died of an apparent heart attack after a workout this morning in Southern California.  Trained by Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, Medina Spirit was a game second in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic last month at Del Mar. This is not the first Bob Baffert horse to mysteriously die.  Let’s look back at a San Diego newspaper report from November, 2013:

Seven of Baffert’s horses died of sudden death between Nov. 4, 2011 and March 14, 2013. Five died in training, two in racing. Five died of cardio-pulmonary failure. Arthur said the amount of deaths “is undeniably exceptional,” but the “cases were not atypical sudden deaths associated with racing and training.” He called the cluster of horse deaths in Baffert’s barn, “extremely abnormal,” and later said, “There is something wrong here.” But the investigation didn’t show what was wrong, he said.

More from the San Diego Tribune on trainer Bob Baffert’s history with unusual heart attack deaths.

Other news: Baffert horses banned from Kentucky Derby


Grand National 2022 antepost odds: Galvin leads the way; Cloudy Glen looks strong

Cloudy Glen had an impressive win at the Ladbrokes Trophy and has now entered the Grand National 2022 antepost betting market with a bang. The race horse defied the odds of 33/1 to win at Newbury on Saturday, December 4. Cloudy Glen’s trainer Venetia Williams previously saddled up Aintree winner Mon Mome in 2009. Mon Mome started the race at 100/1 odds. There are hopes that Williams will be able to do the same with Cloudy Glen.

Minella Times won the Grand National last season and is one of the favorites to win the race this time around. Horse racing fans are already anticipating the Grand National and a big 2022 horse racing calendar. Bettors can visit to get the latest bet bonuses and information on horse race betting before taking a punt on the Grand National and other events.

Steeplechase scene black whiteWho are the Grand National 2022 favorites?

While Minella Times is considered one of the favorites to win the Grand National 2022, Galvin and Run Wild Fred are currently the odds leaders to romp to victory at Aintree. Both horses, Galvin and Run Wild Fred, are at the antepost betting odds of 16/1.

Galvin is trained by famed horse racing trainer Gordon Elliott. In October, Galvin got back to winning ways on the racetrack with a victory at the Irish Daily Star Chase. The seven-year-old has strengthened his claims to the Grand National 2022 trophy by finishing second in the Grade 1 Champion Chase at Down Royal.

Galvin’s win at Down Royal followed on from the seven-year-old’s fantastic first-place win in a Grade 3 race at Punchestown.

“He might be more a Grand National horse,” Elliott said after the Down Royal event. “He knows how to win and he’s just a great horse to have.”

Elliott’s Mount Ida is another horse that will be let loose at Aintree. Mount Ida impressed onlookers at Clonmel recently. Run Wild Fred became co-favorite to win the Grand National 2022 after a victory in November’s Troytown Handicap Chase at Navan.

When is the Grand National 2022?

The Grand National 2022 is scheduled for Saturday, April 9. The race will be the crowning glory of the three-day Grand National Festival held at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool. The festival is scheduled to begin on Thursday, April 7.

The Grand National is run over 4 miles and 2.5 furlough. The Aintree race is one of the most prestigious in the world. In 2020, the Grand National’s prize purse was £750,000. Irish horses have dominated the Grand National in recent seasons by winning four of the last five meetings.

Two of those wins came courtesy of the exploits of the incredible Tiger Roll. There has been no word thus far on whether Tiger Roll will run once more in the Grand National in 2022.

In 2021, jockey Rachael Blackmore made history as the first female jockey to win the legendary Grand National. Prior to winning the Grand National, Blackmore was named the Cheltenham Festival’s top jockey. Blackmore’s accomplishment has led to her being nominated for the BBC’s World Sports Star of the Year award for 2021.

Doc Alan’s Spot Play: Alabama vs Georgia Forecast

I was told that Dr. Alan was one of the best NFL handicappers in the country and I quickly became a believer.  In fact, I have personally wagered on all his selections this year in the NFL.  The result? He is beating the books, especially in Prime Time games where he is hitting over 63%!  Dr. Alan is one of the best sports handicappers in the country.  He loves his play in this major game on Saturday afternoon.

A three-time top 15 finisher in the prestigious WestGate Las Vegas Super Contest, Alan dissects every game, determines which teams are motivated for this particular match-up, and then, he picks his spots after hours of careful deliberation.  He does the homework you need to do to win at sports, and he has the track record to prove it.

Get his play for the Georgia vs Alabama game with wager.  Only $40