So many guests! We start off with Brian Skirka of Monmouth to talk about their upcoming meet. Then Sean Gault, Woodbine’s Director of Racing Surfaces is here to talk about the new inner turf course. In our featured segment, Travis Stone is here to answer listener questions about the Kentucky Derby. Finally, JK drops by to look at some races for this weekend.
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Your listening to the, in the money players podcast.
Hello and welcome to the, in the money players podcast. This is show number 36. It’s going to drop on Thursday, April 25th. So much going on here this week. I encourage you to check out our other shows. The Niara bets lead pick five show for Friday. We also have a keen Lynn closing day pod. For tomorrow’s racing.
If you’re hearing this right away, you can still catch those while the racing is in front of us. Also, we’ve got the monster pod to check out. I want you to dig into that. You might need to divide that one up 23 horse people, 23 horses. In this year’s Kentucky Derby, they’ll only be 20 in the end, but we did the first few on the AEs as well, runs about two and a half hours.
Break it up into chunks and enjoy it. Also lots of great content firstname.lastname@example.org. As you know, I’m your host, Peter Thomas foreign, a towel back with you in the Brooklyn bunker. Lots of guests. We’re going to dive right in. Things are going to start off with Brian. Skurka talking about the upcoming Mon with park meet.
Then we’ve got Sean Galt from Woodbine to talk about their new turf course. Then it’s Travis stone for Derby Q and a, and last but not least, the people’s champ will drop by to look at some handicapping for the weekend. And it all starts right now. And now I’d like to bring in the marketing manager from Monmouth park well-known to tournament players across the country.
Brian Skurka Brian, how are you? I’m doing great, Pete, how are you? I’m great. Very happy. We’ll be talking to you very happy about the advent of this Monmouth park meet. And I do want to touch on some contest stuff eventually, but let’s start with the bigger question about this Monmouth park meat and why it might be different than some of the expectations HorsePlayers might have best based on what happened last year.
And in recent years at Monmouth. Yeah. I mean, the, the excitement this year is it’s palpable for the, for the first time in awhile. Uh, actually this is the first year where we kind of, you know, we’ve turned the corner of in previous years. It was, you know, hope that sports betting is coming and hope that as a result, you know, we would see X, Y, and Z and, you know, revenue from that, that we can put into purses.
And this is finally the year that we’re able to say. Yeah, sports betting is here. We’re seeing revenue from that as a result of, you know, whether it was sports betting or a new governor, or, you know, our CEO’s, uh, demonstrations, you know, continued push to try to get us help. Uh, it’s probably a combination of all three of those things.
You know, we have a $10 million subsidy from the state of New Jersey, uh, 10 million over the next five years. Um, Every penny of that is going into purses. So we finally actually have these tangible things that we’re able to say. Um, you know, our racing is going to be better. You know, we have very high standards here, you know, we’re, we’ll, we’ll, we’ll, we’re, we’re fine to admit that over the last few years I racing has not been, been up to the standards that mama’s park is, is used to, you know, we have the elite meet back in 2010 and, and we’ve, you know, we’ve gone downhill from there.
A lot of. That is not our fault. You know, we’re going against tracks and surrounding States that have casinos and all kinds of, you know, different revenue streams that we have. So now that we finally have sports betting and a subsidy we’re back on somewhat even playing field, we have three 50, 400 more horses that are going to be on the backside this year than previous years, persons are up about 40% across the board.
We have two dozen more stakes races this year than last year. So it’s finally tangible. Evidence that our racing is going to be back to what it should be. The news for horse players. Obviously having more competitive racing is something we need. What else can HorsePlayers look forward to in terms of how this subsidy might affect them?
Anything in terms of new, more horseplayer friendly, betting options or amenities around mom park? Um, well, I mean, we’re hoping the biggest thing is field size. You know, that that’s what. Kind of the overall overriding theme. When you talk to different horse players, you know, bigger fields, you know, more competitive races is what they’re looking for.
So, you know, like I said, we already have probably 350, 400 more horses, you know, scheduled to be on our backside than last year. So, you know, hopefully that will increase purses. Um, you know, we’re, we’re optimistic that we’ll get more horses shipping in because again, our races are going to be competitive.
Um, you know, If not better than surrounding tracks. Whereas, you know, last year, the year before, you know, we, we kind of understood, you know, from a financial standpoint, if a trainer shipped into parks, you know, their purses were probably considerably higher than ours. Now that’s not going to be the case anymore.
So in addition to the. Probably 40, 35, 40% increase in horse flesh, stable here at Monmouth park. We should get a lot more shippings, which just means the quality of racing is better. Um, you know, again, we, we can be, we can be honest, we’re looking at the same race and it’s hopefully the days of, you know, six horse fields with two to five shots is in the rear view mirror.
