About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 17-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 twice. He cashed on the 2018 NHC Tour with a 19th overall finish. Rich was also a winner of a $24,000 package into Kentucky Derby Betting Championship I. A former executive with Brisnet.com, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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Here are my most recent posts

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.

 

Belmont Stakes and Undercard Notes

Source: NYRA Press Office

A history-making Saturday will see the 152nd running of the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park serve as the Triple Crown’s first leg for the first time in history. Sackatagoa Stable’s Tiz the Law headlines the 10-horse field, and will look to become the first NY-bred in 138 years to win the American Classic.

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 will be held without spectators in attendance. To properly account for the schedule adjustments and overall calendar for 3-year-olds in training, the race will be run at a distance of 1 1/8-miles, marking the first time since 1925 the contest will not feature its signature 1 1/2-mile test.

The Belmont Stakes will now kick off the Triple Crown sequence as the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby, the traditional opener, was moved to September 5 at Churchill Downs and the Grade 1 Preakness set to close the Classic series on October 3 at Pimlico Race Course.

Saturday’s 12-race card will feature six graded stakes and four Grade 1s, including the $250,000 Woody Stephens presented by Claiborne Farm, the $300,000 Longines Acorn and the $250,000 Jaipur [presented by America’s Best Racing], a “Win and You’re In” qualifier to the Breeders’ Cup Turf, providing a full day of racing. The Belmont Stakes, offering 150-60-30-15 points Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top-four finishers, is carded as Race 10, will have a post time of 5:42 p.m. Eastern. NBC will have live coverage starting at 2:45 p.m. Eastern.

Tiz the Law, the 6-5 morning-line favorite who drew post 8, will bid to become just the fourth-ever state-bred Belmont winner and first since the 19th century, joining Ruthless [first winner in 1867], Fenian [1869] and Forester [1882].

Did you read – Handicapping Tip #58 – The Fewer This the Better

The Barclay Tagg trainee is the race’s only multiple graded stakes winner and has already registered a pair of Grade 1 triumphs, starting with his only previous Belmont Park appearance when he followed a debut win by posting a four-length victory in the Champagne in October.

After ending his juvenile year with a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club in November at Churchill – his only non-winning effort in five career starts – the Constitution colt has dominated the start of his sophomore campaign, capturing the Grade 3 Holy Bull in February at Gulfstream by three lengths, earning a 100 Beyer Speed Figure that makes him the only Belmont entrant to record a triple-digit number.

The talented bay followed with a 4 ¼-length romp in the Grade 1 Florida Derby at the Belmont distance on March 28 at Gulfstream. Tiz the Law will now look to give Tagg a career Triple Crown, following the path of another New York bred in Funny Cide, who won the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness before running third in that year’s Belmont.

“It means a lot. You don’t get top contenders all the time,” Tagg said. “He’s a nice horse. Hopefully he’s as good we think. You work every day seven days a week, you just hope nothing happens and nothing goes wrong. But so far, so good. We’re pleased with the way he’s been doing and we’re ready for the race.”

Tiz the Law is a perfect 4-for-4 on fast tracks in his career. He has continued to train forwardly at Belmont, including a half-mile breeze in 50.42 seconds over Big Sandy on Sunday in his last work before the start of Triple Crown season.

“I asked him this morning and he said ‘don’t worry about it,'” Tagg joked. “Nothing seems to faze him in any way. I’d have rather been a little closer [post position-wise], but I don’t think it makes much of a difference. He’s coming in good; I can’t be happier with him.”

Jockey Manny Franco, NYRA’s leading rider the last two years, will have his first career Belmont start after piloting Tiz the Law to wins in three of his last four starts.

“We love Manny,” Tagg said. “He’s been good for us. He’s a very good rider.”

