Tag Archive | "Pimlico Race Course"

Saturday (Day 3) at Pimlico Brings A Welcome Addition – Turf Races

Tags: , , , , ,

Saturday (Day 3) at Pimlico Brings A Welcome Addition – Turf Races

Posted on 05 April 2013 by Gary Quill

Pimlico Saturday Promotion: Free* Pimlico Cap plus over $20,000 in Win Wagers and Flat Screen prizes!

Two turf stakes, the Dahlia for fillies and mares and the Mister Diz for Maryland-bred sprinters highlight the 10-race card on opening Saturday at Pimlico. The five furlong Mister Diz goes as the 7th race and is headed by Ben’s Cat (4-5 M/L), the three-time defending champion of the race. The reigning star of the King T. Leatherbury stable is 11 for 17 on the grass with career earnings exceeding $1.35 million.

“That might be some kind of a record (winning the same stakes race four consecutive years),” said Leatherbury, who ranks fourth on the all-time win list with 6,374 career victories. “He is coming into the race as well as he did last year. He is very sound and is maintaining his condition. I have had some pretty good runners throughout the years but he has to be considered the best one I have trained. We should be 1-2 in the race and hopefully this is the start of another big year for him.”

The Dahlia Stakes, a one mile event is the 9th race on Saturday’s program. Twelve runners are entered with Julie’s Love, the 7-5 morning line favorite. The 5-year old mare ships in from Florida after winning three of seven starts last year for trainer Graham Motion.

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

Walkwithapurpose, the Sagamore Farm 3-year-old filly who destroyed her competition at Laurel Park during the winter meet heads to The Big Apple. The MD-bred daughter of Candy Ride is entered in Saturday’s G2 Gazelle Stakes at Aqueduct. The plan was to run in the $50,000 Twixt Stakes at Laurel Park as a final tune-up for a run in the Black-Eyed Susans Stakes. But when the Twixt only attracted two other foes, trainer Ignacio Correas called the audible. Walkwithapurpose will face five rivals as the 3-1 M/L 3rd choice.

The JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day is #96…  ”Exercise Rider”

Recapping Pimlico’s Friday 9-race card posted had a paultry 3 winners (2 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $12.60 (1st race), $29.60 (5th) and $5.20 (8th).

The BEST BET of the Day (2 1-0-1) Hold That Broad (R6 #3 4-1 PT; 9-2 M/L) was bumped at the break, prompted the pace between rivals, dueled for the lead through the eighth pole, then gave way grudgingly while staying on for third, returning $3.40 to SHOW.

The LONGSHOT PICK (2 1-0-0) Artic Raven (R1 #3 5-1 PT; 6-1 M/L) jock took advantage of his less experienced peers, allowing them to battle on the front in the early stages of the 1 1/16 mile event. When their mounts began to search for the oxygen masks, ‘Raven” was full of run in the lane and held off a determined foe for the victory to return $12.60 to WIN, $5.60 to PLACE and $3.80 to SHOW.

SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, $24 on Lindyhop  (R2 #2; 5-2 PT, 7-2 M/L) had a rough trip and never recovered per the Equibase chart, “steadied off heels near the seven eighths pole, regrouped and gained a good position down the backstretch, came under pressure giving chase around the final turn, angled four wide for the drive but had no rally” So 2 days in we’ve burned through the first $20, but with $80 left we’ll start over on Day 3.

Selections for the Day 3 Pimlico Satuday, April 6th card are Page 2.

(Continued on Page 2…)

Comments (0)

Pimlico Day 2: Apprentice riders invade Old Hilltop

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Pimlico Day 2: Apprentice riders invade Old Hilltop

Posted on 04 April 2013 by Gary Quill

Maryland thoroughbred horse racing has long been known for being a springboard for young riders to develop their skills in hopes of hitting the big time one day. For any jockey looking to make a name for him/herself, the start of a meet is perfect timing. In looking at the riding assignments over the first couple days, there are plenty of apprentice riders, aka “bug boys” back in the day.


