With Del Mar opening July 19 and Saratoga the following Wednesday, there will be plenty of activity for us horse racing buffs.
At the Paris Hotel on the Strip, Al will be holding a weekly horse handicapping tournament every Monday starting July 31. The contest will be on selected races from Saratoga and Del Mar with an entry fee of only $20 dollars.
Now that is my kind of tournament!
I also like the fact the Paris tourney is limited to one entry per person per week. The weekly prize structure will be 70 percent of the entry money to the winner and the remaining 30 going to the second place finisher. The third place recipient will get dinner for two. The first two finishers each week will get to go to the "Beat Al Free Roll" on Sept 4 at Paris with a shot at a $500 bonus.
Complete contest rules are available at the Paris Race and Sports book. If you have a computer just go to www.parisraceandsports.com or call 1-800-468-8946. I just hope that they don’t cancel this contest since Italy dumped France in the World Cup soccer.
Speaking of the World Cup, it was a very exciting game but what a stupid way to end a world championship game. These two teams play their hearts out and now it’s decided by a shootout. That would be like the Super Bowl ending up tied after an overtime session and ultimately decided with 45 or 50 yard field goals.
The All-Star Shame
Most readers of my column know how I am, so just a thought about the Baseball All Star game this Tuesday at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, which will be televised on FOX. I wonder what ESPN will be showing?
Anyway, I really don’t like these games anymore. I used to love them and seeing the best baseball players in the world got together to play an exhibition game. The fans got to see players they normally didn’t in the course of the season. Those were the good old days before interleague when these games were played hard and not like today as exhibitions.
Now why should the winner of an exhibition game be awarded home field in the World Series? What is the relationship? Starters are chosen by fan popularity votes, yet only play a few innings. Some starters even choose not to play because of "injury" like Boston slugger Manny Ramirez.
The best pitchers in the game only throw an inning or two in a game that MLB would like you to believe is so meaningful. If this game is so important, wouldn’t your best play the longest? I say let’s go back to the "good old days" when the team with the best record became the home team in the World Series and allow this game be what it always was suppose to be, one for the fans and the players to enjoy. Let the All Star Game again become a classic to celebrate America’s pastime.
The Youngstown tip
Back to Del Mar and Saratoga. These are two of the toughest tracks to handicap. Paul, a good friend of mine from Youngstown (NY) and a very astute handicapper, passed a horse betting system for me to research and express an opinion. I always love to do something new.
This past Saturday and Sunday, I got all the plays and followed them to see if there was any thing good to this very simple system. Well, I did get several winners and was able to hit two nice pick threes using the plays. I will take a play that I had this past Sunday to show you how it works.
In Race 8 at Hollywood, there was a horse by the name of Currituck. This horse looked to be overmatched on the move up. But using the system, he was the play. If you go up to the right hand corner there is the money box with eight lines. The first line is what he has done lifetime, which includes his lifetime best Beyer. The bottom has his highest Beyer at this track.
The next box over says dirt fast and gives the horse’s highest Beyer on a dirt fast track. The bottom of that box gives his best Beyer at this distance. If all four of those numbers are the same, then the horse is a bet.
Currituck had a 92 in all the boxes which meant those numbers were his best lifetime, at this track, a dry fast surface and at this distance. I don’t see getting many plays at Del Mar or Saratoga, but as the meet progresses there may be some horses coming back and repeating. Look over Paul’s system and use it either as a tool or for fun. Just e-mail me at [email protected] and let me know what you think.
1Â½ looking up
Before the baseball regular season started I wrote about taking +1Â½ runs when you could get even money or plus money. Well it got very rocky there for a while but at the All Star break we are now two units up and look to have a big ending.
I did have a lot of people on this play, including several friends and family member. One guy quit and it all turned around. Sometimes there is just too much weight to carry.