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Friday, December 21, 2007


Yes, still more stores to hit..eeks.
Quiet news week for horse racing in Ontario but some fun betting events tomorrow at Fair Grounds (which cancelled after 5 races yesterday because of bad track conditions) and the Gulfstream meeting is just around the corner...

HOT D*&(*&N!


Tucci Stables’ Quebec-bred HOT DEPUTY won the 6th race at Calder yesterday for trainer Nick Gonzalez. The 4-year-old Silveer Deputy – Astro Beauty gelding, who ran in the Queen’s Plate last year, was winning for $10,000 claiming.


From Woodbine Entertainment

Considering only the trainers that finished in the top 50 (based on wins) in the Woodbine standings, the following list ranks the five conditioners that finished the season with the highest average win odds.

Rank / Trainer / Average win odds

1) Glenn Magnusson 13.44
2) Alex McPherson 12.91
3) Dan Vella 9.44
4) Analisa Delmas 8.80
5) Alec Fehr 8.77

The average payoff on a $2 win wager for Glenn Magnusson is $28.88; Alex McPherson’s average winner returned $27.82; Dan Vella’s successful equine pupils averaged $20.88; Analisa Delmas, $19.60; and a victorious Alec Fehr trainee returned a mean price of $19.54.

Glenn Magnusson and Alex McPherson finished the 2007 campaign in a tie for 46th in the standings, capturing 10 wins apiece.

Since Magnusson started 106 runners and McPherson saddled 112, both would have been profitable conditioners using a simple flat-bet approach.

In other words, a $2 win wager on every Magnusson entrant would have cost $212 over the course of the season. At the end of the year, the investment would have yielded $288.80. The profit: a tidy $76.80, a gain of 36.2 per cent.

Similarly, McPherson’s 10 scores would have fetched $278.20 from an initial investment of $224 ($2 multiplied by each of his 112 starts). The profit: $54.20 or 24.2 per cent.



Horse Racing betting: 999/1 Betfair punt landed

December 20, 2007 - Darren Holland

Christmas has come early for one Betfair punter who is getting ready to pay off his mortgage after placing £25 on Captain Crooner, the 14/1 winner of the 12.30 at Southwell today. But the punter won't be paying off a measly £350, he will be able to clear the final 20k off his home loan – as he backed the horse at 999-1 in running on the exchange.

The horse, backed from 16/1 to 14/1 pre-race, traded at the maximum price of 999/1 on the exchange after making a slow start slowly and soon getting detached from the other runners.

The punter demonstrated a cool head in the heat of the moment by ensuring that he couldn't lose whatever happened! Posting under the name "Manchesterskytrain" on the Betfair forum immediately after his five-figure coup the Warrington-based winner explained:

"£25 of it [money backed at 999/1] was mine, i can pay my mortgage off now, i am going mental here, it's my 2nd 1000 winner and I only have £2 on the other, this is by far my biggest win."

"I laid it @ 44 early in the race, just after halfway stage so i wanted out of the bet and asked for £25 which was all matched at the 1000, i laid it again @ 80 to make sure I won something on the race and ended up winning just over £20k after commission."

There were also two other Betfair customers who backed the horse at 999/1 and netted just under £3,000 apiece, with one getting £3 matched and the other £2.49.

Betfair spokesman Tony Calvin commented: "I feel justified in trotting out the cliché that Christmas really has come early for three Betfair customers. And the punter who had £25 on Captain Crooner at the ceiling price of 999/1 must literally be taking a leaf out of Lionel Richie's book - and dancing on the ceiling, which he is now soon to own outright!"


Here’s a write-up on what the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Group is and who is involved…

(courtesy Thoroughbred Times)

"The Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group is the logical next step for horsemen's organizations dealing with simulcast issues in a multi-jurisdictional business environment with multi-track consortiums and integrated companies like TrackNet Media," said racehorse owner Bob Reeves, the newly elected president of the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group. Reeves also serves as a director of the Ohio Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and co-chair of the National HBPA's Wagering and Alternative Gaming Committee.

"We believe that our company will create efficiencies in simulcasting administration and implementation; enhance the effectiveness of horsemen's organizations as representatives of the industry's most important stakeholder, the racehorse owner; and in the long-term help improve the competitiveness and productivity of the Thoroughbred racing industry.

“Our game faces new challenges, the simulcasting model is outdated, and we are confident that the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group can be a constructive instrument for horsemen to address those challenges and contribute to their solutions."

27-year-old manager of Hastings speaks big about his track

Here’s a story from today’s The Province in Vancouver


Track rolls the dice on gaming machines

Kent Gilchrist, The Province

Published: Friday, December 21, 2007

From the humble beginnings of busing tables in the Table Terrace as an 11- or 12-year-old kid to the general manager of Hastings Racecourse 15 years later, Raj Mutti is a rising star.

