Nevada pari-mutuel contract extended to Jan. 25

santa-anita-park-by-polypomo1Nevada horseplayers continued to bet into Churchill Downs and Magna Entertainment track pari-mutuel pools Wednesday as TrackNet extended its current contract with casinos until Jan. 25. 

TrackNet, which is a joint venture between Churchill Downs and Magna Entertainment, is locked in a struggle with casinos over new pari-mutuel contract terms. The track operators want higher fees and would like to change the way casino betting handle is reported, according to a story on

TrackNet threatened to suspend pari-mutuel betting to some 80 casinos Wednesday because the previous contract expired and little progress was being made on the new one. Casino managers were prepared to book bets at Santa Anita, Gulfstream, Golden Gate and Fairgrounds.

Casino representatives met with TrackNet leaders Wednesday and will continue to negotiate over the next couple of weeks, said Patty Jones, the executive director of the Nevada Pari-Mutuel Association.

“Both sides came away with a better understanding of the other sides position,” Jones told

Thursday, Santa Anita Race 8 — 4:37 p.m. post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $32,000, 6-1/2 furlongs, 3-year-olds

Possible overlays                                Morning line

#2 Cold Ruler                                             5/1
#3 African Gray                                         12/1
#4 Bubsy                                                   7/2
#7 Haughty Topper                                 5/1
#9 Good Newsman                                     5/1
#10 At the Beach                                       12/1

Three first-time starters look like good bets at the right prices: #3 African Gray, #7 Haughty Topper and #10 At the Beach. The best bet of that group will likely be the Mike Mitchell-trained Haughty Topper. Mitchell is known for being good second time out, but he’s also been winning first time recently and owners Tommy Town Thoroughbreds have a high percentage of debut winners.

On the far outside, owner-trainer Craig Lewis starts #10 At the Beach, an offspring of Larry the Legend, a sire that has produced a few debut winners for Lewis. This trainer’s live maidens tend to get early action on the tote board.

Dan Hendricks trains #9 Good Newsman, who lost two lengths in his last when shuffled back, but showed that he has the ability to win at this level. Both Good Newsman and #4 Bubsy have the right running style to win at 6 1/2 furlongs. On the inside, second-timer #2 Cold Ruler was bet to 7/1 in his first race where he made a middle move at 7 furlongs. Also, he’s showing fast workouts in the Daily Racing Form.

I will bet $300 on #7 Haughty Topper at 5/2 or better, $150 on #3 African Gray at 10/1 to 19/1, and $100 on At the Beach at 5/1 to 14/1.

Also, I will take $200 on #9 Good Newsman at 3/1 or better and $100 on #2 Cold Ruler at 5/2 to 6/1 only.

Thursday, Santa Anita Race 4 — 2:34 p.m. post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $32,000, 6-1/2 furlongs, 3-year-olds

Possible overlays                               Morning line

#4 White Lace Jimmy                          2/1
#5 Llamada Perdida                            10/1
#7 Lahcotah                                     7/2

Trainer Richard Matlow’s horses are doing well second time out and #4 White Lace Jimmy got a four-wide trip in his Dec. 7 debut, but still finished well.

First-time starter #5 Llamada Perdida worked out strongly  on Jan 4, going four furlongs in 47-3/5 seconds to be the sixth best of 78 at the distance. And #7 Lehcotah was close to the pace until the turn in a Nov. 26 route race, before giving way.

At 7/2 to 19/1, I’ll bet $200 on #5 Llamada Perdida.

At 2/1 or better, I want  $200 to win on #4 White Lace Jimmy. But if White Lace Jimmy is bet to 9/5 or lower then, I’ll put $150 on #7 Lahcotah at 3/1 or more.

Results, Santa Anita Wednesday Race 5 — lost $350

Getting up by a nose in the last jump, jockey Jose Valdivia timed it right wth #7 Mossad

Getting up by a nose in the last jump, jockey Jose Valdivia timed it right wth #7 Mossad

In here, #10 Kaffeinator was way over bet to 8-to-5, as he was showing the four highest Beyer Speed Figures in the race and money magnet Garrett Gomez was aboard. Because Kaffeinator was pounded, I shopped elsewhere. 

Six of nine horses were coming off recent long layoffs, and I saw this race as wide open. So there was no way I was betting second-place finisher #2 Pacific Halo at 7-to-2 or #3 Voodoo’s Run at 4-to-1.  I ended up playing small wagers on extreme long shots: I took $150 on #6 Mr. Rancho Vista at 19-to-1, and $100 on both #1 Sailboat Sam at 15-to-1 and #4 Unusual Justin at 18-to-1.

Of course, you could say those three were dead on the board and had no shot at all, but I think the strategy was sound as I was close to betting the eventual winner #7 Mossad if he blinked to 6-to1. But unfortunately he remained at 5-to-1.

To watch a replay of this race, go to 

1 1 Sailboat Sam (CA) Solis A Hendricks D 15.80 4
2 2 Pacific Halo (KY) Rosario J Periban J 3.70 2
3 3 Voodoo’s Run (KY) Baze M Polanco M 4.30 3
4 4 Unusual Justin (CA) Nakatani C Abrams B 18.60 7
5 5 Maria’s Cat (CA) Sutherland C Eurton P 59.50 9
6 6 Mr. Rancho Vista (KY) Bejarano R Hollendorfer J 19.70 8
7 7 Mossad (KY) Valdivia, Jr. J Puype M 5.00 1
8 8 No Thinkin Allowed (CA) Gryder A Becerra R 25.30 5
10 9 Kaffeinator (FL) Gomez G Sadler J 1.40 6
SCR Twisted Lyric (KY) Talamo J Ellis R
Pgm Win Place Show
7 $12.00 $6.60 $4.20
2 $5.00 $3.20
3 $3.20
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $30.80 (7-2)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $170.20 (4-1-7)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $791.20 (7-2-3-1)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $120.00 (7-2-3)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $55.00 (1-7)
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