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Reassessing Horse Racing: Prioritizing Equine Well-being

Reassessing Horse Racing: Prioritizing Equine Well-being

Reassessing Horse Racing: Prioritizing Equine Well-being

In the world of horse racing, a critical dialogue is taking place, echoing the concerns articulated by Joe’s Picks, a respected figure in the racing community. Central to this discourse is a prevailing culture that has long emphasized breeding for speed at the potential expense of soundness – a matter that has gained significant legitimacy, notably from industry heavyweight Mike Repole.

In a recent interview, Mike Repole, a prominent voice in horse racing, lent considerable weight to Joe’s Picks’ concerns. Repole’s candid admission carried immense significance as he stated, “I’ve been part of a system that needs reform.” This forthright acknowledgment underscores the challenges faced within the industry – the relentless pursuit of speed has sometimes led to decisions that do not necessarily prioritize the long-term health and welfare of racehorses.

Repole’s criticism of the current purse structure further echoes Joe’s Picks’ viewpoint. He highlighted the inherent unfairness of a system primarily funded by fees, emphasizing that the single-minded pursuit of speed may overshadow broader concerns related to the horses’ welfare.

These insights drawn from Mike Repole’s interview underscore a growing consensus within the horse racing community. There’s a collective recognition that breeding for speed, while exhilarating in the short term, carries profound implications. It affects the health and longevity of racehorses and poses a challenge to the long-term sustainability and integrity of the sport.

Addressing this multifaceted issue necessitates a comprehensive approach, one that encompasses several key strategies:

  1. Breeding Reforms: Breeders and farms must consider reforms in their breeding practices, placing soundness and durability on an equal footing with speed. This may involve adopting more stringent selection criteria that favor bloodlines with a history of robust health. Collaborative efforts within the industry could establish guidelines for responsible breeding.
  2. Track and Surface Improvements: The industry should invest in state-of-the-art track surfaces and comprehensive maintenance. By providing racehorses with safe and consistent surfaces to compete on, the risk of injuries can be significantly reduced, promoting the overall well-being of horses.
  3. Training Methods: Trainers and horse handlers can focus on evolving training techniques that prioritize the development of strength and resilience. Gradual conditioning, tailored exercise routines, and progressive training can prepare racehorses for the rigors of competition without compromising their long-term health.
  4. Enhanced Veterinary Care: Ensuring that racehorses receive the highest standards of veterinary care is paramount. Regular check-ups, preventative measures, and prompt intervention for injuries or health concerns can significantly contribute to the well-being of horses.
  5. Education and Advocacy: The horse racing industry should embark on educational campaigns aimed at raising awareness about the importance of equine welfare. This includes educating industry stakeholders, fans, and the general public about the challenges and potential solutions related to the well-being of racehorses.
  6. Data-Driven Decision-Making: The collection and analysis of data related to injuries, performance, and breeding can inform evidence-based decision-making. This approach can help identify trends and areas that require improvement.

In conclusion, the candid statements from Mike Repole align with the concerns raised by Joe’s Picks, underscoring an industry at a crossroads. Striking the right balance between speed and equine well-being is paramount. It is incumbent upon the horse racing community to unite and embark on a path of reform, prioritizing the welfare of these magnificent animals to secure a sustainable and compassionate future for the sport. By adopting a holistic approach encompassing breeding practices, track conditions, training methods, veterinary care, and education, the industry can chart a course that upholds its noble traditions while ensuring the welfare of racehorses remains paramount.

The Majesty of the Travers Stakes: Saratoga’s Midsummer Derby 2023

The Majesty of the Travers Stakes: Saratoga’s Midsummer Derby 2023

The Majesty of the Travers Stakes: Saratoga’s Midsummer Derby 2023

The Majesty of the Travers Stakes: Saratoga’s Midsummer Derby

In the heart of Saratoga, where the sun casts its golden hue and the eager crowd converges, there stands a race that has become the stuff of legends: the Travers Stakes. Known affectionately as the ‘Midsummer Derby’, this event is more than just a contest of speed and stamina. It’s a living testament to the sheer power of thoroughbred horses, the unparalleled skill of their jockeys, and the unpredictable nature that makes horse racing such a captivating sport. There’s a divisional championship to be won, and it starts with Saturday’s $1.25 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course, with a strong field of contenders in the 154th renewal looking to separate themselves from the pack in the quest for year-end glory.