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

Just like an apprentice in any other profession, there are specific rules which dictate the duration of a riders apprenticeship. Each state has its own set of rules. The rule most common to the horseplayer is the Weight Allowances. In the state of Maryland an apprentice jockey, created by contract or certificate, may claim the following weight allowances in all overnight races except handicaps:

(a) 10 pounds beginning with the first mount and continuing until the apprentice has ridden five winners;

(b) 7 pounds after the 5th winner until the 40th winner; and

(c) 5 pounds after the 40th winner until 1 year from the date of the 5th winning mount.

In addition, if after 1 year from the date of the 5th winning mount, the apprentice jockey has not ridden 40 winners, the applicable weight allowance shall continue for 1 more year or until the 40th winner, whichever comes first, but, in no event may the applicable weight allowances be claimed for more than 2 years from the date of the 5th winning mount unless an extension is granted due to a physical disablement, military service or attendance at an institution of secondary or higher learning as a full-time student.

Now that you have been enlightened and can explain to your friends why one rider is given a 10 lbs. allowance while another only 5 lbs. and others none. Listed below are the bug boys and bug girls jockeying (pun intended) for their share of mounts at Pimlico. In parentheses are career mounts – wins- seconds – thirds through April 3rd.

Yomar O. Ortiz – 5 lb. (798 149 – 131 – 118)
Trevor McCarthy – 5 lb. (521 73 – 86 – 74)
Victor R. Carrasco – 5 lb. (126 12 – 16 – 27)
Jorge L Vargas, Jr. – 7 lb. (95 5 – 6 – 4)
Mallory Strandberg – 10 lb. (23 3 – 5 – 3)
Chelsey Keiser – 10 lb. (8 1 – 1 – 0)

The JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day is… “Excused

Recapping Pimlico’s Opening Day 9-race card posted had 6 winners (2 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $12.00 (4th race), $21.60 (5th), $7.00 (6th), $12.60 (7th), $3.60 (8th) and $5.40 (9th).

The BEST BET of the Day (1 1-0-0) Mikey Likes It (5-2 PT; 3-1 M/L) let his foes do the dirty work early to soften up the 4-5 betting favorite. Last in the field of 5 at the quarter pole, “Mikey” unleased a furious stretch drive to get up in the final strides to prevail by ½ length, paying $7.00 to WIN, $3.40 to PLACE and $2.20 to SHOW.

The LONGSHOT PICK (1 0-0-0) Andean Moon (12-1 PT; 8-1 M/L) raced in mid-pack thru the early stages of the race, dropped back at the quarter pole, then made a late run but only good enough for 5th.

SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, $20 on Reason to Drink (#4; 3rd race; PT 5-2; M/L 7-2) showed his type early turn of foot, was no match for the winner, lost PLACE money in a photo but all that doesn’t matter with a SHOW parlay, as he salvaged SHOW, well clear of the 4th place finisher, while providing a 20% ROI, returning $2.40 to SHOW. Thus, we add $4 to the initial $20 for Day 2.

Selections for the Day 2 Pimlico Friday, April 5th card are Page 2.

(Continued on Page 2…)

Comments (0)

Opening Day in Baltimore for the thoroughbred home team: Pimlico

Tags: , , , ,

Opening Day in Baltimore for the thoroughbred home team: Pimlico

Posted on 03 April 2013 by Gary Quill

Baltimore’s favorite baseball team kicks off their season at home on Friday April 5th against the Minnesota Twins, but there’s another Opening Day to celebrate in Baltimore this Thursday, April 4th. Live Maryland thoroughbred horse racing has come “home” to historic Pimlico Race Course, albeit for only 36 glorious racing days. Local horse racing enthusiasts view Opening Day at Pimlico as a barometer that Spring has officially arrived.

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

Over the next ten weeks, Pimlico will conduct live racing Thursday through Sunday (but no racing on the Sunday after Preakness, May 19th), headlined by the 138th running of the $1 million Preakness Stakes (Grade 1), the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, on May 18th. The 36-day stand will conclude on Belmont  Day, June 8th. First post for 33 days of the meet will be 1:10pm with adjustments on Kentucky Derby Day (May 4th; 12:45pm), Black-Eyed Susan Day (May 17th; 12:15pm) and on Preakness Day (10:45am).

