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Ask Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is recognized as an authority on surf fishing for striped bass. He is the author of six books and hundreds of magazine articles. Frank is a member of the Outdoor Writers of America and lectures throughout the Northeast.

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  #31  
Old 04-24-2014, 11:02 AM
Chris Garrity Chris Garrity is offline
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Default Re: Triple Crown Thread for 2014

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Originally Posted by Doug View Post
Chris, you would be doing yourself a big disservice if you decide to let a big overlay (that wins) go at this track over what amounts to a reduction in payout of maybe "nothing".
It's not "nothing." If it were nothing, Churchill wouldn't bother to do it.

I realize that for the small player like me, the numbers here are not huge. I just did a back-of-the-envelope calculation, and a 7-1 shot who paid $16.80 with a 16% takeout would pay $16.40 with a 17.5% takeout. With a $20 win bet, you'd get back $164 instead of $168. The numbers are similar, but slightly worse, with exotic bets, though guys would notice this even less: nobody will care if your superfecta pays $574.20 instead of $588.80.

That said, though, I am sticking by my plan to boycott Churchill, because this is an I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore moment. Takeout hikes have gone too far, and I'm tired of bettors being the ones who always get screwed, simply because we're the easiest target. It would be like politicians suggesting that the way to raise money is to mug little old ladies, because they're least able to defend themselves.

You may not care about this, but I do. At the aggregate level, these takeout increases are hugely important -- if they weren't, Churchill wouldn't have bothered to implement them. I hope that my fellow punters will join me in refraining from betting on CD's races until this ill-thought, fan-unfriendly change is reversed. I will play the NYRA tracks, and to a lesser extent Keeneland (both of whom have been valiant with efforts to reduce takeout for fans) enthusiastically, but I will not bet on Churchill as long as these takeout rates remain.
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  #32  
Old 04-24-2014, 08:55 PM
Doug Doug is offline
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Default Re: Triple Crown Thread for 2014

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Originally Posted by Chris Garrity View Post
I'm sticking by my plan to boycott Churchill, because this is an I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore moment.

You may not care about this, but I do. I hope that my fellow punters will join me in refraining from betting on CD's races until this ill-thought, fan-unfriendly change is reversed. I will play the NYRA tracks, and to a lesser extent Keeneland (both of whom have been valiant with efforts to reduce takeout for fans) enthusiastically, but I will not bet on Churchill as long as these takeout rates remain.
The best way to reverse the takeout raise would be to force them back to prior rates by betting more money at that track. If the track handle (gross money bet) per day goes back above 1.2 million /day then Kentucky law limits them to the 16%, 19% levels. By the way these rates are among the lowest in the United States (California and New York have lower mutual rates but higher exotic rates). Pennsylvania can take up to 35% on a trifecta wager!

What I care most about when betting horse races is finding the value bet, those now few and far between misses by the public on a winning prop that pays well enough to make the time spent worthwhile. I do not handicap takeout into a bet, that is I don't say to myself that I am willing to let a possible big winner go by because I.E. PARX may take double the amount of takeout on my trifecta bet than say Keeneland.


Doug
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  #33  
Old 04-24-2014, 09:52 PM
Doug Doug is offline
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Default Re: Triple Crown Thread for 2014

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Originally Posted by Chris Garrity View Post
It's not "nothing." If it were nothing, Churchill wouldn't bother to do it.

I realize that for the small player like me, the numbers here are not huge. I just did a back-of-the-envelope calculation, and a 7-1 shot who paid $16.80 with a 16% takeout would pay $16.40 with a 17.5% takeout. With a $20 win bet, you'd get back $164 instead of $168. The numbers are similar, but slightly worse, with exotic bets, though guys would notice this even less: nobody will care if your superfecta pays $574.20 instead of $588.80.
Good figuring Chris, here are some actual numbers based on a good guess as to an average win pool.

At 10 races a day with average handle under 1.2 million I would venture to say that an average win pool for a race at Churchill would be about $25,000. At that figure the track will pay back $21,000 to $20,674 with a 16% takeout and $20,625 to $20,369 with a 17.5% takeout. The takeout difference as low as +$49 up to a high of +$631.

A horse paying $16.80 to win would have between 1,236 and 1,250 win tickets @ $2 apiece bet with 16% takeout (range of 4,000 to 4,326).

A horse paying $16.40 to win would have between 1,242 and 1,257 win tickets @ $2 apiece bet with 17.5% takeout (range of 4,375 to 4,631). A horse in this bracket with 1,236 tickets bet on it would pay $16.60.

