Tag Archive | "Horse Racing"

Orb Wins Derby, Eyeballs Preakness; GQ Nails Top 3 Finishers; Selection Sunday at Pimlico

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Orb Wins Derby, Eyeballs Preakness; GQ Nails Top 3 Finishers; Selection Sunday at Pimlico

Posted on 04 May 2013 by Gary Quill

From the moment the betting windows opened on Friday to take action on the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby, Revolutionary took the lion’s share of the WIN wagers, maintaining favoritism at 5-1 until about 30 minutes to Post Time. The West Coast – Rick Pitino hope, Goldencents backers bettor their favorite colt down to 5-1 as well, while FL Derby winner Orb and undefeated Verrazano, were getting very little respect at 7-1 and 11-1, respectively.

That is, until 30 minutes to Post Time when the late money came in on Orb, to make him the official Post Time 5-1 favorite, and he did not disappoint his backers. Orb was away awkwardly at the start, angled in and reserved energy early while four wide on the first turn, angled out after six furlongs, made a bold six wide move commencing near the three furlong marker, reeled in the leader in mid-stretch, drew clear then stayed clear under steady handling to win by 2½ lengths over Golden Soul (34-1), who was one length ahead of Revolutionary (6-1).

Orb chillin’ just days before becoming a Derby Champ

Even though the betting favorite won, the $2 Exacta and Trifecta payoffs were huge due to Golden Soul’s runner-up finish at 34-1. Factor in a 19 horse field and an Exacta Pool of over $23 million resulted in a $981.70 Exacta pay-off on a $2 bet. The $6,925.60 Trifecta pay-off on a $2 bet was quite the gift when the second betting choice completed the Trifecta.

So what you say, “yeah nice pay-offs but nobody could have picked that #4 (Golden Soul).” That’s where you’d be incorrect. Because yours truly DID pick Golden Soul to finish third, behind Revolutionary and Orb, as documented in my Derby Analysis & Selections blog.

Sorry if I’m nearly breaking my arm padding myself on the back, but if I don’t do it, who will?!

Drawing compliments of Mel

There’s actually some bad news that Orb won the Derby. Last week while in Lou’vull (aka Louisville), I had the opportunity to ask Orb’s trainer, Shug McGuaghey what his travel plans would be for Orb IF he were to win the Derby and move onto run in the Preakness on May 18th. “We’ll go back to New York, then probably ship down on Tuesday (of Preakness week)” McGaughey stated. That’s unfortunate after the folks at the Maryland Jockey Club last year enjoyed early hype of the Preakness when trainer Doug O’Neill brought the Derby winner (I’ll Have Another) to Old Hilltop the Monday after the Derby.

The JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day is #125…  “Gate Card

Recapping Pimlico Day 19 selections from Saturday 11-race card posted had 6 winners (2 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $3.40 (1st race), $9.00 (6th), $8.00 (7th), $12.20 (8th), $5.20 (10th) and $8.00 (11th).

The BEST BET (18 8-2-2) Ruttzy Tuttzy (#2 7-1 PT; 8-1 M/L) lacked speed , raced outside horses on the turn, swung to the five path turning for home and rallied to be a clear third to return $5.00 to SHOW.

The LONGSHOT PICK (18 4-1-2) Skeleton Crew (R3 #4 5-1 PT; 8-1 M/L) lacked speed, raced inside horses in upper stretch, swung very wide in mid-stretch and rallied to earn a minor share of the purse, finishing third to return $4.60 to SHOW.

Selections for the Day 20 Pimlico Sunday, May 5th card will be on Page 2.

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Kentucky Derby Analysis and Selections; Plus Pimlico Picks for Saturday

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Kentucky Derby Analysis and Selections; Plus Pimlico Picks for Saturday

Posted on 03 May 2013 by Gary Quill

Christmas has finally arrived for thoroughbred horse players everywhere. Churchill Downs is to horse racing as Augusta National is to golf, as Daytona Speedway is to NASCAR, and as the Rose Bowl is to College Football. Rain or shine, nothing will dampen our enthusiasm come 6:24pm EDT on Saturday as we watch the most exciting 2 minutes in sports, the Kentucky Derby.

Drawing courtesy of Mel @dailyracefunies. To see more of Mel’s work, click here.

The forecast for the Louisville area is for showers from Friday evening through Post Time on Saturday, high in the low 60′s degrees. That really throws a wrench into an already tough task of handicapping this race due to the fact the track will most likely be sealed and sloppy come the Derby, which is the 11th race on the 13 race card.