Echoes from the Past

The annals of horse racing are filled with tales of unexpected victories, heartbreaks, and moments that have left spectators spellbound. Among these, the story of Ruthless stands out. In 1867, this Belmont Stakes-winning filly defied the odds, racing past her rivals to seize victory in the Midsummer Derby. Yet, her triumph was not just about crossing the finish line first. It was a display of spirit, a testament to the relentless fight and indomitable will that defines champions.

Another chapter from history that still resonates with fans is the incredible tale of Jim Dandy. In 1930, this underdog, with staggering odds of 100-1, did the unthinkable. He bested the celebrated Triple Crown winner, Gallant Fox, reminding everyone that in the world of horse racing, anything is possible.

Traditions of Saratoga

Saratoga is a tapestry of rich traditions, blending history with modernity. While the Travers Stakes and Hattie’s Chicken are undoubtedly iconic, the city offers so much more. The Saratoga Race Course, the oldest sporting venue in the U.S., stands as a beacon of the city’s storied past. Complementing this is a bustling downtown, brimming with shops, eateries, and entertainment venues, making Saratoga a perfect amalgamation of history, culture, and contemporary charm. Saratoga has some culinary treasures. At the forefront is Hattie’s Chicken, a symbol of Southern and Louisiana cuisine. Established by Hattie Moseley Austin, who hailed from Louisiana, this eatery quickly became a cornerstone of Saratoga’s gastronomic scene. Even today, nearly eight decades later, Hattie’s legacy continues to resonate, with her New Orleans-style fried chicken being a sought-after delicacy.

The Here and Now

As this year’s Travers Stakes approaches, the air is thick with anticipation. Seven contenders, each with their own story, are gearing up for the race of a lifetime. Among them, whispers abound about Forte, a name that has become synonymous with excellence. His recent performances have solidified his reputation, making him a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming race

Highlighting the storylines in the race dubbed the “Midsummer Derby” is a trio of Classic winners, with Kentucky Derby winner Mage, Preakness winner National Treasure, and Belmont Stakes winner Arcangelo all expected to be in the starting gate. It’s the first time since 2017 that all three Triple Crown race winners have been in the field.

Also in the field is Forte, the pre-race favorite in the Kentucky Derby, scratched the morning of the race with a bruised foot, who many feel is still the class of the division.

It’s only fitting that it should all play out over 10 furlongs at historic Saratoga, in a race first run in 1864

In Closing

The Travers Stakes are more than just events; they are embodiments of what Saratoga Springs represents. Saratoga showcases the raw power and unpredictability of horse racing, and offers a taste of traditional excellence. Together, they celebrate Saratoga’s rich past, vibrant present, and the promise of an even brighter future.

Joe’s Picks-Thoughts from the Shedrow

Joe’s Picks-Thoughts from the Shedrow

Joe’s Picks-Thoughts from the Shedrow

Risk and Reward- The Reality of Owning a Thoroughbred Racehorse

Saratoga has been marred with accidents, breakdowns, and euthanasia of injured horses over the past few weekends.  From Rebel’s Romance stumbling and falling forward on July 30th in the Bowling Green Stakes on the turf to Maple Leaf Mel inexplicably stumbling 10 yards before the wire when he she had the Test Stakes won to Ever Summer falling on the turf course on Sunday in a high-level allowance optional claimer.  Maple Leaf Mel and Ever Summer had to be put down and the Saratoga shedrow and the horse racing nation are in mourning over the tragic events that took place this weekend.

In Maple Leaf Mel’s case, we should be celebrating a champion who was on her way to becoming one of the immortals as she had yet to lose, but instead, we are forced to stare straight in the face at the stark reality of the horse racing game and that is: On each given day of owning a racehorse there is risk and reward.  You can train the horse in the mornings, and they can run an amazing workout or they can go out and break down and get injured.  You can watch your horse eat all its grain at night and be happy and healthy in the morning or go to the barn in the morning and see that your horse has come down with colic.  They can remain calm in the stall and be well-mannered or a mosquito could bother them, and they kick out slamming into the stall door or wall and injuring themselves.  You can turn them out into the pasture for a nice day of grazing and they have a blast, or you can call them in at night, and when they don’t return you go out in the field and see them laying there unresponsive.  Any horse owner or trainer will tell you that at any given time you can feel extreme elation or profound sadness based on what is transpiring with your animal.  Anything can happen at any given time.  And most will admit that the rewards are far less than the risks, but like anything worthwhile in life, the rewards and the feelings/memories that come along with them are worth their weight in gold.

