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Meet Jackie Savoye, On-Air Guest Handicapper on Friday at Laurel Park

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Meet Jackie Savoye, On-Air Guest Handicapper on Friday at Laurel Park

Posted on 21 March 2013 by Gary Quill

This is Part 3 in my 4 part series to provide thoroughbred horse racing fans a glimpse at the four (4) candidates the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) has selected to be Frank Carulli’s replacement as the on-air television host during Laurel Park and Pimlico Meets. If you have already read “Part 1”, feel free to skip down to “Now let’s meet…”. If not, read on. The candidates are Ryan Fogelsonger, Dylan Smith, Jacqueline “Jackie” Savoye and Gabrielle “Gabby” Gaudet. Kudos to MJC for seeking to allure the “Gen Y” crowd as the average age of these four finalists for the job is 25½.

Since 2002, Carulli has been the Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park handicapper and racing analyst, but will leave MJC at the conclusion of the Pimlico spring meet (June 8th), relocating to Las Vegas. Considered one of the best in the business in making the Morning Line (Odds), those duties will be handed over to Equibase chart caller Keith Feustle, when live racing resumes in September at Laurel Park. Feustle can be seen on the “Today At The Races” pre-race show on the Maryland simulcast signal with his co-host, track announcer Dave Rodman.

The brain-trust at MJC decided to give each candidate the opportunity to showcase their talent on-air as part of the interview process. So this week (March 20-23) at Laurel Park, each has one day to prove themselves worthy of filling Carulli’s shoes. On Friday (Mar. 22nd), Jackie Savoye will put her personal handicapping touch on display as will Gabby Gaudet on Saturday (Mar. 23rd). Ryan Fogelsonger and Dylan Smith completed their on-air “audition” on Wednesday (Mar. 20th) and Thursday (Mar. 21st), respectively.

This past Saturday at Laurel Park, I spent a few moments with each of the contenders, to get to know a bit more about them, so I could introduce them to you. All were very impressive and enthusiastic to face the on-air challenge ahead of them. One shared, “It’s kind of weird, this live on-air audition and knowing the other applicants that you’re up against for the job. It feels like American Idol”.

Not quite American Idol because the decision on who will be hired as the new on-air racing analyst is solely an internal (MJC) one. There will be no fan voting, but your feedback is welcomed and should be directed to Mike Gathagan, MJC’s V.P. of Communications at mike.gathagan@marylandracing.com.

I don’t envy the MJC decision-makers. It will certainly be a tough call. I wonder if they would entertain a co-host format? It seems to work at other tracks having two people banter about versus one speaking directly into the camera. Just food for thought.

Now let’s meet…  jACKIE sAVOYE

Jackie Savoye, currently an assistant trainer for Dale Capuano. The 25-year-old South River High School graduate did on-air work a couple years ago at Gulfstream Park with Alyssa Ali and Caton Bredar. She followed that by teaming up with TVG’s Paul Lo Duca and Christina Oliveras (now with HRTV with last name of Blacker via marriage) at Monmouth Park during their Million Dollar Meet, conducting off-camera interviews.

Horses have been a big part of Jackie’s life for as long as she can remember, “I started riding at a young age at pony camps then got involved in the Annapolis pony club and took up foxhunting almost full time. That’s such a fun event. At 18, I went to work for Jason Cole in southern Maryland breaking babies. That provided such a great foundation of learning the racehorses and bringing them up. Jason sent me to Bowie (race track training center) to learn to gallop and from there I worked for Gary Capuano and the Gaudet’s (Eddie and Linda). I was hired by Dale in the spring of 2008 and he sent me all over the east coast with strings for him”. 

The handicapping aspect of the job does not intimidate her in the least, “I can apply my knowledge of horse racing and what I have learned in the claiming game to handicapping. I work for a top claiming trainer and one of the best horseman and businessman I know in this business. I see a lot of different horses come in and out of the barn, so I’ve learned how to train and understand why and where Dale enters them”.