On Friday the field was reduced by one when #1Black Onyx was scratched due to the discovery he had a chip in his ankle.  The balance in this 19 horse field is uncanny as far as their running styles. The way I see it there are…

6 – Early Speed
4 – Tactical Speed (Stalker)
5 – Mid-Pack
4 – Closers

There are many schools of thought when it comes to handicapping the Kentucky Derby. The sheer size of the field itself can be overwhelming. Every runner has his positives and negatives. The key is to somehow pull it all together then imagine how the race will be run.

With that being said, and my past performances marked up as if a pre-school class were turned loose on them, here’s HOW I SEE IT (the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands) playing out, listed in my predicted order of finish. Odds shown are the current betting odds after Friday’s advanced wagering.

Keep in mind I’m picking horses nearly 48 hours BEFORE they walk out on the track. If at all possible, you should not make your wager until you’ve seen the horses in the Post Parade (12 minutes before the start). When horses reach the track, their physical appearance and body language can tip you off on which one(s) to include in your Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta or simply WIN, PLACE and/or SHOW bet. Good Luck!

1st – Winstar silks #3 – Revolutionary
Trainer / Jockey (Derby Mounts W-P-S): Todd Pletcher / Calvin Borel (10 3-0-1)
Running Style: Closer
Why he COULD win the Derby: He’s a bulldog, a fighter, nothing bothers him. He’s like the super hero who pushes the villains’ henchmen aside, one by one into order to get to Mr. Big, who in this case is the Finish Line. His races are never pretty and often look in doubt, but just like in the movies, the good guy always prevails.If the track is sloppy it will only enhance his chances and they’ll have to alter the above Churchill Downs painting to have Calvin holding up four fingers.
Why he SHOULD NOT be able to win the Derby: Traffic. His running style from well back of the pack means Borel will have to make all the right moves (aka split second decisions) to pass at least a dozen rivals. Add to that difficult task mud and slop hitting your face. Borel will probably go through 10 pairs of goggles during this 1¼ mile trip.
Early Betting Odds : 5-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 10-1

2nd – Janney silks #16 – Orb
Trainer / Jockey (Derby Mounts W-P-S): Shug McGaughey / Joel Rosario (3 0-0-0) Best Finish: 4th
Running Style: Mid-Pack
Why he COULD win the Derby: Other than the obvious that he’s improved in every career start, winning his last four, he has turned heads since arriving at Churchill Downs. His only workout over the track was ultra-impressive, and seeing him gallop just days before the Derby hasn’t shown cause to be a detractor.
Why he SHOULD NOT be able to win the Derby: It’s in his nature to get lathered up (sweat with nervous energy) in the Post Parade. So if he is on edge prior to a normal race day, will he have a total meltdown in front of 160,000 fans?
Early Betting Odds: 6-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 7-2

3rd – Fipke silks #4 – Golden Soul
Trainer / Jockey (Derby Mounts W-P-S): Dallas Stewart / Robby Albarado (12 0-0-2)
Running Style: Closer
Why he COULD win the Derby: He ran 2nd by a head in his career debut (1 mile) race at Churchill Downs. The Derby has been the plan from day one. Even when his Derby points seemed to have fallen short, he was shipped to Churchill Downs to train up to the Derby. He is crying out for more distance and ran his Derby preps over an oval at Fairgrounds (NOLA) that was kind to front-runners for most of the meet. Yet he still displayed a fine closing kick (and speed figure) in his last two races, finishing not far behind other shorter priced Derby runners… Palace Malice (by a nose in the Risen Star), to Revolutionary and Mylute (4+ lengths each in LA Derby) and just 1½ behind Departing who destroyed the IL Derby field and is heading to the Preakness.
Why he SHOULD NOT be able to win the Derby: He only has one win to his credit in 5 lifetime races. His jockey has over 4,500 career wins, but is 0 for 12 in the Derby and this will be the first time riding Golden Soul.
Early Betting Odds : 31-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 50-1

4th – Calumet silks #2 – Oxbow
Trainer / Jockey (Derby Mounts W-P-S): D. Wayne Lukas / Gary Stevens (18 3-2-1)
Running Style: Speed
Why he COULD win the Derby: On Wednesday A.M. I witness most of the Derby horses gallop the track and this one looked the fittest (i.e. on the muscle). Add the fact his Arkansas Derby is a toss (finished 5th). Jockey Gary Stevens thought he’d “experiment” (in a G1?) and take him back behind the leaders instead of risk being hung out 6-wide into the first turn. Both jock and horse learned a lesson that day and will not make the same mistake again. Especially if the track is sealed sloppy, it could favor the early speed. This Hall of Fame trainer/jock combo teamed up to win the Derby 18 years ago with Thunder Gulch.
Why he SHOULD NOT be able to win the Derby: last Derby winner to have finished worse than 4th in his prior to the Derby came in 1957 (Iron Liege). If he doesn’t break out of the gate quickly and get to the lead, he’ll be toast.
Early Betting Odds : 25-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 30-1