Personally, I am very sad about Maple Leaf Mel.  I believed in this one right from the start when I bet her last summer at Saratoga, and I had her as one of my selections on Joe’s Picks.  She turned out to be special and she was game as hell when it came to racing and putting horses away that tried to challenge her.  She was a warrior.  And she proved that in the Test when she got up and kept going.  It makes me cry just thinking about it.  I don’t have enough words to express how much I loved this horse and my heart aches for the connections and all those involved with her on a day-to-day basis.  It’s the exact same feeling that I have right now after having to put down my long-time canine companion of 14 years, Gracie, this past Thursday.  They become your family…no doubt about it.

I am also a strong believer in karma and spirits and that there is a natural flow of energy within the universe.  And as they say, “Life Goes On”, and I truly believe that the spirit of Maple Leaf Mel flowed into another filly on Sunday when Way and Means broke her maiden in the second race for Chad Brown.  This filly by Practical Joke didn’t have the best beginning and had to sit behind horses and amongst traffic in the early going.  That alone would negatively affect a lot of young horses, but Flavien Prat kept her calm and before the turn for home he guided her 5 wide to move around the pack of horses and exploded by to draw off and win by 12 ¾ lengths.  What was amazing about this performance is that Prat never drew the whip.  He knew what he had beneath him and he just let her run without even shaking the reins a little.  He just sat there stone-cold in the saddle and let greatness be on full display.  I feel like Maple Leaf Mel’s spirit has entered this animal and do not be surprised to see Brown stretch her out to see what she can do as her pedigree suggests it shouldn’t be an issue.  And, if all goes well we will see this one in the Kentucky Oaks and possibly the Kentucky Derby because I haven’t seen a performance by a two-year-old like that at Saratoga since Uncle Mo broke his maiden when he exploded in the stretch to crush the field on Travers Day in 2010.

So, hang in there as best you can and realize that life is a culmination of many moments- both high and low- and nowhere is it ever more present than in the sport of horse racing.

Joe’s Picks- Thoughts from the Shedrow

Joe’s Picks- Thoughts from the Shedrow

Joe’s Picks- Thoughts from the Shedrow

HOT OFF THE PRESSES- “THE IRAD UPROAR”

Someone should start a podcast or create a docu-series revolving around the uproar involving the riding techniques of Irad Ortiz, Jr., because every week I am seeing, hearing, and reading much of the debate involving one of the best riders in the thoroughbred game.  Yesterday, he survived an inquiry in the Jim Dandy at Saratoga after bullying Forte through and bumping and forcing Angel of Empire further towards the outside repeatedly down the length of the stretch.  And this was on the heels of him getting disqualified on Thursday in Race 7 on Eyes on Target when he bullied that one through from the rail all the way to the outside cutting off horses with complete disregard.

In the Jim Dandy, Irad definitely was aggressive and drove Forte hard in the stretch and if you watch the replay, you will see that Saudi Crown who had the lead and was in front of Forte was drifting out.  Angel of Empire who was outside of Forte maintained his path and was very stubborn and Irad took advantage of the fact that Saudi Crown was drifting and forced his way to the outside.  Angel of Empire wasn’t having it and those two colts fought like hell down the stretch duking it out against each other.  When you watch the head-on replay, I feel there was plenty of reason to throw Irad out, but the reality is that the stewards thought there were plenty of other variables at play that caused Irad to make the decisions he did.  At the end of the day, it was an amazing stretch battle with strong-willed colts just going at it like prizefighters down the stretch, and what a treat for the race fans on a day that was marred by a lot of late afternoon rain.  Forte proved he is a champion with a lot of heart.

The sport of horse racing has always been checkered with riders who are very aggressive and ride carelessly.  Angel Cordero, Jr, one of the best ever, was known to be one of the toughest and meanest riders when in the saddle.  Jorge “The Stickman” Chavez used to carve up his horses and fellow riders coming down the stretch.  Paco Lopez should be in rehab for all the crap he has pulled when in the irons.  These, and many others, are some of the best riders the game has seen and are part of what makes the sport so colorful.  It’s no secret that Irad Ortiz, Jr., is one of the best jockeys in the game right now so he pretty much has a bullseye on his back every race, and every move he makes is under the microscope.  And when he does make mistakes, they are typically blown up larger than if an unrecognizable journeyman rider made the same mistakes.