Savoye isn’t shy when it comes to expressing her thoughts on how to attract her peers to the Sport of Kings, pointing out, ”Being young and involved in thoroughbred racing is such a great opportunity for anybody. It’s a fun sport and the young crowd doesn’t realize it, which is where one of us comes in. I can relate to college kids who want to come out and enjoy a day at the races. Show them maybe a small bet and why they would pick that horse. We need fun things at the track to attract a younger group. Things like live bands, contests, and let’s face it… beer drinking!”.

The horse racing community is filled with hard working individuals and families whose work day begins long before the sun comes up and ends long after it sets. For ”Gen Y” individuals like these four (4) applicants, that means not much of a social life outside of their horse racing family. There also seems to be a special bond among them, as they are all “in the same boat’, but enjoying every minute of it.

“It’s a very exciting job opportunity and I do hope I get it”, Jackie said with guarded optimism, then revealed, “Gabby (Gaudet) is actually my roommate. She’s a great person and very smart. So if she got the job I would be very happy for her”. Talk about being in a tough situation, well that’s only half of it, as she continued, “My other roommate is my best friend, Lacey, who happens to be Gabby’s big sister”.

Jackie Savoye

To describe Jackie Savoye in one word, it would be Poise. Seeing her ability to handle her equine “children” in the paddock and immediately refocus her attention to the anxious owner, indicates to me that the lights and camera will not test her nerves, but rather make her shine.

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Jim McKay’s Maryland Million Day at Laurel Park Preview

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Jim McKay’s Maryland Million Day at Laurel Park Preview

Posted on 02 October 2012 by Gary Quill

This Saturday (October 6th) at Laurel Park is Maryland’s Day At The Race. Better known as Jim McKay’s Maryland Million, It’s the one racing day of the year in Maryland where owners of runners either bred in Maryland or their sire was state bred, qualify to run on this great day of celebrating thoroughbred horse racing in Maryland. The Laurel Park racing office announced that a total of 155 pre-entries (137 horses as 17 were cross-entered including Steady Warrior who is nominated to three races) were named to the 11 races for the 27th running of this event. First post is 12:35 p.m.

2012 Maryland Million Logo

The post position draw for the $1.05 million day will be held at noon on Wednesday, Oct. 3 in Laurel’s Terrace Dining Room.

Overall 11 previous “Million Day” winners are nominated, including three defending champions: Eighttofasttocatch (Classic), Sloane Ranger (Sprint) and Ben’s Cat (Turf Sprint).

The most decorated of the 137 horses pre-entered is Ben’s Cat. The 6 year old will attempt a three-peat in the Maryland Million Turf Sprint champ. Only Safely Kept (Distaff, ’89-91), Countus In (Ladies, ’89-91) and Mz. Zill Bear (Ladies, ’93-95) have won a MD Million race three (3) consecutive years. Ben’s Cat became owner-trainer King T. Leatherbury’s first millionaire with a repeat victory in the Turf Monster Handicap (G3) at Parx Racing last month.

Ben's Cat and King T. Leatherbury

Leatherbury is tied with Dale Capuano for the top spot in the Maryland Million trainer standings. Both conditioners have saddled nine (9) winners. On Saturday Capuano has two runners entered (Lunar Rock in Nursery and Hero’s Reward in Turf Sprint) while Leatherbury’s lone entry is Ben’s Cat.

HRTV will have a live presence for the entire card with hosts Dick Jerardi (from Philly) and Jill Byrne (a Kentuckian) on site. It’s ashamed that HRTV didn’t have the foresight to contract a native Marylander who closely follows Maryland racing and could provide far superior insight on Maryland’s Day At The Races. Now who (GQ) could they have (GQ) possibly (GQ) have gotten (GQ)?

Dick Jerardi of Phila Daily News + Jill Byrne racing analyst < Gary Quill at Preakness Press Box

An additional promotion on “Million Day” features a FREE Maryland Million cap to the first 4,000 full-paid admissions.

