Thursday, May 24, 2012

TRI's Picks May 24 Meadowlands

We are trying something different for the next few weeks. We are going to make videos of Pick 4 plays instead of writing them out. Here is the link to my channel:
                                                            The Video

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Limelight’s on Harness Racing

With the industry in major jeopardy, after the Meadowlands ordeal and what is currently happening in Pennsylvania and Ontario, there are a few changes I am going to suggest to make harness racing more like show business.

The reason to make it like show business is because the industry ranks in billions and close to trillions of dollars a year. In harness racing, you’d be lucky to make it over a billion dollars in profit. But the reason the thoroughbred industry is doing better than harness racing is because they imply some show business techniques that need to be introduced to harness racing. 

One thing is to change the distances and increase fields. In thoroughbred racing, everybody knows the Kentucky Derby is the greatest two minutes in sports. Harness racing needs something like that, big fields going abnormal distances. The Derby alone brings newspapers, new bettors and attention to the sport. Although there is the Hambletonian, we need something like the Hambletonian, except with an element they used for the Kentucky Derby.

Another thing is to bring the bettors onto the horse. By that, I mean show the average bettor what it’s like in the sulky through helmet cam or computer animation. Like in Nascar, they make it look like you’re on the track. Nascar is the leading industry in car racing and many people watch it because it implements methods of pumping adrenaline into the fans. This may also introduce more bettors to become horsemen.

The final thing is to make a challenge. With the Triple Crown, it gets bettors excited that a horse is doing something that is mathematically impossible. It also introduces new fans to put money into the handle. Harness racing does have a Triple Crown for both pacers and trotters, but not many people care about it. The Pacing Triple Crown consists of the Little Brown Jug, Cane Pace and Messenger Stakes, while the Trotting Triple Crown is the Hambletonian, Yonkers Trot and Kentucky Futurity. But these races aren’t a serious Triple Crown.

Like Harness Racing Update said (Link to their story: someone like the USTA, Jeff Gural or the Hambletonian society can, “Establish two new Triple Crowns with the right races, form a common nominating process for the three, seek a sponsor, try to create a bonus structure, throw your marketing resources toward the events. Pick up the phone. Get it done. Now.”

We can agree fully on what they said in that great article. That harness racing needs to catch up with it’s rival thoroughbred racing. A Triple Crown, perspective and excitement are all things harness racing may have, but needs more.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

TRI’s Picks May 13 Balmoral

Balmoral Park Pick 4, Races 7-10, Sunday, May 13, 2012
Last night, we had no winners. Tonight on the other hand, looks better and should hopefully bless us with a winner. Good luck!

$2 Play: 4,6/2/2,3/6 = $8


Race 7- (4) Stylemaster made an early move in his last two starts. Those two moves really killed him. As long as he gets a pocket trip, he should emerge victorious. (6) Carson Miles does well in this company. He stepped up and could not prevail, so he returns to an easier company and should be hot tonight.

Race 8-
(2) Pinfoot raced well even though he was stuck at the pylons. If he gets a pocket trip, he should be able to shake loose in the stretch and upset.

Race 9-
(2) Thrills Sugar Buzz steps up after winning as the favorite in lower company. He tried going against this bunch two times, but did not have the luck of the draw. He gets a good post tonight and should be live. (3) Mad Cow Lisa couldn’t recover after a break from post 7. She not only gets post relief, but goes up against a weaker field. She’ll be in the race.

Race 10-
(6) Sporty John won going up against a tougher company. He drops into this bunch and should be good enough to win for fun.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

TRI’s Picks May 12 Balmoral

Balmoral Park Pick 4, Races 10-13, Saturday, May 12, 2012

On Sunday, we had one winner, but it was not a bet, Rehab Mountain ($7.80). We were very close with Furious Five, who was a narrow second at 20-1. Hopefully, Balmoral will hold the prices for the Pick 4. Good luck!

$2 Play: 2,8/3/1,9/3 = $8


Race 10- (2) Bring It On Kaajay has been very sharp in lower company. He finally steps up and will be a big competitor tonight. (8) Jack Apple has already proven himself in this class. He broke from post 7 against this bunch and closed to win. He should be able to show that talent once more.