To entice fans to visit Old Hilltop on Opening Day and throughout the spring meet, the Maryland Jockey Club is offering plenty of promotions. Here are the ones over the next couple weeks …

Thursday, April 4 — Opening Day
Celebrate the return of live racing with free admission and  free live program.

Every Friday (April 5-June 7, excluding Black-Eyed Susan day) — Fan Fridays
Free admission, free parking and free live program.

Saturday, April 6 — Opening Saturday
Free Pimlico cap to the first 4,000 paid fans and over $200,000 in prize drawings.

Sunday, April 7 — Chasin’ for Children
Kids compete on ponies in five events between races.

Saturday, April 13 — Racing 101
An all-day fan education experience. Advance ticket purchase required.

Speaking of fan educational experiences, former jockey Frankie Lovato, Jr. is doing his part. Lovato is the founder / creator of JockeyWorld.org who with his staff of Kayla Jarvinen and Brittlan Wall work tirelessly to help increase the fan base of thoroughbred horse racing. This year’s project is to provide 365 Days of Racing Terminology via videos on YouTube.

Using an alphabetic format, Frankie and his staff started on January 1, 2013 posting a video describing the term “Ace Deuce”. Their mission is to continue throughout 2013, posting a term each day.

Whether you are a grizzled vet like GQ or a horse racing novice, make these informative 2-3 minute videos part of your daily routine. You will be amazed at the amount of new cocktail party conversation ammo added to your arsenal.

For each day of this 36 day meet, I will post a blog offering my opinions and the Soup Of The Day with the cooperation of the Food Services Dept. at Pimlico, as I have done below. As an added item, a SHOW Parlay Play of the Day will be featured. I’ll start with a mythical $100 bankroll, using $20 of it to start the parlay. I figure the odds of sustaining a single SHOW parlay play for 36 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 (3rd) 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”).

Recapping Laurel Park’s Closing Day 10-race card posted had 5 chalky winners (1 Top Selection in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $6.40 (1st race), $4.00 (2nd), $2.60 (4th), $3.80 (5th) and $4.80 (9th). The BEST BET of the Day went off 5-2 but could only manage 2nd behind the 1-5 (that’s correct, 1-5) betting favorite, but did return $3.20 to PLACE and $3.00 to SHOW while the LONGSHOT PICK also played bridesmaid returning $4.40 to PLACE and $2.60 to SHOW.

Selections for the Day 1 Pimlico Thursday, April 4th card are Page 2.

(Continued on Page 2…)

Comments (0)

Meet Gabby Gaudet, On-Air Guest Handicapper on Saturday at Laurel Park

Tags: , , , , ,

Meet Gabby Gaudet, On-Air Guest Handicapper on Saturday at Laurel Park

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Gary Quill

This is the final entry of 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 read “Part 1”, feel free to skip down to “Now let’s meet…”. If not, 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. Gabby Gaudet gets the final on-air say Saturday (Mar. 23rd) as the other 3 preceded her this week. Ryan Fogelsonger did the duties on Wednesday (Mar. 20th), Dylan Smith followed suit on Thursday (Mar. 21st) and Jackie Savoye provided her insight on Friday (Mar. 22nd).

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… Gabby Gaudet

Gabby Gaudet, the 22-year-old daughter of longtime conditioners Eddie and Linda Gaudet and younger sister of trainer Lacey Gaudet, is on track (no pun intended) to graduate this Spring from Towson University, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication with a minor in Graphic Design.

When your last name is immediately associated with Maryland racing, it’s only natural to feel the pressure to be involved in the family business. ”My Mom and Dad have definitely been extremely influential in my life, not only in horse racing but growing up in general. When I was younger, my Mom home schooled me and my sister throughout middle school, in between the hectic demands of (horse) training. I decided to go back to (a traditional) school for 8th grade, got my exercise riders license when I was 16 to help my parents out during the weekends and summer vacation, and I continued to do that as a part-time job throughout college”, explained Gabby.