When you get down to lower, low odds you do run into an overlap situation where the payoff is not affected at all for a small range but the bottom line is that the track is collecting more money even though at times it is really insignificant.

Doug
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  #34  
Old 05-01-2014, 10:28 PM
Doug Doug is offline
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Default Re: Triple Crown Thread for 2014

Speed Horses in Kentucky Derby

1 Vicar's In Trouble 47 4/5 best 1/2 time
2 Harry's Holiday 47 1/5 best 1/2 time
3 Uncle Sigh 48 1/5 best 1/2 time
5 California Chrome 45 2/5 best 1/2 time
8 General a Rod 45 2/5 best 1/2 time
10 Wildcat Red 45 4/5 best 1/2 time
12 Chitu 46 2/5 best 1/2 time
20 Pablo Del Monte 47 3/5 best 1/2 time

Pace/Off Pace Horses

4 Danza- Big break to get open rail in stretch, only 1 route race
6 Samraat - Looks to me like trainer is succeeding in teaching horse to rate
7 We Miss Artie -Good "every other race" horse on bad other race
9 Vinceremos - Third jockey in last 3 races
11 Dance With Fate - Closest thing we have to a closer in this race
13 Medal Count - 3rd race in 29 days, second closest to a closer in the race
14 Tapiture - Rare non-Maiden winner, very high 2 YO speed ratings at this track
16 Commanding Curve - Maiden winner, third race after layoff, nice pattern
17 Candy Boy - Another "almost closer" but never seems to finish it off
18 Ride On Curlin - Does not seem to like Churchill Downs
19 Wicked Strong - Best race, speed rating by long shot last race, bounce candidate

Versatile

15 Intense Holiday Has won on front end and from off pace, jockey first time on horse

I'm leary to wager on this race as I do not see anything I feel comfortable with betting. as you can see we do not have any real bonafide "closers". That is not to say that one of these trainers has that trick up his sleeve though.

California Chrome most likely will not get the easy 4F workout in the first part of the race like he got in the Santa Anita Derby. That was a trot in the park. He is the only horse in the Speed group that has a chance to win unless one of the others has learned to rate.

I'll stick to my original assessment that the winner will come from the Wood Memorial race if it isn't California Chrome leading on the wire. So you get Uncle Sigh, Samraat, and Wicked Strong. Long shots would be the maiden winner Commanding Curve and Medal Count. It would not be a surprise if it was Dance With Fate. And Tapiture scorched up this place as a 2 YO!

Good luck to everyone who does wager, if you do please let us know before the race what you did.

Thanks Guys, Doug
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  #35  
Old 05-02-2014, 10:57 AM
Chris Garrity Chris Garrity is offline
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Default Re: Triple Crown Thread for 2014

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California Chrome most likely will not get the easy 4F workout in the first part of the race like he got in the Santa Anita Derby. That was a trot in the park.
Not only was it a trot in the park, it was on a Santa Anita racing surface that was so speed-favoring that the locals were calling it a conveyor belt: get in front, and the speed bias will carry you home.

This race perplexes me, too. Here's why: California Chrome is, in my opinion, the most talented colt in the race -- by far. His last two races were better than any race run by any of the other entrants.

But despite the fact that he seems to be the most talented runner, there are, as I see it anyway, two very big strikes against him:

1) There looks to me to be a lot of cheap speed in the race, and I think we're probably going to see a setup similar to last year, where the early pace was so fast that it cooked not only the front-runners, the horses in the first flight, but the stalkers, the horses in the group behind the early leaders. The winning horse may not be as far back as Orb was last year (he was 17th after a half mile), but I do think that for California Chrome to win, he's going to need to sit somewhere around 8th or 10th place, and wait until the early speed collapses, and make a move somewhere on the far turn. Not only do we not know whether Cal Chrome can do this -- he's never done it before -- but there is evidence that makes me think he can't: in past races, he has shown that he does not like dirt getting kicked in his face. It's tough to take 5/2 on a horse in a 20-horse field when it looks unlikely that he'll be able to do what he needs to do in order to win.

B) He won races in California in dazzlingly impressive fashion, visually, and earned sky-high speed figures. But he did this running in a manner that the track favored: he was a speed horse running on a track that very much favored speed horses. It's Handicapping 101 (or maybe 201) that when a horse comes off an impressive-looking victory when things were in his favor, and then runs in a race when these things are likely not going to be in his favor, you're supposed to bet against him. This is doubly true when the horse is a short price.

This is really a fascinating race to me, because on the one hand, California Chrome looks, ability-wise, head and shoulders above the rest of the field. But because of the way that the race is likely to be run, he's no cinch, and his price is going to be terrible. What do you do: take the best horse, and pray? Or try to find a horse who you think can beat him?

