Equestricon Ticket Construction Panel

The following links to the wagering ticket construction panel that was on day 2 of the 2018 Equestricon Conference.  Included on this panel was my good friend Mike Maloney, one of the best horseplayers in the country.

Keeneland News

Keeneland is at the forefront of fan education and this fall will introduce new programming targeting the intermediate fan that further enhances the track’s BETology efforts.

Keeneland Trainer Stats on your Tablet, phone or eReader

Among the new programs are Pop-Up BETology, with Keeneland’s famed BETologists going directly to the fans via a “BET Mobile” golf cart that will invade The Hill tailgate area and parking lots to offer quick BETology sessions. Each race day, Keeneland will present organized short-form BETology 101 and 201 level seminars at 12:05 p.m. and 12:20 p.m, respectively, at Wagering Central. Topics for the beginner or intermediate fan include “The Vocabulary of Betting” and “Understanding Odds”.

Keeneland and Daily Racing Form have collaborated on programming and more advanced materials that target the intermediate bettor. The partnership includes Saturday 201 sessions with a “Play Like a Player” segment about how to read a Form, understand Beyer Speed Figures and more. In addition, Keeneland and the Form have developed materials to guide conversations with BETologists about how to use more advanced handicapping tools.

You can also plug into Keeneland.com and Keeneland’s social media platforms to keep pace with all the racing action and special events fun. Follow Keeneland on Facebook @Keeneland, Instagram @Keeneland and Twitter @KeenelandRacing and @BetKeeneland. Bet from anywhere via your phone with the Keeneland Select app.

Returning this fall is the popular @BetKeeneland on Twitter, an interactive handle that provides horseplayers with real-time handicapping tips and insights while benefiting the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) through its Handicapper of the Day Series. Guest handicappers slated for this fall include Britney Eurton, TVG reporter and part of the NBC Sports Triple Crown broadcast team; Gabby Gaudet, on-air racing analyst for the New York Racing Association and its Fox Sports telecasts; Scott Hazelton, on-air host and reporter for TVG; Richard Migliore, retired jockey and racing and workout analyst for XBTV; Jeff Siegel, noted Southern California handicapper and analyst/on-air host for XBTV; and Steve Sherack, senior editor of Thoroughbred Daily News.

The free Keeneland Race Day App offers a number of options to make your race day more memorable. Among the features available at your fingertips: live streaming of Keeneland races and race replays; entries and results; Expert Picks; special events information and a GPS-enabled interactive map of Keeneland. A Bet Simulator shows you each step in placing a wager, calculating the cost of a bet and projected simple will-pays. App users may also receive exclusive access to daily promotions, contests and giveaways.

Return of popular Pick Fours and Pick Fives

Each race day, Keeneland offers a daily Pick 6 in addition to its early and late Pick Fours and Pick Fives. Highlighting the Fall Meet schedule are a number of Pick Fours and Pick Fives with guaranteed pools:

· $200,000-guaranteed Friday Pick Four Presented by TVG (Fridays, Oct. 5, 12, 19).

· $350,000-guaranteed All-Stakes Pick Four Presented by TVG on Saturday, Oct. 6, on races 7-10: Thoroughbred Club of America, First Lady, Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity and Shadwell Turf Mile.

· $250,000-guaranteed All-Stakes Pick Five Presented by TVG on Saturday, Oct. 6, on races 6-10: Woodford Presented by Keeneland Select, Thoroughbred Club of America, First Lady, Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity and Shadwell Turf Mile.

· $350,000-guaranteed Pick Four Presented by TVG (Saturday, Oct. 13 and 20).

Source: Keeneland

UofL Equine Business Program Names New Director

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Sean Beirne, an early graduate of the University of Louisville’s Equine Industry Program in the College of Business, has been named the program’s new director.

Beirne, who has worked in various capacities in the horse racing industry nationwide, has most recently been employed by industry vendor Roberts Communications Network. He was on the Colorado Racing Commission for the past eight years, serving as chairman from July 2015 to June 2017.

Beirne“On Nov. 1, I will begin what I consider to be my ‘dream job,’” Beirne said. “I am thrilled beyond words to receive the opportunity to come back to my alma mater and prepare students to become the future leaders of our great sport of horse racing.”

He replaces Tim Capps, who died following a stroke in April 2017.

Beirne earned his bachelor’s degree from the equine program in 1990. He earned his first undergraduate degree, in political science, from UofL in 1986.

Beirne and his wife, Mary, are both Louisville natives. Mary Beirne graduated from UofL’s School of Nursing.

The Equine Industry Program at UofL is an accredited business degree with an equine focus. Graduates can be found in all aspects of the industry, from training to broadcasting.  Beirne attended the UofL Equine program at the same time as AGOS Founder Rich Nilsen.