Riding horses wasn’t her only athletic talent. Gabby was quite the soccer player and received offers from multiple D-1 schools, but home was where her heart was, which opened doors to combine her college major with her love for horses. “I would say that last winter was really the turning point for me when I decided to get really involved, especially in the media side of horse racing. I began interning for Maryland Horse Radio on Tuesday nights, contributing to Maryland Horse newsletters and participated in a lot of events throughout Preakness season”, recalled Gaudet as she reached into her memory bank of accomplishments.

Stepping out of the shadows of being Lacey’s “little sister” as well as her comfort zone (Maryland), Gabby was able to establish her own identity in New York. “This past summer I got the opportunity of a lifetime to move to Saratoga for the meet and write for The Saratoga Special newspaper. There, I made some really great racing contacts and got to experience racing from a new perspective. I had to interview trainers, owners and jockeys daily and then write articles on them (e.g. pre-stakes/post-stakes interviews, race recaps, and human interest stories). I loved every minute of it”, then added with a snicker, “When my sister (Lacey) came up to visit, people were referring to her as, Gabby’s big sister”.

Recently the petite brunette spoke with ESPN/ABC Sports reporter Jeannine Edwards about facing the camera, saying “Jeannine gave me some really good advice… I can provide my personal insights. The way I see it is that every horse, every trainer, every race has a story. For example, some may look at the program and see a horse that has been laid off for 6 months and wonder why? Having a journalistic background, I‘ll find out as much information about the “story” and report it to the fans”.

Admittedly, when this 55-year-old @HorseRacingNut read about Frank Carulli’s planned departure via MJC’s MArch 13th press release, I was miffed that the conditions of this competition seemed, to use a horse racing term, “restricted”. Quickly convincing myself that ol’ GQ was about 30 years too old to be considered for the on-air Racing Analyst position, and couldn’t agree more with Gabby who stated, “I love that the MJC is getting young people into the sport. I really think it’s a great idea. I’m very passionate about horse racing and I want to bring all ages and all backgrounds (as many people as possible) in and show them what makes this sport so special”.

Lil Gabby in Saddle

To describe Gabby Gaudet in one word, it would be Charm. She possesses an infectious smile that can light up a room. Not a bad quality to have when thousands of horseplayers will be hanging on every word you utter before they head to the betting window.

Comments (0)

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

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Comments (0)

Meet Dylan Smith, On-Air Guest Handicapper on Thursday at Laurel Park

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Meet Dylan Smith, On-Air Guest Handicapper on Thursday at Laurel Park

Posted on 20 March 2013 by Gary Quill

This is Part 2 of 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’ve already read “Part 1”, feel free to skip down to “Now let’s meet…”. If not, on read. 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 have one day to prove themselves worthy of filling Carulli’s shoes. On Thursday, Dylan Smith gets her chance to wooo Maryland horseplayers with her handicapping prowess. Then on Friday (Mar. 22nd) it’s Jackie Savoye’s turn and Gabby Gaudet completes the on-air superfecta on Saturday (Mar. 23rd). Ryan Fogelsonger completed his “audition” on Wednesday (Mar. 20th).

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 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 some food for thought.    

Dylan SmithNow let’s meet…

Dylan Smith, 24, has been working as an assistant for trainer Dickie Small since graduating from Kennedy High School in the Washington D.C. suburbs in 2006.

“(I’m) definitely a track-oholic and horse-oholic”, Smith proudly declared. “I am at the races all day, every race day. I gallop in the morning, then shower in the girl’s jocks room where I then get scratches, study, and make my final picks for the day. Next I listen to Talking Horses in NYRA then watch Dave (Rodman) & Keith (Feustle) at Laurel and jot down their opinions. I’m at the races for the full card. Afterwards I go home where I watch more races from across the country until I fall asleep”.

