Is Horse Racing Dead? Tremendous 2017 Del Mar Meet

Press Release

Del Mar closed out a stellar 78th summer season that featured competitive cards and full fields throughout its 36-day stand when Bolt d’Oro came roaring through the stretch to capture a thrilling edition of the Grade I Del Mar Futurity.

The track’s handle and attendance numbers were again the tops of any meet in California and – in a run that now stretches back more than a generation – among the top figures of any meeting in America.

Average daily handle moved ahead of last year by 5.1%. Attendance, which started slowly and was down double digits at one point, moved up steadily to the point where average daily attendance was just 1.5% below last summer. Field size rose yet again during the five-days-a-week stand. And safe racing prevailed throughout the summer, a key element in all the positives stated above.

“In many ways,” said Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s president Joe Harper, “you might call this one of the very best meets we’ve ever had here.”

Kudos were eligible to be passed around on many fronts, but none more so than to the track’s racing department and its maintenance crews. Executive vice president for racing Tom Robbins and racing secretary David Jerkens presented winning card after winning card throughout the summer. They also worked in concert with the track maintenance crew headed by veteran turf and landscape superintendent, Leif Dickinson, and the track’s new director of track maintenance, Dennis Moore, in ensuring one of the safest racing seasons in track history.

“If you remember the circumstances coming into this meet,” noted Robbins, “there was real concern about how we’d be able to perform. Filling a five-day race week with high-end product is a challenge on any circuit these days. But our horsemen rallied, our racing proved to be top quality and safe and we were able to put on a first-rate show for fans around the country.”

Metaboss at Del Mar
copyright Gary Tasich

Robbins added that the track’s field size numbers – the ones that most people tie directly to the rise or fall in handle – jumped up this summer from 8.3 per race in 2016 to 8.6, solidly above the national average. Additionally, the track’s “Ship & Win” program drew 110 new runners to the track over the 36 days, almost exactly comparable to the 120 it drew for 39 days last year. “S & W,” which has been in effect at Del Mar since 2011, has now drawn more than 900 horses from out of state. These new runners boost field size, add spice to the handicapping stew and often stick around permanently to become part of the Southern California racing scene.

The track’s wagering pools were robust once again, notably its weekend exotic bets where Saturday and Sunday Pick Four pools routinely topped $1-million. It’s Pick Six pools, enhanced this summer by the addition of the “Jackpot Carryover” element, also showed strong returns as Pick Six pools on non-carryover days increased 34% over 2016.

Total handle for the season projects at $451.5 million for a daily average of $12,542,000, up 5.1% above the 2016 average. Total attendance for the session was 476,628 for an average of 13,240, off 1.5% from the 2016 average.

“We gave up a weekend this year to allow for a safer and stronger start for our horses and horsemen,” stated Del Mar’s executive vice president and chief operating officer Josh Rubinstein. “It proved more than worth it. We sacrificed a few dollars, but we were able to put on one of our best race meets in recent memory. Working with all our partners in this business — the California Horse Racing Board, the Thoroughbred Owners of California, the California Thoroughbred Trainers and the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association – we were able to produce a sporting and entertainment package that sets the tone for everyone in our business.”

Del Mar now looks ahead to its first presentation of the Breeders’ Cup championship races at the seaside track on Friday and Saturday, November 3 and 4. Its fourth fall meet will get underway on Wednesday, November 1 and continue through to Sunday, November 26.

Handicapping Tip of the Day #40 – Thoroughbred Race Horses are Not Machines

See Arrogate July 22, 2017 at Del Mar.

 

Premium Giveaway Days for Saratoga Racecourse 2017

Press Release

The New York Racing Association, Inc. will continue its tradition of premium giveaways with four giveaway days scheduled for the summer 2017 meet at Saratoga Race Course.All giveaways are free with paid admission, while supplies last.The 2017 Saratoga Race Course premium giveaway schedule is as follows:

SARATOGA BASEBALL CAP: Sunday, July 23

The first giveaway of the 2017 season will pay tribute to the theme of opening weekend – Hats! Racing fans gather to receive a red and white Saratoga baseball cap, presented by Saratoga Casino Hotel. In addition to the Saratoga hat giveaway, the day’s festivities will include the 26th annual Hat Contest, presented by Hat Sationa! By DEI.

