Santa Anita Blows The Doors Open Friday

26 Sep

Santa Anita opens its Autumn meet with a bang Friday, featuring three graded stakes races, including the Grade I American Pharoah and Grade I Chandelier Stakes for two-year-olds and two-year old fillies, respectively. As expected, HOF trainer Bob Baffert is holding aces in each race, saddling morning-line favorites Eight Rings (9/5) and Bast (3/5).

The latter enters off a dominating performance in the Del Mar Debutante, while the former took a sharp right turn out of the gate in the Del Mar Futurity and lost rider Drayden Van Dyke, disappointing the masses at 1/2 odds. Interestingly, top East Coast rider John Velazquez takes the call for Baffert on Eight Rings, who makes his two-turn debut in a field of nine in Friday’s 8th and featured event.

If Eight Rings opts to take a detour again, Express Train (4/1) with “Money” Mike Smith in the saddle could pick up the pieces, coming in off an impressive maiden win around two turns at Del Mar last out. Best Pal (G2) winner Collusion Illusion (5/1) and Del Mar Futurity (G1) winner Nucky (10/1) could also make their presence felt from the two outside stalls.

In addition to the pair of Grade I races, Friday’s card also features the Eddie D. Stakes (G2) for turf sprinters going 5 1/2 furlongs. This competitive sprint features a rematch between the top three finishers in the Green Flash Stakes at Del Mar: Mr. Vargas (5/2), Eddie Haskell (3/1) and Stormy Liberal (4/1). Throw in course specialist Pee Wee Reese (3/1) who’s won five of six over the Santa Anita lawn, and you’ve got one talent-packed field of eight.

Friday’s stakes races are the 5th (Chandelier), 6th (Eddie D.) and 8th (Pharoah) on a nine-race card that gets underway at 1pm.

More Stakes Action on Tap Saturday and Sunday at Santa Anita

Saturday’s stakes action at The Great Race Place is highlighted by running of the Awesome Again Stakes (G1), the local prep for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, which has attracted arguably the nation’s top handicap horse, McKinzie (4/5). His presence has predictably steered many clear of this race, but not Pacific Classic (G1) winner Higher Power, who seeks to prove his breakthrough victory was no fluke in the nine-furlong featured event.

The Breeders’ Cup preps continue for the turf handicap and fillies and mares divisions, with the running of the John Henry Turf Championship (G2) and Rodeo Drive (G1), respectively. Saturday’s stakes races are carded as the 7th (John Henry), 9th (Rodeo Drive), 10th (Awesome Again), and 11th (Unzip Me) on an 11-race card that gets underway at 12:30pm. The Late Pick 5 will include all four stakes races.

Sunday’s action features the Grade I Zenyatta Stakes, which is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Distaff, which will be held over this track and distance in early November.

Carryovers, Jackpots & Mandatories, Oh My!

26 Sep

It used to be that nothing got the handicapping juices flowing like the words “Pick Six Carryover.” But in the age of Empires and Rainbows, the words Mandatory Payout have become just as triggering, even more so since the rise of single ticket jackpots spawned the chronic misuse of the word “carryover” to drive enthusiasm from the old, to the new.

Rest assured, we still have what I would call traditional “carryovers” – dead money from a previous day’s pool that went unclaimed because nobody had winners in every leg of the wager. Only today, they tend to happen in Pick 5s instead of Pick 6s, which have all but assimilated to the Jackpot Borg.

Which brings us to another Stronach 5 with a $107,353 Carryover this Friday. That is a legit $107,353 in dead money that will be paid out to anyone with five of five winners in the Pick 5. In today’s age of Empires and Rainbows, a straight-up carryover in a .50 cent minimum wager with a 12% takeout, with one less leg to hit than a Pick 6, is a virtual “must play” type of deal.

So, without further ado, here’s the races that make up Friday’s Stronach 5 (post times Pacific):

Leg 1: Laurel Park 8 – 2:09pm
Leg 2: Gulfstream Park 7 – 2:26pm
Leg 3: Santa Anita 4 – 2:40pm
Leg 4: Golden Gate 4 – 2:54pm
Let 5: Laurel Park 10 – 3:16pm

I’m Lucky Kalanges and this is your PleasantonOTB e-news for the weekend starting Friday, Sept. 27.

Massive Rainbow 6 Mandatory Payout In Sunday’s Forecast

Speaking of Jackpots, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention their silver lining. Namely, Mandatory Payouts. These are the days when the tracks are obligated to force out the Jackpot money to all tickets with six winners. With a ton of dead money piled up on a .20 Pick 6, it’s hard to resist taking a shot, and we’ll have such an opportunity or this Sunday when Gulfstream Park forces out its Pick 6 Jackpot, which stands at just over $1.9 million heading into Thursday’s card.

If nobody scoops the Jackpot before Sunday, that’s a lot of free money for the taking for anyone who can find a winning combination on a 20-cent Pick 6 ticket. As usual, you can bet Friday’s Stronach 5 and Sunday’s Rainbow 6 at Pleasanton OTB.

