Notes From North and South
Sunday, December 27, 2020

 (1) One of  the biggest outrages serious handicappers face daily - odds taking huge drops on the tote board while the race is in progress - continues to haunt bettors at every track in the country.

A couple of recent examples: At Charles Town, Don't Spin Me, a filly by Handsome Mike, goes into the gate at odds of  21-1, and wins like a thief in the night. Her backers discover she is 10-1 as they hit the wire and she pays $22. A nice score but less than half of what the payoff might have been.  

At Gulfstream Park, announcer Pete Aiello notes that Florida-bred What a Beaut is 8-1 entering the gate; she drops to 5-1 after they go 100 yards, and wins, naturally.

(2) Two Saturdays ago, the fourth race at Gulfstream went off at 1:31. The winner was Cowardly Act, who paid $105.80. Nine minutes later, the field in the fourth at Tampa Bay Downs left the gate and Holy Diver won and paid $120.20. Must have been something in the air floating from Hallandale Beach to Oldsmar, like the mysterious sea mist that enveloped Grant Williams in "The Incredible Shrinking Man."  

(3) 'Twas the day before Christmas, and all through the house, only two tracks (Gulfstream and Tampa) were simulcast, even for a mouse. With everybody else shuttered, Gulfstream handled $9,221,126 from all sources. Tampa's on-track handle was just $81,429 with an announced attendance of 1,307, and there was a low total of $167,225 added from around the state (ITW). But the ISW wagering from the rest of the free world reached $5,137,927, so it was a good day all around for both.

 (4) Perhaps no Florida stallion has resided at more farms than Big Drama, who is now at a new nursery called Stormborne Stallions in Citra. Hal Queen's star runner has progeny earnings of nearly $9 million, but it easily could have been twice that if he had been at one solid establishment.       

 5) The turf course at Tampa Bay Downs is the equal of any in North America, and better than most

(6) Because of early deadlines due to the holiday, the Stallion Progeny list for today in the Wire-to-Wire Racing Digest does not contain any runners listed for any Florida stallions, current or past. And, as usual, there are plenty. Today is the 27th, the list was published on the 23rd, apparently before Gulfstream's entries were available.

(7) In years to come, the most bizarre winning photos posted on the walls of just about every den or horse farm office in Marion County will feature a bunch of unidentifiable people wearing masks. Only the horse will be able to be identified.     

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