It was a good week of racing and we capped off the week with six winners on top on Sunday, so we went out a winner, but there definitely were a few other winners and losers last week.
Actually there were more I would put in the “Loser” category:
Loser: Mountaineer Park
The West Virginia track put on their marquee race of the meeting on Saturday, the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (G2), which was won by the betting favorite, the Al Stall trained Departing.
Most of you probably missed it, because you were watching the Whitney Handicap (G1) from Saratoga, which was nationally televised on NBC as part of the “Summer at Saratoga” series.
Two of the most important races of the day, and post time for both were at the exact same time of 5:45 pm eastern.
Now to be fair, the West Virginia Derby was televised by some of the regional Fox Sports affiliates, so Mountaineer Park may have been at the mercy of the television network. But how in the world do you run your most important race of the meeting up against a nationally televised race from Saratoga?
It seems track executives live in a bubble, and they think the only thing that is important is what is going on within 100 feet of their office.
Handle on this year’s West Virginia Derby was down considerably, and it’s likely because we were all busy wagering and watching the Whitney.
The betting handle this year on the race was $629,786 (wps,ex,tri, and super) compared to last year’s total of $800,782.
I am constantly amazed at just how stupid the industry can be, and this is a prime example of complete ignorance.
Loser: Illinois Stewards
It sure looks as if there were some shenanigans going on at Fairmount Park as I chronicled in my article titled Fairmount Park Fix: Jockey Slapped With 60 Days, Horseplayers Slapped in Face.
Only one jockey was punished with a 60-day suspension and the stewards said there “was no conspiracy among jockeys or trainers” in the race in question, which was the second race on July 23.
Stewards are supposed to protect the betting public and in this instance they failed miserably.
Winner & Loser: Rich Perloff
TVG’s Rich Perloff gave out an $80 Pick 6 ticket on July 29 on air for Saratoga and when his three singles came in to cap off the sequence the play he suggested hit to the tune of $53,212. That is some good capping!
The buzz in social media was palpable. Did he actually play it? Perloff sent out this tweet:
Thanks for all P6 well-wishes. But…did he play or didn’t he? All will be revealed, tomorrow in the Handicapsule (10:00 a.m. PST). #TVG
— Rich Perloff (@RichPerloff) July 29, 2013
We found out the next morning that Perloff indeed did not play the ticket,although four TVG viewers did.
He got a backlash on horse racing forums and Twitter about his “pretend” ticket. He may have been able to cut back on the backlash by saying up front he did not play the ticket. He probably should not have let everyone sleep on it.
TVG management has the on air talent give out way too many Pick 4 and Pick 6 tickets, and I am not the least bit surprised some of the tickets do not get played. It still was good handicapping.
However, unwittingly there may be a new catch phrase we all may be using soon. On Saturday I passed on a race where the odds were short and it hit. Under my breath I said, “Well, I Perloffed that one.”
I guess Rich was a winner and a loser last week.
Loser: Anonymous Twitter Trolls
Most of us do it, taking cheap shots at celebrities or maybe a jockey after a bad ride. I know I am guilty on occasion.
Heck, I even took a shot at TVG’s Gino Buccolo’s eyebrows, and I Tweeted that I thought I had seen him on Drake & Josh on Teen Nick. He came back a day later and hit a Pick 4 for $2,300. I may never pluck my eyebrows again.
I would bet Pablo Frogoso and Junior Alvarado might have me blocked.
I am not on Twitter all that much, so most of you are safe. But I did see a Tweet from Brisnet’s Ed DeRosa that was very disturbing:
Heard someone “joke” that maybe @ejxd3 was born the way he is because we named him after me. That is devastating to hear.
— Ed DeRosa (@EJXD2) August 2, 2013
I do not know Ed, who is the marketing director at Brisnet, but I do know his son spent the majority of his first six months of his life in the hospital, diagnosed with 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome.
You can follow little EJ’s story at zebramonkey.org/.
Twitter kids, how about using some decorum when using social media, and do not hide behind an anonymous handle. If you want to criticize a guy for his handicapping or views on the industry that is one thing. (Like how the hell did the Players Pool not hit that pick 6 with $50,000?).
But to take a shot as his family? That is despicable, and the person that sent that Tweet is the biggest loser of the week, and I seriously doubt anyone will overtake that person for the remainder of 2013.
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