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Laurel Park opens Wednesday with FREE Admission and Live Racing Program

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Laurel Park opens Wednesday with FREE Admission and Live Racing Program

Posted on 04 September 2012 by Gary Quill

Remnants of Hurricane Isaac streaked across the Timonium Fair Grounds just before call to the post for the final race of the meeting Monday afternoon, necessitating officials to cancel the race and end the program.

The 2012 meeting ended with a tie for training honors between Jamie Ness and Hugh McMahon. Both saddled five winners over the seven days of the stand. McMahon won a trainer’s bonus of $4,000 with points based on 1-2-3 finishers and number of starters. Ness ($3,000) finished second in the chase for the trainer’s bonus, while Charles Frock ($2,000) took third and Dale Capuano ($1,000) was fourth.

Travis Dunkelberger led the jockey standings with ten (10) winners, three more than Jonathan Joyce.

The 17-week (69 racing days) Laurel Park fall meeting begins Wednesday afternoon with a nine-race card, headlined by the $100,000 Jameela Stakes for Maryland-bred fillies and mares. The 6-furlong test, scheduled for the turf, drew a full field of 11 plus an also-eligible runner. First post is 1:10 p.m.

Opening day features free admission, a complimentary live program and $2 draft beers. Laurel will make extensive use of its turf course during the fall and plans to revive its 50-cent Jackpot Pick 5, which did well during a trial run this spring at Pimlico. Thanks to an influx of revenue from slot machines in Maryland, Laurel’s overnight purses will now average $240,000, up from $185,000 last year.

Recapping Closing Day (Monday 3rd) selections at the Maryland State Fair (Timonium) Meet had 7 winners (5 Top Selections; payoffs in BOLD) having $2 WIN pay-offs being $21.20 (1st race), $4.00 (2nd), $4.00 (3rd), $5.00 (4th), $11.60 (6th), $5.00 (7th) and $5.20 (8th).

The Best Bet was sent off the 3-2 2nd betting choice, quickly sprinted out to a clear lead and then coasted home to a 4 length victory returning $5.00 to WIN, $2.40 to PLACE and $2.20 to SHOW.
Best Bet pick scorecard from 6 Timonium selections: 3 WIN – 1 PLACE – 1 SHOW.

The Longshot Pick went off 6-1 and was never able to get involved with the early leaders, and simply chased his rivals in the 4 furlong dash to finish 4th.
Longshot pick scorecard from 6 Timonium selections: 1 WIN – 1 PLACE – 1 SHOW

SHOW Parlay Play of the Day #4 – Grandanna who also happened to be the BEST BET of the day won with authority but unfortunately a couple scratches cut the field down to 6, and with the 1-1 favorite running 2nd, the SHOW price payout was short ($2.20). So having $74 invested in the SHOW Parlay wager, the 10% ROI netted $7.40, increasing the final bankroll to $82.30 from the initial $40 investment over 6 days of racing (as one card was cancelled after the 3rd race).

Throughout the Laurel Park Fall Meet, I’ll post full card selections only for Saturday race days. But one cannot resist capping an Opening Day card… even though the weather forecast may cause havoc with those races scheduled to be run on the turf. Selections for the Opening Day at Laurel Park, Wednesday, Sept. 5th posted below and on e-ponies.com are AFTER SCRATCHES were announced.

