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    MARK GEIGER: Longshots, Comments, Chalk Festival
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  • June 2017
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    Keep Talking impresses day two as Fairgrounds opens

    Posted By Warren Eves on November 23, 2016

    By Warren Eves Day two of the winter Fairgrounds meet produced some notable runs. Bereton JonesKeep Talking, favored when sixth as the favorite in his Keeneland debut, made amends in the maiden special weight sixth. Despite veering out at the start the Ghostzapper colt still led in the opening 60. He then sat second outside Hold Me Black, then when spanked in the lane he kicked away. The main track, for whatever reason, did not produce a lot of quick last fractions. Usually that kind of a surface meets with the approval of the horsemen. I spent hours reviewing the first two days of racing and you will find my observations in the “Notes scribbled” section below. Notes scribbled across my official program–In watching replays of day one at the Fairgrounds noted the racing surface was far from glib. For example, in the seasonal opener when #3–Supreme Bean managed to finish a no-threat fourth I disregarded the fairly good effort. The reason is the final 25.83 final fraction is not going to produce much down the road…………Benwill won race four on opening day at the Fairgrounds and actually posted the best final fraction of the program as he came home in 23.17 on the turf. It appeared that Jim Graham gave String King an easy race. (more…)

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    Was CHRB jimson weed news release a warning shot? Are the rumbles of a Breeders Cup drug positive true?

    Posted By Warren Eves on November 18, 2016

    By Warren Eves It was a warning shot. That’s my take on that news release from the dysfunctional California Horse Racing Board(CHRB) on November 14 regarding jimson weed. Why would the CHRB, with its long running apathetic history, go public with such miss information? Do you suppose rumors of an impending Breeders Cup drug positive could have any connection with this action? It must be said. Finding some jimson weed in one bale of straw is simply not worthy of a teeny bit of concern! Cheating with a prescription form of scopolamine, apparently continues to be an issue. We’re hearing investigators from one California horse racing facility were sent to another horse gaming venue last week. It could be the tell tale sign of something bigger than a bale of hay. One of (more…)

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    Bill Hartack book filled with plethura of great stories

    Posted By Warren Eves on November 15, 2016

    By Warren Eves Horse racing historians are sure to enjoy Bill Hartack the book. For those of us who have been on this earth longer than most, Bill Christine’s recount of thoroughbred racing’s past is a must. We lost the great Phil Georgeff recently, the voice of Chicago racetracks during their best years. “Here they come, spinning out of the turn,” was one of his pet phrases writes Bill Christine, my friend who wrote for the Los Angeles Times for many years. Here’s a tidbit from chapter 12, The Bittersweet Life of a Hall of Fame Jockey.  ”With 549 wins, Hartack ranks far down on the list of all-time leading jockeys at Arlington Park, but when Phil Georgeff wrote his memoir, there were only three chapters devoted exclusively to jockeys–Hartack, Eddie Arcaro and Bill Shoemaker.  During his early years, Hartack and Shoemaker were the kingpins at Arlington, with the New York-based Arcaro dropping in intermittently to ride in an important stakes race. “They had three different riding styles. But nobody knew the shortest route to the winner’s circle any better than those three. They each deserved a chapter, because for my money they’re the three greatest of all time.” Coming from Georgeff, that’s a prolific statement! What we can tell you from our personal experience is former Daily Racing Form columnist Joe Hirsch was the only guy who got up (more…)

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    Controversy clouds LBJug on a Thursday(?)in Ohio; Text message has rival trainers lodging protest

    Posted By Warren Eves on September 23, 2016

    By Warren Eves This makes zero sense. Only a hardened harness racing buff would know the Little Brown Jug was presented Thursday. David Miller drove Betting Line to win the 71st edition and set a new 1:49 half-mile world record. And, oh yeah, the race was conducted in Delaware, Ohio but got next to zip attention with news media. Add to that odd scenario, the race is clouded with controversy. The horse that trainer Casie Coleman says “never gets tired” was giving driving legend David Miller his fourth Little Brown Jug. Wow! But how in the world could a harness racing fixture be held on a Thursday? (more…)

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    Where’s raves for Team-Sherman at Los Alamitos? California Chrome grabs place among equine greats

    Posted By Warren Eves on August 22, 2016

    By Warren Eves Where are the plaudits for trainer Art Sherman? I’m making reference to the raves that for years have been written about the likes of “Baffy” and “Smiley” Mandella? Seems to me the old timer who calls Los Alamitos Race Course his home base has done a masterful job with a very good horse. The remarkable development of California Chrome reminds me of the prowess of one Sir Charles Whittingham.  Do you remember him? He was called the “Bald Eagle.”  Writers showered him with praise for his masterful training ways with a select band of thoroughbreds. Nobody could possibly envision the string of events that would take place over the 435 acre dairy-land spread Frank Vessels, Sr. bought in Orange County, California so very long ago. It wasn’t until Go Man Go became quarter horse racing’s first superstar in 1955 the tiny racetrack Frank built began getting attention nationally. The transformation of the world’s finest quarter horse track has been beyond remarkable. I remember the days when I drove from Pasadena, Ca., through all the dairy farms in Orange County to get to this quaint horse racing oval where they ran quarter horse races. It’s a piece of my California horse racing memory bank they can never take away. Those photo finishes. Those “hello there” announcements Bobby Doyle made over the loudspeaker when there was one of many dead heats. It was country racing. It was awesome! Boy has that picture changed! Unfortunately, Sherman has gotten only moderate raves for his masterful job of managing a horse named California Chrome. To his credit, he’s managed to deflect some of the pompous and dribble that has spouted from the mouths of those who have been fortunate to own a piece of this talented super horse.  If Sir Charlie were still with us he’d tell you teamwork is what it makes it happen under any successful shedrow. (more…)