I've been trying to do the latter for the better part of the last 3 days. My problem is that I can't work up any enthusiasm for any of the other runners: they all look like they're not good enough to win. One of them will win, of course, if CalChrome doesn't, but I can't figure out who. Maybe I'll pull a page out of the old Tony D. playbook (Tony was one of my old racetrack cronies): Tony, when he couldn't figure out a race, would sit down with a 12-pack, and when he was about halfway through it, he'd see if the juice gave him a different insight. "Let's get some beer into me, pal, let the booze loosen up the old blood vessels," he'd say. It might be worth a shot if I'm still as puzzled by this race tonight as I am now.
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  #36  
Old 05-02-2014, 05:20 PM
Chris Garrity Chris Garrity is offline
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Default Re: Triple Crown Thread for 2014

The Kentucky Oaks, which is to the fillies what the Derby is to the boys, will be run later today. Post time is scheduled for 5.49 pm Eastern, and the race will be presented in glorious high-definition on the NBC Sports cable channel.

The hot favorite is Untapable, who figures to go off as the odds-on favorite: she's 4/5 on the morning line, and her odds may even go lower.

She's a nice filly, but I do not think she is a world-beater. She looks like a bad favorite to me, and I'm going to try to beat her.

I have found an interesting, esoteric longshot: Thank You Marylou, the 5 horse in your program, is a juicy 30-1 on the morning line (update, she's 17-1 as of 5.19 pm). She figures to get the distance easily (she's by Birdstone, who won the Belmont Stakes -- he beat Smarty Jones and denied old Smarty the Triple Crown), and her form is interesting. She's only run 4 races, but she's won two, and though her last race was not great, I'm willing to overlook it, because it was on synthetic, not on dirt.

Have fun, all.
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  #37  
Old 05-03-2014, 07:31 AM
Chris Garrity Chris Garrity is offline
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Default Re: Triple Crown Thread for 2014

California Chrome is probably a cinch. To avoid getting in trouble yesterday, I wheeled Tapiture, the heavy favorite in the Oaks, in the Oaks-Derby double. Cost me $38, but I figured it might keep me from making stupid bets on the Derby.

Tapiture won (she looked like a world-beater) and I just saw the will-pays. If CalChrome wins, for my $38 bet, I'll get back $5.70. That makes him a mortal lock.
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  #38  
Old 05-03-2014, 05:27 PM
Chris Garrity Chris Garrity is offline
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Default Re: Triple Crown Thread for 2014

I should probably not admit this in a public forum, but this is one of the most inscrutable races I've ever seen. Stick a gun to my head, and my honest answer is that I don't have a flipping clue. California Chrome seems to be the best horse, but I think the shape of the race is going to work against his running style. I just don't know which of the other horses figure, because none of them look good enough to win.

Since I'm obligated to make a pick, I'll put a blindfold on, put a cigarette in my mouth, and take Wicked Strong. 6-1 is a terrible price, but if the race is won from a come-from-behinder, which I figure it will be, his credentials are very slightly better than the rest of the horses.

Here's to hoping it's a good race, and one where no humans or animals get hurt. Good luck, all.
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  #39  
Old 05-03-2014, 09:23 PM
Chris Garrity Chris Garrity is offline
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Default Re: Triple Crown Thread for 2014

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There's also one more reason to pull for Cal Chrome: he's the last horse to win a stakes race at Hollywood Park. That's right: Hollywood Park, that beautiful old racetrack, where I spent most of my wayward twenties and where I cut my teeth as a handicapper, has been closed, and, alas, is no more. It would be appropriate, if only in a cosmic sense, if the horse who won the last stakes race ever run at the Track of the Lakes and Flowers goes on to win the Kentucky Derby. For that reason alone I'll be pulling for him.
This is one reason I am so happy now, despite the drubbing I took at the parimutuel windows. The best horse won, and today's race will give me something to smile about for a long time. Good night, comrades.
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  #40  
Old 05-04-2014, 11:39 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Triple Crown Thread for 2014

Our family -- two grown kids, four grand-kids and my wife and me -- bet every which way from Sunday with more combinations than a cup of whales teeth thrown against the wall. We got nothing! Nobody, nada. Should stick to blackjack.
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  #41  
Old 05-13-2014, 08:34 PM
Doug Doug is offline
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Default Re: Triple Crown Thread for 2014

Sorry guys, I wasn't able to post from Chincoteague Island last weekend, WIFI was non-existent.

