Horse Betting - The Blotter
The truth has to be
told. Just about every month the California
Horse Racing Board issues its rulings and,
although this is on the public record, the
public doesn’t always find out about
what’s going on.
To try to get an edge
in this game, it’s
always nice to know who is playing by the rules
and who is bending them.
I first learned that this game was not completely
on the up and up when I was 16 and working at
a hamburger stand, you remember the kind that
was serviced by car hops? That was me.
My boss, who taught me a lot about racing, was
a friend with one of the customers who happened
to be nicknamed Carryback. Instead of tips, Carryback
gave out horses that he heard were set to roll.
The life changer was called Raven Dale. The
first time he won he paid $27. In his next start
he paid $39.80. Back to the well for the third
straight time and he paid $43.
And a racing fan was born.
Not saying here that the trainers and horses
that follow were all set up, but these are the
rulings the stewards have set down.
Oscar Garcia was fined three grand and put on
probation for a year because his trainee Super
Harmony tested positive for cetirizine and hydroxyzine.
Harmony was super when 2nd at a fat 28-1 on January
28. The horse eventually was placed last, but
not before the cash was paid out.
John Sadler was suspended for 15 days and fined
$7,500 for a violation involving Cat and a Half,
who ran second 11/11 last year at 9-5. The runner
also tested positive for cetirizine and hydroxyzine.
Place horse Crosscut was put up and Cat has
since won and run 2nd at 12-1 in a stakes.
Harmony went on to win again at 4-1 in late
April at Golden Gate and has not been seen since.
Rapid Silver is another
that had his win taken away. The runner finished
first March 22 at even money, but was disqualified
for exceeding the level of total carbon dioxide.
Trained by Jorge Alcala, the conditioner was
also fined, but only three grand, and that
sure didn’t help
the bettors who backed Famous Flash, second in
the race in question. Flash was 36-1 that day
and for those bettors that smoked out that longshot,
they have to be crying in the beer to find out
he was whipped by a hopped horse.
Alcala got a credit as a handler-wrangler in
the Seabiscuit movie and he is having his best
year in 2007. He started winning as a trainer
in 2005 when he won with four of 18 starters.
He only had two more wins the next year with
46 more starters, but is 12 for 62 this year
with 46% of his 2007 starters in the money.
Quite a meteoric rise in production.
Go back in history
and you’ll find Bumper
Crop, trained by Francisco Martin. It took the
CHRB a long time, but they finally suspended
that trainer 180 days and fined him ten grand
because Bumper tested positive for hydromorphine,
a semi-synthetic opioid analgesic.
You have to also wonder if this guy was juiced
two races later. He won by 16 lengths that day
in a cheap maiden $8K fray and most recently,
when still trained by Martin, he was third beaten
a neck at 18-1 May 18 at Los Alamitos.
Granted, you have
to succeed in this game or you will not be
around. Owners will find trainers that win.
But Sadler is one of the best trainers around.
Doug O’Neill, trainer of Lava Man
and always near the top of the standings, has
had his violations, but he continues to also
get slapped on the wrist with things like $3,000
And it doesn’t stop there. Curlin’s
trainer, Steve Asmussen, Rags to Riches trainer,
Todd Pletcher, and prominent New York horseman
Richard Dutrow Jr. all have had their fair share
For the bettor, you have to read those things
into the past performances of racers in order
to get a full picture.
It’s just one
more thing for the bettor to scrutinize, and
only those that go the extra yard, will succeed
in this game.
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Posted on 7/10/2007 4:06:46 PM
Horse Betting - THE BLOTTER
By Brian Mulligan
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