ad-fullscreen

Small fields in Breeders’ Cup prep races show lack of depth

In horse race betting, when the odds are 1-5, the chalk is supposedly a lock. But in Las Vegas, we know better. There are no locks in horse or sports betting, as even the best can get beat.

We saw that in full force last weekend when four overwhelming chalk horses — Beholder, Flintshire, Klimt and Runhappy — got beat in their final Breeders’ Cup prep races.

Now there are good losses, and there are bad ones. Beholder, Flintshire and Klimt ran second and showed enough that they are still viable contenders in the Breeders’ Cup on Nov. 4 and 5 at Santa Anita.

But sprint champion Runhappy was asked to run a mile in the Ack Ack at Churchill Downs off a nine-month layoff. Either he was a very short horse or he told us he wants no part of a mile distance. Regardless, his was a bad loss.

There are 10 more Grade 1 prep races this weekend at Belmont Park, Keeneland and Santa Anita. The five stakes at Keeneland offer full fields. But the four races at Belmont Park drew six horses each, and only five entered the Santa Anita Sprint Championship.

I would hate to think that there are not enough talented runners. One thing I do know is quite a few trainers have opted to train their stakes horses up to the Breeders’ Cup rather than run them.

I see some similarity between the way trainers handle their horses and how baseball managers handle their starting pitching.

Pitchers used to start every fourth day in a four-man rotation. It was no big deal to throw 250 to 275 innings in a season. Now, managers use a five-man rotation, limit the pitch count to 100 and reduce the workload to 200 innings in a season.

The Triple Crown schedule is an example of the way horses were raced in another era. Three Grade 1 races in five weeks was not an unusual agenda in the past.

Today, if a horse runs once a month, that’s a busy resume. If a stakes horse runs every six weeks, that’s considered taxing.

No wonder horse owners have an impossible time breaking even in this sport. While you never want to race an injured horse, a healthy horse standing in its stall doesn’t earn a penny, either.

HANDICAPPING TOURNAMENTS

Horseplayers have two key contests coming up at Santa Anita Park and The Orleans.

The Autumn Handicapping Championship will be at Santa Anita on Saturday and Sunday. It is a live money format with an entry fee of $4,500. The first five finishers will claim a berth into the Daily Racing Form/National Thoroughbred Racing Association National Handicapping Championship from Jan. 27 to 29 at TI.

There are also two $1 million bonuses that the winner of the AHC becomes eligible for. The Fall Classic is Oct. 13 to 15 at The Orleans. It is a win-only format with a $500 entry fee. The top finishers claim a berth into the Horseplayer World Series from March 30 to April 1 at The Orleans.

Richard Eng’s horse racing column is published Friday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. You can buy his Santa Anita picks at www.racedaylasvegas.com. Email him at rich_eng@hotmail.com and follow on Twitter @richeng4propick.

section-ads_high_impact_4
Sports Betting Spotlight Videos
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 14
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and TI sports book director Tony Nevill preview NFL Week 14.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 13
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback preview Week 13 of the NFL regular season. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: College football Week 14
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback preview Week 14 of the college football season. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 13
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Matt Holt give their picks for week 13 of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 12
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Matt Holt give their picks for week 12 of NFL football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College football Week 12
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Bob Scucci go over their picks for college football week 12.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 11
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Bob Scucci go over their picks for NFL football week 11.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 10
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and CG Technology Sports Book Vice President Matt Holt preview Week 10 of the NFL.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 11
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and CG Technology Sports Book Vice President Matt Holt preview Week 11 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 10
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and Boyd Gaming Sports Book Director Bob Scucci preview Week 10 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 9
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and Boyd Gaming Sports Book Director Bob Scucci preview Week 9 of the NFL season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 8
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback preview Week 8 of the NFL season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 7
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Alan Berg go over their picks for NFL week 7.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 6
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and Boyd Gaming sports book director Bob Scucci make their picks for NFL Week 6. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: College football Week 7
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and Boyd Gaming sports book director Bob Scucci maker their picks for Week 7 of college football. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 5
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and CG Technology Sports Book Vice President Matt Holt go over their picks for week five of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 6
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and CG Technology Sports Book Vice President Matt Holt go over their picks for week six of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 5
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart (@kellyinvegas) and Wynn Sports Book Director John Avello go over their picks for week five of college football and their best bets.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 4
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart (@kellyinvegas) and Wynn Sports Book Director John Avello go over their picks for week four of the NFL and their best bets.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 3
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart (@kellyinvegas) and Caesars Oddsmaker Alan Berg go over their picks for week three of NFL football and their best bets.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 4
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart (@kellyinvegas) and Caesars Oddsmaker Alan Berg go over their picks for week three of college football and their best bets.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 2
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Boyd Gaming sports book director Bob Scucci talk about their best bets for the second week of NFL football in this weeks sports betting spotlight. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 3
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Boyd Gaming sports book director Bob Scucci talk about their best bets for the third week of college football in this weeks sports betting spotlight. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
ad-315×600
News Headlines
pos-2 — ads_infeed_1
post-4 — ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like