3 June 2008

Queen's Plate Now Has Six Contenders

I just went over the forms and viewed the two races on Sunday that most likely included this year's Plate winner.
I kept in mind that there was a heavy rail bias on Sunday, and front runners did not fare well in the majority of the races.
Lets start with the Plate Trial. Harlem Rocker disappointed in a very large way. Does he hate Polytrack that much? Or was conditioning a factor? It was his first race in 35 days, and he was hung out on the outside while trying to close into a marginally slow early pace. As long as he didn't hurt himself, if I was Stronach, I'd still run him in the Plate. His back numbers still make him the fastest Plate horse.
Not Bourbon not only surprised me, but he also apparently surprised his connections. He totally ran against the bias as he was near the front and on the outside. The slow early pace helped him, but his race was impressive and only a tick or two off Harlem Rocker's best time according to my speed figures. A mile and a quarter and a faster early pace will still make it tough for him to win the Plate. Note: I've been wrong before:)
Right now, I think the maiden,Solitaire, looks like the horse to beat in the Plate. Sure, he was closer to the rail most of the way than any other contender, and he ran completely with the bias, but it was only his second lifetime race, and very first non turf race. He closed very strongly against a slow pace that picked up considerably from the half to finish line.
Sebastion's Song is also a lightly raced horse who made an impressive middle move during a quickening pace. He is getting better, and could run a peak performance in the Plate.
I was a little surprised that the maiden race was a second slower than the Plate Trial considering Harlem Rocker didn't show up. Two up and comers have earned the right to go into the Plate though. D. Flutie was caught wide the whole race, and made a visually strong move into quick middle fractions. Only in his fourth lifetime start, he seems to be getting better each time out. I like his breeding a lot. His biggest problem seems to be hanging. Maybe adding blinkers will fix this.
Finally, Jungle Brew, coming off one lifetime start at 6 furlongs, made an impressive two turn debut. He was more or less on the outside for the second half of the race and never got to the rail early either, but the track did favour closers. Still, he is definitely a contender now.
If you take away the really slow second quarter in the maiden race, the fractions were almost identical for both races on Sunday. And now it will be up to the trainers to get these six horses to peak, because right now, if those six were the only horses in the Plate, we would probably see 6 different outcomes if the race was run 6 different times.

Economics Professor At Clemson University Chimes In On What Hinders Growth In Racing: BACKWARDS ECONOMICS
'Somehow, horse racing has failed to hitch a ride on the nation’s gambling wave, one of the dominant economic trends of the last 30 years. It is not difficult to see why racing’s response to the emergence of competitive alternatives has been ineffective: the sport has been burdened with high takeout rates relative to competitive forms of gambling, a fractured organizational structure, and state regulations that share the spoils while limiting innovation and entrepreneurship.......But the biggest problem facing the sport is its backward economics, first made evident by Secretariat. Quite simply, both potential and actual stars are more valuable in the breeding shed than on the racetrack.'

Canada to get tougher when it comes to preventing money laundering at casinos:
(The) enhanced requirements go into effect on June 23, 2008 and include:

* The reporting of all attempted suspicious transactions
* Ascertaining and recording the identity of individuals on all remittances over $1000
* Mandatory record keeping for all foreign currency exchanges

Kahnawake Gambling empire involved in another scandal
Insiders have allegedly developed software to see hidden cards of poker players. Players who were cheated are in the process of being refunded. The perpetrators have left the company.
At least horse racing doesn't involved any cheating, that is why they charge such high takeouts....yeah right. Horse players don't get their money back when they lose to a horse that was tested positive, or to a horse that had fake or non published workouts.
Speaking about that, Woodbine Entertainment Group CEO David Willmot is still bulgy eyed over the fast one that Richard Dutrow pulled on the betting public in the 2005 Queen's Plate with Wild Desert.:
"It was offensive," Willmot said of the affair. "My reaction was: 'You come up here and use our most important race for a betting coup?' It was outrageous.

"There's nothing wrong with a guy having a bet on a horse and doing very well. But when you try to sneak in and do it under the radar, it's insulting."

It is kind of hypocritical for Willmot to bring up being insulted as if he was a jilted prom date. He insults bettors each and every day he allows track takeouts to be ridiculously high, and higher than just about every other jurisdiction in North America. I guess, what goes around, comes around. His objection obviously is one of being personally offended, and has nothing to do with the betting public, because, if cared, we wouldn't see 28.3% takeouts on triactors, among other ghastly high rates.

In the same article, he mentions that he is against (most?) steroid use.
"I don't know how the public can be asked to accept the rationale which says they're going to do away with it in baseball, football and Olympic sports but not do away with it in horse racing," Willmot said.

Problem is that they are not looking at banning ALL steroid use. So as long as even some steroids remain legal, there will still be a major distinction between horse racing and other sports regarding performance enhancing drugs.
And what about drugs that aren't tested for? Any trainer hitting at 25% plus should be monitored as close to 24/7 as humanly possible.
And of course, until all racing jurisdictions adopt the same exact uniform drug policies, it doesn't matter much what one jurisdiction does. Racing will still be tarnished.

Canada must embrace and regulate online gambling.
"The Internet is worldwide and you can't go into people's houses and stop them doing what they've been doing." -Michael Lipton

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