SARATOGA SHORT-SLEEVE T-SHIRT: Monday, August 7

Racing fans will take home the second giveaway of the 2017 meet, a gray short-sleeve t-shirt featuring a red Saratoga Race Course logo. The giveaway corresponds with the weekly Berkshire Bank Family Mondays series, which features free children’s activities and entertainment at the Berkshire Bank Saratoga Pavilion.

SARATOGA COOLER BAG: Monday, August 21

The season’s penultimate premium giveaway – a red and black Saratoga cooler bag – will kick off the countdown to the $1.25 million Travers, which will be run for the 148th time on Saturday, August 26.

SARATOGA CLOCK: Sunday, September 3

Fans will celebrate closing weekend of the 2017 Saratoga meet with the final giveaway of the 2017 season – a Saratoga wall clock, presented by Foxwoods Resort Casino. The clock features an image of thoroughbreds racing down the stretch against the iconic Saratoga grandstand and clubhouse roofline.

Guests will be able to redeem up to three vouchers at Saratoga Race Course’s giveaway redemption areas, including the one they receive with paid admission and the two additional vouchers they are able to purchase at the multiple admissions line beneath the grandstand.

Saratoga canopy walk throughSeason pass and season ticket plan holders will be guaranteed a Saratoga premium giveaway item on the day of the giveaway contingent on the following: 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 3 p.m. Redemptions will begin when gates open to the general public.

Season passes do not include reserved seating and are valid for one admission, which is valid for one giveaway item.

Saratoga season admission passes are currently available for purchase online at www.NYRA.com/Saratoga and in-person at nearly 160 Stewart’s Shops locations in the following counties: Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady and Warren.

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

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

Is Horse Racing Dead? Handle Up on 3-Day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival

Belmont Park horse racingAll-source handle for the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival at Belmont Park was $124,740,193, eclipsing 2016’s all-source handle of $122,816,359.

All-source total on Saturday, which saw Tapwrit win the 149th edition of the Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets, was $93,666,832. Saturday’s on-track handle was $11,594,599, virtually unchanged from 2016’s on-track handle of $11,694,897.

All-source wagering on the Belmont Stakes itself was $47,163,773.

This year’s Belmont Stakes also featured betting in Japan, in a non-commingled pool. The total Belmont Stakes handle from Japan, which is not included in the all-source handle figure, was $4,698,525.

Paid attendance for Belmont Stakes Day was 57,729.

 2017 Handle:

Thursday all-source handle = $10,309,891

Friday all-source handle = $20,763,469

Saturday all-source handle = $93,666,832

Belmont Stakes Racing Festival all-source handle = $124,790,193

Belmont Stakes all-source handle = $47,163,773

Belmont Stakes Japan handle = $4,698,525

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

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.

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

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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?

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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.
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Kentucky Derby 143 Future Book Odds Updated

Future Book odds direct from the best racebook in Nevada, Wynn Las Vegas, and racebook manager Johnny Avello.

Derby odds as of February 9, 2017

OPEN CURRENT
ACTION EVERYDAY 85/1 85/1
ADULATION 175/1 200/1
ADORNED 175/1 125/1
ALAN’S LEGACY 500/1 500/1
ALWAYS DREAMING 200/1 100/1
AMERICAN ANTHEM 225/1 25/1
ANN ARBOR EDDIE 175/1 125/1
ANTIOCH 75/1 225/1
ANYPORTINASTORM 175/1 300/1
AQUAMARINE 300/1 200/1
ARISTOCRATIC 200/1 150/1
ARKLOW 250/1 125/1
ATTRIBUTE 225/1 225/1
BACK OFF 200/1 200/1
BALANDEEN 300/1 225/1
BASELINE 400/1 400/1
BASHA 200/1 250/1
BATTALION RUNNER 200/1 30/1
BATTLE OF MIDWAY 75/1 75/1
BEACH BUM 100/1 75/1
BEASLEY 250/1 100/1
BIG GRAY ROCKET 35/1 50/1

Get the full Future Book list here