Our Samstar ran again yesterday finishing 4th for the 4th straight time this season. I'm afraid his breeding was near the end of his mare's positive gene pool, though he keeps earning a check.
We had a fun day as some surprise guests showed up. The Sampsons who we partner with on Samstar were there as Russ returned from his Alaska trip, also the Lindquists showed up, the Daltons who were just married the day before and are heading off the Ireland today surprised us (formerly Page Osborne the daughter of Joyce and Rick) and my bodyguards were there (the Rizzardi boys) to teach their friends (Ellen) how to make money at the track.
On July 3rd, our BJ's Angel runs in the Princess Elaine Stakes. It should be quite a race with 11 entered. I make this a great race with any of 9 horses, including BJ who needed an outing the last race, capable of winning this race. We are lucky to get one of the highest win percentage turf jockeys in the country aboard in Geovanni Franco.
Future racing has PJ's Angel likely running on the 10th (Dina I think her namesake grandson Pryce Jordan should be here for that one), and Minnie Soda Nice on the 12th. The two year olds are still being brought carefully along as planned, shooting for a couple races before the end of the season.
Just so you know, the 3rd is always a busy big day at Canterbury. They put on one of the best fireworks displays anywhere after the races. You need to get there early and I hope to see you.
We just returned from a long family vacation and saw that there will be this special conditioned stakes race.
This is a great thing for the MTA sale and something folks have desired to see for sometime. This race allows buyers and consigners to participate. It's a very small group of MN bred two year olds that will get to run for the $40,000 purse. In other words, it's a great "BONUS" value for buyers.
Though I missed then sale consignment deadline while gone, and since the addition of this race creates a great opportunity, I will be late consigning two of our yearlings to the MTA sale this year.
One of those yearlings is a great looking yearling colt and a full brother to our stakes winning BJ's Angel ($114,900 in earnings so far), out of Stakes Winning dam Demiparfait, by Triple Digit Speed Rated and Multiple Stakes Winning Stormy Business. He will be worth a look.
OK straight scoop for handicapping friends on my horses this weekend.
I like BJ's Angel tonight as long at it stays on the turf. A bit of a tough bet after a 5 month layoff but I think she will return to form, though this race is the one she needs before the 7/3 Princess Elaine Stakes race, which is amazingly the only MN bred turf Stakes race for fillies all season.
As an aside, it's a pity to breed a pretty good MN bred that can run classic distances on the turf and win in open company, to only get one MN Bred stakes turf race all season, at a track that should feature turf racing! We used to get two but they eliminated the MN Festival of Champions turf races. FYI, this why BJ won more in Illinois and Louisiana than Minnesota last year. Funny stuff for a MN bred.
Saturday, I don't really know what we will get from PJ's Angel. I think she will like two turns and run well late but with it being her first out condition may be a concern.
Sunday, Minnie Soda Nice and Samstar run against each other. They come from different stables though we own portions of each. Samstar, I hope, runs well in his third start. His two turn last race showed a speed rating which was easily his best so I think he is better at the two turns and is now dropping to a $30K claiming level. A later move by the jockey and a clear run home may be the key. Minnie gets his first race and we wanted to see him at two turns. He doesn't show great early lick so this may be a fit, but again it's his first out.
Hope this helps and good luck this weekend.
Well our main stable with Gary Scherer gets going this weekend.
Friday night our BJ's Angel races for the first time in 5 months. She is the first $100K winner for our sire Stormy Business. We kept her as a yearling because she ran through a fence and completely severed a back tendon. With a bad looking rear leg she wouldn't have sold at a sale and we are just lucky she stayed in our stable.
If BJ's Friday race stays on the turf I like her chances. She's hit the board in her last 5 races, all in open company, winning once. The straight scoop is that we laid her up and removed small chips from her ankle at LSU. She's had the best of care and has been working well since coming back. Since you never really know when the chips began to bother her, she may come back better now than before getting laid up. If she does, watch out. I'm doing my NON-Rain dance starting today. (It's not a pretty sight.)
Our Astar Lindquist PJ's Angel goes in the 10th Saturday night. She's looking to break her maiden as a 3 year old, and just missed doing that last year in her final two year old race, missing by a half length. Her dam, Astar For Dina who was named after our oldest daughter, passed away when PJ's Angel was born. Amazingly our old 25 year mare, stakes winning Leading Ballerina owned by Rick and Joyce Osborne, immediately took her under her wing and became her excellent surrogate mom! I'm thinking PJ may be just like her real momma who always appreciated the extra distance two turns provided. Guess we will see.
PJ's Angel is named after our nearly two year old grandson Pryce Jordan, better known as PJ, daughter Dina's son. BJ's Angel is named after grandaughters Bennett and Josie, daughter Tara's daughters. The girls picked BJ's name one morning at the Hasting's Perkins over breakfast.
You never know how things will turn out in a horse's first out after a lay off so we'll see. You also never know the back stories of home bred horses around the farm, but now you know a little more about these two angels.
