Tuesday, April 28, 2020
There's no doubt that racing - aside from the current virus dilemma - has a barnful of problems. Medication, short fields and eye-opening changes on the odds board after the start of a race are among the top 10. What follows is another tale of an odds drop that defies explanation.
Enduros Tigress, a 4-year-old filly by Double Diamond Farm's First Dude, was listed at 15-1 in the morning line in the second race at Tampa Bay Downs Saturday. Tomas Mejia was aboard for the ride at 6 1/2 furlongs over the main track.
Midway through the betting, Enduro's Tigress sat on the board at 16-1 or 17-1, but as post time approached, she had slowly crawled upwards, passing 20-1, and as the field neared the gate, she was a juicy 27-1.
When the gate opened, Mejia got the filly away in fifth place, and she settled in comfortably down the backstretch, tracking about four or five lengths behind the leaders. Mejia put her in another gear on the turn, and Enduros Tigress closed the gap quickly. She looped the four ahead of her, took the lead passing the eighth pole, and went on to score by nearly three lengths.
It was a thing of beauty, except that as her followers savored the euphoria of a major score, and quickly checked the board, they found the number had plummeted like a falling tree; she was now 11-1. Sixteen points.
Who was responsible for the drop and where it was initiated is something only the tote company involved can answer. But for the conspiracy theorists, and I am among them, something is definitely wrong here. If hackers can get into banks, major organizations and the like, it's hard to imagine they can't get into the tote companies, despite those companies constantly dismissing the idea.
Enduro's Tigress paid $23.60 to win, so somebody still made a monster score. But it's a question as to just how long the betting public will stand for it.
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