The rains came as anticipated and Santa Anita went down the drain with the rain.
All the track officials knew it would happen if they got any heavy rain. This stuff can only happen in California. Check that, it did happen in a much bigger way in New Orleans. However, those folks knew the levies were bad and just sat back and hoped. What a way to run a big business like legendary Santa Anita! I am appalled and hope the owners and trainers who have spent a ton of money gearing up for this meet are as well.
On Sunday as I watched racing across the country, it was raining in Chicago but Hawthorne Park had no trouble on their conventional dirt track. They run rain, snow, sleet or sunshine.
Some of the best horses in training are at Gulfstream Park in Florida, where the surface is dirt. But the California mandate says all tracks in that state must go to a synthetic surface. What a crock! Someone must have made a bundle on that deal.
I was in Red Rock Station this past week and was met with what I would call a Race and Sports Book explosion entering the betting area. Red Rock has installed new projectors the likes you have never seen before. It is absolutely great and a must see. This will be a great spot to catch the playoffs and the Super Bowl. I am glad not to be in my teens and it’s not the 1960s. I just might camp out there.
There were some very exciting games this past week in the NFL playoffs with the Skins trying to come back and the Steelers rallying to make it very interesting.
I really thought the Giants could not get up for the Bucs after their rousing performance against the Pats the previous week. However, they played another very physical game with Manning having one of his best games of the year.
The Giants receivers were actually catching some balls, having led the league in drops. It looked like the Chargers could falter again this year heading to halftime behind and maybe in need of another head coach.
However, they came back to win and even got the cover. That was not good for the books in the state of Nevada. The Books went into a state of shock as hundreds of thousands of dollars changed hands with that last Chargers score. The week just went into the tank for the Books.
Now let’s take a quick glance at this week’s four playoff games.
Saturday, Jan. 12
Seahawks +8 at Packers (40): The weather could be a factor in this game especially for the posted total of 40. In the past, bad weather favored the Packers. Not so lately. Favre has had a monster year and the Packers defense has played very well. The Seahawks defense played well except for that last game of the regular season, which is a throw out. I would love to see the Packers in the Super Bowl, but I will take the points and look for a low scoring game. Maybe an ice storm. SEAHAWKS / UNDER.
Jaguars +12 at Patriots (48): In a dream, the Pats lost their first game in the playoffs against the Steelers. So, they will most likely get by the Jags who just did hold off the Steelers in Pittsburgh last week. Patriots are on a mission and as much as I hate laying this big of a point spread, I will just walk to the window and lay the wood before it gets to -14 points. PATRIOTS.
Sunday, Jan. 13
Chargers +8 at Colts (46Â½): Chargers +8? Who are they kidding? A 46Â½ total? Wow! On Nov. 11, the Chargers beat the Colts 23-21 in San Diego. Now the site is Indy, but the Chargers know they can win and that’s a plus. San Diego has won and covered the last seven games. Indy has had periods of ineptness as far as putting up points. They may win the game, but I don’t think it will be more than one touchdown in what could be a low-scoring affair. CHARGERS / UNDER.
Giants +7Â½ at Cowboys (47): I originally liked the Cows in this game as the Giants are coming off back-to-back big-time efforts and against Tampa Bay. It was just a grueling game in the Florida heat and all the players were completely drained by game’s end. But T.O. has a upper ankle sprain and has not practiced this past week. The Giants are hardened and could have one more game in them. It is very difficult to beat a team three times in the same year (45-35 in Dallas and 31-20 in New York). GIANTS.