28 September 2007

Ingenious Betting Scheme, News, and More NFL Picks

I don't usually copy an entire story, but this one is too good to leave something out:

Bettor's scheme makes big bucks, and it's legal
Register Staff Writer

September 26, 2007

A bettor seems to have devised a clever scheme to beat the races at Prairie Meadows.

And it appears to be legal, with the only victims being off-shore betting sites that act as bookmakers.

The first two days of the harness meet had three races in which someone bet $1,000 to place or show on horses that figured to lose.

The apparent goal was to inflate the payoffs of the top finishers so the bettor could clean up with off-shore bookmaking sites. Those sites pay track odds, but the wagering is not commingled with track betting.

"The only logical spin I can put on this is that whoever is doing this must have additional accounts with off-shore sites," said Mark Loewe, Prairie Meadows' director of mutuels. "So, they're laying $1,000 off here, and betting $2,000 or $3,000 somewhere else."

Why Prairie Meadows? Because the harness betting pools are so small that a $1,000 wager can dramatically shift the odds.

In Monday's third race, KB Amy went off at odds of 51-1. There was $8 bet to win on her, $2 to place, and $1,010 to show. The entire nine-horse field drew $1,210 in show wagering, in which bets are won on horses finishing third or better.

KB Amy finished a distant fourth while 2-5 favorite Aura Lee Triumph won. Aura Lee Triumph paid $2.80 for a $2 win wager, $2.20 to place and $12.60 to show.

Had the bettor also bet $2,000 to show on an Internet site on Aura Lee Triumph, he would have gotten back $25,200. (ED. NOTE: A blog reader alerted me of this obvious error by the author of the article. $2000 to show at an internet bookmaker site would have yielded $12,600 not the 25k number)

"From our standpoint, the ($1,000) bet is made legally," said Jack Ketterer, executive administrator for the Iowa racing and Gaming Commission. "It's up to the off-shore sites to decide whether they take bets on the races."

It's not costing Prairie Meadows bettors anything - in fact, they're getting back more money because of the $1,000 being lost on losing horses.

Who loses? The off-shore betting sites in Costa Rica and elsewhere that take betting on races without tracks' permission. Tracks have been fighting the sites, which offer rebates to lure heavy bettors away from tracks, but have been powerless to stop them.

Ketterer said the practice has happened before.

"When simulcasting started in the early '80s, they started doing it in Las Vegas with greyhound racing," he said. "At that time, they weren't commingling betting. They'd bet a couple hundred dollars to show at the track on the worst dog of the night. Then they'd bet all over Las Vegas at the 'books. But the racebooks caught on to it pretty quick."

Discussion about the betting situation began on KXNO's afternoon sports radio show earlier this week.

Even though the betting at Prairie Meadows is legal, Loewe said he is concerned the track will be tarnished.

"We do care, because there's the perception that something's not right," he said.

"The average person is not going to say, 'It's an off-shore rebate shop.' They're going to see Prairie Meadows and say something's fishy."

While the 2006 Internet gambling bill prohibited online casino gambling, it exempted interstate betting on horse racing, which was legalized under a previous law.

The Prairie Meadows $1,000 bets are coming in as two $500 wagers from legal account services, one through Youbet.com, the other through AmericaTab.

The other bets came Saturday. In the sixth race, Sierra No Angel had $17 bet to win, $14 to place and $1,040 to show. She was a distant fifth and Jazz Brand, the 7-10 favorite, paid $12.60 to show. Runner-up Coop's Class paid $21.60 to show and third-place finisher Pro paid $48.

There was no show betting on the fifth race, but Khanboy, who finished last, had $1,040 to place wagered on him. Panaramic Art, the 3-5 favorite, won and only paid $3 to place, but runner-up No Road Parking paid $15.20.

Ketterer and Loewe expect the off-shore sites to react soon.

"It won't take them long," Ketterer said.

Unreal: Sealy Hill DQ decision is reversed. She gets the Triple Tiara. The Stewards had it right the first time according my unbiased opinion. Reasons for the reversal will be released shortly.

Standardbred owners support Crime Stoppers

Great Lakes Down upcoming meet may not happen.

Front Porch Digital to manage Woodbines film archives

California may force ADW's to share content in the near future. This could be great for horse players.

Virginia horsemen and Colonial Downs claim Youbet is operating illegally in their state

Lottery ticket being used as a mystery novel bookmark turns out to be an $8.8 million dollar winner for an Alberta pipeline worker.