5th – Fox Hill silks  #5Normandy Invasion
Trainer / Jockey (Derby Mounts W-P-S): Chad Brown / Javier Castellano (6 0-0-0)
Running Style: Closer
Why he COULD win the Derby: came closest in last outing to handing Verrazano his first defeat, mounting a furious late run; this will be his 3rd race off a layoff; one of top riders in the country took off Revolutionary to ride him in this race.
Why he SHOULD NOT be able to win the Derby: He’s this years’ “Wise Guy” horse… the one who gets all of the press based on how he looks, trains or ran his last race. I cannot not recall one of these ever winning the Derby.
Early Betting Odds : 8-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 12-1

6th – WC Racing silks #8Goldencents
Trainer / Jockey (Derby Mounts W-P-S): Doug O’Neill / Kevin Krigger (1st Derby)
Running Style: Speed
Why he COULD win the Derby: Won the Santa Anita Derby; is the lone West Coast Derby starter; 3rd race off layoff angle; followed same road and training schedule as last year’s Derby winner (I’ll Have Another).
Why he SHOULD NOT be able to win the Derby: bloodlines indicate he’s short on stamina to get the 1¼ miles; history- a jockey “of color” has not won the Derby since 1902.
Early Betting Odds: 5-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 5-1

Kentucky Derby analysis continued on Page 2

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WNST’s Nestor Aparicio The Race Caller?! Hear it for yourself on Friday at Pimlico

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WNST’s Nestor Aparicio The Race Caller?! Hear it for yourself on Friday at Pimlico

Posted on 02 May 2013 by Gary Quill

Members of the Baltimore press corps, including WNST’s own “Nasty” Nestor Aparicio will find out how difficult it is to call a race on Friday, May 3 in the first annual Celebrity Announcer Day at Pimlico Race Course. Track announcer Dave Rodman will take a backseat for much of the afternoon while nine media celebrities get the opportunity of a lifetime. Here is the lineup:

Race 1 – Bryan Nehman, WBAL Radio

Race 2 – Jamie Costello, WMAR-TV

Race 3 – Gerry Sandusky, WBAL-TV

Race 4 – Mark Viviano, WJZ-TV

Race 5 – Bruce Cunningham, WBFF-TV

Race 6 – Nestor Aparicio, WNST Radio

Race 7 – Steve Kolbe, CBS Radio

Race 8 – Jim Hunter, Baltimore Orioles

Race 9 - Phil Chenier, Comcast Sports Net

“They are all extremely talented at what they do,” said Pimlico president Tom Chuckas. “Many even have play-by-play experience but track announcers are a different breed and to be able to do what they do, day in and day out is amazing. It should be interesting to see who will stand out. I am sure all will have greater respect for Dave Rodman after completing the call.”

For the record, I offered some words of encouragement to Nestor saying, “Boy you got lucky getting the 6th race. It only has 6 horses and it’s a sprint. So the race will be over in about one minute and 13 seconds.” He did disclose to me a few ziggers that he may use during his race call. Nestor might even resurrect one of the many classic catch phrases to honor two of Maryland’s most colorful media personalities who loved Maryland horse racing… Clem Florio and Charlie Eckman. Good Luck Nestor… you will need it!

In Derby News: Knock on wood, over 24 hours since the Post Positions were drawn for the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby, all 20 runners remain healthy. But if something unfortunate happens to one of the 20 runners prior to scratch time on Friday morning, Churchill Downs has a backup plan. For the first time in Derby history there is a horse on the Also-Eligible List, Fear the Kitten. So in case a runner scratches out of the Derby on Friday morning, Fear the Kitten can draw in to keep the field at 20.

The biggest story out of Louisville (pronounced Lou’vull) is the weather. All this week it’s been gorgeous, sunny in the low 80’s, but the storm front that dumped snow in the Midwest is headed to central Kentucky.  It’s due to arrive Friday evening in the form of rain showers and stick around for the Derby.

So you’ve been warned. Alter your handicapping to find the “Mudders”, like Kramer did in a classic Seinfeld episode…

Recapping Pimlico’s Thursday 9-race card posted had just 5 winners (2 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $10.80 (2nd race), $7.80 (3rd), $13.00 (7th), $8.20 (8th) and $4.20 (9th).

The BEST BET of the Day (15 7-2-1) Berry Berry Bueno (R5 #1 5-2 PT; 5-2 M/L) saved ground disputing the pace, opened a clear lead leaving the far turn, lost the lead in upper stretch then weakened to finish 4th.