And we now have, you know, fuller fields, more competitive racing. And I just think that in itself is going to make for a much more competitive product where, you know, if you open a racing form or pull it up. You know, uh, for a Saturday or Sunday or whatever day that you’re betting, you know, maybe last year or the year before that mom was parked, might not have been a viable option for you with the, you know, the likes of Saratoga, et cetera out there.
We truly believe that this year with more horses, better quality racing, more stakes races, um, that. Yeah. When you open your form on a Saturday, mama’s park is going to be a viable option for you. I like that idea very much. Let’s talk about sports betting and how that’s going to change the landscape in terms of, will there be much cross pollination between the sports betting side and the horse betting side?
And I mean, sort of geographically, how integrated. Well, the two enterprises B, and then I also mean in terms of, will there be fixed odds ways through the sports book of betting on horse races or combinations of horse bets with sports bets? Oh, yes. To both. So, um, you know, our biggest from day one and it is absolutely true.
It’s not just marketing talk, you know? So the reason that we got sports betting is to enhance our racing, meaning one, you know, every. Bit of revenue that we get from sports betting is going to be reinvested back into racing and to, you know, sports betting 100%, you know, obviously brings in people who are just sports betters, and we want to do everything in our power to bring in, to take those sports betting people and introduce them to racing.
So logistically, you know, literally right next to. You know, the Yankee game is up on one TV and right next to it is, you know, Belmont or whatever track is running right next to where you make your sports betting bets is where you make your racing bets. Um, you know, on big day, you know, Haskell day, we had free programs and the sports book, you know, for the, for the, I think the late pick four pick five on Haskell day to try to introduce as many of those sports betting people, you know, whether it’s even during a commercial break in between games after a game, you know, put racing.
Basically in their face to say, Hey, here’s a, here’s, here’s a betting opportunity that runs, you know, once every 20 minutes, if you’re looking at one tracker, you know, if he’d combine all the tracks run in a day, you know, you can find action once every two minutes, which is something that, you know, players obviously are, are looking at.
So, so from a logistical standpoint, sports and racing are, are interconnected and combine and right next to each other, as much as we possibly can from the betting, um, the betting side, Uh, we did a little bit of it last year and this year, uh, I’m very hopeful that we can expand some of the things that you said, some promotions, some fixed odds, wagering.
We, we absolutely will for the bigger races Haskell United nations offer some, you know, head to heads and, you know, Lincoln. Yeah, I think last year we offered, like, we’ll feel good magic win by zero to two links, two to four lengths, stuff like that. So for our, our bigger races, we’ll absolutely have stuff like that.
I’m the one that, um, I’m kind of excited about that. I, I hope that we do, it’s still TBD TBD for the, for the full season. We’ll definitely do it on, on. On certain days, is that cross cross pick four that we did last year on Haskell day, we called it the grand slam where it was three of our big stakes races, including the Haskell.
And then the Sunday night baseball game was a quote unquote pick for offered out of the sports book. And that did pretty well actually last year on Haskell, I’m making the push to offer that every Sunday, um, one, you know, to get people used to it and build up. Um, you know, recognition that people know, Hey, every, every Sunday I go to the track, you know, I’ll be able to do this out of the sports book, but also I know you guys have, I’ve talked about this a lot on the show.
Like I, it’s a good bet. It’s good to, you know, combine stuff like that and have racing and sports and have someone who. You know, might be coming for the baseball game and say, Hey, I could play this bet that includes racing and sports. And conversely, you know, get some of our racing people into the sports book.
I think that would be a bet that people would enjoy. Um, so for now, you know, we, we could obviously only use our racing product in, in the sports book. You know, we’re, we’re hopeful that a day will come, that we will be able to do deals with other tracks, just like we do for simulcasting where, you know, we can have.
You know, props for, for other tracks racing and come up with some sort of deal to compensate them for that. We don’t have that as of yet, but we’re, we’re certainly working on it. But for now, we’re definitely going to use our product and come up with some hopefully fun stuff to offer out of the sports book.
I love the idea. And throughout the course of our partnership, I look. Forward to hopefully getting a chance to talk extensively about that. And my one bit of unsolicited free consulting I’ll throw at you is just trying to get the pricing just right on those bets to really give people, um, both sides of it, the racing people and the sports people, a chance to make, like make them get involved by making it such a good and intriguing opportunity, as opposed to just a, a curiosity.
Um, I’ll just throw that out there as an idea. I want to ask about the sports book and terms of, let’s say we’ve got people coming down from the city for the day, going to Monmouth different options to give them a great experience at Monmouth park may be one that is for somebody looking for a pure racing experience and another, for somebody who wants to use the racing, being back as an excuse to finally go check out the sports book, what would be some of the things, some of the ways they could have a great day at Monmouth park.
