Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Where is All This Lovely Money Coming From?

Our good friends over at the Paulick Report were quick to announce that the New York Racing Association (NYRA) is boosting purses 27% for the 2012 Belmont Spring meet and the Saratoga meet.


Twenty-seven percent!!

Vingt-sept pour cent!! if you are Jean Dujardin.

And here's some statistics that will leave you gobsmacked: Average daily purses will see a 44% increase at Belmont; 39% at Saratoga. Amazing!

My first reaction: "Wow! They must be raking in the big bucks at the new Aqueduct racino!" But wait a minute ... Hasn't the NYRA been caught up in a web of financial troubles for some time? Fiscal problems? Bankruptcy? Bailouts?

According to New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli,
"NYRA stands to squander significant revenue from the recently opened VLT franchise at Aqueduct." [Jan. 24, 2012]

Squander? Genius Restructure? A ginormous VLT windfall?

Un mystère intriguant...

Thursday, February 09, 2012

'Luck' and Zen of Derby Futures

One of my best friends is a professional couch potato; she watches lots of TV. She can name all the contestants on The Biggest Loser and recite how much weight each has lost since their last weigh-in. She's irritated that Ben is besotted with the shallow, bikini-less Courtney on The Bachelor. ABC, CBS, PBS, HBO, TNT, CSI, and so forth - she's the original Bourbon and Coke swilling TV Guide.

A few days ago she asked me what I thought of the new series Luck. I told her I haven't seen it.

She just about fell off her couch.

"It's a horse racing TV show! And since you know all this horse racing lingo, you need to watch it," she reprimanded. "We have much to discuss!" You'd think we were a book club.

So, yesterday I sat down to watch the first episode. And I didn't get far. It was just too slow and heavy handed; it didn't hold my interest very long. If Dustin Hoffman had reprised his role as Master Shifu, it would've been a lot more entertaining.

And let's face it, the serious bettors, or "degenerates" that were so warmly portrayed in Luck, certainly could be enhanced by channeling inner peace.

For those of us "degenerates" channeling inner peace, our pal Gary West at provides his zen philosophy for this weekend's upcoming Kentucky Derby Futures Pool. For those who deride or resist the wager, Gary reminds us "it's all fun, even if a little foolish. But a Futures wager can be more wise than foolish." In his example, he demonstrates that a modest wager spread throughout various Future pools and 390 ± 20 possible outcomes, there is the potential of profitable awesomeness or dinner with Dennis Farina.

Inner peace ... inner peace ... Alpha 20-1 ... I'll Have Another 65-1 ... inner peace ... inner peace ...