Pigskin and Ponies Carryover Up to $600!

For the second consecutive week, the Cleveland Browns have triggered a carryover in Pigskin and Ponies. Two weeks ago it was for defeating the hapless New York Jets. This week it was their home loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

One lucky punter was good enough to pick Tiger Strike ($11.20) in the 9th at Los Alamitos, and River Rose ($14.00) in the nightcap at Golden Gate to get to the football half of the Pick 4 contest, only to be done-in by the mercurial Browns. After these two bad football beats, one suggestion I have for everyone who plays Pigskin and Ponies is to parlay a Win bet on both of your horse picks.

Just a $2 Win parlay on Tiger Strike and River Rose would have returned $77.

Be sure to pick up your FREE Pigskin and Ponies entry this Sunday when you come in to play the big Mandatory Payouts at Gulfstream and Churchill Downs.

Pigskin Carryover and Rainbow Jackpots!

20 Sep

There were no winners in the Pigskin and Ponies Pick 4 contest over the past weekend, with the decisive blow being delivered by the Cleveland Browns on Monday Night Football. One player was alive to the full $200 pot, but was probably one of the few souls  in the entire country who wasn’t aware Jets starting quarterback, Sam Darnold, was sidelined by a case of mono.

I won’t go as far as identifying the person who picked the Jets, as that is almost as embarrassing as a grown man having to call in sick with an affliction most associate with teenagers. The good news is we’re rolling the $200 prize over to this weekend, making it $400 for anyone who can pick the winners of two designated races, and the Sunday and Monday Night football games.

Get your FREE entry form this Sunday, with admission, at Pleasanton OTB.

This week’s races and games for Sunday, Sept. 22 are as follows:

Leg 1: Los Alamitos – Race 9 (4:58pm)
Leg 2: Golden Gate – Race 9 (5:15pm)
Leg 3: Sunday Night Football – Rams at Browns (5:20pm)
Leg 4: Monday Night Football – Bears at Redskins (5:15pm)

Also keep in mind that a Mandatory Payout of the Rainbow 6 at Gulfstream has been announced for Sunday, September 29. The current Jackpot stands at over $1.6 million, and it will be forced out if nobody hits it before next Sunday.

 

Parx, Laurel Highlight Weekend Action

20 Sep

September is a time for the best supporting tracks in racing to take center stage and that theme continues this week with the running of a pair of $1 million stakes at Parx Racing – the Pennsylvania Derby and Cotillion Stakes. Based on the entry box, the Cotillion is by far the most interesting renewal of the pair, drawing a field of 11 that includes four Grade I winners in Bellafina (6/1), Guarana (9/5), Jaywalk (6/1) and Serengeti Empress (7/2).

The defection of Maximum Security from the Pennsylvania Derby should make Mr. Money’s attempt to add a third state to his Derby trophy case a bit easier. Entering off four consecutive Grade III victories including the Indiana and West Virginia Derby, Mr. Money is the second choice to get the job done over favored Improbable, who was last seen romping to a two-plus length victory in the Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar.

PleasantonOTB will be taking races 8-11 from Parx this Saturday, which covers both million-dollar stakes, plus the $150,000 Parx Dirt Mile and $300,000 Gallant Bob Stakes. The 8th from Parx goes to post at approximately 1pm, Pacific Time. The Cotillion (10th) and PA Derby (11th) will go to the gate at 2:14pm and 2:48pm, respectively.

Laurel Park also features its richest day of racing Saturday, offering seven stakes worth $1.3 million. The $250,000 Frank J. Defrancis Memorial Dash is the 8th and featured race on a 12-race card. Pleasanton OTB will be taking races 3-12 from Laurel Park, including all seven stakes races, starting at 10:30am.

Players looking to capitalize on their opinions on Parx, Woodbine and Belmont’s featured races might want to check out the Cross Country Pick 5. The Cross Country Pick 5 features a low 15% takeout and will cover the following stakes this Saturday:

Leg A: Parx – Race 9 (1:34 pm) – $300,000 Gallant Bob Stakes
Leg B: Parx – Race 10 (2:14 pm) – $1,000,000 Cotillion Stakes
Leg C: Woodbine – Race 9 (2:34 pm) – $100,000 Sweet Briar Too Stakes
Leg D: Parx – Race 11 (2:48 pm) – $1,000,000 Pennsylvania Derby
Leg E: Belmont Park – Race 10 (5:57 pm) – $300,000 Kelso Handicap

Ask your teller for the Cross Country Pick 5 or look for it on the track menu of any self-service terminal at Pleasanton OTB.

OTB doors open at 9:45am.