Yeah. I mean, w we are, we are over the years. Absolutely true learning ourselves from purely just a racetrack, you know, the first race, 1250 last race, let’s call it six o’clock and everyone goes home to a full, you know, entertainment destination. So you can, in the, in the heart of the summer, you can get here at.
Eight in the morning, take our free. What we call Dawn patrol free back, stretched, um, tour on a tram, go into the Jock’s room. We do some interviews. Now that takes a couple hours and then maybe, you know, go on the sports book for a while in the morning, the races start. We have family fun day. Every Sunday.
We have a mini golf course here on, on premises. Ooh, my daughter will be happy to hear that. Excuse me. My daughter will be happy to hear that. Oh, yeah, it’s a good, uh, we’ve we’ve uh, as funny as it sounds, we have hosted the U S mini golf tournament here a few years at the Monmouth park with a winner coming from, I want to say check-off Slovakia.
One of those like European countries. We had a European ship and actually when the U S mini golf open. Yeah. Um, but yeah, but I mean, so we have a high end restaurant onsite, um, called blue grotto, which has a beer garden, which is a great spot for after the races. Um, uh, bah, bah, really good bands every Wednesday through Sunday with some good food and drink options.
So yeah. It, it, it much, you know, five years ago, if you would’ve asked me this question, I’d have a tough time answering because we really didn’t have much other than, you know, whatever 10 or 12 races on the weekend show up at the races, you know, go home. And that was really it. But we, we do have between, you know, the, the, you know, our food and beverage is in-house now.
So we can do a lot. Better options, cheaper options. We can do some fun things in the food and beverage world. We have sports betting. Obviously our racing product is now better and we have, you know, every weekend we have different events from food truck festival seafood festival, ladies day. We probably have 30 events throughout the entire season that compliment the racing.
Uh, after the races, we have either mini golf course, as I said, or the beer garden with the different music options going on. So, you know, you can come here and. Just sit in a tele theater all day and bet every race. If that’s what you want, you could sit in a sports book and bet every sporting event. If that’s what you want, you could come here for an event and, you know, not.
Partake in the sports betting or, or horse racing, if that’s what you want. We obviously hope that you don’t do that, but you’re welcome to do that. That there truly is something for everyone here, you know, starting early morning, going all the way through, you know, as late as you want to stay, which is, uh, exciting from a facility standpoint, it makes it more.
Um, entertaining, you know, as someone who works here and it gives us more options to promote the people, you know, they don’t have to be core gamblers. They can come here and have a good time and, you know, sprinkle, dabble in the gambling and enjoy themselves no matter what, how do the reservations work at these various places?
For example, the sports book. If I’m coming down, can you call ahead and make sure you have a spot? Is it all first come first serve. Is it all sort of classic sports book in carols or they’re more like a place you could eat lunch in bet. Sports curious about that. Yeah, it’s not, um, it’s not Carol’s at all in the sports book.
Um, we, we don’t do reservations other than in the heart of football season, purely because we, we, we have, um, We have a lot of tables. So it’s kind of, it’s more of like what you would think of sports bar is, you know, it’s a mix of high top tables and low tops and there’s, you know, four comfortable chairs sitting around the table.
So you have plenty of room, um, there’s food and beverage service throughout the entire sports book. And, um, so the, the, the main, the main line is what we call the. Sports book. That’s where all the odds boards are. We have a 75 foot video wall up on the wall that shows every game that’s kind of the main line.
And then we have a sports bar actually adjacent to it, which is, you know, a true sports bar. Um, but, but everywhere is it’s first come first, serve comfortable seating, um, you know, tables anywhere, you know, for just two people. You know, obviously you can have your own table. If it’s, you know, groups up to 2030 and know we can accommodate it.
Once football season comes around. Um, we do more reservations where if you know, you’re coming with a larger group, you know, we can reserve you, you know, 12, 15, 20 seats. Um, but we, we don’t really. And it sounds like we’re not having big PR like we have, we have big crowds. Don’t don’t get me wrong, but we have enough tape.
We have a lot of tables in there. Um, so we, we can accommodate pretty much everyone on a, on a walkup basis this time. Yeah. And here’s a question about the beer garden. I’m very intrigued by blue grotto. I know my brother works in Italian wine. I know they do business with him, which always makes me feel good because that, that, that shows good tastes.
These, his, his list of stuff he sells is very. Boutique-y and good. And if the restaurant does business with them, I can usually count on the restaurant being good. So I’m very excited to check that out, but now you’re talking about this beer garden need to ask about, about how that works. If that’s just sort of like a bar set up that you show up in, or if that’s a reservation situation asking for a friend.