I'm not sure what else Chris and I can do to help with the betting, we both pretty much said CC would be hard to beat, I even had a great call beforehand on the final odds. I did give out 2 long shots, 1 of them finished second paying over $35 to place, helped propel the exacta to over $370.

Beating the favorite is important in the long run if you constantly bet horses but as Chris has stated they win 1 out of every 3 races. So identifying the 2 out of 3 that the favorite does not win is paramount, laying off a race with a winning favorite is hard to do, logic goes out the window even with the best handicappers!

I'm going to post the Preakness race like I did the Derby. No drawn out, long winded dissertation on the merits and pitfalls of every single horse, just a quick analysis of running style with a longshot possibility.

Doug
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  #42  
Old 05-13-2014, 09:41 PM
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Default Re: Triple Crown Thread for 2014

The Preakness is a much more interesting race than the Derby was as we have a filly entered, not a big bunch of speed horses, and only 4 horses (including Derby Winner) from the first Triple Crown race competing.

Speed Horses in the Preakness

Bayern - took blinkers off for 2nd race, put them back on for 4th race, off for this one
California Chrome - much different pace scenario for this one
Pablo del Monte - needs lead to have any chance of win
Social Inclusion - better not let this one loose on easy lead, even CC won't catch up

Pace/Speed Horses

General A Rod - seems headed wrong way, excuse though in Derby
Ring Weekend - may have peaked in March, home field advantage for trainer
Ride On Curlin - only 2 wins were sprints, would be huge upset

Pace Horses

Dynamic Impact - improving horse that is hard to gauge

Closers

Kid Cruz - Linda Rice claim for 50K has made back 133K since, minor Stakes win at this track last race
Ria Antonia - filly seems a cut below but has been running against best 3 YO fillies


Nice to see a race you don't throw out 7 of the 8 speed horses.

Doug
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  #43  
Old 05-13-2014, 10:17 PM
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Default Re: Triple Crown Thread for 2014

Correction, make that only 3 horses running (entered as of now) in Preakness that participated in the Kentucky Derby. That has to either be or tie a record I would think.

Doug
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  #44  
Old 05-15-2014, 09:44 AM
Chris Garrity Chris Garrity is offline
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Default Re: Triple Crown Thread for 2014

CalChrome could get beat on Saturday, but I just don't see it. I think he lays over the field. He'll be 3/5, and unless you think you can beat him, it's a race to watch, not to bet.

The Belmont, though, figures to be an enormously appealing betting race. If Chrome wins the Preakness, he'll likely be 2/5 in the Belmont -- and I think he's very unlikely to win the race.

So I'll probably be watching on Saturday, and cheering for him, and saving my parimutuel bullets for the Belmont. The NYRA changed the formatting of Belmont day, putting a bunch of sensational stakes races on the Belmont undercard, and with CalChrome figuring to be such a short-priced play-against, there should be a smorgasbord, a veritably orgy, of juicy wagering opportunities, both in the Belmont Stakes itself and in the multi-race gimmick bets (Pick 3, Pick 4, etc.). I hope I can keep myself in check for three more weeks.
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Old 05-15-2014, 09:46 PM
Doug Doug is offline
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Default Re: Triple Crown Thread for 2014

There is one thing that may beat CC Saturday. The track condition after tomorrow's heavy down pours will be interesting as it will be an almost impossible task for one of the country's best maintenance crews to get this to a true fast condition.

I think a rating of good may be the best that can be hoped for, 9 of the 10 horses have never run on anything other than a fast track. That leaves us Ride On Curlin who has a win on a good track at 6F (not the best race though) and a really nice race on a wet fast track at 1 1/16 mile. In the Derby this horse had a pretty fast finish after getting stuck on the rail, then had to steady right before making a damn near right turn to be 9 wide in the stretch.

Coming from dead last this horse made up 3 lengths in the first mile and then over 8 more in the stretch. That is a hell of a move, couple that with an off track and you may want to take a much closer look at this race. I can see the three speed horses battling, CC finally overtaking Social Inclusion with half a furlong to go only to have Curlin's son blow by with 50 yards to go. Storm Cat on the mare's side is big turf, off course sire.

One other thing I noticed, at the end of the Derby CC's rider made a huge mistake turning around to see if anyone was coming. That tells me that the horse was out of gas, other's think he had eased horse with a sure win, I saw it much differently.

I'm assuming no WIFI again this weekend, wondering if track condition will have 3 or 4 horses scratch, that will be a shame as I like the makeup of this race, much more honest in that we have a good mix and variety of running styles. Good luck to all who gamble on this race, I'll buy a case of good beer intead of a wager this race.

Doug
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