1st race – $8,000 Maiden Claiming for 3 y.o. and up – 6 furlongs
#4 – Black Seal (5-2)
#7 – Yield At The Bull (8-1)
#6 – Joribe (8-5)

2nd race – $5,000 Claiming for 3 y.o. and up – 1 1/16 miles
#1 – Poni Colada (7-5)
#4 – Blue Code (3-1)
#7 – Lusterdust (8-1)

3rd race – $5,000 Starter Allowance for 3 y.o. and up – 1 1/16 miles on TURF
#13 (AE) – Sacred Soul **** SCRATCHED *****
#5 – Pick Four (3-1)
#8– Unbridled Music (15-1)

4th race – $15,000 Claiming NW2L for 3 y.o. and up – 1 mile
#8 – Straight Talk (2-1)
#4 – Black Bullet (7-2)
#2 – Furman Bisher (15-1)

5th race – $40,000 Allowance N1X for 3 y.o. and up – 1 1/16 miles on TURF
#8 – Change Of Command (9-5)
#3 – Saintly Love (6-1)
#7 – Colonel Bill (3-1)

6th race – $7,500 Claiming NW3L for 3 y.o. and up – 5½ furlongs
#6 – Threeanddonedan (12-1) $$$ LONGSHOT PLAY $$$
#2 – Mr. Time To Go (4-1)
#5 – Billy Chapel (7-2)

7th race – $38,000 Maidens for 3 y.o. and up – 1 1/16 miles on TURF
#10 – Warrant (2-1) $$$ BEST BET $$$
#2 – Backdoor Strike (12-1)
#3 – No Delay (15-1)

8th race – $100,000 Jameela Stakes for MD bred fillies and mares 3 y.o. and up – 6f
#1 – Jazzy Idea (2-1)
#4 – Carol’s Love (8-1)
#11 – Bold Affair (5-2)

9th race – $25,000 Maiden Claiming for fillies and mares 3 y.o. and up – 5½ furlongs
#1 – Be Bop a Lula (5-2)
#9 – Rockfast (10-1)
#6 – Turnagain Bay (15-1)

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MarioPino

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Mario Pino wins No. 6450 tying for 11th winningest jockey of all-time; Saturday Selections at Timonium

Posted on 24 August 2012 by Gary Quill

UPDATE: Mario Pino rode his 6,450th last night at Presque Isle Downs, the last race of the night, to tie Sandy Hawley for 11th on the all-time jockey win list. Congrats Mario!

On Opening Day of the Timonium State Fair Meet there was a good mixture of Chalk City (i.e. favorites) and Bombs Away (i.e. longshots) winning, as trainer Dale Capuano saddled My Crazy Livi, the betting favorite in the opener who paid a paltry $4.00 to WIN while in the 5th race, there was a King T. Leatherbury sighting near the Winners Circle because his trainee, 28-1 longshot Closing Man, closed fast to score by a nose returning $58.80 to WIN, $18.40 to PLACE and $7.80 to SHOW.

Ellicott City resident, Mario Pino has ridden thoroughbreds in Maryland for 34 years. Approximately 2 weeks shy of his 52nd birthday, he is poised to become the 11th winningest jockey of all-time. On Thursday at Presque Isle Downs, he tallied career win number 6,449, just one shy of tying Sandy Hawley. On Friday evening (1st Post 5:30pm EDT) at the small, 5 year old Erie, Pennsylvania “racino”, Pino has is scheduled to have seven (7) changes/mounts to tie and possibly surpass Hawley to take his spot at #11 on a list of Hall Of Fame riders, with #10 (Earlie Fires) in his sights.

#1 – Russell Baze (11,679 and counting)
#2 – Laffit Pincay, Jr. (9,530)
#3 – William “Bill” Shoemaker (8,833)
#4 – Pay Day (8,803)
#5 – David Gall (7,396)
#6 – Chris McCarron (7,141)
#7 – Angel Cordero, Jr. (7,057)
#8 – Jorge Velasquez (6,795)
#9 – Edgar Prado (6,568 and counting)
#10 – Earlie Fires (6,470)

Best of Luck Mario on your quest for #6450, #6451 and beyond!
The Hall of Fame awaits you.