Yeah. Um, beer garden is no is no reservation. It’s, uh, it’s really, it’s a great vibe. It’s the place that I, I would go after the races every day and just hang out. Um, the restaurant itself, um, is reservation. It’s actually not a very large restaurant. Um, so I would absolutely call for a reservation if you’re going to eat.
In the main restaurant, the beer garden is literally right below it. So, so the restaurant obviously has an inside area then during the summer when the weather’s nice, it has three large patios outside that open up and literally right below the patios is the actual bar for the beer garden. And then the beer garden part opens up into a big grassy area.
There’s a stage for the band. Um, this probably, I want to say seating for. You know, 300 to 400 between actual like sit down and have dinner tables. And then there’s more relaxed seating with sofas and some chairs. If you’re just hanging out, having a good time with a drink, listening to the band. So that’s kind of walk up first, come first serve only really relaxed.
You know, you could certainly just, um, you know, stroll in. We have a big picnic area here at Monmouth park. You could just stroll over, you know, dressed in whatever you’re in from the picnic area, after the races, to the beer garden, where you probably couldn’t do that. To be honest with you. We’re going inside.
It’s it’s a little, um, you probably have to dress up a little bit to go inside, but for the beer garden part, you know, come as you are relaxed, if you’re having dinner, um, you could eat out there. They have actually an authentic pizza oven shipped in from Italy that they do, you know, pies to order bar pies to order they have a really good, um, kind of casual menu out there.
Um, so if you could eat out there, if you’re just grabbing a beer and waiting for traffic to. To get a little better on your way home. You can do that in the bands. I would put the band schedule that we have at the beer garden throughout the summer, up against any bar restaurant, any place on the Jersey shore, all summer, really, really, really good stuff.
Every night, every night, Wednesday through Sunday music down there. All right, well, I’ve already texted my brother. Not that I was multitasking or anything, but I already texted my brother. When are we going to blue grotto? We got to go. We’re going to come down. In fact, maybe the next time we talk, Brian, we can do a live hit.
From the beer garden after the races that could be fun or, you know, live on tape, hit for a future podcast. That’ll be fun. Can’t let you get out of here though. Without talking about contests. Monmouth has a program that really packs people in draws people down from really New York, but not just New York from all over.
Sort of the Northeast. I know there’s a lot of regulars that you have tell our contest players what’s going on, what they should look forward to. These might be good days for them to circle on the calendar for hitting up mom with park this spring and summer. Yeah. So I, I love as you know, I love everything about the contest.
I’ve been doing them here. Um, you know, probably I want to say eight, 10 years since I’ve been in the position to do them, I’ve grown to love them even more actually. So I think my first NHC was maybe four years ago. I want to say, and actually seeing that in person. Um, you know, you just can’t help, but come back and say, you know, if you’re a player, I can absolutely see why you say I need to get back here again, like every year forever.
And as a contest director, you know, I just came back from Vegas that year saying like, I just need to send as many. People to this as, as I possibly can. It’s just, just an unbelievable event. So, um, each year we’re sending more and more people to Vegas this year. I think we’re up to like 47, 48. People were going to qualify for the NHC.
We do about one contest a month. Um, they’re all live money. They’re fairly similar in terms of, um, wind place show only, you know, we, we give you just the minimums. You have to bet X number of races. You have to bet at least X dollars per race. That varies by contest. These are the tracks you have to bet. Um, And, you know, the contents vary throughout the year.
So I’m some give two seats, the NHC, and then our biggest contest, which is actually coming up in a little over a month. Um, our, our $2,000 pick your prize contest gate last year, gave out 20 seats to the NHC. So if I could pick one contest that I would tell people, you know, you, you pretty much need to be hat.
Uh, June 1st bomb with the park $2,000. Pick your prize handicapping contest. You have to be preregistered for this one. So every contest we do other than pick your prize, you just walk up the day of, and sign up for pick your prize. You have to be preregistered by Saturday. By Monday, May 27th. You can contact me to do that.
Uh, you have to pay your entry fee in advance. So you pay the $1,000. Entry fee part that’s. What goes to the prizes, then you pay the thousand dollars cash bank roll day of, um, contact me, um, uh, give my email address. B Skurka S K I R K email@example.com. Pick your prize. Last year, I had 205 entries.
$205,000 worth of prizes given out six full BCBC spots, 20 NHC spots, and then about $70,000 worth of cash prizes. Uh, it’s a great contest in the sense that, um, you know, 20 NHC spots, the 205 entries. So it’s one in 10, you know, which is very rare. Um, The 23rd finisher. So the person who finished in 23rd place in the contest got an NHC seat, which you know, that hat’s not too shabby.