For more information, contact Terri Burch, interim director of the Equine Industry Program, at terri.burch@louisville.edu or 502-852-4859.
#WeAreUofL

Beat Saratoga! 8 Tips for Turning a Profit

copyright AGameofSkill.com

8 Tips for Turning a Profit!

UPDATED FOR 2018

Download this free guide "Beat Saratoga: 8 Tips for Turning a Profit" by AGameofSkill.com founder Rich Nilsen and play the 2018 Saratoga meet successfully.  Beating this 40-day meet with so many contentious races is no easy task, even for experienced horseplayers, but the tips in this guide will get you on track to do just that.

15-time NHC Qualifier and 7-time major contest winner Rich Nilsen walks you through the steps required to beat this prestigious race meet.   In "Beat Saratoga: 8 Tips for Turning a Profit" you'll learn:

  • What steps it takes to beat this meet successfully
  • Which jockeys and trainers dominate the Saratoga meet
  • Which 'dark horse' jockeys and trainers you need to know about.  These guys bring home the prices, and one trainer in particular is the King of Saratoga Longshots!
  • How each of the three tracks (dirt and turf) play and how this affects you as a handicapper
  • Plus .... be on the lookout for this one important trend - it occurs every year!

Fill out the short form below to claim your free report "Beat Saratoga!"  You will automatically receive an email with a link to the PDF document that you can download to any device.

The 2018 meet is over.  Check back next summer

The 2018 Travers Stakes Begins in...

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New Horse Racing Book Released Overseas

Book Shines Spotlights on Horse Racing’s Emergence into the Mainstream

An emeritus professor from the University of Cumbria, who last year was elected to the post of President of the European Committee for Sport History, this month publishes his latest book Horse Racing and British Society in the Long Eighteenth Century.

The volume, published by Boydell press, is the fifteenth of Mike Huggins’ monographs and edited collections. It explores the cultural world of racing and its relationship with British society during the 1700s, examining how and why race meetings changed from a marginal and informal interest for some of the elite to become the most significant leisure event of the summer season.

The book provides a fascinating chronicle of racehorse ownership, as well as the previously hidden world of racing’s key professionals: jockeys, trainers, bloodstock breeders, stud grooms and stable hands.

Mike is not only a major commentator on sport history and culture, but also on British mainstream history, and his long and distinguished career has resulted in widespread recognition for his international scholarly work from the North American Society for Sports History, the British Society for Sport History and the International Society for Physical Education and Sport.

Mike says of his new book:

“Exploring the hitherto under-explored origins of British racing has been fascinating. The recent move to digital history has really opened up the past, so I was able to search early newspapers on-line, exploit genealogical material, search court records of testimony to see how racing was used in discourse, and track trends through what historians now call ‘culturomics’, as well as using more traditional archival approaches. And it has also informed my next collection, out later this year, which explores the world of match fixing in sport in historical perspective.”

Source: University of Cumbria (UK)

Battle of the KY Derby Sires

by Justin Dew

In the red corner, standing 16.1 hands, a son of Johannesburg and the winner of the 2007 Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby, the now deceased Scat Daddy.

In the blue corner, standing a number of hands that I wasn’t able to confirm on Wikipedia, a son of Smart Strike, the winner of lots of huge races and two-time Horse of the Year, the amazing Curlin.

Scat Daddy via Coolmore

At Churchill Downs next month, the ‘Battle of the Sires’ will captivate horse racing fans around the world as the main event on a day that also includes an undercard event known at the Kentucky Derby.

Punching it out for Scat Daddy:

Justify– The Kentucky Derby favorite. Undefeated in three lifetime starts. Has run faster than any of his prospective Derby opponents.

Mendelssohn– The UAE Derby winner. A half-brother to the great Beholder. Expected to be among the top three favorites in the Derby wagering.

Flameaway– Your Sam F. Davis Stakes winner and Blue Grass Stakes runner-up. A hard-trier who fires every time.

Combatant- Consistent runner for Steve Asmussen picked up minor checks in both Arkansas Derby and Rebel Stakes.

Curlin via Lanes End

Representing Curlin:

Good Magic– Your 2017 Champion Two-Year Old. Winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and Blue Grass Stakes.

Vino Rosso– Trained and ridden by last year’s Derby winning team of Todd Pletcher and John Velazquez. Winner of the Wood Memorial.

Solomini– From the owner and trainer who brought us American Pharaoh, he is a recent bridesmaid on the Derby Trail.

Am I a pedigree expert? No, I am not. Thank you for asking. But in a battle of attrition like the Kentucky Derby, which sire do YOU think has the best chance of seeing his offspring, either from the farm or from Horsey Heaven, win the roses?

My money is on Curlin. And in the Kentucky Derby, my money will be on his kids. In one form or another.

