Nearly $39,000 Wagered on OBS Race Day
Friday, November 29, 2019

    The Ocala Breeders Sales Co. was scheduled to run eight quarter horse races followed by the two OBS sprints worth $125,000 each on Tuesday, with betting allowed on races 1-8. It turned out that only four quarter horses races filled, so racing secretary Jay Friedman was able to substitute four thoroughbred races, with betting, instead. 

    Here's a breakdown of how the betting went, for the edification of those who would like to bring pari-mutuel wagering to Ocala. 

Race 1 - Win, place, show: $1,271; exacta: $1,873. Total - $3,144.

Race 2 - WPS: $1,757; daily double: $102; exacta: $810. Total - $2,669.

Race 3 - WPS: $1,644; daily double: $75; exacta: $1,170. Total - $2,889.

Race 4 - WPS: $1,436; daily double: $75; exacta: $1,362. Total - $2,873. 

Total betting for 4 quarter horse races = $11,575.

 Race 5 - WPS: $2,622; daily double: $137; exacta: $1,176. Total - $3,935.

Race 6 - WPS: $2,007; daily double: $215; exacta: $1,031. Total - $3,253. 

Race 7 - WPS: $1,937; daily double: $241; exacta: $1,007. Total - $3,185.

Race 8 - WPS: $15,435; daily double: $256; exacta: $1,301. Total - $16,992. 

Total for 8 races - $38,940. 

What can be learned from this, if anything?

(1) The daily double, locally, isn't too popular. 

(2) Exactas are the most popular, since the win-place-show totals have to be divided by three. 

(3) The big jump in WPS for Race 8 can probably be explained thusly. First, Kitchen Fire was such a standout (he went off at 2/5 and won by 17 1/4 lengths) that he commanded some huge bets, and second, a late-arriving crowd that came just to see the two stakes. Kitchen Fire's payoffs were stunning - $2.80, $6.00, $3.60.

    The 4-year-old gelding had finished 10th by 14 1/4 lengths at Tampa Bay Downs on the grass in his first 2019 start. Switching to synthetic tracks - Presque Isle Downs and Woodbine - and Kitchen Fire went 3-3-1 in seven tries, so his liking for the OBS track was no surprise. 


     I wish all racetracks would close their windows when the first horse enters the gate. Maybe - just maybe - I wouldn't be so disappointed when a horse I bet was 6-1 as they neared the gate, and went to 2-1 during the running. It happens way too often and I am far from being the only one who is angered by the policy. 

    I wish the Blood-Horse - on its stallion website pages - would stop the practice of not including all runners by a stallion who are to compete on any day in the "upcoming races" column. I complained about this once before several years ago and received an answer from one of the editors (Mark Simon, I believe), who explained that stallion owners don't want to see entries for cheaper runners listed. Why not? Do they think the people who search for runners are stupid and don't know that some of the stallion's horses run in cheaper races?

    If a horse's victory total is updated on a stallion's ledger, and how much it earned in the cheaper race is included in its totals, then it should also be included in upcoming entries. Quick example: in today's entries for Handsome Mike, Love Daddy isn't mentioned and she's running in the first at Woodbine. The 3-year-old filly is 3-2-2 in 8 starts with earnings of $64,849 and she's in a $40,000 claimer with a purse of $45,000 plus thousands in enhancements. Doesn't make sense.  

    Wire-to-Wire magazine has its Florida Stallion Progeny page, and it includes EVERY horse by a stallion running at every track in North America that day. Regardless of class.

    Speaking of Wire-to-Wire, every race story in the magazine that discusses winners, and every advance detailing upcoming races, leads off with the owner/owners of each horse mentioned. So why is it that the charts for Gulfstream, Gulfstream West and Tampa Bay Downs include the breeders, but don't include the names of the owners? If the owners are so important that they make up a good part of every column, why aren't they important enough to be listed in the charts?

    And, why do the Florida Stallion Progeny pages list stallions that haven't been here for years, and the runners listed so often are not Florida-breds. Quick example - in today's pages Formal Class is listed under the stallion Formal Dinner, who hasn't been in Ocala since the War of 1812. Formal Class is a 7-year-old mare bred in Pennsylvania. What person reading Wire-to-Wire cares about this horse?   


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