When asked at what age did she catch the horse racing bug, Dylan reflected, “I learned when I was very young, couldn’t have been older than 6 or 7, how to read a program and (Daily Racing) Form from my Dad. He started bringing me to the track when I was little…and I was obsessed even then. My Dad really gets the credit for bringing me to the track and getting me hooked. He always answered questions and just watching what he looked at on paper and how he bet taught me so much”.

Not only does Smith understand horses physically and the art of handicapping, but she also has strong opinions on what horseplayers want from a track handicapper. With The Form tucked under her arm, the slender blonde explained, “I hang around and learn from the people that bet a lot of money. I see firsthand where they like to put their dollars and what they look for when making their selections. I think it is a huge advantage to know how to bet because the ultimate goal for the track handicapper is to get money into the bettor’s pockets (giving them the ability to play more races, which increases the tracks handle). I can dig up useful information that I know a lot of people would be interested in hearing when putting together a ticket. People don’t want a repeat of what you can see in The Form. They want you to go the extra mile to find what they can’t see”.

Though she’s short on media experience, Dylan has certainly done her homework in preparation for Thursday’s on-air debut. “I watch Frank (Carulli) very closely and have been working with him for months trying to pick up on everything he does. He’s very good at morning line odds, and he really takes a lot of time and does lots of research when making his picks”. Smith sought assistance outside of Maryland, adding, “I also got to spend a day with NYRA’s Andy Serling who was great. He is just fantastic and does all his homework. He’s prepared every day and gave me some good pointers”.

Dylan Smith breezing

To describe Dylan Smith in one word, it would be Horse-oholic. By her own admission, “It’s a little obsessive, but I literally watch all tracks and all types of horses (Harness and Quarter, too). I don’t like to miss any action at any track in the country. I have a non-existent social life outside of the track because I am so wrapped up in the racing world. It may sound pitiful, but I love it and wouldn’t have it any other way”. Not so pitiful from my point of view because she seems to be a terrific asset to the Maryland horse racing community.

Comments (0)

Meet Ryan Fogelsonger, On-Air Guest Handicapper on Wednesday at Laurel Park

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Meet Ryan Fogelsonger, On-Air Guest Handicapper on Wednesday at Laurel Park

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Gary Quill

This is Part 1 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. They 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 will have one day to prove themselves worthy of filling Carulli’s shoes. First up on Wednesday (Mar. 20th) is Ryan Fogelsonger. Dylan Smith will tackle the Thursday (Mar. 21st) card, Jackie Savoye will be on-air Friday (Mar. 22nd) and Gabby Gaudet gets a crack at the Saturday (Mar. 23rd) card.

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…  

Ryan FogelsongerRyan Fogelsonger, 31, currently a journeyman jockey, winner of 1,303 races in his career, captured eight (8) riding titles at the Maryland tracks, and was the 2002 Eclipse Award winning apprentice. He has not ridden since early November when he suffered a concussion during a spill. But this gig does not require riding skills, and Ryan is thankful for that, as he views this opportunity as his chance to start a second career.

“Let’s face it. I’m 31, I don’t have a college degree and this (horses) is all I know.”, Fogelsonger stated with a boyish grin.

Well no sheepskin can compare to the energy level and love he has for horses, which didn’t start until age 18. Ryan explained, “I was a track star in high school. One day a buddy of mine said, “You’re the perfect size to be a jockey. I know a trainer… maybe you should talk to him…”. So he agreed and added, “What was supposed to be a 15 minute talk turned into two (2) hours… and the rest is history”. The trainer who met with him that day was Dale Capuano.

When asked what his favorite riding memory is, Ryan took a few moments to search into his memory bank, shook his head and stated, “Just riding horses who loved to run and being a part of it”.

Ok, so we know he can ride and loves horses. So do the other three (Dylan, Jackie and Gabby). But can he command the attention of the horseplayer, looking for “short-term investment” (aka wagering) advice? The answer: No doubt! His confidence borders on cockiness, and he expressed his fondness for being in the spotlight, something he’s ready to tackle on Wednesday as the on-air guest handicapper at Laurel Park.