And the, the logistics of the contest are a little, you know, fun too. We, we literally have a prize board. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Pick your prize. You know, we put up all the available prizes on the board and then, you know, one at a time at the end of the contest, once everything has made official, I call out the finish the, um, The finishers in order to finish and they go up and they literally rip what price they want off of the prize board.
So it’s not a guarantee, you know, if you finish kind of in, you know, fourth, fifth, sixth place, depending on what the people ahead of you picked, you know, you’re, you’re left with, you know, sometimes the winner picks all, all cash like they did last year. Sometimes the overall winner picks in NHC seat and a BCBC and some of the cash prizes that are left for the people underneath.
So it’s a fun, kind of a. Then after the contest of over as well. When I was talking about people coming to the contest from all over the Eastern seaboard, I was talking about the monthly ones when it comes to the pick, your prize, people come from all over the country because of how rich that prize pool is.
And it’s just one of the best. It is probably the best opportunity. I’m just going to go ahead and say it. If you want to get qualified for the NHC, I would try to. Do it through Monmouth and the pick your prize event, but lots of good stuff happening there. Monmouth season starts, the racing season starts on May 4th.
Someone might say, well, why didn’t you have Brian on next week, man, we didn’t want to get lost in the Derby chaos. I want people to have these days circled on the calendar. The season runs through. The end of October, I believe racing mostly Saturday, Sunday, but a bunch of Fridays in there, especially in June, July, August.
Those are going to probably be the days that I target, get my work done for the week. Get on that boat, head down there to hang out with you. We’re really looking forward to it. This conversation got me very excited. Thank you, Brian. Skurka for your time today. No. Thank you, Pete. And we’re excited to be a part of the show and we’ll talk to you, uh, throughout the summer.
I’d like to bring in the senior manager for racing surfaces at Woodbine. Sean golf. Sean, how are you today? Very good. Thank you. Very excited to have you here. I’ve long wanted to talk with somebody involved in track maintenance and it seemed like the perfect time with the addition of this new turf course at Woodbine.
What prompted the decision to add this new turf course? Well, I think upper management was certainly looking at the opportunity to get more turf racing. We are in the process of adding more races onto our EAP Taylor course, while we doing that, the company is also looking at the direction they wanted to take overall in our operations, both in our standard bird division and our thoroughbred division, the decision was made to go to single breed operations, which moved our standard bread operation to Mohawk for the full year racing there, the standard bread track became available.
And, uh, we had actually looked at expanding ways to expand our racing surfaces, uh, both adding on extra lanes either to the EPC Taylor course or adding on a, a seven Furlong shoot that would actually come in and join into the EAP Taylor course. But when we looked at those, they would work, but they weren’t necessarily cost-effective as to.
How many races we could get out of them. And then when a discussion opened up, well, what about the standard bridge track? We thought, well, that was like a no brainer that that’s where we could get the best value and we know would work. What distances will be run on the new inner turf course? Well, we started at, uh, working our way up.
We can run five for long, seven and a half for long, one mile, a mile and a 16th. And we, we can also add in a mile and three eights and a mile and a half. So a wide array and some of the distances will be the same as what can be run on the EPC tailor course. But obviously the configuration will be so different with the new course being placed inside.
How much do you have a say in what happens, where, or is that all really racing secretary work and you just worry about making the course, that part would do leave to the racing secretary as to. What his analysis is of what horses do we have on the property? What demand is there for certain races where we will impact is we put out a rail schedule at the beginning of the season for each track.
And we schedule lanes for each of the stake races of where we need to be. And then after that we try and balance the lane movement for where. So if we’re in certain lanes, we, we would may say, well, it’s better if you don’t run this distance, for example, on the EAP Taylor, if we’re in lane five, it’s better off.
If we don’t run a mile and a half a mile, three eights, because then you’re looking at smaller field in eight horse field. Uh, so we’ll make those suggestions. I guess the other is if you know, if they’re having to be running a lot of, a lot of sprints. And we’re getting, uh, you know, you, one lane, you hit it, you run a lot.
Either. Longs are on this track. We could go five for long. Sprint races tend to do a lot more damage. So we may say, well, we need to back off, or we need to be in a different lane for this, just because of where, other than that, the racing, the racing secretary, he puts the races out there and then we try and accommodate.
Will there be rails on the new inner turf course, or is it too tight for that? There’ll be lanes will be four lanes on the intercourse and each, each lanes, if you’re on, let’s say zero position or on the inside, the track is 90 feet wide. About 87 feet, right. Rail to rail or face of rail to face a rail.
