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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pepsi North American Cup Post Positions Drawn - Racing As an Entertainment Option

The post positions for this Saturday's $1 million Pepsi North American Cup have been drawn and here are the post assignments:

$1-Million Pepsi North America Cup Final - 3yos
1   Apprentice Hanover (Jamieson)
2   Vegas Vacation (Zeron)*
3   Fool Me Once (Filion)*
4   Captaintreacherous (Tetrick)*
5   Twilight Bone fire (Miller)
6   Wake Up Peter (Pierce)
7   Sunshine Beach (Christoforou)
8   Odds On Equuleus (Campbell)
9   Captive Audience (Waples)
10 Martini Hanover (Palone)
* - Heat Winners chose their post positions; all others were drawn.

This promises to be an interesting race as there are several who appear as legitimate contenders for top honors.  If I had to choose a horse at this time, I would go with Odds On Equuleus whose conditioning was set back due to illness along the East Coast and Ontario.  I figure Trainer Robin Schadt will finally have him ready for a big effort.

Joe F.  has his take on the post position draw:

Team Treacherous picked their post last for Saturday’s NA Cup, after the connections of Vegas Vacation and Fool Me Once had made their selections. And with the two and three gone, I suppose the four was the logical choice, provided you’re not superstitious, that is. No Cup winner has ever started from the four.

Last year, Sweet Lou, who was sent off as the 1/2 favorite off of a powerful :47.4 elimination win for Dave Palone, started from the four and finished fourth. TOL won from the five.
In 2011 the 9/5 favorite, Big Bad John, started from the four and finished out, as Up The Credit won from the two.

In 2010 the 5/2 second choice, All Speed Hanover, started from the accursed four and finished out as Sportswriter won from the six. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.

The Pepsi North America Cup is one of four races Saturday evening which is part of HANA Harness' 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge.  You will be able to see the handicapper's selections at the contest website no later than Saturday morning.

Speaking of the contest, I am surprised on how the handicappers are doing.  Being puzzled, I asked them for some reasons why they feel they are not doing as well as they could be at this point.  Amongst the answers are the inability to see the toteboard when making  their selections, being restricted to no more than three wagers a race, being limited to a $30 per stakes race limit, and having to wager on races they normally would have passed on.

Perhaps the one response which interested me the most is the $30 per stakes race limit.  I understand the logic, that $30 restricts what they can play by limiting the combinations they can wager on in a particular race.  For example, a four horse box of a trifecta costs you $24, leaving the handicappers $6 more to wager.  That in itself is not what interests to me, what dos is if it is hard for someone willing to wager $30 a race to make money, how hard is it going to be for smaller handicappers to make a profit 'improving the breed'?  The answer is pretty hard so if we want to see those smaller handicappers attend the races with any regularity, we better make racing entertaining because gambling alone is not going to keep them in the game.  If anything, if racing has to stand on gambling alone, there is a good chance we are going to burn these new customers off pretty quickly.

I understand wagering is what keep the game going but the sport isn't going to do well without the casual horseplayer either so if they are going to lose more often than not, we need to provide them an entertainment option worth coming back to. 

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