At Saratoga Springs, NY the NYRA is hosting their biggest day of horse racing with a 13 race card featuring the $1,000,000 G1 Travers Stakes as the main event. A field of 11 will go the classic distance of 1¼ miles. Absent are the big names from early 3 year old Derby Trail season, as many of those early stars (I’ll Have Another, Union Rags, Bodemeister and Paynter have been retired to stud due to health reasons. The 5-2 Morning Line favorite is Alpha, who won the G1 Jim Dandy over a sloppy Saratoga surface in gate to wire. Recall Alpha was the toast of New York racing leading up to the Kentucky Derby, where he had an Epic Fail, finishing 12th by 19¼ lengths.

Full analysis and Travers selection along with picks for Day 2 for the Maryland State Fair Meet at Timonium will be posted on Saturday morning.

Recapping Day 1 (Friday 25th) 9 race selections at the Timonium State Fair Meet… had 5 winners (1 Top Selection; payoffs in BOLD) having $2 WIN pay-offs being $4.00 (1st race), $4.20 (3rd), $7.80 (4th), $10.40 (6th) and $34.20 (8th).

Best Bet Houston Bull (# 1; 6th race; 4-1) got a patient ride from jockey Abel Castellano, Jr. as he stalked the 4-5 speedball betting choice, who from his past performances showed he barely could last going 6 furlongs, yet today they traveled 6½! So has the favorite got leg weary entering the short stretch, Houston Bull drove through along the rail to win by a couple lengths returning $10.40 to WIN, $5.20 to PLACE and $2.40 to SHOW.
Best Bet pick scorecard from 1 selection at Timonium: 1 WIN – 0 PLACE – 0 SHOW.

Longshot Issues And Answers (# 6; 7th race; 6-1) took his lagging toward the back of the pack early, attempted to make a late run but ran out of real estate, only good enough for 4th.
Longshot pick scorecard from 1 selection at Timonium: 0 WIN – 0 PLACE – 0 SHOW

SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, $20 on Nucky Thompson (#6; 4th race; 2-1) killed the parlay by failing to get the lead, got disinterested at that point in the 4 furlong sprint and his jock just packed it in while still 3rd in mid-stretch, allowed a rival to beat him for SHOW purse money. So with $20 down the drain, we’ll dip into the reserve to see if we can get one in the money on Day 2.

For the Timonium State Fair Meet, Day 2 (Saturday, August 26th) only a small chance of showers, so the track should be FAST…

1st race – $5,000 Maiden Claiming for 3 y.o. and up – 1 1/16 miles
#1 – Tigger Too (8-1) $$$ LONGSHOT PICK $$$
#6 – Katzimo (5-2)
#4 – Crown Court (2-1)

2nd race – $5,000 Claiming for fillies and mares 3 y.o. and up – 4 furlongs
#1 – Zalady (9-2)
#3 – Just Christina (8-5)
#6 – Subira (2-1)

3rd race – $16,000 Maiden Claiming for fillies and mares 3 y.o. and up – 6½ furlongs
#3 – Flat Out Foxy (2-1)
#2 – Scipion’s Girl (6-1)
#6 – Printasticat (9-5)

4th race – $10,000 Claiming fro 3 y.o. and up – 4 furlongs
#3 – Chac Mool (9-5)
#1 – A Fleet Spirit (5-2)
#6 – Malicious (3-1)

5th race – $5,000 Claiming N3L for fillies and mares 3 y.o. and up – 6½ furlongs
#7 – Kalahari Queen (2-1) $$$ BEST BET $$$
#2 – Joy Train (9-5)
#3 – So Best (30-1)

6th race – $25,000 Maidens for 3 y.o. – 4 furlongs
#1 – Love In The Rain (4-1)
#6 – Bomb Dust (5-1)
#5 – Don’t Scip a Check (8-1)

7th race – $5,000 Claiming NW2L for fillies and mares 3 y.o. and up – 1 1/16 miles
#5 – Tropical Jetset (5-2)
#7 – Little Piasano (7-5)
#2 – Awesome Caroline (3-1)