Race 11-
(3) Edita Hanover paced a hellish first over mile in similar company. From post 8, she was hung badly and quit. She gets post relief this week and should be able to improve.

Race 12-
(1) Ideal Nectarine was in a full on speed duel last time. She made a move at the half and dueled for the lead for the rest of the mile. This Pennsylvania shipper will be in the race. (9) Cole Blue made a strong first over move from post 9 last time. She dueled with Ideal Nectarine and did not quit badly. She is the horse that is likely to blow out this entire sequence.
Race 13- (3) Ideal Joe paced a grueling first over journey last time. As long as she gets a better trip, she will finish in the top three.

Friday, May 11, 2012

TRI’s Picks May 11 Meadowlands

Meadowlands Racetrack, Pick 4, Races 6-9, Friday, May 11, 2012

Last week, we had one winner that was not a bet, Rockincam ($7). Tonight’s ticket looks better. Good luck!

$2 Play: 2,8/2,4/7/3 = $8


Race 6- (2) Dragon Princess was shuffled back and shook loose to finish a good fourth as the favorite in this class last time. As long as she doesn’t get locked in the box, she will be tough. (8) Wildfire Osborne is a wicked closer. He went a two wide mile last week and was second by a nose to Nite Games. Although she gets an outside draw, she will be able to close hard again.

Race 7-
(2) She Wears It Well comes into this race off of a not so great performance. Chances are that she needed that race. She should improve coming into this mile. (4) Kissnmakeup Hanover races well when she stays flat. If she breaks, its over for her. 

Race 8- (7) Lanson has a breaking problem, but is very good when flat. This Open and Stakes typical horse steps into a conditioned event and should be better suited against this bunch.
Race 9- (3) The Chancellor raced very well last week, but lost by a narrow margin. He gets major post relief this week and should get to the wire first.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

TRI’s Picks May 6 Balmoral

Balmoral Park Pick 4, Races 7-10, Sunday, May 6, 2012

Last night, we had one winner, but it was not a bet. Star City Hero was an $8.60 winner in the eleventh race. Tonight’s ticket looks a lot better. Good luck!

$2 Play: 5,9/2/5,7/10 = $8


Race 7- (5) Starlana closed very well from post 10 last time in this class. She gets some post relief this week and should be close enough to the pace, where she can win. (9) Furious Five is a very speedy gal. If she can get the lead from post 9, she will be tough to beat.

Race 8- (2) Cole Call went a tough first over last week from the inside. He gets post 2 again and should be able to get a better trip and beat this bunch at a price.

Race 9- (5) Rehab Mountain was shuffled and was able to get fifth as the favorite. As long as he can get involved in the two wide flow, he will be tough. (7) Mad Cow Lisa steps down into a better company. She was in the top five in non-winners of $9,500 last five and steps down into an easier class. She will be competitive throughout the mile.

Race 10-
(10) Jamboree ships in after two good efforts against better over at Hoosier. In this class, he was a good second and he has proven he can handle the outside posts. As long as he gets away in fourth or fifth, he will be in the top three.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Bolt The Duer Bests Mel Mara in Simpson; Rockincam Rocks Free For Allers

Saturday night at the Meadowlands featured the elimination for the Graduate and the $49,584 John Simpson Memorial.

Bolt The Duer defeated the buzz horse Mel Mara in a 1:51.3 mile. Bolt The Duer went for the top and lead through a :27.3 opening quarter and a :57 (29.2) half . Friday At Five came first over and took the lead from Bolt The Duer.

Ideal Champ came first over and supplied cover to Mel Mara. At three-quarters, Mel Mara fanned three wide and Bolt The Duer was drifting out. Three-quarters was in 1:24.3 (:27.3). Mel Mara took the lead heading down the stretch and Bolt The Duer was four wide and swoop by Mel Mara. Bolt The Duer was an easy winner. Mel Mara was second, Social Network was third and All Steinam was fourth.