Assiniboia handle up 8% for the meet

Woodbine Pick 7 carryover is $48,000. Today's card offers a lot of good looking low priced horses so it has a good chance of being won today.

$55,000 guaranteed pool available tonight at Mohawk for the Pick 7


I suffered my first loss last week thanks to Denver. My season record is now 7-1-1 against the spread. Not bad at all. I've never seen a week with so many home underdogs, and I never lay points on the road, I just can't, it is one of my weaknesses (or strengths depending how you look at it). So this is going to be a very tough week to pick winners, but I will give it my best shot:

I like the Bills getting 3 and a half against the Jets. The Bills are not that bad a team, or maybe they are. Still take the Bills.

I like Minny getting 2 at home against Green Bay. Green Bay is 500 team tops. Way too much media for Brett Favre. They aren't that good.

San Francisco gets 2 against Seattle; go Niners. Didn't they have the Seahawks number last year?

24 September 2007

Arizona Makes Betting On Horses Using The Internet A Class 6 Felony

Arizona makes betting on horses through the internet a class 6 Felony.
HB 2694 – Chapter 189 – racing; pari-mutuel wagering
Classifies accepting a wager or betting on a race that is placed outside an Arizona authorized wagering facility as a Class 6 felony. Wagers made by a person in this state are assumed to have occurred within this state. Authorizes the Arizona Department of Racing and the Arizona Attorney General to enforce procedures for wagering at facilities that are not licensed by the Department of Racing.

Poster 'A Lost Texan' on the Pace Advantage forum is trying to unite horse players to speak out against it:

'The State Legislature in May passed HB 2694, which in essence makes it not only unlawful for horseplayers in the state to wager on races using ADW's (Advance Deposit Wagering operation), but makes it a Class 6 Felony, equivalent to indecent exposure, sexual conduct with a minor, or placing a person in imminent danger.

The implications on this are devastating to the entire world of horse racing. To the horsemen all states, this bill will be detrimental to the overall wagering handle, and regardless of how insignificant Arizona may seem now, this is one of the fastest-growing states in the nation, and the impact will only grow into the future. This also sets a very bad precedent, as this move can very well be taken in any other state in the nation. Finally, this move is very bad for the horsemen and live tracks in Arizona itself, as this has already caused an unpleasant rift between horseplayers and all involved parties in Arizona, and a blame-game is occurring as we speak.'

Is on-line horse race betting in the US legal or isn't it? It is still an ultra-gray area. The same is true with Canada.

Magna Entertainment purchases the balance of Maryland Jockey Club

Richard Eng on Magna's struggles.

Provincial Superior Court overturns Ontario Racing Commission's ruling against harness trainer Anthony Montini

Bear Now and jockey Jerry Baird win the Grade II $750,000 Fitz Dixon Cotillion Handicap at Philly Park. Breeder's Cup may be on the horizon for the Reade Bake trainee.

Credit Ezra with some shrewd purchases

Woodbine Bias Report: Mark Casse is hot, outside posts doing well in sprints, and it still sucks to be the speed horse, but not as bad as earlier in the meet.

Half sisters run one-two in Presque Isle Downs stake race.

21 September 2007


Monday's meeting between Fort Erie and OLG leaves Fort Erie cautiously optimistic

OLG may not decide in time for next years schedule of race dates.
Again, giving 4 or 5 million a year to the purse accounts should be a no-brainer, but since when does a government organization give an owner of a business a handout. I can maybe see giving Nordic a million or two to spend specifically on track upgrades: fixing and painting the backstretch and maybe the race tracks roof for starters. But even that should be the owner's responsibility. Nordic needs to go for horse racing to have a bright future in Fort Erie.

Buffalo casino plans continue to progress It looks like Buffalo's majority haven't been able to stop it. Buffalo is doomed now. Indian casinos are not the way to go.

Seneca Nations names new President

ORC fines Kawartha Downs for stalling the placing of wagering funds into the purse account

ORC dismisses Friedman's Application

Magna Entertainment plans to sell land adjacent to Laurel Park

Jockey Enrique Jurado injured at Presque Isle Downs after winning on a favorite who broke down after the wire.

Comedy Time: I have a feeling this guy is living single right now (language warning!):

In Week Two I went 3 and 0, upping my year record to 5 wins, no losses and a push.