Sole Volante returned off a three-month layoff to best a six-horse optional-claiming field by three-quarters of a length on Wednesday at Gulfstream. That win showed trainer Patrick Biancone that the ultra-consistent son of Karakontie recaptured his early year form when he won the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis in February at Tampa before running second to King Guillermo in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 7.

Italian for “Flying Sun,” Sole Volante has radiated success, going 4-1-1 in six career starts. Owned by Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Andie Biancone, Sole Volante drew post 2 at 9-2 odds. Luca Panici will ride.

“He arrived last night and ate everything this morning. So far, so good,” Biancone said. “He’s very talented. He’s been very good for us and trains his best all the time. We’ll see how good he is Saturday. No question, Tiz the Law is the horse to beat, but he totally [deserves] this opportunity.”

Trainer Todd Pletcher, a three-time Belmont winner, will saddle a pair of contenders in St. Elias Stable’s Dr Post and Farmington Road.

Dr Post was given a seven-month respite off a fourth-place debut last July at Belmont and returned by winning a seven-furlong maiden sprint on March 29 at Gulfstream. The Quality Road colt was moved up to stakes company last out, overcoming a troubled trip to win the 1 1/16-mile Unbridled on April 25 at Gulfstream.

“I think there’s a lot of talent there. I was very impressed by his maiden win,” said Pletcher. “With the amount of adversity he overcame in the Unbridled, it seems like he’s made a lot of progress in a short period of time. He’s a big, strong horse that seems to be improving. This is a big jump up in class and he’s a little light on seasoning, but he seems to have the talent.”

Pletcher said the barn has always had faith in the $400,000 purchase at the 2018 Keeneland Sale.

“Before Saratoga last year, we felt like he was one of our more promising 2-year-olds,” said Pletcher. “He had a bit of a setback after his maiden race, but he’s one we’ve always seen a lot of potential from.”

Dr Post, at odds of 5-1, drew post 9 with Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard.

His stablemate, Farmington Road, has one win in six starts but has made his last three starts at the new Belmont distance, including a second in the Oaklawn on April 11 before running fourth in a division of the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby on May 2.

Pletcher said the late-running colt would benefit from a solid early pace.

“That would definitely help Farmington Road. He’s a one-run horse,” said Pletcher. “He likes to settle and come from off the pace. A true-run race would definitely be to his benefit.”

Farmington Road and Dr Post worked a half-mile in company in 48.87 seconds on the Belmont Park main track Saturday.

Pletcher said he was impressed by how Farmington Road is training into Saturday’s test.

“He’s training great into this race,” said Pletcher. “I thought his breeze over the track was very good. It seems like he’s in good form at the moment.”

Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Chrysalis Stables and Robert LaPenta, Farmington Road, 15-1, will break from post 5 in tandem with Hall of Famer Javier Castellano.

George E. Hall’s Max Player enters with a brief but impressive resume, going 2-1-0 in three starts, including back-to-back wins. Trainer Linda Rice, who will be looking to become the first female conditioner to win a Belmont Stakes, saw Max Player break his maiden by 4 ¼ lengths on December 17 at Parx and follow with a 3 ¼-length win in the 1 1/8-mile Grade 3 Withers, a Kentucky Derby prep race, in his 3-year-old bow on February 1 at Aqueduct.

“It would be great to win a Belmont or any Triple Crown race,” Rice said. “[The Withers] was on February 1 so we’re looking at four and a half months. He has improved dramatically in his training the past 60 days. I’m excited about running him this week.”

The son of Honor Code is listed at 15-1 and will depart from post 3 in tandem with Joel Rosario, who will be in search of a third Belmont Stakes after wins last year with Sir Winston and in 2014 aboard Tonalist.

“He was never very tactical before,” Rice said. “We had to work him in company with another horse to get him to perform and get enough out of his workouts. At this point, he’s seasoned, he no longer needs any company and he relaxes early in his workouts. When we ask him to respond, he responds, so we’ve been very happy with him.

“I would prefer to be little further to the outside with a horse that doesn’t like kickback but we are where we are,” she added.