And in each lane, you move out to lean to be 12 feet out lane, three of the 24 lane, four will be 36 feet out, and then it is sets so we can do each distance as an exact distance with. And then we would add on the run-up to the start of the race. How do you expect the rail position to affect how races are run on the track?
Do you have to think about that in terms of, Oh, with the rails out that might favor speed more or again, is that something that’s sort of outside your purview and your job is to make the course as safe and effective as possible? Well, I think the, certainly the first thing is to. How you want the course to be safe and the rails to be safe.
Um, certainly as we move out at different distances, uh, the number of the number of starters will become limited. Uh, whether it be the, the start, let’s say a seven and a half for a long start lane, three and four, we would reduce the number of starters. So we take those into account as to how far that, how the race is going to run.
I think it’s going to be very different from the EAP different strategies. You’re going back into a Mahler oval track and the, you know, not one that we’ve had here since prior to 94. So I think the races is set for the races will definitely be a little different than how the jock is strategized. The race will be a different, they’re not going to have that long stretch, the able to make up some of the grounds.
So they have to be, be a little better positioned when they come into the, into the home stretch. Tighter track. Typically gonna favor horses who Quicken over the galloping types. We’ve seen have a lot of success on the EAP Taylor over the years, perhaps as somebody who works in track maintenance. How much, if at all, do you think about the idea of track bias and maybe this comes into play more when we’re talking about the main track than it does the turf track, but I’m just curious how much, if at all, it’s a topic that.
Relates to what you do. You always listen for attract bias, and it’s more of that you hear? I think on the turf, it’s much less. So just because you’re moving, we move lanes every week. So you’re, you’re never in a lane for more than a four racing days. And then, then you’re into another, uh, another spot on a track.
So it’s much harder for people to say, well, there was a bias that’s up, at least on the turf. I think if. If you go onto a dirt track or to PETA, it’s much easier for a bias to set up. And I know certainly Erwin monitors, the Topita on a regular basis. I mean, you’re watching times more and the race is more on how, how it’s going, but I think that’s a pita is less just an opinion that maybe the Topeka is less biased, but that that’s kind of in the eyes of the beholder.
Does seem to play more like turf, I would say than dirt traditionally though. I do swear. I’ve seen some days up there where it does seem like the speed is holding pretty well as opposed to others. But I was just curious if it’s something that if you, if ever been known, Oh, the rails too. Good. The rail isn’t good.
If you were ever asked by someone. To make any sort of changes or again, if it’s really just your focus to have the safest racing surface possible. I think safety is safety is number one. I think with turf, you may have days where, you know, if you had inclement weather, you know, you, you’re going back on it.
You may have days where one, one lane does seem to be a little bit better than the other, uh, you know, you’ve, you’ve got to. Sheriff track and it’s buggy the same as many, you know, a lot of years. Uh, there’s a lot of, lot of growth in those tracks and changes. So the drainage is a little bit different. And so you, you could have areas of the track, which potentially one lane is handles the water better than another lane.
And therefore, well, you know, worse as a few feet further feed odium, you might do better, but that’s very hard to speculate on a lot different, I think, than than if you had a dirt track where it is. Some of the maintenance is so continuous that you could have possible lanes set up on the track or get a bias for the, for the day.
I think it was as it was a Topita. I mean, weather can impact to some extent, whether you maybe speed up your times in a day, know if you have a good rain beforehand. Sometimes the rain settles it down into summertime and it tends to speed up the track a little bit, you know, and that’s middle of the card.
It may change things slightly. Well, there are things, but we do try and maintain the tracks that you, you, you are as consistent as you can from day to day. Bearing in mind that things will fluctuate with the temperature and the weather. Have you noticed any trends over the years in terms of bias on either course where, for example, you gave the example of the rain and maybe one part of the turf course is better because of the way the track.
Drains. Have you noticed anything specific like that? Or is that just the kind of thing that you feel like horseplayer should probably try to keep aware of that when there is weather very logically, there’s more of an opportunity for maybe one path or position to be favored. I think the backstretch of the tailor courses built back in the late seventies and it wasn’t, it wasn’t changed when we, uh, built the tailor course in 94.
So it’s an older section. Tends to be a little firmer than the rest of the course, and it doesn’t drain as well as the rest of the course when we do get a lot of rain. So it’s possible, you know, sometimes when we’ve taken races off, it just because we thought, well, there’s a little too, too soft in the back stretch.
We could have other areas that we’re concerned of both, but more often in the backstretch will tend to be a little bit softer than the rest of the course. You will get variations. If you’re running out in lane five, a lot of people didn’t go your way out. You know, it’s not as much room, but lane five is, uh, the way the track is built as a faster lane.