This week looks very hard. The only dominant team out there is New England, and they are favored by over two TDs over the luckless Bills. Can't touch that game, but if you must the Bills have a tendency to lose by 3 or less.

Here are my picks:

KC looks like a team that won't win a game this year. Well they are gonna beat Minny by more than 2 on Sunday.

Denver is going to roll over Jacksonville. Give the 3 and a half points and enjoy the shellacking.

And look for Tennessee to maybe even beat the New Orleans Saints. Take the 5 points on Monday night. Last year was last year.

17 September 2007

Replays Available For HPI Customers

HPI now has free replays up for members. Many tracks are available including Fort Erie. Looks like Race Replays will lose quite a few Canadian clients. WEG is keeping the replays a secret so far. Why?

ORC releases applications for 2008 race dates. Fort Erie is exempt with an extension because of ongoing talks with the OLG. WEG looking to reduce harness dates by cutting back on 16 Sunday cards.

Shakespeare Runneth The Mile Fastest

Magna may sell Santa Anita

Biancone's vet Stewart gets a five year vacation

Raffetto backtracks a bit on his track takeout experiment comments.

Massachusetts Governor wants casinos: Suffolk will apply for slots

Ohio tracks installing disputed "games of skill" that resemble slots

37,500 live foals expected for North American thoroughbred industry. Over 36,000 reported to date.

14 September 2007

More On Fort Erie, The Green Monkey, And Some NFL Picks

Fort Erie town give OLG October 10th deadline to commit to Fort Erie race track over the next two years.
The reality is that OLG doesn't seem to care if Fort Erie just became a slot parlour only. Also, what I find questionable is that Nordic is supposedly willing to invest $300 million if they get the commitment, which includes $3 million a year to Nordic.
I ask, why does Nordic need the $3 million if they are so confident to put in $300 million. It makes no sense. And why didn't they do something along these lines when they were making a lot more off the slots? In fact, they did nothing to expand the horse racing side (why do they still piggyback through HPI?), and they've barely maintained the place (most of the barns in the backstretch need painting badly for example).
Don't get me wrong. One of the main purposes of slots was to make racing economical for the workers in the industry. Fort Erie is an exception because it is the only other racetrack in Ontario. It is the only dirt track (many horses just don't like the Polytrack). And if you think about it, slots have a takeout of around 10% on average. The horsemen get 1% of all that is bet in the slots throughout a year. They get at least 10 times that much on every dollar bet on horses. What I am trying to say is that the slots takes a lot of potential money from gamblers who might bet horse racing if slots were not available, and the OLG makes most of that money.
I feel very strongly that it is the OLG's obligation to make sure horse racing stays economical, and they should give up $4-$6 million a year directly to the purse accounts. It will make a world of difference.
Of course, I still say that Nordic should get squat. I strongly believe that Nordic has zero intention of putting in one more dime it isn't forced to into the race track. I could be wrong, but I highly doubt it. I think they are just trying to get the commitment so that they can sell the place at an inflated price to a sucker, before they even put a shovel into the ground. The $3 million they are asking for will give make their asking price rise up quite a bit.
New ownership is needed. I just don't see building condos next to truck fumes off the QEW has any chance to work. People won't come to Fort Erie because of condos and slots. Maybe in 5000 years when Niagara Falls has eroded to be located where Fort Erie is now, will this plan have a chance.

Ontario Racing Commission teams up with Crime Stoppers

Larry Todd, former vice chair of ORC condemns ORC for issuing a statement that appears to be a threat to anyone who is looking to appeal a decision.

The Green Monkey will finally run on Saturday. Will this be his only race before he is retired to stud?

The Woodbine Mile attracted 3 millionaires and a few soon to be millionaires. I like Becrux to repeat his last year's performance.

Underrated sire Maria's Mon dead at 14.

Stallion Dixieland Brass dies in BC at 21

Bettor's group getting impatient with ADWs. All ADWs should carry all races and let the bettor decide who they want to bet with.


So far so good. I went 2 wins and 1 push for Week 1.

Take San Fran and the 3 points against St. Louis. I think San Fran will do well this year. Look for Alex Smith to take more chances.

Tampa Bay getting 3 points against New Orleans. This point spread looks low, even though it is in Tampa. I won't be surprised if Tampa wins by double digits.

Arizona getting 2 and a half against Seattle. Arizona offense looked bad in San Fran. I think they too are an up and coming team, but I thought that last year too. The line is taunting players to take Seattle, I think that Arizona wins outright.