In fact, his story has some similarities to another successful sports figure in town.

Perhaps Mutti will receive B.C. Lions president and CEO Bob Ackles' book The Water Boy for Christmas. Mutti can only hope to turn the fortunes of thoroughbred racing as quickly as Ackles has managed with the Lions.

The 27-year-old New Westminster native, graduated with honours from the Race Track Industry program at the University of Arizona in 2004.

He has all the ingredients and qualifications to be the point person for an ambitious recovery initiative undertaken by owner Great Canadian Gaming Corporation.

He was an eyewitness to the good times, obviously loves the business and has been part-owner of some awfully nice horses.

They include the 2003 B.C. horse of the year, Rosco Pito, surely one of the most popular four-legged athletes to have been bred in the province.

Mutti's friends include some fellow owner/partners: trainer John Snow, bartender Ross Rankin and Joe Gray of the gate crew.

Mutti has been hearing the tales of woe from their perspectives for years so his sphere of knowledge from inside and outside the complex and diverse industry is as broad as it is deep.

With the track having had several different owners and management teams since the salad days of the '80s when they raced five days a week and routinely recorded $1-million handles on Monday nights under Jack Diamond, most managers have been "front side" savvy but hardly knew the direction to the "back side", where the engine of the business is.

Mutti is the exception.

If horse racing is going to survive long-term it is going to need bright, young, energetic leadership with vision and personality.

So the new general manager of Hastings Racecourse does seem the perfect choice.

He takes over from veteran race tracker Mike Mackey, who is staying on but will concentrate on liaising in construction of the permanent casino facility and work with racing secretary Lorne Mitchell to make the live racing program as good as it can be.

As operations manager, Mutti has been Mackey's right hand man and Mike has been his mentor.

"The goal," said Mutti, "is to improve B.C. racing to where it was a few years ago; to put it back on the entertainment and sports map.

"We are now working on some ideas for getting us into business head offices and making us top of mind."

To that end, it certainly doesn't hurt when B.C.-owned horses and trainers make news nationally by winning Jockey Club of Canada Sovereign Awards, as Bob Cheema and K.K. Sangara did with True Metropolitan, Dancing Allstar and Financing Available earlier this month in Toronto.

"It's nice to see our owners, trainers and horses get the recognition," said Mutti. "Our horses can compete anywhere."

That the GCGC owners are in the process of investing $40 million or more in upgrades to the PNE plant doesn't hurt the picture, either. A temporary slots room opened last month and the first phase of redevelopment is a permanent home for 600 of the gaming machines.

"This will be a year of development and change," said Mutti.

"We're looking to 2010 as a big turning-point year for us."

They are a ways away from five days a week of racing, but Hastings is clearly headed in the right direction.


  • At 8:50 AM, Anonymous Once-A-Wando-Stalker said…

    Hi Jen, thanks, as always, for the Canadian Connections update. I understand that WEG is changing over their tote system in the new year and it will no longer be compatible with some of the other tracks or OTBs (as is currently the case with Georgian and Flamboro) Will this mean that tickets purchased at WEG facilities will only be cashable at WEG facilities? And how will this affect using my HPI card for my Dial-n-Lose account? I can not use my card at some tracks, receiving the message that it applies to the wrong community. I started my account at Woodbine, but most frequently use my card at Grand River Raceway in Elora. Any news on these changes?

  • At 9:45 PM, Anonymous Allen Abbott said…


    In 1998, John Charalambous purchased a yearling at the Fasig-Tipton Oct. sale for $7,500. Along with my old summer camp friend Jamie Leder, we named the horse TOP BUNK. Bunk broke his maiden in his fifth start at Woodbine ridden by Jack Lauzon in Nov. 99. We shipped him to Aqueduct where after being unplaced in a N1X allowance we took an edge and dropped him in for a $50,000 tag. Naturally he won and got claimed. He has subsequently raced a further 81 times. On Thursday Dec. 20, 2007 he won his 21st lifetime race while placing in 23 and showed in 16 , bankrolling over $550,000. My question is how does Top Bunk rank in terms of winningest horses still in training and number of wins this decade?

  • At 3:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    to ex-WandoStalker:

    This is no different from about 3 years ago when Fort Erie changed tote systems (from Autotote to United). Before they did that, WEG tickets, vouchers, and cards worked at Fort Erie and vice versa.

    Now WEG is going from Autotote to Amtote so that's a third tote provider in the mix. Suspect that 1-WEG will have to send out new HPI cards to everybody so they'll work on the new machines, in time for the January 8 changeover, and 2-as you said, HPI cards and WEG tickets won't work at those other tracks unless they also switch to Amtote.


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