          Ryan Fogelsonger winning

To describe Ryan Fogelsonger in one word, it would be Confident. After all, when first asked about this opportunity to showcase his on-air and handicapping talent, he exclaimed, “I’m going to kill it”!

Comments (0)

Let-It-Ride

Tags: , , ,

Handicappers Great Wins and Bad Beats of 2012; Saturday Selections at Laurel Park

Posted on 28 December 2012 by Gary Quill

Horseplayers are a rare breed. While at the track, we love to tell anyone within ear shot about how we just got beat and/or how anyone with half a brain should have known that the horse we bet (and won) would win.

It also seems that for every “Great Win” story, there is a “Bad Beat” or to use a current phrase “Epic Fail”. The best thing about these stories, they rarely are told about a major race like the Kentucky Derby, Preakness or Belmont Stakes. Most occur during your typical day at the track.

Below is an excerpt from an email I received from a reader of my blog for Black-Eyed Susan Day 2012 at Pimlico, in which my Longshot Pick was Sensible Lady (20-1 M/L). Enjoy!

My wife and I went to Pimlico, as we have done for many years now, for the Black Eyed Susan. We are casual bettors in the sense that, when we go, we commit an amount of money to lose and enjoy the day and the races. We know our way around looking at PPs and enjoy the thrill of handicapping itself.

I printed your selections for the day to have as a guide against our picks and we went through the day winning a couple of bets but losing more along the way. We went our own way for the most part and let your selections influence us in some. Before the 11th race, I took stock of your selections and contrary to the sensibility (misguided as it was) I had, you had picked a number of winners and had a number of horses finish in the money. Side note: The only pick I did not understand to that point was Shimmering Forest all others I understood how a case could be made.

Then came the 11th, after taking stock of your selections and getting my wife’s direction to do a 6-7Exacta box, I went to the window and picked Sensible Lady (#1) to Win and bet the $1 Trifecta 1-7-6 and 1-6-7. I went back to my seat to watch the race and my wife had no idea why I was jumping up and down as the 1 stormed down the stretch. After the win she looked at me perplexed and said “THAT was the 1 not the 7.” I said “I know I bet the 1 to win.” She got happy and said, ”At least we will not go home with our pockets empty.” It was then I told her that I also bet the Tri and then …oh baby!!! We were having trouble seeing the board and the payouts so we were quite pleased when we cashed in the tickets.Click HERE to see Pimlico’s 11th race results from Black Eyed Susan Day 2012

I talked you up to these guys, sitting next to us in the stands that were from Philly, directing them to WNST.net and told them to look for your Preakness day blog where you would predict the card. They wanted to buy me a drink because I turned them onto Sensible Lady and the Tri.

I talked you up to this family from New Jersey at the Charred Rib (where separately, we and they went to celebrate the day) telling them to check you out.

We enjoy our days at the races regardless of betting outcome. You though, contributed to make this Black Eyed Susan an extra special outing and for that I thank you and WNST for the wisdom of carrying your blog.

Thank you and regards,
Gil from Perry Hall

The best part of sharing my opinions in my blogs is receiving feedback such as Gil’s “Great Win” and being a shoulder to cry on when a reader experiences a “Bad Beat”.

Did you experience either in 2012? If so, I’m all ears!

Recapping posted selections at Laurel Park from Saturday, Dec. 22nd had 7 winners from 9 races (3 Top Selections; pay-offs shown in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $3.80 (1st race), $4.60 (2nd), $3.00 (3rd), $23.20 (4th), $6.80 (7th), $9.60 (8th) and $5.20 (9th).

The BEST BET of the Day (12 5-1-2) Friendly Princess (4-1 PT; 4-1 M/L) had no excuse. The Brisnet Chart Comment was “dead aim off duel, wknd”. She was in what appeared to be a nice stalking position, but when the field turned for home , and was asked for her best stride, she offered nothing and finished 4th.