The big question is how will the Patriots do without spying on the other team's signals. I just don't see how this is a problem. Baseball coaches have been known throughout history to steal opposing coaches signals. Catchers do it as well. And think of all the players in the NFL that switch teams throughout the year with the knowledge of their former team's playbook.
Stealing signals is just part of the game.

12 September 2007

OLG Has A Decision To Make Regarding Fort Erie

Lottery Corp indecision endangers racing (in Fort Erie): Official
Ok, let me get this straight: Fort Erie wants an additional $4 million for purse accounts and $3 million for the track owner from the 80% OLG takes from the casino operations at Fort Erie. I can understand the $4 million for the purses, but why give the owner $3 million? That is just ridiculous. Give the horsemen 4-7 million but give the owner zero. Why would a company that is looking to invest $300 million need a handout from our government? The bottom line is Nordic is waving this smoke and mirror proposal just to make selling the track more attractive. I doubt Nordic is going to put another red cent into the track that it doesn't have to. I think there is nothing wrong with the government saving the jobs in the Fort Erie region, but for the life of me, I don't see why the owner should get anything other than their 10%.

Fort Erie now has until October 31st to submit dates for next year. I guess the August 31st deadline was extended.

Decisive action needed to save Fort Erie.

Famous handicapper Tom Ainslee aka Richard Carter dies at 89. What handicapper doesn't own Ainslee's Complete Guide To Thoroughbred Racing? Of course, I have always preferred Bill Quirin as handicapping's breakthrough guru.

Unbridled Song colt sells for 3.7 million at Keeneland

8 September 2007

Stronach Realizes Racing Can't Survive Without Slots

Magna Entertainment puts Thistledown and Portland Meadows up for sale. Stronach fed up with Ohio's resistance to slot machines, and Oregon's resistance to Instant Racing.

Ex Jockey Tyrone Harding is busy doing 3 jobs.

Peace Rules colt tops CTHS Yearling Sale

Highlights of Horse Improvement Program Recommendations

New technology in Vegas looks to skirt gaming laws while making it easier for gamblers to blow money in slot machines.


I'm coming off a pretty good year with my NFL handicapping. So here we go:

Buffalo getting 3 1/2 from Denver. Buffalo is on the improve. The fans will go nuts, and maybe Cutler will not be able to get on track early enough in this one to cover the spread.

Tennessee getting 5 1/2 in Jacksonville. My gut is expecting an upset in this one.

Washington by 3 against Miami. Washington is going to blow out Miami.

I found this video on Youtube: Save Fort Erie Race Track

4 September 2007

Presque Isle Downs Opens: Crowd Bet $8 Per Head

Presque Isle Downs opens. They had over 15,000 in the crowd, and they averaged betting around $8 per person. It doesn't seem that the crowd had any interest in betting, or maybe they were too unsophisticated and intimidated. Bloggers who went to Presque Downs don't seem to impressed.

David Piques continues the Fort Erie tradition started by owner Robert Elkins in 1996 and takes a plunge into the infield pond after winning the Puss N Boots with Silver Strip.
I wonder if Fort Erie keeps records of the jumpers. Has anyone ever done it more than once?

Border inspections at the Peace Bridge have gone up from an average of 54 seconds to 75 seconds in just one year. Another reason that discourages people from going to Fort Erie Race Track. One more reason: Buffalo casino expands hours of operations.

Fort Erie has a Save Our Track campaign going on now. What they badly need is the government to pressure the OLG into give up another 10% of the casino profits directly into the purses. Oh, and they need new ownership ownership as well, owners who care about horse racing.

If you think you are passionate about horse racing, read this blogger's final post. No one is as passionate as this guy.

Australian Equine Influenza update

Hastings jockey Pedro Alvarado suspended indefinitely for jumping off his mount in 6th race and bolting off the track. Alvarado has been the leading jockey in four of the last five seasons at Hastings. The incident will be investigated but so far nobody is saying anything. Was it crack or diarrhea?

Toronto City Hall shoots down the idea of a Toronto owned casino. This is ridiculous considering the size of Toronto and the fact that casinos are legal in Ontario and that the city is having financial problems. Maybe this will open the door for Woodbine to be able to expand. Still, a better location than Woodbine is needed if the government is to take back some of the business they are losing to internet casinos, which doesn't make them a dime.

Bodog.com changes name to Newbodog.com after patent infringement ruling.