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    Tim “Oddsman” Utley’s view on Vegas vs. offshore; Shops like offer players more ‘value’

    Posted By Warren Eves on August 6, 2016

    By Warren Eves Tim “Oddsman” Utley prefers off shore betting over the glittering betting factions in Las Vegas. During the four years he lived in Las Vegas, Nevada he would move from one gaming property to another seeking betting value and the best perks. Tim hosted the Station Casino’s Football Hour on radio. Utley continues to visit the city of bright lights on a regular basis from his Phoenix home. An avid Chicago Cubs fan he likes sports betting and dabbles on the ponies. “If bettors are always looking for value why would anyone move to Vegas to bet sports in casinos?” says Utley who claims he gets more bang for his buck while betting with off-shore venues. “I bet with but I’m moving to,” says Utley who says rebates brought about his switch in bet companies. “I don’t play fantasy sports like or and Arizona is one of the states where it is not legal. Arizona has outlawed all internet wagering. Only phone wagering (more…)

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    Full Salute proves micro management gets results; Eddie Plesa’s colt has outstanding 10-5-3-0 record

    Posted By Warren Eves on June 15, 2016

    By Warren Eves We’ve talked about micro managing newly turned three-year-olds for years. Todd Pletcher always gets his hands on more blue bloods than most, yet fails to get it done when it comes to micro managing and getting the most out of his stock. We have maintained for years, and the numbers prove us correct, no trainer can manage several hundred youngsters properly. It just can’t be done. Edward Plesa is a prime example of what can happen when you are not saddled with having to manage far too many horses. Keep in mind, we have no idea how many horses Plesa trains but I’m betting it’s nowhere near the numbers Toddster gets at the start of each and every year. Full Salute, a son of Speightstown won the $60,000 Select at Monmouth Park on Saturday, June 12. It was a smart looking score over the distance of 5-1/2 (more…)

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    The surreal story of jockey Ralph Neves revisited; ‘Portuguese Pepperpot’ comes to life in the morgue

    Posted By Warren Eves on June 2, 2016

    By Warren Eves The Portuguese Pepperpot revisited. A majority of today’s horse racing fans won’t connect when jockey Ralph Neves is mentioned. Jay Richards wrote a column about the famed jockey some time ago. It’s an unbelievable story. Here’s how Richards penned this surreal turn of events. “The Neves odyssey officially came to an end shortly past midnight on Friday, July 7, 1995, when he was pronounced dead. Neves retired in 1964 after riding 3,771 winners during a 30-year-career. He died in his sleep (more…)

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    NOLA Fairgrounds may have seen last of Desormeaux: Ruth claims Nyquist’s ride among the all-time worst!

    Posted By Warren Eves on May 21, 2016

    By Warren Eves Two questions following Saturday’s Preakness. 1. Has the Fairgrounds seen the last of trainer Keith Desormeaux? 2. Were the riding decisions made by Mario Gutierrez to blame for Nyquist’s first defeat. We chatted with Keith several times in the Fairgrounds paddock a couple of years ago. Since that time Keith’s stable flourished, landing in SoCal where he’s managed to make a name for himself just like his brother Kent did years ago. It was great to see the Desormeaux brothers win a big race like the Preakness together. It was Kent’s third win of the second jewell of the Triple Crown. Dreams do come true, even though I doubt the Desormeaux brothers ever had a goal of winning a leg of the Triple Crown together like they did Saturday. Some respected factions were highly critical of the ride Mario Gutierrez gave the odds-on choice Nyquist. Handicapper David Ruth said: “In my life I have never seen a more pathetic performance by this complete baffoon Gutierrez. Close to the worst ride in history!” Jay Richards, former turf writer for the Las Vegas Review, said: “He said go and Nyquist went. What really compromised them was the other two horses. Some horses just won’t drop their head, and you cannot get them to settle. I knew that you can’t win, going that fast at that distance. I thought he ran a very credible race. Yes, it was his fault, but he didn’t relax.” Let’s be honest. Kent gave Exaggerator as good a trip around Pimlico’s tight turns as one could ever hope for. Many of the riders seemed to purposely stay well away from the inside which (more…)

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    CDI’s board needs to dump online bet company TVG; It’s time to upgrade Kentucky Derby’s betting network

    Posted By Warren Eves on May 8, 2016

    By Warren Eves “Would it behoove Churchill Downs to call the NYSE and ask how they do it.” That’s what Bill Christine, longtime columnist for the Los Angeles Times, e-mailed us after the betting meltdown on the 2016 Kentucky Derby. “I don’t know (anything) about computers,” Christine began, “but the New York Stock Exchange runs a Kentucky Derby five times a week.” It’s no secret the disdain I hold for the pompous CEOs at Churchill Downs. Saturday Twin Spires experienced a colossal loss of betting (more…)

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