The greats in any sport are always looking for an edge and most have had significant moments that have been somewhat tainted due to what naysayers call favoritism, but, in my opinion, their favorable outcomes are earned over years of working hard and gaining respect.  Look at Michael Jordan in the 1998 NBA Finals, when he hit the game-winning shot over Bryon Russell.  Yeah, he totally pushed off with his left hand in order to create the space for that shot.  But he still hit the shot and everybody in the NBA bumps or pushes off to gain a shooting advantage.  Look at the 1999 Stanley Cup game-winning goal when Brett Hull crashed into the crease and scored the series-ending winner on the great Dominik Hasek in the third overtime.  His foot was totally in the crease, but everybody crashes the net in those situations and Hull still put that puck in the net.  In yesterday’s case, Irad was aggressive and bullied his way through and you can debate pro or con until you are pushing up daisies, but, at the end of the day, he got Forte through and got his nose first to the wire.

In the world of sports, it’s all about winning.  And no one knows that better than the best in the business in their particular trade.  Nobody gives a shit about who finished second and that reality has been proven throughout the years.

Billionaire Mike Repole’s Struggle with Horse Racing Industry: Frustration and Calls for Change

Billionaire Mike Repole’s Struggle with Horse Racing Industry: Frustration and Calls for Change

Billionaire Mike Repole’s Struggle with Horse Racing Industry: Frustration and Calls for Change

Mike Repole’s Struggle with Horse Racing Industry

Mike Repole, a self-made billionaire and one of the top investors in Thoroughbreds, is considering leaving the industry due to mounting frustrations. He has set a three-year timeline to effect change or exit the game.

Passion Meets Frustration

Repole, a passionate horse racing enthusiast, expressed his disappointment, saying, “It’s great to have the ability to do things you are passionate about and love. But once you add frustration to passion and love, you’ve got to ask yourself, ‘Do I really want to do this?’”

The Kentucky Derby Disappointments

Despite numerous triumphs in his career, Repole has twice had to withdraw the favorite in his pursuit of a Kentucky Derby victory, leading to his exasperation. In 2011, he had to scratch 2-year-old champion Uncle Mo due to a rare liver disorder. More recently, Forte, another 2-year-old champion, was scratched by state veterinarians on the morning of the Derby.

Questioning the Decision to Scratch Forte

Repole questioned the decision to scratch Forte, especially as his request for additional treatment time was denied. He said, “To scratch the Derby favorite on race day takes attention away from other things sometimes.”

The Impact of the Decision on Forte’s Performance

The decision also meant that Forte could not compete in the Preakness and had to enter the Belmont Stakes after a 10-week layoff. Despite a strong performance, Forte finished second, which Repole attributed to the long layoff.

Controversy Over Forte’s Disqualification

Adding to Repole’s frustrations, Forte was disqualified from his victory in the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes due to a minor overage of meloxicam, a common anti-inflammatory drug, found in his system during post-race testing. Trainer Todd Pletcher denied administering the drug and appealed the decision.

Repole’s Call for Change in the Industry

Repole believes that more needs to be done to improve the public’s understanding of racing and to enhance its image. He said, “The negativity is all people want to talk about in every business and every sport… we all want [the cheaters] out of the game.”

Apologies for Service Disruption on July 7th: Update from JoesPicks.com

Apologies for Service Disruption on July 7th: Update from JoesPicks.com

Apologies for Service Disruption on July 7th: Update from JoesPicks.com

Dear Valued Subscriber,

We hope this email finds you well. We are reaching out to offer our sincere apologies for the recent disruption in our service on July 7th, and any inconvenience it may have caused. Our team has been working diligently to resolve the issue, and we wanted to provide you with an explanation of what happened.

On July 7th, our website, JoesPicks.com, experienced an unexpected downtime due to a Google security hold that impacted our systems. This hold was a precautionary measure implemented by Google to ensure the highest level of security across their platforms. While this was an unforeseen event, we understand how frustrating it can be to face disruptions in accessing our services.

Our technical team immediately engaged with Google’s security team to rectify the situation and ensure the necessary steps were taken to reinstate the normal functioning of our website. We worked tirelessly to address the issue, and we are pleased to inform you that our services are now fully operational.

We deeply regret any inconvenience this may have caused, and we want to assure you that we take the security and reliability of our services very seriously. We have taken this incident as an opportunity to review our infrastructure and make necessary improvements to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

We understand that you rely on our services, and we are committed to providing you with the best experience possible. We genuinely value your continued support and want to assure you that we are continuously working to enhance our systems to avoid any disruptions in the future.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to our support team at joe@joespicks.com. We are here to assist you and address any queries you may have.

Once again, we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused. Thank you for your understanding and continued support.

Best regards,

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JoesPicks.com

Smoke Forces Cancellation of Racing at Laurel Park and Woodbine: Impact on Horses, Humans, and Rescheduling Plans

Smoke Forces Cancellation of Racing at Laurel Park and Woodbine: Impact on Horses, Humans, and Rescheduling Plans

Smoke Forces Cancellation of Racing at Laurel Park and Woodbine: Impact on Horses, Humans, and Rescheduling Plans

Smoke Forces Cancellation of Racing at Laurel Park and Woodbine

Laurel Park and Woodbine Race Track, caught in the grip of poor air quality, have called off their racing for Friday. The relentless smoke from raging wildfires continues to envelop Canada, the eastern coast of the United States, and even parts of the Midwest. It’s a perilous situation, not just for horses but for humans as well.

Rescheduling and Simulcast Wagering

Maryland Jockey Club, in a terse release, states that Friday’s racing card will be rescheduled to the following Thursday, without any alterations to the race order. Laurel Park, however, will keep its gates open for those seeking to engage in simulcast wagering.

Unhealthy Air Quality at Laurel Park

The air quality near Laurel Park, according to data from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Maryland Department of the Environment, was deemed unhealthy with a rating of 153 on Friday morning. The EPA cautions even those without respiratory ailments to curtail their time spent outdoors in such conditions.

Chiringo’s Misfortune and the Lost Grass Sprint

Among the casualties of this cancelation at Laurel Park was the ninth race, a thrilling sprint on the grass spanning 5 1/2 furlongs, originally set as a first-level allowance. Chiringo, a spirited 3-year-old under the tutelage of trainer George Weaver, was slated to compete in the turf contest, carrying the morning-line odds of 3-1. Seeking redemption after a lackluster eighth-place finish in the William Walker Stakes at Churchill Downs, Chiringo sought solace in dropping down a class.

Woodbine Succumbs to High-Risk Air Quality

Woodbine, too, bowed to the whims of the hazardous air quality and halted its racing on Friday. The track, however, has yet to reveal its plans for rescheduling the races or whether a complete redraw will be necessitated.

Toronto’s High-Risk Air Quality

In the realm of Toronto, the air quality, as reported by Environment Canada, remained precariously high-risk throughout the day. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, citing guidelines dated June 7, advises tracks to cancel training and racing activities when the air quality index reaches the realm of high-risk or worse.

Silent Flash and the Stalled Turf Sprint

Woodbine’s eight-race card, truncated by the unfortunate turn of events, boasted the inauguration of its turf sprint series for starter-optional claiming horses. The day’s centerpiece, a swift five-furlong dash on the turf, loomed as the seventh race, with the sagacious bettors eyeing Silent Flash, the morning-line favorite. Under the watchful eye of trainer Martin Drexler, the weathered 9-year-old gelding sought redemption on familiar grounds after a recent triumph at Gulfstream Park in a claiming-level showdown.

TWO PHIL’S RETIRED

TWO PHIL’S RETIRED

TWO PHIL’S RETIRED

It is with great sadness that I report that Two Phil’s has been retired due to the injury he sustained while winning The Ohio Derby this past Saturday at Thistledown.  

What makes it worse is that Larry Rivelli, who has been a strong trainer in the Midwest for many years, really had this horse peaking for the big races this summer as we would have, no doubt, seen this one at Saratoga to take a shot at the Travers.  His running style was perfect for the Saratoga course and I am bummed that he will not get the opportunity to run in the Midsummer Derby.  It’s not often that a trainer like Rivelli gets a shot with a big time horse, so say a little extra prayer for him and the connections this evening as I am sure there are a lot of tears around the shedrow today.

The silver lining is that Two Phil’s will get healthy enough so that he can go to stud and being a son of Hard Spun, along with his performances in the first half of 2023, should make him a desirable commodity for some hopeful broodmares.

A Tale of Two Stakes Races at Thistledown: Two Phil’s and Bishops Bay Compete for Glory

A Tale of Two Stakes Races at Thistledown: Two Phil’s and Bishops Bay Compete for Glory

A Tale of Two Stakes Races at Thistledown: Two Phil’s and Bishops Bay Compete for Glory

The Lady Jacqueline Stakes: A Race of Strategy and Pace

One race earlier on the card is the $250,000 Lady Jacqueline Stakes, which features a fast pace and vulnerable favorite in Interstatedaydream. The early pace is bound to heat up with speed types such as Red Hot Lass, Secret Fix, and Candy Island present to contest each other up front. If the favorite Interstatedaydream tries to flash her speed, she will likely weaken as she usually competes in races with slower pace scenarios.

In Search of the Winner: Sixtythreecaliber and Le Da Vida Take Center Stage

One stalker who may capitalize on the leaders weakening is Sixtythreecaliber, who enters this race off a career-best 120 TimeformUS Speed Figure earned when second in the Shawnee Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs to Idiomatic. Sixtythreecaliber made a nice move on the far turn before being repelled. If Sixtythreecaliber repeats the speed figure in this spot, it should result in the win. Interstatedaydream never has run a final 120 on TimeformUS.

In case the race sets up more for a closer, then Le Da Vida is another one to use as she recently tried to close against a slow pace when finishing third to Interstatedaydream in the Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes (G3) at Pimlico. Le Da Vida needed to come from last in the six-horse field, although she was only three lengths away through the opening quarter in 24.35 and half in 48.93 seconds. Even though the gap was not large, Interstatedaydream had every advantage as the pacesetter through those slow fractions and could beat only a closing Le Da Vida by one length in the stretch. Forget about the 108 earned by Le Da Vida on TimeformUS. When the pace runs slow, the speed figure becomes less useful for handicapping purposes. She is capable of a better speed figure. Imagine if Le Da Vida receives a more reasonable pace up front or even a fast-pace scenario. With a clear trip, she is supposed to catch Interstatedaydream this time. Sixtythreecaliber and Le Da Vida are the two runners to use.

Combining Horses 4 and 6 with the Ohio Derby Contender

Daily double: 4,6 / 3

The Ohio Derby: Two Phil’s and Bishops Bay Clash for Glory

Two Phil’s holds the class advantage having been the runner-up in the Kentucky Derby, and he earned extra points for surviving the blazing early pace. However, horses who hit the board in the run for the roses generally become over-bet in their next few starts, even past Triple Crown season. Every handicapper saw the trip of Two Phil’s, which takes away the advantage of knowing he endured the fast pace and battled Mage.

Bishops Bay: A Rising Star and the Challenge Ahead

Bishops Bay never ran in the Kentucky Derby and lacks a graded-stakes win at this point. Regardless, Bishops Bay went to battle with one of the best 3-year-olds in Arcangelo when he lost by a head in the Peter Pan Stakes (G3) at Belmont. Toward the wire, Bishops Bay lost focus for a second, and Arcangelo took advantage of that moment to prevail. Arcangelo went on to capture the Belmont Stakes while beating 3-year-olds such as the division leader Forte, Tapit Trice, Angel of Empire, and Hit Show. Bishops Bay still ran a 117 TimeformUS Speed Figure in defeat. That is within range of the 123 by Two Phil’s.

Bishops Bay’s TimeformUS Speed Figure and Two Phil’s Comparison

Before the Derby, the best dirt TimeformUS figure from Two Phil’s was only a 108, although Two Phil’s also ran a 121 when he won the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) on synthetic. Also note, Bishops Bay won his career debut in February over his stablemate First Mission in a maiden special weight at Fair Grounds. Two months later, First Mission won the Lexington Stakes (G3) at Keeneland in only his third career start in April. He was supposed to start in the Preakness as the second choice before a forced scratch. Based on those two races, Bishops Bay most likely owns the same ability as Two Phil’s. At a minimum, he will give a stiff challenge to Two Phil’s at a slightly better price, which is enough to give him the nod from a betting standpoint.