8th race – $5,000 Claiming NW2L for 3 y.o. and up – 6½ furlongs
#6 – Austin Brown (4-1)
#3 – High Gross (5-2)
#8 – Hong Kong Harry (20-1)

9th race – $27,000 Allowance N1X – 1 mile
#1/1A – Uncle Todd / Easton Jack (2-1)
#2 – Mcnair And Adger (9-2)
#4 – Warrensburg (9-5)

10th race – $25,000 Maiden Claiming for 2 y.o. fillies – 4 furlongs
#3 – Jen’s Bright Candl (4-1)
#2 – Sunny Spark (4-1)
#4 – It’s Closing Time (3-1)

SHOW Parlay available bankroll: $20 ($20 bankroll – $20 wager + $0 return)

SHOW Parlay Play of the Day: $20 on #1/1A entry Uncle Todd and Easton Jack (9th race; 2-1) because in my handicapping book, they are the best two in the race, as far as class. So if both can hit the board, the SHOW payoff will be a bit more of a return since only two betting interests get paid out of the SHOW pool.

Looks like Day 2 will get in all 10 races any rain hits the State Fair, so enjoy the exciting chase scenes thoroughbred horse racing has to offer. Good Luck!

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Timonium_horseracing

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Maryland State Fair Opens Friday with Horse Racing

Posted on 22 August 2012 by Gary Quill

The Maryland State Fair, the only remaining state fair east of the Mississippi to continue to present thoroughbred horse racing, kicks off it’s seven (7) day meeting on Friday at the Timonium Fairgrounds. Nine races are on the program. Friday marks the first day of live racing in Maryland since Preakness on May 19th.

Racing will be conducted over the next two weekends – Friday August 24 through Sunday August 26 and Friday August 31 through Monday September 3. First race Post Time during the entire meet will be 1:05pm EDT. Admission to the track is included in admission to the fair.

The fair will have a series of concerts as follows…

Tuesday, August 28th: Newsboys and The Afters

Friday, August 31st: Victoria Justice

Saturday, September 1st: The Band Perry

Concerts start at 7:30 p.m.

As far as horse racing at the fair, for the third consecutive year, Dane Kobiskie found himself atop the trainer standing at Timonium in 2011, but had to share the title with Dale Capuano as each saddled four (4) winners. Kobiskie sent 16 runners to the starting gate, as all but 3 finished no worse than third. Capuano started 12 having one place (2nd) and 4 others showed (3rd).

This year horsing racing fans who find themselves at Timonium playing the ponies will certainly see the names Kobiskie and Capuano in the racing program. This year you may want to keep an eye out for horses saddled by David Wells and Wesley Ward, as these two gentlemen went 2 for 2 here in 2011. Also, John Salzman, Jr. will run a few well placed horses as last year he sent out four (4) runners, 2 won and 2 ran second. Plus, one of the top trainers in the nation, Jamie Ness will be sending a number of runners to Timonium, so he’ll be a threat to take the training title.

The leading jockey for the 2011 7-day Maryland State Fair meet was apprentice Sarah Rook with 9 winners. She took the riding title by the slimmest of margins as the 2010 State fair riding champ J.D. Acosta guided 8 runners across the Finish Line first, while Xavier Perez got 7 of his mounts to the Winners Circle.

Rook returns in 2012 to defend her title, but will face stiff competition once again from Acosta and Perez. A couple of apprentice jocks who might be able to make a name for themselves are Nicolas Milford and Jose Montano. You heard it here first!

For each of the seven (7) live racing days a blog will be posted with selections for every race, including a BEST BET, Longshot and SHOW Parlay Play of the Day. Full-card simulcasting will be offered at Timonium only on live racing days. Admission to the racetrack is included with admission to the Fair. For more information, visit the Maryland State Fair.

End your Summer of 2012 on a high note and enjoy at least one of the seven greatest days of the Summer watching 9 exciting chase scenes at the Timonium Fairgrounds while taking in the Maryland State Fair. Good Luck

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