The LONGSHOT PICK (15 4-0-1) Bold Joe (R4 #5 44-1 PT; 15-1 M/L) was flat, offered no energy from start to finish and earned the dubious chart comment, “Failed to menace”.

SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, $20 on Sheppard’s Pie (R6 #1 2-1 PT; 9-5 M/L) bad racing luck put the SHOW Parlay out of its misery. He was rated nicely early on, then was put to a ride after 6 furliongs, advanced between foes but was steadied when lacking room inside the sixteenth pole, costing him not only a chance to win, but an in-the-money finish, missing SHOW  money by a head.

Frankie Lovato’s JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day is #123… “Gallop Out

Selections for the Day 18 Pimlico Friday, May 3rd card are on Page 2.

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Orb Draws Post #16 as 7-2 Morning Line Favorite for Kentucky Derby 139; Thursday Picks at Pimlico

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Orb Draws Post #16 as 7-2 Morning Line Favorite for Kentucky Derby 139; Thursday Picks at Pimlico

Posted on 01 May 2013 by Gary Quill

Post Positions for the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby were drawn Wednesday evening at Churchill Downs. Native Kentuckian and veteran Derby Oddmaker Mike Battaglia set the Moring Line odds and made Florida Derby winner Orb the 7-2 favorite, who will break from post #16 over the undefeated Verrazano (Post #14) the 4-1 second choice among a full field of twenty 3-year-olds.

Drawing courtesy of Mel @dailyracefunies. To see more of Mel’s work, click here.

Among the many hats that I’ve worn, setting the Morning Line odds at any thoroughbred horse racing track in America is not yet one of them, but on my Bucket List. Over the years, many of my friends and blog readers have come to enjoy, look forward to or simply tolerate my yearning to see how close my odds for a particular race come to the actual Morning Line. Battaglia has been working his craft for nearly 40 years whereas I do it for big races and friends and some horse owners who are eager for an opinion on a probable Morning Line or predicted Post Time odds.

1.  Black Onyx            Joe Bravo / Kelly Breen                   50-1          46-1
2.  Oxbow                   Gary Stevens / D. Wayne Lukas      30-1          21-1
3. Revolutionary       Calvin Borel / Todd Pletcher              10-1            6-1
4. Golden Soul          B.Hernandez Jr / Dallas Stewart       50-1          51-1
5. Normandy Invasion  J.Castellano / Chad Brown            12-1           11-1
6. Mylute                  Rosie Napravnik / Tom Amoss           15-1           16-1
7. Giant Finish        Jose Espinoza / Anthony Dutrow          50-1          48-1
8. Goldencents        Kevin Krigger / Doug O’Neill                 5-1             8-1
9. Overanalyze        Rafael Bejarano / Todd Pletcher          15-1          23-1
10. Palace Malice    Mike Smith / Todd Pletcher                  20-1          18-1
11. Lines of Battle   Ryan Moore / Aidan O’Brien                 30-1         31-1
12. Itsmyluckyday  Elvis Trujillo / Eddie Plesa, Jr.               15-1          21-1
13. Falling Sky         Luis Saez / John Terranova                 50-1          53-1
14. Verrazano          John Velazquez / Todd Pletcher            4-1            5-1
15. Charming Kitten Edgar Prado / Todd Pletcher              20-1          44-1
16. Orb                      Joel Rosario / Shug McGaughey        7-2             4-1
17. Will Take Charge  Jon Court / D. Wayne Lukas             20-1          27-1
18. Frac Daddy         Victor Lebron / Ken McPeek               50-1          42-1
19. Java’s War           Julien Laparoux / Ken McPeek          15-1          15-1
20. Vyjack                  Garrett Gomez / Rudy Rodriguez      15-1           19-1
AE Fear the Kitten      Alan Garcia / Michael Maker             —              —

AE – Also Eligible IF any other runner scratches prior to Friday
* – GQ’s Predicted Post Time Odds

Recapping Pimlico’s Sunday 9-race card posted had 5 winners (2 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $5.40 (1st race), $2.60 (2nd), $11.80 (5th), $4.80 (6th) and $5.00 (8th).

The BEST BET of the Day (15 7-2-1) Classic Wildcat (R4 #5 5-2 PT; 6-1 M/L) started in good shape, but was pulled up nearing the lane then walked onto the van on his own courage.

The LONGSHOT PICK (15 4-1-1) Lil Escape Artist (R8 #5 5-1 PT; 10-1 M/L) ran the race I anticipated, but was only good enough to be second best. She allowed the speed duel to take place, but so did the winner, as both made their move entering the stretch, passing their tiring rivals, but the winner was much the best, but the runner-up returned $5.00 to PLACE and $3.20 to SHOW.

SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, $20 on Elkhorn Creek / Sting Boy (R2 #2/2X 1-5 PT; 1-1 M/L) brought out the bridge-jumpers (bettors who wager thousands to SHOW thinking they can make a quick 5% ROI), after the second choice (#6 –Ram) was scratched. As predicted, these two proved to be the best in here as they finished 1-2 well headed of the third place runner, but nearly 90% of the SHOW pool was on the 2/2X entry, returning $2.60 to WIN, $2.10 to PLACE and $2.10 to SHOW.

Selections for the Day 17 Pimlico Sunday, May 2nd card are on Page 2.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 30 April 2013 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Pro Wrestling-Ring of Honor Border Wars 2013 (Saturday 7:30pm from Toronto live on Pay-Per-View); Pro Lacrosse: MLL Long Island Lizards @ Chesapeake Bayhawks (Saturday 7pm from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium live on Comcast SportsNet/ESPN3.com); Women’s College Lacrosse: Selection Sunday (Sunday 9pm NCAA.com)

10. Foreigner (Friday 8pm Pier Six Pavilion), Earth, Wind & Fire (Sunday 7:30pm Pier Six Pavilion); M3 Rock Festival feat. Bret Michaels, Twisted Sister (Friday & Saturday Merriweather Post Pavilion); The Lone Bellow (Thursday 7:30pm West Mt. Vernon Park); Papa Roach (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head Live), Limp Bizkit (Friday 9pm Rams Head Live); Old Man Brown (Friday 8pm 8×10 Club); Fear Factory (Sunday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Howie Day (Sunday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Kris Allen (Friday 9pm Rams Head Center Stage); Art Attack feat. MGMT (Friday 6pm Byrd Stadium); Jim James (Tuesday 7pm 9:30 Club), Tedeschi Trucks Band (Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club), Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite (Thursday 7pm 9:30 Club), Foals (Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club), Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers (Thursday 8:30pm State Theatre); Chili Cook-Off feat. Soundgarden, AWOLNation, Silversun Pickups, Capital Cities (Saturday RFK Stadium); Iron Man 3: Heroes Fall” and Kenny Chesney “Life on a Rock” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

When I heard The Lone Bellow was coming I legitimately nearly cancelled my trip to Louisville. Crikes they’re tremendous.

Can someone call Old Man Brown for me and ask if they’ll play my wedding?

I wish someone would force MGMT and Chiddy Bang to do a record together.

Look, I’m a warm-blooded mammal and all so Soundgarden is great…but don’t you sorta feel like Soundgarden actually limits the brilliance of Chris Cornell’s vocals sometimes?

9. Iron Man 3” out in theaters (Friday); Silver Linings Playbook” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); TowsonTown Festival (Saturday & Sunday Downtown Towson); Kinetic Sculpture Race (Saturday American Visionary Art Museum/Inner Harbor)

Ask the question “if you could trade places with any fictional person ever” to an adult male. If they say anything besides “Tony Stark”, kick them out of our country.

Also, I have no idea what a “Kinetic Sculpture Race” is, but a Google Image Search provided me WHAT THE F*CK?

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Rosie Napravnik featured on CBS’ 60-Minutes; Selection Sunday at Pimlico (Day 16)

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Rosie Napravnik featured on CBS’ 60-Minutes; Selection Sunday at Pimlico (Day 16)

Posted on 27 April 2013 by Gary Quill

Nearly 6 months ago, Rosie Napravnik was on top of the thoroughbred racing world, as she guided 2-year-old champion Shanghai Bobby to a thrilling victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, stamping him the early Kentucky Derby favorite. “Bobby” and Rosie seemed destined to have a date on the first Saturday of May at Churchill Downs. Well those of us who have been around the “Sport of Kings” for decades, know there are no “sure things” in horse racing.

“Bobby” won’t be one of the twenty to run in the Derby. His 3-year-old campaign did not go as planned, so he was taken off the Derby trail. On the other hand, Rosie’s riding career has continued to flourish. For the third consecutive year, she won the riding title at the Fairgrounds Winter Meet. One of the many winners she rode was Mylute. Lucky for Rosie, this 3-year-old son of Midnight Lute earned enough Derby points to get a spot in the Derby starting gate. Rosie has been named to ride.

Due to her success and the fact she’s a female in a male dominated industry, made her an attractive storyline for CBS’ 60 Minutes program. No female rider has won the Kentucky Derby. In fact, the best finish for a female rider is 9th, which was accomplished by Rosie in 2011 aboard Pant On Fire. On Sunday (Apr. 28th) at 7pm EDT, CBS will air that segment, giving thoroughbred horse racing some positive publicity 6 days prior to the Kentucky Derby.

The JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day is #118… “Front-Runner

Recapping Pimlico’s Saturday 11-race card posted had just 3 winners with only 1 Top Selection (in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $42.20 (1strace), $3.20 (5th) and $23.00 (6th).

The BEST BET of the Day (14 7-2-1) Blues Heir (R3 #1 9-2 PT; 7-2 M/L) had a nice stalking trip while saving ground around the turn, swung out in upper stretch and closed gamely outside the winner, appeared to have gotten up in time for the win, but lost the photo finish by a nose, returning $6.80 to PLACE and $4.20 to SHOW.

The LONGSHOT PICK (14 4-0-1) Jazz (R5 #6 3-1 PT; 8-1 M/L) took a ton of money at the mutual windows and was the Post Time favorite. Unfortunately for Jazz and all of her backers, she was carried out by a 26-1 shot entering the first turn, killing any chance. When put back into the race she was five deep leaving the far turn, tried to rally on the far outside in the stretch, but had nothing left after her rough trip. Put this one on your “Watch List” and bet her the next time she runs on the turf.

SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, $20 on Smart Tori (R8 #8 6-1 PT; 9-2 M/L) broke down in upper stretch. This is one thing you cannot anticipate when handicapping based on Past Performances. The SHOW parlay has had a rough week, filled with bad racing luck. We’re down to the final $20 to play for Day 16.

Selections for the Day 16 Pimlico Sunday, April 28th card are on Page 2.

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Saturday Selections at Pimlico (Day 15) include Federico Tesio Stakes, a Preakness Prep

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Saturday Selections at Pimlico (Day 15) include Federico Tesio Stakes, a Preakness Prep

Posted on 26 April 2013 by Gary Quill

In addition to the 11-races scheduled at Old Hilltop on Saturday afternoon, items from Preakness and Pimlico past will be awarded as part of a Piece of the Past promotion giveaway available at the Grandstand entrance.  All fans will receive a chit that can be exchanged for a pair of vintage Preakness glasses plus one other choice. Fans can choose from Preakness T-shirts, Pimlico caps and much more through the last live race.

Drawing by Mel @dailyracefunies. To see more of Mel’s work, click here.

The unofficial Preakness prep, the $100,000 Federico Tesio Stakes, is run as the 10th race on the Saturday card. Former Maryland riding star Edgar Prado is named to pilot #9 - Heat Press (8-1), trained by Graham Motion. The Malibu Moon colt broke his maiden at Laurel Park in December and won an entry level allowance start at Parx Racing last time out. Earlier this week, owner Kevin Plank of Sagamore Farm indicated he would like to see Heat Press compete in the Preakness if all goes well in the Tesio. The stable was represented by Tiger Walk a year ago.

#4 -Rienzi (8-1) moved from the Chad Brown barn to John Servis’ stable after returning from Florida and won an entry level allowance at Parx Racing in April. He posted a bullet workout there on April 22nd and is scheduled to have Kendrick Carmouche in the irons. The 7-5 Morning Line is #3 – Abstraction based on his dominating 9 3/4 length maiden victory at Fairgrounds for trainer Daivd Carroll. Two races back #7 – Dynamic Strike  (4-1) won the Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel Park, but then had a troubled 5th place finish in the Private Terms Stakes.

Rounding out the field of ten 3-year-olds are #1 – Just Win Baby (10-1), #2 – Handsome Tiger (20-1), #5 – Wry Me (12-1), #6 – Indian Companion (20-1), #8 - Hanky Doodle (10-1) and #10 – Wabbajack (15-1).

The JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day is #117…  “Free Handicap

Selections for the Day 15 Pimlico Saturday, April 27th card are on Page 2.

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Extra! Extra! Read All About It! (Derby news); Fan Friday Picks at Pimlico (Day 14)

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Extra! Extra! Read All About It! (Derby news); Fan Friday Picks at Pimlico (Day 14)

Posted on 25 April 2013 by Gary Quill

There’s less than 6 days until the Post Positions are draw for the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby, first leg of horse racings’ Triple Crown. It is likely that twenty (20) 3-year-olds will be entered to run in this race on Saturday, May 4th at approximately 6:20pm EDT, because at least 22 are still in line to run.

Drawing courtesy of Mel @dailyracefunies. To see more of Mel’s work, click here.

In addition to those, there could be another one that muscles into the #20 spot. This Saturday’s Derby Trial is officially the final Derby Point system race, offering 20 points to the winner. Of the nine (9) entered here, only one (Titletown Five) would be entered in the Kentucky Derby, according to his trainer D. Wayne Lukas, “We’ve been trying all winter to give this colt a shot at making the Derby,” he said. “This is his one chance. We’d love to see him make the most of it.”