Bolt The Duer is a three-year-old colt by Ponder out of the mare Wonderbolt by Artsplace. He is owned by All Star Racing Incorporated, trained by Peter Foley and Mark MacDonald was in the bike. 

Rockincam proved he was the best in the $50,000 Graduation elimination for Free For All Pacers. Golden Receiver was second and Foiled Again was third.

Meirs Hanover went for the lead and Golden Receiver swooped from post 7 to claim it. Alexie Mattosie applied pressure through an opening quarter in :26.2. Down the backstretch, Golden Receiver quickly retook the lead approaching the half-mile. Rockincam came first over and supplied cover to the parked Foiled Again. Rockincam quickly challenged Golden Receiver at the half in :54.2 (:28).

Around the far turn, Golden Receiver and Rockincam were eye to eye at three-quarters in 1:21.3 (27.1). Golden Receiver lead the way down the stretch. Rockincam was with him stride for stride and left him behind entering the sixteenth pole. Foiled Again was holding on for third. Rockincam paced the first over effort in 1:48.1 (:26.3). Golden Receiver was second and Foiled Again was third.
Rockincam is a five-year-old horse by Cambest out of the mare Migraine by Albert Albert. He is owned by Stepehen Farrell, trained by Richard “Nifty” Norman and was driven to victory by David Miller.

Not Afraid Takes Dexter; Lady Suffolk Splits Completed

H Denotes Hambletonian eligible

Freehold Raceway featured the beginning of the Grand Circuit on Friday with the $77,700 Lady Suffolk.

For A Dancer (H-Conway Hall) defeated the gals in the first division, winning in 1:58.3. Chocolatta De Vie (H-Chocolatier) was second and Lima Playmate (H-Credit Winner), along with Winning Sissy (H-Angus Hall) were off the board.

Cocktail Attire took the second division in 1:57.4. American Lassie (H-American Mike) was never involved and All In The Muscles (H-Muscles Yankee) broke. Bridge The Way (H-Conway Hall) showed speed, but never got back into the race.

Not Afraid (H-SJ’s Caviar) won the $138,300 in 1:55.4, defeating the undefeated Market Share (H-Revenue S). Frost Bites K (H-Broadway Hall) got a pocket trip and closed to just lose at the wire. Southwind Austin (H-Conway Hall) and Market Share broke and Astarsborn Hanover (H-Donato Hanover) was never involved. 
For in depth previews and features, make sure to check out For racing results featuring Hambletonian eligibles and other features, check out

TRI’s Picks May 5 Balmoral

Balmoral Park Pick 4, Races 10-13, Saturday, May 5, 2012

After a week off, I am back and ready for the Balmoral Pick 4. Tonight’s ticket looks really good. We remember as usual to bet horses to win that are only 4-1 and up. Good luck!

$2 Play: 2,9/3,5/6/4 = $8


Race 10- (2) Fox Valley Yukon finally gets some post relief against the top group. He is very competitive against this group week to week and should be able to do better as he draws post 2. (9) So Be It looks to win his third Invitational in a row. He goes against a stronger field than last time and a weaker field than his first time out. He will have to charge out of the gate or be able to close really well from post 9.

Race 11- (3) Sports Fanatic was nipped at the wire last time he was in this class. That was from post 8 and he gets post 3 this week, so he’ll definitely be in the top 3. (5) Star City Hero gets post relief after a third place finish in this company from post 10. He does well in this company and should do even better when leaving the gate from the middle.

Race 12-
(6) My Dream Mara couldn’t handle post nine in the slop. Before that, she was a valiant third from post 10. She comes from post 6 this time and should be able to get the victory.
Race 13- (4) Major Worries returns to Balmoral after a great try at Maywood in this class. Although he did not do well in this class at Bamoral last time, he gets some post relief this time and should be able to improve.

TRI’s Picks May 5 Meadowlands

Meadowlands Racetrack Pick 4, Races 6-9, Saturday, May 5, 2012

After a relaxing week off, I am back on Derby Day with the Meadowlands. With a new meet, comes a clean slate. From now, we are currently down $0. Make sure if you bet to win these horses are 4-1 or up. Good luck!