Opportunities on the KY Oaks and KY Derby Undercards

By Art Parker

It will not be long before Kentucky Derby weekend is upon us. Derby Day and Oaks Day make up the big week at Churchill Downs. Naturally the talk on the Derby and the Oaks never stops but little is said about the undercards on both days, which are filled with great races and great opportunities.

On Oaks Day the big races on the undercard are the La Troiene for fillies and mares (8.5 furlongs); the Alysheba (8.5 furlongs); the Twin Spires Turf Sprint (5 furlongs on the turf), The Eight Belles for three year old fillies (7 furlongs); The Edgewood for three year old fillies (8.5 furlongs on the turf.)

On Derby Day the big races on the undercard are The Humana Distaff for fillies and mares (7 furlongs); The Churchill Downs Distaff Mile for fillies and mares (8 furlongs on the turf); The Pat Day Mile (8 furlongs); The American Turf (8.5 furlongs on the turf); The Churchill Downs Stakes (7 furlongs); The Old Forester (formally known as the Woodford Reserve at 9 furlongs on the turf.)

churchill downs ky derby dayWhat makes the undercards on these two days exciting is that a player can experience high quality racing with unusually good wagering opportunities. When examining these races over the last few years we find that favorites have won only 8 of 33 times for a subpar 24% win rate. Like so many big days at a race track, many novices and amateurs are in attendance and that usually means more money on the favorites.

Of these races the lowest price to win was Tepin in the 2016 Distaff Mile at odds of .30-1.00. The longest price was 18.70-1.00 by Camelot Kitten in the American Turf in 2016, oddly enough trained by Chad Brown (how many times do you get his horse at that price?)

The median of all winners is 5.30-1.00, which makes the median winner pay more than $12.00. That gets my attention.

Other than Todd Pletcher, no other winning trainer of the undercard races in the last three years has ever won the Derby.  Here are the trainers that have been in the Winner’s Circle after undercard races the last three year (multiple winners number of victories in parenthesis):

Todd Pletcher (4); Mark Casse (4); Buff Bradley (3); Brad Cox (3); Jorge Navarro (3); Chad Brown (2); Dale Romans; Brian Lynch; Bret Calhoun; Bill Mott; Vann Belvoir; Paul McGhee; Tom Amoss; Ian Wilkes; Peter Miller; Rusty Arnold; Ben Colebrook; Simon Callaghan.

I’ve always been told that horses that like the Matt Winn Turf Couse at Churchill Downs really, really like it. Upon examination of turf races we see some truth to that. Trainer Buff Bradley won three races on the turf course with the same horse, 2015-2017. Divisidero won the American Turf once and the Woodford Reserve twice. That happened to be three of his five lifetime wins. Trainer Mark Casse’s Tepin won back to back editions of the Distaff Mile in 2015 and 2016.

What isn’t true about the Matt Winn Turf Course is that far outside posts cannot win going short. The 2015 Twin Spires Turf Sprint at 5 furlongs was captured by Power Alert that broke from the 10 post. In the same race in 2017 Green Mask won the race from the 12 post.

The dirt sprints have experienced one gate-to-wire winner, which was Private Zone in 2015. All sprint winners have been in the top three runners when they get to the quarter pole. The Pat Day Mile, similar to an extended sprint, has had the same results. A horse needs to be close and in contention when running one turn on the dirt.

Where do winning horses come from for the undercards? Keeneland has produced almost half of the winners over the last three years (16 of 33). Gulfstream is next (7 of 33), then Oaklawn and Southern California (each with 4 of the 33 total), Tampa and Fairgrounds one each. Strangely New York has not been the sight of a last race for an undercard winner during these years.

The undercards at Churchill Downs on Oaks Day and Derby Day are always outstanding. There are plenty of opportunities with the undercard stakes races. Remember it is just as nice to win money on something other than the Oaks and the Derby.

What Dictates How Fast You’re Paid Out on a Bet?

When it comes to betting on the horses, there’s no doubting that the rise of online gambling has ensured it’s never been easier. Whereas once we were limited to bookies alongside the track, we now have access to dozens – if not hundreds – of betting outlets right at our fingertips.

It’s led to a situation where there’s more information than ever before, better odds than we’ve ever seen and more control than we’ve had in previous decades. It’s great, but one area where online gambling falls behind though is in how you cash in your winnings.

copyright Pixabay

With a physical bookmaker there’s rarely an issue, simply wander up with your ticket and collect your winnings. For larger sums, there may be a small delay but in general, you can expect your money within a few hours – at the very most.

Online gambling, however, typically sticks you with a pretty frustrating delay – often up to 72 hours before your withdrawal hits your bank account. For those of us who regularly flit between multiple bookmakers in search of the best odds, the process of waiting multiple days to receive our winnings can be a real killer.

But what is it exactly that slows down your withdrawals and is there a method to reliably improve the speeds? Let’s take a look.