You got a wider turn. You know, if you’re coming off of that letter, you might let it be better. If we were out in lane five and if we were in the lane to the other side will drain better. What about the banking on the respective turf courses? Will it be approximately the same? I feel like banking is an underrated factor from HorsePlayers who.
Sometimes get very concerned about things like ground loss from a horse in a race, but depending on how the turns are banked, sometimes I feel like it’s really not any significant disadvantage to be turning for home in the four path than the two path. Just based on how that turn is bank. Do you, do you think I’m onto something with that theory?
I think banking is important. I mean, horses are adapted to doing turns on, let’s say a flat surface. I mean, they’re very well adapted for it, but I think when you’re traveling at the speed of the, or the banking is very important, it helps them get around the turn. The EDP let’s say the far turn is, is at 4%.
And on the inner turf, the, our friend stretches are a 2% as you go into the turn, they will increase from two up to 6% in the middle of the turn. And then as you’re coming around to the other, the attorney that take her back down to 2%. Now you’ve got a track with tighter turns. I think the bank can come as it becomes more important.
And if you’re running in the four hole that banking, I think, allows you to help maintain your stride and give you a shot to get around. And, you know, and challenge. When you get into the, into the straightaways, you don’t know this is a concept that’s going to be new to a lot of our listeners, the general idea behind banking.
The turns is exactly what you said to try to level the playing field somewhat so that the horses on the inside don’t have an outsized advantage over horses that maybe are three and four paths wide. Am I describing that correctly? Yes, I think it helps I just to talk at bang, but I was going to say level the playing field, but I think it does make it more fair for all the participants.
I think as say on a banking, I think it helps you get a SAN-based track. It also helps, um, uh, you know, when a horse goes into the turn and they, you get a little different action or see, they kind of twist. And so if y’all on grass, it’s kind of twists the sod that the banking hopefully will help. Minimize that a little bit and help the horses go a little bit better purchase as they go around the turn.
You got two more for you, and then I’ll let you go. I’ve kept you too long already, but you mentioned riders. How much interaction do you have with the jockeys regarding the, the racing surfaces at Woodbine? And is their feedback important to you? I, yeah, I think the feedback is very important. Um, the one thing with the jocks and they, they know I’m around, if there’s an issue, they’ll certainly.
Bring it out. Um, we’ve got good communication between the race office in ourselves, uh, Erwin who are of a drinker who I work with. I mean, he’s, he’s a former jockey. And so we actually talk, we talk a lot about if we’re looking at situations on the track, how would the writers, what would the writers think about this?
How would they approach it? Uh, if you’re putting up rails, does it, is there any way that it could impact how they, how they run a race, that type of thing. So having being able to talk with everyone it is, is very good. And then he certainly has always said, Hey, good communications with the jockeys. And then as he’s moving back to the jock skill, but w hopefully we’ll make the communication even better.
And the last thing I wanted to ask you, we’ve talked a lot about the concept of the sand based turf course. What’s the other alternative. Very one Oh one question. I apologize for my ignorance. No, that’s all right. Um, well, as opposed to going with a sand base, you’re probably going to go more with, uh, uh, maybe a Sandy loam type surface.
That will is a little easier, is easier for the grass to grow in. As the morning would be more natural. And that with that criteria, you have more organic matter. The grass would probably better might be. Little family, but then it’s little, little, uh, the drainage is a little slower. The more loneliness got into the track.
So the same with when you go sin. When we talk sin, we do add some top soil in order to give it some stability. You know, you have to have a certain amount of salt and clay to help tie the sand together. And then we have added, if we’re talking about the groin meeting, we have added some fibers into the top four inches of this track to try and help stabilize the sand a little bit as well.
Well, the, well, the grass takes root. Because the difficulty with sand is unlike a, maybe a more lonely track. You need somebody to help hold things together until the roots get going. So hopefully the fiber will help with that. I lied one more for you. How long have you worked at Woodbine and what’s your favorite racing memory from your time there?
I I’ve been on the race track all my life. And, uh, how old are you now? I’m I’m 64 now. So there’s a minute or two. You’ve been, you’ve been there. So I’ve had a lot of good memories and, uh, I guess favorite memories probably was, uh, back my father trained when I first came to the track and probably were the memories of time spent with my dad.
Oh, that’s great. Sean golf. Thank you so much for your time today. Oh, thank you. Appreciate the opportunity to talk with you. And now I’d like to welcome back to the podcast. Airwaves, our good friend. He is the race caller at Churchill downs. The voice of Churchill downs, Travis stone. How are you? My friend.