Here’s the latest line-up…

The JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day is #116… “Fresh (Freshened)”

Recapping Pimlico’s Thursday 9-race card posted had 6 winners (3 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $3.40 (2nd race), $7.00 (3rd), $5.20 (4th), $83.00 (7th), $6.60 (8th) and $9.40 (9th). Also worth mentioning at my “Editor’s” request, was having the LATE PICK-3 (race 7-9) which paid $682.40 for a .50 ticket!

The BEST BET of the Day (12 7-0-1) Marataya’s Tune (R3 #8 5-2 PT; 9-2 M/L) led gate-to-wire, at times by 12 lengths then coasted to victory returning $7.00 to WIN, $3.60 to PLACE and $3.00 to SHOW.

The LONGSHOT PICK (12 4-0-1) Gottalovethedrake (R5 #6 3-1 PT; 6-1 M/L) raced 4 wide throughout most of the contest and then was unable to rally in the stretch, only able to get a minor share of the purse, finishing 4th.

SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, $20 on Marataya’s Tune (R3 #8 5-2 PT; 9-2 M/L) was also the BEST BET, so no additional commentary is needed. As hoped for, she did indeed return 50% on the SHOW wager, paying $3.00 to SHOW. Add $10 to the $20 initial SHOW wager amount for the parlay on Friday (Day 14).

Selections for the Day 14 Pimlico Friday, April 26th card are on Page 2.

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EHM Stables: Hard Work and Sacrifices, For The Love of Thoroughbreds; Thursday Opinions at Pimlico

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EHM Stables: Hard Work and Sacrifices, For The Love of Thoroughbreds; Thursday Opinions at Pimlico

Posted on 24 April 2013 by Gary Quill

As a result of the overwhelming success of 2012′s Mid-Atlantic Horse Rescue TB Show, the Totally Thoroughbred Show at Pimlico Race Course and the Fair Hill Furlongs to Fences TB Show organizers formed the Thoroughbred Alliance Show Series. The series consist of several TB only horse shows in the Mid-Atlantic region including a year-end awards banquet to be held at Laurel Park.

Fran Burns, the Alliance Coordinator recently encouraged me to attend one of these shows and speak with the gals from one such TB Rescue Group, EHM Stables, which I did this past Sunday at St. Timothy’s School in Stevenson.

Betty McCue, a 2nd grade school teacher for the past 35 years in the Baltimore County School system, started EHM Stables for retired thoroughbreds (aka TBs) circa 1998. Betty, her sister Evelyn Martin and three (3) of the most energetic, young ladies I have met in quite some time work tirelessly to care for numerous retired TBs in order to transition them after racing to new careers as show jumpers, fox hunters or recreational trail horses. They also have a handful of ponies which they race and show.

From Left: Evelyn Martin, Meredith Miller, Sydney Parker, “Giant Talent” with Anastasia Vialov in the irons, Betty McCue

All three (3) young ladies, Sydney Parker, Meredith Miller and Anastasia Vialov are freshmen at Baltimore County High Schools when not spending time at EHM Stables, located on a farm in Whitehall, MD. When talking about the horses on the farm, their faces light up like proud mothers boasting about their “babies” accomplishments and cute mannerisms, which make each unique. I was AMAZED at their racing and breeding knowledge of each of the horses they are retraining.

Sydney shows Saratoga Jet (out of Pierpont Account by A.P. Jet) and points out, “He won over $100,000 in his career… now he loves to jump over water, from a small puddle to a wide stream, he’ll take a huge leap over it. I also ride and work with Caymen Condo who is a beautiful bay who is coming along.” Beaming from under her pink EHM Stables cap, is a child-like excitement seldom seen on a teenagers face as she proclaimed, “I LOVE TBs! So rewarding… all they want to do is please.”

Meredith rides Big Deal (out of Song of Dixie, by Petitionville). She has a soft spot in her heart for this 5-year-old who, “… never raced and just stood idle in a field for more than half of his life. We broke him (i.e. teach a horse how to allow humans near/on them) 2 years ago and just started showing him.”

Both Sydney and Meredith started helping McCue four (4) years ago. Under Mrs. Betty’s tutelage, they learned to ride in return for performing the daily tasks required on a horse farm… feeding, bathing, mucking out stalls, walking and riding. All which must begin at the ungodly hour of 4:00am. That’s right, 4:00am!!! How many teenagers do you know are willing to get out of bed at 3:00am in order to start their day at 4:00am?