What Affects Withdrawal Time?

While it’s true that some websites are better than others when it comes to withdrawal times, the biggest factor in how fast your withdrawals come through is actually the payment method you opt for. We all know that fast payouts are important, but how fast they are is often not up to the bookie but to the payment processor.

By far the most common payment method used is bank transfers and card payments, but this also the slowest thanks to the large numbers of transactions banks complete every day. Checking the validity of payments isn’t too quick on their end, and so payments typically take between one and three days to complete.

copyright Pixabay

However, if you’re using the likes of Skrill or another e-wallet like Neteller, payments are almost instant following approval from your bookmaker. It’s why we always recommend making the shift to an e-wallet when you’re gambling online.

Another major element which can slow down your withdrawal time is the details linked to your account. If any information is missing, like age verification, the bookmaker will halt your withdrawal until you can sort the details out. As such, it’s always worth making sure your documents are up to date and you’ve supplied your bookie with whatever information they require.

Perhaps the most common reason for your withdrawal being halted though comes from the strong anti-fraud measures in place at online bookmakers. By tracking the IP addresses you use to access their website, they can get an idea of where and when you access their services.

If your account is spotted doing something suspicious, like betting from a completely new location and device, the bookmaker may well put a halt on your account. It’s a similar sort of protection method that your bank undertakes, so it’s not particularly out of the ordinary.

How to Avoid Withdrawal Delays

Here are our top tips for avoiding withdrawal delays:

  • Make use of an e-wallet for deposits and withdrawals to cut out bank processing times and enjoy almost instant withdrawals
  • Ensure your details are up to date with your bookmaker, with valid ID and details supplied
  • Try to avoid making bets on computers and phones which are unfamiliar, as this can raise red flags with bookmakers.

And that’s it! Get out there and enjoy your ultra-fast withdrawal speeds.

Betting at Keeneland or on the Kentucky Derby? See what goes into setting the odds.

Man studying racing paper trackside before races.

Betting at Keeneland or on the Kentucky Derby? See what goes into setting the odds.

Lexington Herald Leader Full coverage

Source: Betting at Keeneland or on the Kentucky Derby? See what goes into setting the odds.

Top Contenders for the 2018 Grand National

by Rich Nilsen

The Grand National at Aintree Racecourse is a test of endurance, stamina and class like no other race in the world. Dating back to 1839 in England, the prestigious horse race challenges a large field of runners to contest the hurdles and flats over four grueling miles. The winner of the Grand National on April 14, 2018 will be a true champion, and their name will never be forgotten.

 

According to America’s Best Racing the Grand National is watched by over 500 million people around the globe, and roughly two-thirds of the adult population in the United Kingdom will have some type of wager on the great race. Like with the Kentucky Derby in the United States, you have to have a rooting interest in this thrilling contest.  Bet £10, get £30 when you bet on Grand National.

 

Currently three horses are garnering the majority of the action in the future books, led by the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Blaklion.  The winner of the Becher Chase stands at 10-1 in the future betting with most of the international bookmakers but is as high as 12-1 with William Hill.  He has won over this course, demonstrating an important affinity for the track, and he enters off an excellent prep race where he finished second.

 

The co-favorite in the wagering with Blaklion is Total Recall (Ire). He is also listed at 10-1 but is higher in some spots. The nine-year-old son of Westerner has won three in a row since moving into the barn of W. P. Mullins. He is the hot horse in sharp form.

 

Steeplechase scene black whiteAt the time of this publication the third choice for the Grand National at 14-1 is The Last Samuri (Ire).  Now ten years old, the gelding will take another crack at the big race.  He was the highweight in last year’s event, packing over 160lbs, but he finished a disappointing 16th.  The Last Samuri hasn’t visited the winner’s circle since 2016, however, and this is a tough spot to get back on the winning track.

 

A dark horse in the wagering could be the French gelding Alpha Des Obeaux (Fr).  He’s not the most consistent runner but he has been racing regularly and on his best day, he merits a chance for a piece of the Grand National.

 

When it comes to riders for the great race, look at talented jockeys such as Ruby Walsh, who won his Grand National debut at age 20 back in 2000 aboard Papillon.  Walsh won again in 2005 and has placed in other attempts at Aintree.  Other riders to keep a close eye on include Jason Maguire and Timmy Murphy, both of whom compete for the sharp barn of trainer Donald McCain.

 

Focus your Grand National wagers on horses between the age of nine and 11.  The youth and experience of seven and eight-year-olds often takes its toll in this race, and the oldest runners (age 12 and beyond) have proven to be a poor investment.  The senior runners may hit the board, but they rarely capture the top prize.

 

Tune in on April 14th for this amazing race as up to 40 runners will attempt to contest up to 16 fences of varying heights and widths.  There is no race like the Grand National, so sit back, place a wager and best of luck!