Pam and Martin Wygod’s Modernist has also earned a winner’s circle trip in a graded stakes. Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, who won the 2010 Belmont with Drosselmeyer, Modernist broke his maiden at third asking in January at Aqueduct and used that as a springboard to capture a division of the 1 1/8-mile Grade 3 Risen Star on February 15 at Fair Grounds.

The Uncle Mo colt ran third in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby last out on March 21, earning a personal-best 85 Beyer Speed Figure, and will be returning to Belmont for the first time since running fifth in his debut in September.

Listed at 15-1, Modernist drew post 4 with Junior Alvarado on the call.

Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, who won the 2016 Belmont with Creator, will saddle a pair of entrants in Calumet Farm’s Jungle Runner and Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Pneumatic.

Pneumatic [8-1] has made just three starts and won two of them. Graduating to stakes company last out, the son of Uncle Mo ran third in the Grade 3 Matt Winn on May 23 at Churchill. Ricardo Santana, Jr. will have the call from post 10.

Jungle Runner, the winner of the Clever Trevor as a sophomore, will be looking for his first blacktype in four starts as a sophomore, entering off an eighth in a division of the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby. New York native Reylu Gutierrez will have his first mount in a Classic, drawing post 7. The son of Candy Ride is listed at 50-1.

Trainer Mark Casse, fresh off his election into the Hall of Fame, will look to repeat in the Belmont after winning last year’s edition with Sir Winston. Casse, who also saw War of Will win the 2019 Preakness, will be going for his third Classic win in two years with Live Oak Plantation’s Tap It to Win.

The Tapit ridgling is on a two-race win streak against allowance company and will run in a graded stakes for the first time since running 10th in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity in October at Keeneland. Tap It to Win, at 6-1, will have the services of Hall of Famer John Velazquez, making his record 24th Belmont start, from post 1.

“We’re the speed in the race so the rail shouldn’t hurt us as much as it might’ve hurt other horses in the race,” said Casse assistant Jamie Begg. “There’s speed outside of us, so it’s not favorable necessarily, but I feel like with his style of running it shouldn’t make as much of a difference.

“He came out of his last race great,” Begg added. “Initially the plan was to see if we could get his energy up coming back in two weeks, but the horse hasn’t missed a beat and is probably training better coming out of that race than he was going into it. We’re pretty excited.”

Fore Left in Woody Stephens Stakes

Reddam Racing’s Fore Left, a bay son of Twirling Candy trained by Doug O’Neill, was expected to sprint seven furlongs in Saturday’s Grade 1 Woody Stephens presented by Claiborne Farm before the connections decided to take a run at the Belmont.

Fore Left, who made eight juvenile starts, graduated at first asking in May 2019 at Santa Anita and followed up in June 2019 with a 4 ½-length win in the Tremont, a 5 ½-furlong sprint at Saratoga Race Course.

Belmont Park horse racingThe versatile bay stretched out in distance in his next two starts at Del Mar finishing third in the six furlong Grade 2 Best Pal and fifth in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity at seven furlongs. After an off-the-board effort in the 1 1/16-miles American Pharoah in September at Santa Anita, Fore Left returned to sprinting with a win in the 6 ½-furlong Sunny Slope in October at Santa Anita and a third in the six-furlong Golden Nugget in November at Golden Gate. He completed a lengthy campaign with a tenth in his turf debut in the Grade 3 Cecil B. DeMille in December at Del Mar.

Fore Left made a victorious seasonal debut last out in the Group 3 UAE Two Thousand Guineas in February, a one-turn mile at Meydan Racecourse.

Assigned morning-line odds of 30-1, Fore Left will emerge from post 6 under Jose Ortiz, who won the 2017 Belmont aboard Tapwrit.

Little Racetrack expecting big business out of the gates from online horse betting

So, what betting handle total will Edmonton’s Century Mile hit next Sunday when the track reopens with no fans onsite?

