Opening Day: FREE Admission FREE Program FREE* Money

April 16, 2008 | Gary Quill

You can stop scratching your head. I just didn’t wake up from a one month nap. I know the Orioles Opening Day game took place over three weeks ago, but there is at least one organization in Bawlamer who is making a valiant attempt to market their product, horse racing, the right way.

Magna Entertainment (parent company of the Maryland Jockey Club) is rolling out the red carpet for Opening Day at Old Hilltop (aka Pimlico Race Course) on Thursday (Apr. 17th).  To jump start the first of twenty-seven live (versus dead) horse racing days, each patron will be admitted FREE and can get a FREE Pimlico program to assist in your quest to pick winners for the 9 exciting chase scenes (aka races). There will also be special pricing on selected food and beverages.

During this meet, live racing will be offered at Pimlico Thursday thru Sunday, concluding on Saturday, June 7th. First race post time is 1:10pm, with the exception of Kentucky Derby (12:45pm), Pimlico Special-Black-Eyed Susan (12:15pm), Preakness (10:30am) and Belmont (12:45pm) days.

Here’s how I intend to do my part in promoting the sport of horse racing. For each day of this 27 day meet, I will post a blog offering up my opinions, as I have done below. As an added item, I’ll feature what I call “SHOW Parlay Play of the Day”. I’ll start with a mythical $100 bankroll, using $20 of it to start the parlay. I figure the odds of me sustaining a single SHOW parlay play for 27 consecutive racing days is slim. Therefore, we’ll have a reserve to tap into if/when a play loses.   

A note for novices, when you bet to SHOW, it means your horse must finish 1st, 2nd or 3rd. Your payoff is the price posted under the SHOW column. A parlay means whatever the return is on your wager; you bet that entire amount on the next bet (i.e. “let it ride”).  

For the Pimlico Spring Meet, Day 1…

Best Bet:    Izzy Speaking  (# 3; 8th race Star de Naskra Stakes; 5-2)

He’s been away since October, but his A.M. workouts show that he’s fit and ready for a solid effort.   

Longshot:    Actxpresso    (# 3; 3rd race; 12-1)

This Charles Town invader ran against better in his last and usually is right in the mix at this level ($5k Claiming); owns a victory in two lifetime tries at Old Hilltop.     

SHOW Parlay available bankroll: $100

When starting a SHOW parlay, you’re looking for a good return to establish a base to build on which also means it is your riskiest selection. As a rule, we should find a large field (8 or more starters) and avoid the favorite. With this being said, let’s go!                

SHOW Parlay Play of the Day: $20 on Phoenix Heat (# 8; 5th race on the turf; 6-1)

Last year he found his niche on the grass by finishing “on the board” or “in the money” (i.e. 1st 2nd or 3rd) in 5 of 7 races; he took the winter off but has been training well for his 2008 debut. He’s best going longer than today’s distance (1 mile), but should still be able to muster enough of a late rally to make our initial SHOW bet a winning one.        

* -  I said there is FREE Money! If you’re an online sports betting geek, you are familiar with the routine. You bet X dollars to get X dollars FREE. There are specific, reputable horse racing sites that offer the same. They are easy to find. There is one that I like in particular, but in an effort not to provide them free advertising, if you comment on this blog and provide your email address I could provide more information about it (I will delete your remove your email prior to posting your comment).   

Come down with a bad case of hay fever and go to Opening Day. If not, make it a point to go to Pimlico on one of the other 26 days. You might actually find yourself having fun.