Betting Perspective: Bishops Bay’s Value in the Ohio Derby

Two Phil’s and Bishops Bay are set to clash in the Ohio Derby. While Two Phil’s holds the class advantage, Bishops Bay’s recent performances and potential suggest he will provide a formidable challenge. Considering the value offered by Bishops Bay’s odds, he becomes an appealing option for bettors looking to capitalize on a potentially rewarding wagering opportunity.

By analyzing both the Lady Jacqueline Stakes and the Ohio Derby, racing enthusiasts can immerse themselves in the excitement of Thistledown’s racing action and make informed decisions when placing their bets.

Los Angeles County Fair Meet at Los Alamitos: Three Stakes Races and Exciting Wagering Opportunities June 23rd 2023

Los Angeles County Fair Meet at Los Alamitos: Three Stakes Races and Exciting Wagering Opportunities June 23rd 2023

Los Angeles County Fair Meet at Los Alamitos: Three Stakes Races and Exciting Wagering Opportunities June 23rd 2023

Los Angeles County Fair Meet at Los Alamitos: Three Stakes Races Highlighted

Three stakes races worth a combined $425,000 are set to captivate racing enthusiasts during the highly anticipated 2023 Los Angeles County Fair meet at the iconic Los Alamitos racetrack.

Dates and Schedule of the Meet

The nine-day racing extravaganza will commence on Friday, June 23 and run through Sunday, July 9. Racing action will take place on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays during the first week (June 23-25), followed by races on Saturday, Tuesday, and the glorious Independence Day, July 4, in the middle week. The thrilling meet will culminate with races on Saturday and Sunday, July 8-9. Post time for each day’s races is promptly set for 1 p.m.

The Stellar Stakes Races

The most prestigious among the stakes races is the Grade 2, $200,000-guaranteed Great Lady M. Stakes, a captivating battle at 6 ½ furlongs exclusively for fillies and mares aged three and above. This exhilarating race will take place on Tuesday, July 4, serving as a befitting celebration of equine excellence on this historic day.

The opening stakes race of the meet is the illustrious $100,000 Bertrando, a thrilling contest for three-year-olds and above bred or sired in the golden state of California. This one-mile race is scheduled for Saturday, June 24, promising an extraordinary showcase of California-bred talent.

Adding to the allure is the eagerly awaited $125,000 Los Alamitos Derby, an enthralling contest exclusively designed for three-year-olds. This epic battle of speed and stamina will test the contenders over a demanding distance of 1 1/8 miles. The Los Alamitos Derby is slated for Saturday, July 8, and promises the emergence of a true equine hero.

Exciting Wagering Opportunities

The Los Alamitos experience extends beyond the thrill of the races, offering an enticing array of wagering options. Enthusiasts can partake in the excitement of two exhilarating $1 Pick 4 wagers, spanning races 2-5 and the final four races of the day. Additionally, the $2 Pick Six beckons those seeking a greater challenge, providing an opportunity to showcase their handicapping prowess. The meet also features the Players’ Pick 5, a captivating proposition with a minimum bet of just 50 cents and a reduced takeout rate of 14%, encompassing the first five races.

The Pick Six follows the familiar 70-30 split, with 70% of the prize pool awarded to those who correctly select all six winners and the remaining 30% rewarding those who come tantalizingly close with five of the six correct selections.

Handicapping Contest and Prize Pool

On Saturday, July 8, the Los Alamitos Racing Association will host a thrilling handicapping contest. Participants will have a chance to compete for a lucrative cash prize and secure two coveted berths in the prestigious 2024 National Thoroughbred Racing Association Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas.

The entry fee for the contest is $500, with $100 allocated to the prize pool and the remaining $400 dedicated to live money wagering. Tournament races encompass the entire card at Los Alamitos, allowing participants to place win, place, show, exacta, trifecta, and daily double wagers. Each entry must wager at least $50 on a minimum of five races, with no wagering limit imposed.

At the conclusion of the day’s races, the participant with the highest bankroll will be declared the winner, while the runner-up will be the participant with the second-highest bankroll. The winner will receive 50% of the prize pool, and the remaining payoffs will be distributed as follows: 20% (2nd place), 15% (3rd place), 7.5% (4th place), and 7.5% (Most Money Wagered).

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