I’m putting the over-under at a million dollars.

You should know that the average handle for thoroughbred racing in the inaugural season at Century Mile last year was $172,422 and the high was $838,429 for the Canadian Derby.

A million dollars?

Are you getting cash rebates on your wagers and live in the U.S.?  Find out more info from agos.

The key appears to be something called HPIbet.com.

If the Edmonton track can replicate the phenomenal success story of Assiniboia Downs in Winnipeg, it’ll be a bigger story than whatever stories the horses and jockeys managed to write on the track in the 10-race card being put together to launch the season during the pandemic.

More about Century Downs:

Handicapping Tip of the Day #58 – The Fewer This The Better

Fewer Negatives the Better

Handicapping tips from agameofskill.com

By ART PARKER

 

About forty years ago on a sunny Saturday afternoon, I sat in the old grandstand building at Fair Grounds in New Orleans. I was in the area where you had a seat without a table among many other patrons. It was shortly after noon and an older man sat down in the row in front of me and opened his Daily Racing Form to examine the races.

I couldn’t help but notice all of the markings on his Form. What I saw was quite an abundance of checkmarks in red ink. I wasn’t surprised to see notations since I, too, make notes all over my racing material. However, I was amazed at the number of markings this man made.

I couldn’t resist, A few minutes later I excused myself and asked, “Did you get the overweights in the first few races?” He responded negatively and smiled. I seized the opportunity and said, “Wow, that’s a lot of checkmarks you got there.” He laughed and said, “I’ve been doing this ever since my dad brought me to the track a long time ago. It was his way of evaluating things.”

Thank goodness I didn’t need to pry further as he simply explained, “I go through the races early in the morning and, I make a checkmark for every negative on each horse. If a horse has a lot more negatives than his competition then it helps in deciding to throw him out.”

I was staying in New Orleans that night and was planning another trip to Fair Grounds the next day. Later that night in my hotel room I was thinking about what the man had told me. At first, it didn’t seem so ingenious. However, the more I thought about it the more sensible the idea became.

I could have kicked myself for not purchasing Sunday‘s Form before I left the track that afternoon. I dashed out of the room and ran a couple of blocks to a liquor store in the French Quarter to buy Sunday’s Form. I purchased the last one sitting on the counter. Back in my hotel room I stayed up late studying the races and making checkmarks by each horse.

I had a good day the next day at Fair Grounds, and I left New Orleans thinking I made a great discovery. In reality, I just stumbled into a new way to improve my selection process.

Over the next couple of weeks, I thought about the negative notations. I realized the first good thing about doing this was that you had to be prepared before you go to the track. Playing the horses well is hard to do. It is very, very difficult. Could you imagine General George Patton leading his army without a plan and without utilizing as much information as possible? Finding the negatives of every horse requires advance study, and you can’t just show up at the track and expect to do all of that between races.

This practice also helped me understand that the best handicapping process must first separate pretenders from contenders. The best way to zero in on a winner is to dismiss those that simply have very little, or no chance to win, and, therefore, picking winners is as much the art of elimination as it is selection.

The Belmont Stakes this Year. What You Need to Know.

Belmont Park crowd

copyright Agameofskill.com. No Fans this year!!!

When is the 2020 Belmont Stakes? The 152st Belmont Stakes is on Saturday, June 20. Post time will be at approximately 5:42 p.m. ET.

What is unique about the Belmont Stakes? The Belmont is the final test for horses seeking a Triple Crown title. Horses have an additional week of rest between races as opposed to the Preakness, but the Belmont is also the longest race of the three. [Not this year.  It’s only 9 furlongs.  Normally it is 12 furlongs or 1 1/2 miles].

Belmont Park is only a few miles away from New York City, and city dwellers can just hop on the Long Island Rail Road for a day at the races.

More about Belmont Stakes this Year: