Kentucky Derby Preps Feature Lots of Contenders

KY Derby Logo 2017Lexington Herald Leader

Kentucky Derby contenders bunched tightly entering stretch run of prep races Lexington Herald Leader Quietly biding his time in second place with 64 points is Peacock Racing Stables’ Gunnevera, who stormed to victory by 5 3/4 lengths in the Fountain of Youth Stakes on March 4 and has remained at Gulfstream in training for the Florida Derby this weekend.

Source: Kentucky Derby contenders bunched tightly entering stretch run of prep races

20 Cents Jackpot Wager Reaches $1.3M for Wednesday at Gulfstream Park

Post Parade Gulfstream Park maiden race

Post Parade at Gulfstream Park.
Copyright Agameofskill.com

Press Release

The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the 23th consecutive program at Gulfstream Park Sunday, producing a carryover jackpot of $1,354,776.50 for Wednesday’s program

Multiple tickets with all six winners were each worth $885.34.

The Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot is paid out only when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.

There was a carryover of $1,239,713 heading into Sunday’s six-race sequence that spanned Races 6-11 and generated a handle of $479,499.

The Rainbow 6 was last solved Feb. 23, when a unique ticket was worth a $324,179.78 jackpot payoff.

Last to First Arrogate Takes Dubai World Cup in Breathtaking Fashion

Arrogate Dubai World Cup 2017 winJuddmonte Farms’ Arrogate broke last, but rallied to easily win the $10 million Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline.  It was a breathtaking performance  that had the racing public buzzing, especially on social media.

Source: Arrogate Last to First in Dubai World Cup

2017 Dubai World Cup Card Analysis

by Steven Molyneux

The haters will always hate but even the professional whingers will surely struggle to criticise the quality on show in Dubai on Saturday evening.

Sand racing may not be for everyone, and it is arguable the dirt track at Meydan has proven to be even more one-dimensional than ever this season, but the best horse in the world, Arrogate, will be stepping on it at 12.45pm (ET) and for the credibility of the meeting, that was vital. Listening to Bob Baffert, you do get the feeling it was not exactly at the top of his wish list, and previous quotes such as “we bought the horse to race in America” back that up, but they are here with seemingly everything running smoothly, and it is hardly stating the obvious that he will be very difficult to beat. There is no point trying to oppose him, and I cannot even come up with anything worthwhile for place purposes, so on we go.

UK racing is still very much in jump mode, but such as Aidan O’Brien, John Gosden, Roger Charlton, Henry Candy and many more will be using Dubai as a springboard to their spring/summer campaigns. O’Brien sends over his biggest team of runners, nine to be exact. His son, Donnacha, describes the raid as being reflective of the strong team of older horses at their disposal this year.

Dubai World CupAs with any big meeting, rumours can spread like wildfire and a possible injury to Ertijaal seems the biggest non-story. Well, we assume and hope it was a non-story. The favourite for the Al Quoz has proven nigh-on unbeatable down the straight track, albeit over 5f, and the only question mark that hangs over him is his ability to be as effective over 6f. He was before but is undoubtedly quicker now. I think he will be. He fits the brief of many of the favourites on the card: solid but at a price that isn’t going to pay for the wife’s birthday, but perhaps one of the more vulnerable market leaders is Vazirabad in the Dubai Gold Cup.

He won the race last year, but a shallower version, and many in the field are closely matched through various pieces of form. He was also beaten in the trial and looking through his record, he has hitherto largely bypassed all the main staying contests, the Group Ones in France not comparing to those in England in my opinion.

So with many of these on a par, where does the extra edge lie? Tactics are the obvious starting point and for that reason I am siding with Big Orange, who ran second to Vazirabad 12 months ago. He seems the only sure to go from the front with Frankie Dettori (his sole ride on the card) a master at the waiting ride in front. He was softened up a touch last year by Certerach, which left him vulnerable come the finish but hopefully that will not happen again and he looks the value.

On to the UAE Derby and Thunder Snow will need to be a very, very good horse to win from stall 13. We already know he is a very good horse but there is enough against him to suggest he won’t achieve that extra very here. The dirt didn’t seem too much of an issue when he won the UAE 2000 Guineas on his reappearance, but that was a nine-runner race and this will be a different kettle of fish. Bee Jersey has the best part of six lengths to find with him, and indeed he has a similar distance to find with Fawree, but I am quite happy to believe he can. Firstly, Bee Jersey has only had three starts and can/will still improve, while he made a big move at halfway in that Guineas and it left him empty for the finish. He was also drawn in stall nine of nine on that occasion and is in seven now, so at the very least should bridge the gap.

Zarak looks banker material in the Dubai Turf such was the impression he made when landing the Dubai Millennium Stakes during the Carnival. He was still someway short of fitness that day, both in appearance and at the suggestion of his trainer, yet he won on the bridle beating Earnshaw by a length and three quarters, that horse getting to within a length and a half of Decorated Knight in the Jebel Hatta. His form behind Almanzor last season is top drawer stuff and he very much strikes as a horse that is about to come of age.

One more selection and that is Jack Hobbs in the Dubai Sheema Classic who, in a similar vein, has form behind Almanzor and strikes as the type to fulfil all his potential as a five-year-old. No horse has impressed more in appearance than Jack Hobbs, very much confirming the opinion of John Ferguson when he bought the horse, that he would be one that blossomed with time under his belt. That time was rather enforced following injury, but it should prove to be a blessing in disguise and this long-striding sort should be well suited by the Meydan track.

Stephen Molyneux’s Dubai World Cup Best Bet selections:
8:50am (ET) Meydan: Big Orange
9.25am (ET) Meydan: Bee Jersey
11:30am (ET) Meydan: Zarak
12:05pm (ET) Meydan: Jack Hobbs

Arrogate in a different class to Dubai World Cup rivals

IT was Super Saturday at Meydan last weekend, but the only market mover for the Dubai World Cup was standing in his box.

The RACING POST (UK): World Cup: Arrogate in a different class to World Cup rivals

Inside Horse Racing’s ‘Hunger Games’ in Las Vegas – Rolling Stone

NHC18 Champ Ray Arsenaul

NHC18 Champ Ray Arsenault

RollingStone.com: Inside Horse Racing’s ‘Hunger Games’ in Las Vegas

The NTRA National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas brings together an assortment of horseplayers from all over the world. and more »

Source: Inside Horse Racing’s ‘Hunger Games’ in Las Vegas – Rolling Stone

Is Horse Racing Dead? Tampa Bay Downs Reports Huge Day

Tampa Paddock

Up close and personal at the Tampa Bay Downs paddock

Press Release

When you put more money up for grabs than ever before in track history, it’s logical to expect top-quality racing.

Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby winner Tapwrit and the other four stakes winners more than delivered.

The Festival Day card on March 11, 2017 produced a track record and three stakes records (four if you count the Columbia Stakes, which was being run at a distance of a mile on the turf for the first time).

A crowd of 10,079 more than did its part to make the day memorable, contributing to total wagering handle of $12,123,021.60, the second-largest figure in Tampa Bay Downs annals.

“We’re extremely pleased and proud to see our biggest day receive such tremendous support from the Tampa Bay community,” said track Vice President-General Manager Peter Berube. “We wish all the participants the best of fortune going forward, and naturally we’re hopeful Tapwrit will move on to compete in the Kentucky Derby (Presented by Yum! Brands).”

The striking gray colt Tapwrit was the unquestioned standout of the afternoon, launching a powerful move approaching the far turn and going on to a four-and-a-half length victory from State of Honor in the Grade II, $350,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby. His time of 1:42.36 for the mile-and-a-sixteenth is a new stakes record, and would have been a track record had not his stablemate, 5-year-old Stanford, won the $100,000 Challenger at the same distance three races earlier.

Both horses are trained by Todd Pletcher, who won his third consecutive Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby, fourth in five years and fifth overall.

Also setting a course record was the 3-year-old filly Fifty Five, who won the Grade III, $200,000 Florida Oaks for 3-year-old fillies on the turf in 1:41.60 for the mile-and-a-sixteenth.

Crush Keeneland with the Best Trainer Pattern Book

Rich Nilsen 13x NHC Qualifier

One score will more than pay for this book.  Our AGOS contributer Art Parker has a one-of-kind database on all the Keeneland trainers.  No one understands how these horsemen win better that Art. This year's guide is better than ever and now in a more user-friendly format.  It's a wealth of information for players wanting to attack the upcoming Keeneland meets.

Completely revamped. The 2017 Keeneland Winning Trainer Patterns by Art Parker is now available.

Over 50 Trainers covered with a detailed summary of how they win!

Longshot horsemen identified for easy reference.

KEENELAND WINNING TRAINERS taps into Art Parker’s personal database and gives you the detailed pattern summaries on the 51 trainers, explaining exactly how they win at this prestigious meet.

Keeneland Winning Trainer Patterns bookHow do they win? What handicapping patterns do they use?

How do they work their horses prior to victory?

Do they bring home horses at a price?

Do they score off the layoff?

What owners & jockeys do they team up with?

and much more.

Author and Agameofskill.com contributor Art Parker has taken a hard look into his comprehensive personal database to uncover the trainers that win the majority of races at the meet – the 51 Kings of Keeneland – with a close look at how they accomplish this.