Anastasia rides Prideland (out of Tequila Sheila, by Lion Hearted) pointing out, “He’s a MD-bred from Dark Hollow Farm who earned over $150,000 and was stakes placed during his racing career.” She added, “I also ride Giant Talent (out of Lady of Talent, by Giant’s Causeway). He was given to us by the Gaudet’s (Edmond and Linda). We love picking up horses straight from the track and turning them into our show horses. I started riding with Mrs. Betty while in 7th grade and fell in love with what she does with racehorses.”

On Sunday, April 7th at Pimlico, the Maryland Jockey Club presented the second annual Chasin’ for Children Pony Races between the thoroughbred races. Forty-eight runners took part in the six races. Anastasia “Nastya” Vialov guided EHM Stables’ Count Chocula to victory in the Mikey Smithwick Memorial Dash Medium Pony Flat Race.

Nicely done Nastya! Look out Rosie Napravnik. Bytheway, Count Chocula competed in a show 24 hours prior to winning this race. Pretty impressive little guy!

Mrs. Betty has a close working relationship with top Maryland-based trainers Hugh McMahon and Linda Gaudet. Hugh and his wife Demelza McMahon have been great friends of McCue. In addition to TB retirees, she takes his “lay-ups” (active racers who need some time off from training) and babies to break.

McCue finds new homes for her equine retirees simply by word of mouth, which has no geographical limits, as she shared one story. “I discovered through a friend, there was a young girl in Massachusetts who lost her father. She always wanted a horse, and her mom thought if she could have one now, it would help with her healing process. We had one available and she got a horse. It was truly amazing.”

Other trainers should consider EHM Stables for their “lay-ups” because McCue’s crew obviously does a great job with them. For example, a 5-year-old mare named Too Clever by Half who spent time at EHM Stables made her first start in 9 months last Sunday at Pimlico for trainer Hugh McMahon. The result was a convincing victory at odds of 15-1 to return $32.80 to WIN, $10.60 to PLACE and $7.40 SHOW.

What better endorsement could you ask for when talking about top-notch care for a thoroughbred? If you have a horse, looking for a horse or interested in riding lessons, I encourage you to contact (text) Betty McCue at (410) 404-0857 or via email (bettymccue@comcast.net).

For those who frequent facebook, check out the EHM Stables group page.

Frankie Lovato’s JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day #115, “Fractional Times

Selections for the Day 13 Pimlico Thursday, April 25th card are on Page 2.

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Departing Wins IL Derby, Becomes First Preakness “Probable”; Selection Sunday at Pimlico (Day 12)

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Departing Wins IL Derby, Becomes First Preakness “Probable”; Selection Sunday at Pimlico (Day 12)

Posted on 20 April 2013 by Gary Quill

The Illinois Derby may not have been an official Kentucky Derby prep race, since no Derby Points were up for grabs, but could have served as a Preakness Stakes prep. Claiborne Farms Departing went off as the 9-5 favorite and did not disappoint his backers as he won the $750,000 IL Derby by 3 lengths.

If I were a betting man (grin), I would wager that Departing will be entered in the Preakness Stakes. The Al Stall, Jr. trainee now has 4 wins in 5 career starts. His only blemish was a troubled 3rd in the Louisiana Derby, beat by Revolutionary (the winner) and Mylute (runner-up). Both are scheduled to start in the Kentucky Derby.

The JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day is #111…  “Float

Recapping Pimlico’s Satuday 11-race card posted just 6 winners but 4 were Top Selections (BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $8.60 (3rd race), $3.60 (7th), $9.20 (8th), $3.00 (9th), $3.80 (10th) and $8.40 (11th).

The BEST BET of the Day (10 5-0-1) Volastic (R8 #2 7-2 PT; 9-2 M/L) was tardy from the gate as usual but when asked for his best entering the stretch, a  winning move as all but ohe could make no headway on the leaders settling for 4th , 3 lengths behind the winner.

The LONGSHOT PICK (10 4-0-1) Sasta Go Lucky (R6 #3 11-1 PT; 10-1 M/L) certainly did not put in a Hall of Fame effort here. He chased the pace, was three deep when lightly steadied entering the far turn, then gave way and drifted out in upper stretch to finish 5th.

SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, $60 on Jewel of a Cat (R7 #10; 4-5 PT, 5-2 M/L) easily handled six rivals with a nice stalking trip then took over in mid-stretch under steady urging to win by 2¾ lengths returning a pualtry $3.60 to WIN, $2.40 to PLACE and $2.10 (ouch!) to SHOW. Look at it this way, you’d be doing back-flips if you financial institution gave you 5% ROI in 59.09 seconds. It adds $3.00 to the current $60.00 SHOW parlay amount for Day 12.

Selections for the Day 12 Pimlico Sunday, April 21st card are on Page 2.

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