This week’s exhibition baseball roundup showed that the home teams are still the way to go.
In Florida, they are 47-29. In Arizona, home teams are 41-31. That’s a total of 88-60 (59 percent). The Angels, Royals and Brewers are unbeaten at home while the Halos are 9-1 overall.
There is money to be made betting exhibition baseball and we will continue with this update until regular season starts.
Turning to the road to the Kentucky Derby, it was a field of nine going 11/16 in the Grade III Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct with the winner’s share of $150K probably enough in graded earnings to guarantee a spot at Churchill Downs.
Trainer Jeff Mullins shipped in I Want Revenge, a horse that was featured in our weekly HTW column last month as he wanted to run this guy on the dirt. Well, I Want Revenge just blitzed this group and scored by 8½ very convincing lengths.
Mullins thought that the dirt would move this son of Stephen Hot Even up and he was right. Now it will be on to the Grade I Wood Memorial on April 4 and if all goes well, the Kentucky Derby.
I Want Revenge is as consistent as they come. He has never been off the board with two wins, a second and four thirds. One of those place finishes was a nose loss to Pioneerof the Nile, who many have in their top four of Kentucky Derby hopefuls.
Jockey Joe Talamo fits this 3yo like a glove and with some luck could win it all. As for our HTW weekly column you can get daily alerts right here on our website along with my daily selections at the West Coast tracks.
Moving onto the NCAA college basketball tournament which gets into gear next week, the question is who will win it all? Well, I don’t have that answer but do have a few teams you can eliminate. Many that read this column on a weekly basis know my good friend Syl Valella, who was a stalwart at the Stardust Sports book for years with me behind the counter.
In those days bosses worked behind the counter and knew who was betting what. Syl was a top notch bookmaker as many from upstate New York are and moved from the Stardust to running the Fremont Race and Sports book until finishing his career with Station Casinos.
Syl is very knowledgeable when it comes to horses and sports. His only problem is that being unable to pick a winner in a one horse race. When he does mention a team that’s a good bet something always seems to happen and they lose. Syl has not made a sports bet in years. His last winner was in 1973, the same year that the great Secretariat won the Triple Crown.
By the way, that was the last horse winner Syl bet on. Well as luck would have it, we were sitting around having a few glasses of wine while I was betting a few ponies and Little Sly as we lovingly refer to him spoke up.
Maybe it was the wine, but he stated emphatically that the winner of the NCAA tournament will be one of three teams: UConn, Pittsburgh or North Carolina. So there’s three teams you don’t have to worry about winning the whole ball of wax. Sorry Syl, I just couldn’t help myself.
Maybe Syl should bet some of those home teams in Florida in exhibition baseball.