$2 Play: 1,4/2/6,8/3 = $8


Race 6- (1) Rockincam does very well at the Meadowlands. He has won his last two starts in a Preferred and a Winners Of conditioned event. He draws the rail again and should be able to remake his talented miles a third time. (4) Meirs Hanover was second best to Rockincam by a nose in the Winners Of at Pocono. He was also a closing second against him in the Preferred. He may finally get the best of Rockincam this week.

Race 7- (2) Cobalt Man goes against a slightly weaker field this week. He always finishes in the top three in this company as he takes the lead, but someone closes from out of it. He should finally get the best of the bunch this week.

Race 8- (6) Veal Marsala returns after an eight-month layoff. This guy was a top pacer in the Open ranks last year. Allard brings him back off some moderate qualifiers and this horse should likely be ignored. (8) Giddy Up Delight steps down after some unappealing efforts in slightly higher company. In that class though, he was going up against Free For All Pacers stepping down, such as Alexie Mattosie. He goes against a weaker field this week and should be at his prime once more.
Race 9- (3) Blue Claw steps down after doing well in Non-Winners of $6,500 last five. He generally races better when coming from mid-pack. If you look at his last start, he closed, but not very well. He was third when coming from fourth or fifth. Against this bunch, he should win easily.

Friday, May 4, 2012

TRI’s Kentucky Derby Analysis 2012

It’s the one race that everybody vies to win, the winner’s circle known as the adrenaline rush of a lifetime. Twenty jockeys, trying to do the same thing the other one is, win. The 138th renewal of the Kentucky Derby shall premier on May 5. The field has drawn and listed below is the field, with their jockey, trainer and post position.

Daddy Long Legs
Aidan O’Brien
Colm O’Donoghue
D. Wayne Lukas
Jon Court
Take Charge Indy
Patrick Byrne
Calvin Borel
Union Rags
Michael Matz
Julien Leparoux
Dale Romans
Kent Desormeaux
Bob Baffert
Mike Smith
Rousing Sermon
Jerry Hollendorfer
Jose Lezcano
Creative Cause
Mike Harrington
Joel Rosario
Bisnath Parboo
Willie Martinez
Daddy Nose Best
Steve Asmussen
Garret Gomez
Kiaran McLaughlin
Rajiv Maragh
Mark Casse
Luis Contreras
Went The Day Well
Graham Motion
John  Velazquez
Mike Maker
Ramon Dominguez
Todd Pletcher
Javier Castellano
El Padrino
Todd Pletcher
Rafael Bejarano
Done Talking
Hamilton Smith
Sheldon Russell
Steve Asmussen
Corey Nakatani
I’ll Have Another
Doug O’Neill
Mario Gutierrez
Bob Baffert
Martin Garcia

Good luck!

1 Daddy Long Legs- Became an international star after winning the U.A.E. Derby in Dubai. When I saw the program for that race, he looked very bad on paper, but showed what talent he has on a tapeta surface. It was an impressive victory, you got to give him that, but when he leaves the Churchill Downs starting gate, how will this generally turf horse react to the regular dirt. He doesn’t convince me.

2 Optimizer- He never showed much talent against the major stakes horses. I will be surprised if he finishes in the top three.

3 Take Charge Indy- Will take some money as Calvin Borel is riding him. Won impressively in the Florida Derby, although luck worked with him. Union Rags could not get racing room until late in the race. By the time he did, this guy ran away with it. This horse will need a lot of luck to win.

4 Union Rags- He has faced a mess of trouble trying to prep for the Derby. He was second to Hansen in the Breeders Cup and boxed in the Florida Derby. He is a fierce competitor that cannot react to a boxed trip. He needs an open mile and a quarter to get up in the right time.

5 Dullahan- He made an impressive comeback to defeat Hansen in the Bluegrass. He sat far off the pace and started his rally around the far turn. He was able to get up at the line at the perfect time to win. In a race where closers have an advantage, he has a great shot to time a closing move and win the Derby by a narrow margin.

6 Bodemeister- Absolutely romped in the Arkansas Derby, winning by 9 lengths. That was his second start after breaking his maiden. Although it was an amazing win, it was a weak field. He enters a group of way tougher sophomores and will be put up to the test as the likely public choice.