The LONGSHOT PICK (10 3-0-0) Today’s Treasure (15-1 PT; 15-1 M/L) was a great name for a longshot, but he failed to deliver a ROI as he got unexpected pressure early. Thoughts of this one being lone speed fell by the wayside when Donttangowithmango (9-5 2nd choice) jock decided to push his mount early, which eventually doomed not only my pick who faded to 6th, but also “Mango” who finished a distant 3rd. Just goes to show no matter how the race shapes up on paper, the human element can really screw it up.

**** Selections for Laurel Park on Saturday, Dec. 29th are on Page 2 ****

Comments (0)

MarylandJockeyClubLogo

Tags: , , ,

MARYLAND THOROUGHBRED RACING UNITES WITH 10-YEAR AGREEMENT

Posted on 14 December 2012 by Gary Quill

LAUREL, MD. 12-14-12— The Maryland Jockey Club (MJC), the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (MTHA) and the Maryland Horse Breeders Association (MHBA) today announced that they have come to a 10-year agreement for sustained racing at Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park.

“I am confident and pleased via this agreement,” said Stronach Group chairman Frank Stronach, who owns Pimlico and Laurel, “we will now have long term stability, year round racing and stabling, an attractive purse structure, promise for the breeding industry and a strong foundation to restore Maryland racing to its pre-eminence in North American racing.”

“We created a plan that benefits everyone and develops a sustainable model for the future,” said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas. “I would like to thank Governor Martin O’Malley for his continued support of the industry. We appreciate his involvement two years ago which set-up the framework for this deal. We appreciate Maryland Racing Commissioners John McDaniel and Bruce Quade for their commitment as well as the leadership from the MTHA and MBHA for working with us to make this happen.”

The 2013 racing season will feature 146 days of live racing days at the major Maryland tracks, the same number as in 2010, 2011 and 2012. The Maryland Jockey Club will guarantee a minimum of 100 days a year for the balance of the agreement. There are provisions in the contract for the horsemen to race additional days through a revenue-sharing program.

The deal also calls for Pimlico and Laurel Park to remain open for year-round racing, training and stabling for the balance of the contract. Chuckas indicated Pimlico and Laurel would maintain a minimum of 1,900 stalls.

Chuckas said the deal “allows the Maryland Jockey Club to invest in capital improvements at both facilities and we plan on submitting a plan to the Maryland Racing Commission and Maryland Department of Budget and Management in February.”

The parties will ask the Maryland Racing Commission to approve 2013 racing dates at their monthly meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 18.

Comments (0)

Preakness138

Tags: , ,

Maryland Jockey Club Unveils 2013 Preakness Logo

Posted on 09 November 2012 by Gary Quill

BALTIMORE, 11-09-13: The Maryland Jockey Club today unveiled the 2013 Preakness logo for the 138th running of the $1,000,000 Preakness® Stakes (G1), which is set for Saturday, May 18, 2013 at historic Pimlico Race Course.

For the 14th consecutive year, the Leffler Agency of Baltimore, Tampa and Providence designed the official Preakness logo. The Leffler Agency’s new creative branding division, brandNU Marketing™, created the logo under the design guidance of senior art director Jeffrey Sewell, a 27-year veteran of the agency.

The 2013 Preakness logo draws on the classic Pimlico logo horse type that is on the side of the clubhouse entrance. That horse combination was inspired by the nineteenth century painting of the “Great Race”, an event which put Pimlico on the national sporting map. The underline “checkerboard” pattern is also classic in that it plays off of the Maryland state flag. Both features and the straightforward typeface translate the venerable nature of the middle jewel of the Triple Crown.

“We at Leffler and brandNU take pride in the diverse styles and practicality that the logos have achieved over the years,” said Bob Leffler, agency president/owner. “They must be bold enough to translate on television, simple enough to serve on credentials and badges and have the dynamism to sell as a feature of apparel.”

Tickets for Preakness 138 have been on sale since Oct. 15. Seating information and ticket reservation forms can be found at www.preakness.com/tickets. Renewals are being accepted through Jan. 15, 2013.

Tickets can be purchased by calling the Preakness sales office (410-542-9400 or 877-206-8042) or by logging onto or by logging onto www.ticketfly.com.

Comments (0)