Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Nomination Is In: The Grade 3 Skip Away and Grade 1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park

I love the big weekends like the next horse racing fan, and as a fan, I'm excited to see Union Rags and El Padrino face each other, but ugh, a rather uninspiring field is mixed in with them, and the card in general doesn't do much for me, so as a bettor, I'll pass on Gulfstream Park.

The duality of bettor and fan can coexist, but you have to do your best to not think with your heart. As a fan, embrace the horses with all your passion. It never gets old for me seeing these equine three year olds progress throughout the spring on a march towards the Kentucky Derby. The reality is that most of the Triple Crown nominated horses will not be successful on the biggest stages. Some of them will end up like Uptowncharliebrown, competing in today's Skip Away, other's, like Z Camelot will have a future on the turf. Regardless if they complete in graded stakes or optional claimers as long as they are well cared for, I'm excited to see them run and I love following their careers. In fact, I find the older horses more interesting and my mind and heart is captured by the runners who weren't the best three year olds but went out to do great things later in life. That's a bit of blasphemy, but oh well, I'm a blogger, I'm allowed to not spout the company line.

As a gambler I have no such emotions. I am looking for races that I can decoded and in order to have a good betting race you need some parity. Parity is what makes picking winners harder and what creates betting situations that are worthy of a capital investment. It is capital investing after all, more risky than some internet IPO, but as has been proven over and over again by disciplined bettors, if you stay consistent and you ride the good times and the bad, and most importantly, you know what you are doing, the rewards can be reaped.

I wasn't expecting the Florida Derby to be a great betting race, and what really hardened my mind to not betting Gulfstream today was the lack of a better older horse turf race, as the Appleton isn't very compelling. I will be paying attention to the Gulfstream Park Oaks, as I like Hard Spun's daughter, Zo Impressive, who trounced In Lingerie last time out.

Perhaps the last few paragraphs sounded like whining, that was not my intention; as a bettor we have many choices every weekend, my only point is you can be a fan and watch and not bet the card. Bet where you think you have the best chance to win. Keep it real, look for winners at odds greater than 4-1 and swing for the fences at the $2 window. Keep your money for the Single Barrel Jack you'll consume later. I'll be drinking some later with the classy folks from the Turk fan club.

I like my trainers with thin barns but deep integrity. That gentleman above is a man's man, a hero. I think of him in the same thoughts as Johnathan Sheppard and Bill Mott, Michael Matz.

I did handicap the card and I'll share my jaded thoughts on two of the races.

The weather should not be an issue. As always, keep an eye on track conditions and scratches and changes.

Have fun with it. I'm still studying my options but I think Santa Anita may be my alternative today. Turk Out!

Happy Birthday Tim- You are very missed!

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