Woodbine Mile Tops Saturday Stakes Action

12 Sep

The signature race of the Woodbine meeting takes place Saturday with the running of the Grade I, $1,000,000 Woodbine Mile. As usual, it’s attracted a field of North America’s top turf milers that we could see later this year in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita. Chief among them is recent Fourstardave (G1) winner Got Stormy (8/5), who’ll attempt to show her heels to the boys for the second time in as many attempts this year.

Top challengers include Fourstardave runner up, Raging Bull (3/1) out of the Chad Brown barn, Euro-invader and fellow filly, Awesometank (8/1), who enters off a second place finish in the Beverly D. (G1) at Arlington, and Synchrony (6/1), who scored by two lengths over this course in the King Edward Stakes (G2) on June 29.

Longshot players might want to take a long look at Stronach Stables’ Silent Poet (15/1), who has won five of seven over the E.P. Taylor turf course, with two runner-up finishes. He might be a logical choice to juice the Exacta or Trifecta prices.

The Mile undercard features three more stakes races: the $300,000 Norther Dancer (G1-T), $250,000 Canadian (G2-T), and $125,000 Bold Venture (G3). Pleasanton OTB will be taking races 2-12 on Saturday’s Woodbine program, starting at 10:40am Pacific Time. The Woodbine Mile is the 9th race on the 12-race card, and goes to post at approximately 2:42pm PT.

Churchill Downs Returns Friday

With the closing of racing at Kentucky Downs on Thursday, the Kentucky circuit shifts to Churchill Downs starting Friday. Churchill will host a stakes four-pack on Saturday, including a pair of Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” races for two-year-olds, the $200,000 Pocahontas Stakes for fillies and $200,000 Iroquois for colts and geldings.

Pleasanton OTB will pick up Saturday’s 11-race card from Churchill Downs starting with the 4th race at approximately 11:14am PT.

Early Speed Dominating Sprints at Golden Gate

So far, horses with an “E” designation in Brisnet Past Performances are winning at the following rates in sprints over the main track and turf course for the summer meet at Golden Gate Fields:

5.5 furlongs on main track – 26 races, 52% winners, 46% wire-to-wire
6 furlongs on the main track – 25 races, 46% winners, 40% wire-to-wire
5 furlongs on turf – 9 races, 44% winners, 44% wire-to-wire

Horses with the “E” designation are proven front-runners with good gate speed. Just something to keep in mind, given seven of Saturday’s nine races at Golden Gate are sprints.

As usual, Pleasanton OTB will have the full cards for Los Alamitos and Golden Gate this weekend, with each track getting underway at 1 and 1:15pm, respectively.

$96K Carryover in Friday’s Stronach 5

12 Sep

Everybody likes a good carryover and when said carryover comes in a pool with a super low takeout, like Friday’s Stronach 5, it’s a virtual ‘must play’ for value-savvy players.

That perfect storm is what we have with Friday’s Stronach 5, which features a low 12% takeout and a $96,000 carryover. If you like turf racing, this is the Pick 5 for you, as all five races are scheduled for the turf course at their respective tracks. Keep your eye on the weather at Gulfstream, as thunderstorms are in the forecast for Friday.

The five races in the Pick 5 are as follows (post times Pacific):

Leg 1: Laurel Park – Race 8 (2:12pm)
Leg 2: Gulfstream Park – Race 7 (2:25pm)
Leg 3: Golden Gate Fields – Race 4 (2:45pm)
Leg 4: Laurel Park – Race 9 (2:52pm)
Leg 5: Gulfstream Park – Race 9 (3:29pm)

The field sizes for each race, before scratches and factoring out Also Eligibles and MTOs, are 10, 8, 10, 10 and 12, which bodes well for attracting new money into the pool. To see what a carryover can do for a Pick 5, we can look no further than Tuesday’s Pick 5 Mandatory Payout at Prairie Meadows.

It’s $326,599 Jackpot was forced out and attracted an additional $1.85 million in handle into it’s 15% Late Pick 5 — on a Tuesday night. Just further proof that if you give players a good betting opportunity, they’ll show up and bet it with both fists.

A Weekend of Winners at Pleasanton OTB

12 Sep

We’ll kick off this weekend’s newsletter with a winner, namely Sam Faulkner, who was the only person among 81 entrants to pick four winners in the first week of our Pigskin and Ponies Pick 4 contest. He earned a $200 voucher for picking the winners of the 7th (River Rose $8.40) and 9th (Indian Zip $8.80) races at Golden Gate Fields on Sunday, the Patriots on Sunday night football, and, of course, the Raaaaaaiders, who shook off the Antonio Brown drama like Taylor Swift, and rewarded their loyal fans a season-opening victory (before ultimately jilting them for Vegas in 2020).

If you came up short, no worries mate, there’s always this Sunday (and next Sunday), when you can take a free swing at $200 in our FREE Pick 4 contest.

If you have a friend or significant other who likes Bingo, be sure to check us out on Saturday nights, when the Blue Devils run games from 6:30 to about 10:30pm. Bingo doors open at 5pm every Saturday.