This one-of-a-kind handicapping book includes three bonus handicapping articles written by veteran turf writers Art Parker and Rich Nilsen

The 2017 Annual Edition of “Keeneland Winning Trainers” is published by All Star Press LLC.
Buy Now

Handicapper Art ParkerQUICK & EASY DOWNLOAD TO ANY DEVICE

You can put this comprehensive trainer guide on any PC or Mobile Device, and then easily look up the Kings of Keeneland when you are ready to handicap or play a race! Only $14.97 for the complete 33-page, jam packed book.

THAT’S LESS THAN 30 CENTS PER TRAINER

The Kindle version on Amazon is available here

Saga of Susan Bala and Racing Services Takes an Incredible Turn

Horse racing business owed $13 million in collected taxes

Horse racing business Susan Bala owed $13 million in collected taxes.  The San Luis Obispo Tribune — The owner of a horse betting business in North Dakota says the state has agreed to pay her more than $13 million after her conviction for illegal gambling was overturned.

Source: Horse racing business owed $13 million in collected taxes

2017 Saratoga Horse Racing Tickets Go On Sale Tomorrow

copyright AGameofSkill.comThe New York Racing Association, Inc. will welcome the general public to purchase full-season ticket plans and season admission passes for the 2017 meet at historic Saratoga Race Course beginning Wednesday, March 15 at 10 a.m. EST.

Full-season plans, which include reserved seats for the full 40-day season, will be available for purchase online through NYRA AccountManager utilizing the Saratoga Virtual Venue seating map, enabling fans to digitally preview their seat location and sightlines before purchasing tickets.Full-season plans include 40 days of admission based on the cost of a season pass.

A season pass provides fans with admission to 40 days of world-class thoroughbred racing at Saratoga Race Course, including the Grade 1 Travers and Grade 1 Whitney.

The cost for a 2017 Grandstand season pass is $40; a Clubhouse season pass is $65. Season passes do not include reserved seating and are valid for one admission. Season passes may be purchased through NYRA AccountManager.

2016 season pass buyers will be able to conveniently renew their season passes by logging into NYRA AccountManager from Wednesday, March 8 through Tuesday, March 14. Those who do so during this period will save by not paying Ticketmaster service fees.

“A Saratoga season pass provides fans with the ability to witness the best thoroughbred racing at a world-class sporting and entertainment venue for the equivalent of a dollar a day,” said New York Racing Association Senior Vice President and Chief Experience Officer Lynn LaRocca. “A Saratoga season pass also comes with an exclusive, free perks program that offers discounts to local restaurants, retailers and Live Nation concerts at SPAC, plus local college basketball and other sporting events. One can easily argue that there is no better value in professional sports.”

The 2017 season will again feature the Saratoga Season Perks program, with exclusive offers for season pass and season ticket plan holders, including the guarantee of a Saratoga premium giveaway on the day of the giveaway. (Season pass or season ticket plan holders must be in attendance at Saratoga Race Course, enter through the designated season ticket and pass holder lines and redeem the giveaway by the designated time. Redemptions will begin when gates open to the general public.)

Saratoga Season Perks members are also entitled to special discounts at dozens of retail, restaurant and professional services locations which are members of the Saratoga Downtown Business Association; as well as various local entertainment venues. Saratoga season pass and season plan holders will receive a 10 percent savings with an activated season pass beginning June 1, 2017 through March 31, 2018. 2016 Saratoga Season Perks members will continue to benefit from last year’s edition of the program through the end of March 2017.

This year’s additions to the Season Perks program include the entire Live Nation summer concert series at Saratoga Performing Arts Center and the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, among others.

“Our Saratoga Season Perks program was very well received by our season ticket holders and season pass holders as well as by the many local businesses who partnered with us when we expanded the value-added program last year,” said LaRocca. “We are excited to continue our partnership for the upcoming season with the Saratoga Downtown Business Association, and our other preferred partners. We look forward to again adding value to a season pass as a way to reward our most loyal fans with year-round savings; while also celebrating the relationship between NYRA and the local community.”

“We are excited to be partnering with NYRA again this year for the Saratoga Season Perks program,” said Maddy Zanetti, vice-president of the Saratoga DBA. “Last year we had just over 40 businesses participate and we are expecting the number to grow this year. We are very lucky to have a community with so many organizations that work together to help promote our city and attract visitors. The Perks program is a great way to get racing fans downtown year-round.”

The list of incentives, deals and discounts is available at www.SaratogaSeasonPerks.com and will be continually updated with new participating organizations.

A season pass must be activated in order to receive Saratoga Season Perks discounts and incentives. Season pass holders are required to provide a photo in order to activate their season pass. Activation instructions, including information on how to upload a digital photo, are available at NYRA.com.

The summer racing season at Saratoga Race Course will begin on Friday, July 21 and continue through Labor Day, Monday, September 4.

For more information about Saratoga Race Course, visit NYRA.com.