- Horse Racing - Blinded by the Breeders' Cup hype

Jay Cronley
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Sunday, October 27
Blinded by the Breeders' Cup hype

I know somebody who was very upset with the European style of riding displayed at numerous times during the Breeders' Cup.

This style of horse race riding is where you break last and then take the animal farther back from there and then wait until it's too late and make a rousing ride for home to run second or third, even though you were much the best, flopping and flailing and whooping all the way, as though trying to stand out for the television cameras.

The person who was upset and almost had to be restrained from throwing something at a screen at the simulcast venue was at first livid with the ride put on Rock of Gibralter, and then positively incensed with the way Hold That Tiger took the scenic tour in the Juvenile while most others took the shortest route.

The person to whom I refer said these two rides cost him many hundreds of dollars.

I know somebody else who upset because he had two out of three on five Trifectas.

He said he was this close to thousands of dollars, and held his thumb and first finger a couple of inches apart.

I know somebody who was upset because the horses at the Breeders' Cup that had to win, won, but that the horses that had to run second, didn't.

He said he had three odds-on winners, but no seconds, and lost his backside.

I know somebody who was upset with the way the caller of the races said at several times during the program that a jockey was "sitting chilly." He said this over-used insider-type phrase got on his nerves and caused him to lose his concentration.

I know somebody who was upset because they showed Bob Baffert's wife jumping for joy too many times on television. As if she needed the money.

All told, I know a lot of gamblers who were upset because of the order in which the horses ran. This is not uncommon reaction after the Breeders' Cup.

When all of the horses are good, and most of them are great, and many come from another continent, picking winners is hard work.

I had a fantastic Breeders' Cup weekend.

The best ever.

As much cash as I had in my pockets, I had to check the shadows and trot to the car.

Here's why.

Breeders' Cup weekend runs Friday through Sunday, it's as much a state of mind as anything, a horse player's long weekend.

Friday night, to launch the Breeder' Cup celebration, I went to play Penn National.

You could count on both hands the number of people playing Penn National in my simulcast joint on this occasion. All the fancy handicappers were home looking at the Breeders' Cup facts and figures, skipping over Volponi, saying what is this horse doing entered in the Classic, getting the owner a box seat?

It was raining at Penn National Friday night, prompting scratches all over the place.

The second at PN was a cheap race at six furlongs with four betting interests, that's f-o-u-r, including an entry wearing 1 and 1a.

As one might have expected, the entry was odds-on.

One of the number ones was dropping way down, suggesting pain.

The other of the ones was cheesy.

Of the two horses in the middle of the gate, one appeared more suitable for a steeplechase, it specialized in losing route races, and the other was just plain pitiful.

The horse in gate position No. 7 was over from Philadelphia and was altogether decent and was sitting there at odds of around 7-5.

Now: This might not be as challenging as trying to find the French horse in the Turf Mile. But let me tell you something important: It's easier.

I put the 7 over the 1 in a $50,000 Exacta.

Well. Okay. It wasn't quite that much.

But it was a sufficient bet.

And here they go, the five of them in the rain at Penn National the night before the big Breeders' Cup.

The two entry horses will themselves out of the gate and slosh to the lead and are stalked by the seven who swoops them on the turn and wins by so much I was thinking about what I was going to do with the money before he finished.

The Exacta in a four-horse field wherein two of them could not win under almost all circumstances was ten dollars and change. More than four to one.

Then I bet $2 on the Breeders' Cup races and played out this very good weekend.


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