Well I know several of us had a very good day with AP again. We got an amazing $3.50 for the win making 75% on our money in less than three minutes. I had him as a 100% overlay at the final odds, with a 75% probability of winning.
It's also hard to believe the "on top" AP exotic pays were so good. The obvious Exacta paid $13.60 and the Trifecta paid $109.50.
Now AP is 1 of only 4 horses to win the Triple Crown in the last 66 years, out of nearly 1,500,000 foals born. Is he special, you bet.......or did you?
Answers differ on this. Some people think racing will be renewed and the steep decline in our sport will magically be reversed. Others think there will be little if any change whatsoever.
Me? I know what will happen. I've made a living out of taking advantage of the fact that humans are entranced by solitary last data points. There will be a temporary buzz that will certainly create more interest at a national level with big races, particularly if American Pharaoh continues to race a few more times before retiring to stud. There will even be more small track interest, with casual fans more likely to spend a night or two at their local track. Next year there will still be some buzz and a marketing blitz associated with last year’s Triple Crown Winner.
Unfortunately, the data point of a Triple Crown Winner will fade and eventually be swallowed up by the negative trends associated with decades of racing decline. The core structure of racing itself has generated the massive decline in interest. That core structure will not change, and in fact our Triple Crown Winner will only further prevent the do nothing ancient thinkers who run racing from seeing the need for any change.
How behind the times is horse racing as a sport. Well the sport is still being run the way it was before women had the right to vote, television was invented, gas powered cars were on the road, and the Wright brothers flew at Kitty Hawk. There were over 300 racetracks in the United States in 1890 and yes, the world has changed just a wee bit since then. I wonder how exciting football would be if it was run the same way it was when first conceived.
Today, with an economic structure that offers racing purses that are estimated at 50% of actual racing costs, and those purses being massively subsidized by things that have nothing to do with racing, only rich hobbyists and highest tier racetracks will eventually remain in a sport that continues to contract. Sure we could come up with a great list of innovations in the categories of action orientation, competition concepts, gaming options, technology use and trust elements but we will settle for the fact that it’s great to have another Triple Crown Winner, for now.
Anyway, I'm delighted I will get to see one more Triple Crown Winner in my life, TODAY. Don't miss it!
With the exception of Silver Charm, I have bet against every first two leg Triple Crown winner over the last 36 years. In almost every case I found strong distance pedigree horses were better suited to win the grueling Belmont.
This year again there are stronger distance pedigrees like Frosted and Mubtaahij, but the way American Pharoah runs and wins tells me he's something special. So here I go on Baffert again (Silver Charm), playing American Pharoah on top of every thing for the third race in a row.
I normally love the silly Triple Crown hype because it drives the odds up on the distance horses I bet. Unfortunately the hype goes against me this time as I expect Pharoah to go off around 1 to 2. I have him as a huge 75% probability of winning, so 2 to 5 is my break even overlay point. (Divide the probability of losing by the probability of winning to get your breakeven odds point without any margin for error.)
Of course, many won't bet Pharoah to win a such low 1 to 2 odds where you only get $3.00 back for a $2.00 bet. I won't be betting just $2.00 however and I am 75% sure I will get a 50% return on my money in less than 3 minutes on my win bet. I should also get good returns on exotics keying Pharoah as we did in the Derby and Preakness. If wrong, so be it. We locked up wins on the earlier races which were pretty solid, and I couldn't believe we got great 9 to 10 odds in the Preakness. (Didn't people understand what they saw when Pharoah won the Derby the way he did running 5 wide in both turns?)
Oh well, I just watched the Today show and it's hilarious to watch "experts" come out of the woodwork. People who have less racing knowledge than my two year old grandson seem to think they are qualified to offer their genius to the public. It's even funnier to watch public handicappers, many of which wouldn't know a probability or how to determine an overlay from a hole in the head, jump on or off the ship. Nevertheless, I think the hype may just be correct for the first time in 36 years, and we will see history being made this Saturday.
Good luck to all.
Yes, I'm taking Pharoah again in the Belmont. I've made some good money betting against the two first leg Triple Crown winners over the years with distance pedigree horses like Tonalist last year but, I think Pharoah is an anomaly based on the lack of any detectable fade in earlier races.
He is another overlay at anything better than 2 to 5. (He was over a 100% overlay at the 9 to 10 final odds in the Preakness.) Of course I realize most people don't understand how investments work but making as little as 25%, much less 100%, on your money in less than 2 minutes is a good thing. Losing on long shots IS NOT a value play, though experts who have no idea how to establish probabilities and relate those to the final odds think they are.
I think Pletcher with multiple runners could send horses to try and exhaust Pharoah, letting Frosted get there late, or Mubtaahij with a monster distance pedigree could upset. Nevertheless, Pharoah is special me thinks.
Dave Astar is a race horse owner, stallion owner, breeder, 40 year business executive, and 50 year handicapper.