7 Rousing Sermon- He closed out his two-year-old campaign with a second place effort in the Grade 1 Cash Call Futurity at Hollywood Park. At three, he has not done much. His best effort was in the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds. That performance showed how tough of a horse he was as he was very wide around both turns and held on for third. If he can show that endurance again, he will be a contender.

8 Creative Cause- Seemed to have matured from two to three. After a third place finish to Hansen and Union Rags in the Breeders Cup Juvenile, he shipped out to Santa Anita and won one of three starts. He lost as the favorite in the Santa Anita Derby to I’ll Have Another. There are definitely better horses than this guy, but it is possible that if he sits off the pace, he will have a chance.

9 Trinniberg- Raced in many sprint events. He is a good front-runner and will likely take the lead in a race that is dominated by closers. He may be able to steal the race, but it will take a lot out of him.

10 Daddy Nose Best- Comes out of the Sunland Derby with a victory against a field of nobodies. He will have to step up his game to shine on the first Saturday in May.

11 Alpha- Couldn’t get his nose in front of Gemologist in the Wood Memorial. He sat off the pace and lost by a neck at the finish. With post 11, he should be able to leave the gate and be close up to the leader. One thing about this horse is that he does not like to have dirt kicked in his face. If he is in third, he will be in the top four, trust me.

12 Prospective- Convincingly won the Tampa Bay Derby as he dueled around the final turn. He still got up an extra quarter of a length to win. Although he did bad in the Toyota Blue Grass, that was on a synthetic track. This guy will be in contention, but if he’ll win it, that’s questionable.

13 Went The Day Well- As I like to call him, Animal Kingdom Junior. He shipped from England and broke his Maiden in his second start in America. He stepped up into the Spiral and won it easily. He looks great coming into this, but will definitely have to step up against this group.

14 Hansen- He raced well over the polytrack at Keeneland, but still shows his talent. He took the lead and was unchallenged until Dullahan came charging down the stretch. Although he was second, you cannot throw him out from that one effort. He lost at Gulfstream, then came back to win the Gotham impressively. This horse will be close to the pace or mid-pack, but will not try to get stuck. mid-pack and saves ground, he can cross the wire first.

15 Gemologist- He’ll be looking to become the second horse, the first being Smarty Jones, to win the Kentucky Derby and never lost a race. Todd Pletcher shined on Derby Day two years ago with Super Saver, who closed up the inside with Calvin Borel. In the Wood Memorial, he sat close to the pace and closed, but had to hold off Alpha. He was able to do that and win the Wood by a neck as the public choice. There is no doubt in my mind that he will be the favorite for the Derby.

16 El Padrino- He stepped into the Florida Derby off a victory in the Risen Star. He was four wide in that start and did not have enough to complete a rally. From that effort, who knows if he can handle the mile and a quarter distance.

17 Done Talking- Didn’t show anything until he won the Illinois Derby against a field of nobodies. I highly doubt he will win, but he will be involved in the race.

18 Sabercat- Seemed like an average horse until he broke his maiden. Dueled throughout the race and won by a half a length. He went into the Gardenest at Monmouth and won impressively as the favorite. He hit national headlines and was deemed a Derby contender after his victory in the Delta Jackpot in 2011. In his 2012 debut (The Rebel), he could not close that well. In the Arkansas Derby, he was very close to beating Secret Circle, who has dominated the Arkansas oval. Going the classic distance of a mile and a quarter will definitely help this horse reach the Churchill Downs winners circle.

19 I’ll Have Another- He did well out in California and defeated favorite Creative Cause in the Santa Anita Derby. He got a bad draw, but if he can sit close to the pace, he will be fighting till the finish.

20 Liaison- Stayed out in California and leaves for the first time. The Bob Baffert trainee will have a challenge as he will have to step up from a poor effort in the Santa Anita Derby.

Derby Selections- 3/14/7/18/19

Good luck and make sure to check out @RayCotolo on twitter as he will be tweeting the card at Churchill Downs.