Doing well, how are you today? Things are good. Things are good. And couldn’t think of anybody better than you Travis, to help me field some of these listener questions that we’ve received about the Derby. We’ve had plenty of Derby content, obviously on the show and over it in the money podcast.com, but the chance to speak with someone such as yourself, can’t pass that up.
And I’m just going to go ahead and dive right into some of these listener questions. If you’re ready. I’m ready when it, do you begin your Derby handicapping and when do you finish it? Um, I’ve already started, I mean, I follow the horses pretty, uh, pretty closely throughout the winter, knowing that they’re going to come through Churchill in the spring.
So, uh, I’ve been sort of diving deep sense of, you know, since the trail started. And I think it finishes when. Yeah, you get the Derby day, you can sort of overthink things at that point. So it’s a, it’s a continual never-ending process, especially when it comes from the race calling perspective. So it’s, it’s, you know, it’s the greatest race in the world, so I’m good with that at that time.
Yeah, I think that makes sense. Do you have a Derby horse yet? We want to know. Well, no, I don’t, uh, I find this, this race to be just absolutely fascinating. There’s just so much going on at the same time. There’s not much right. There’s not like there’s a ton of speed. Um, the top tier contenders all look pretty logical.
Even if they’re a little bit evenly matched, I will say I was very impressed with Omaha beaches, Arkansas Derby. He has just sort of come around at the right time, has the profile of a Derby winner. But at the same time, he sort of freaked a little bit in the slop and you know, maybe, maybe that contributed it to it, a touch.
I’m not sure. Um, I, I tried to stay on the game winner bandwagon, and I still actually might be, cause it feels like. It’s sort of under the radar for a horse that won the breeders’ cup, even though he’s going to be one of the shorter prices in the race. So I think he’s interesting. Um, I thought Roadster was good in the Santa Anita Derby.
I just there’s just so much going on. So I don’t really have a Derby horse yet. No, I haven’t landed on anybody. Will you look to finalize that after you have the post position draw some of the buzz from next weekend based on who’s working well, what are the factors that are going to help crystallize your opinion?
That’s one for me, not the listeners. Yeah, no, that’s, that’s a good question. I, I definitely will wait for them post musicians, because I do think the pace scenario this year is interesting. And so, you know, maximum security draws post 20, that changes things up quite a bit. Um, you know, so I think there’s some of those scenarios we have to wait for.
I, in terms of the buzz and the training buds. No, there’s, uh, a good friend of mine. Mom, cats are not trained horses. We were watching the horses train for the Kentucky Derby and cooked the Kentucky Oaks a couple of years ago. And I wish I could remember the name. I think it was Louis Bay for Chad Brown.
She worked out before the Oaks and she just looked awesome. So absolutely awesome. But I had always thought Louis Bay was not necessarily a nine for a long horse and he made a comment to me that really resonated. He goes, first off, this is the race they’ve all been pointing for. So they’re supposed to look good.
They’re good horses. So they’re supposed to look good. And even if a horse looks like a million bucks, it does not necessarily mean their best race can win the race. And I was sort of interesting to me, you know, You can have a, a $50,000 claim, or it looked like a million bucks training in the morning.
Doesn’t mean the horse can win the Derby. So I try and stay away from the buzz as much as that’s. I mean, that’s quite sensible to me. It’s the one week of the year where everybody becomes a clocker. We had a couple of questions about post positions. You mentioned maximum security drawing the outside and how that would change things.
I’m going to take a guess that you mean, you feel like that could hot up the pace in, in general, perhaps with, if their speed drawn on the outside. Talk to me a little bit about which posts really matter to you. And if you can just underline specifically what you meant about maximum security as well.
Yeah. So first off for maximum security. I remember in the Derby, uh, three years ago when Mike was one dancing candy drew the far outside, and that was a horse that has tactical speed. And in order to get positioned in order to get to a place where he could win, Mike Smith had to send them early. And that pace was wicked.
So if you’re drawn outside and you have speed, you have to use a little bit of extra energy to get to the front and to cross over and clear. So fact, some security draws posts, you know, 18, 19, 20, or something outside. He’s going to have to move to get there. And that’s just going to naturally guess up the pace.
Conversely. If he draws the rail or another speed horse draws the rail, it get crowded down inside, and that can alter things as well. And next thing you know, somebody you didn’t expect is sort of moping along on the lead. Um, so that’s what I would say in terms of otherwise, you know, I, I think that, uh, I think you’d be a little bit overblown for some of them and a little bit of overthinking, but.
That first, the first two films, the Derby is so critical in terms of getting positioned and obviously you get there by way of post position. So I, I think there’s definitely some, uh, some legitimacy to worrying about them and touch. When, when Andy captain, it doesn’t sound to me like you consider post one an absolute, no go necessarily the way that many people are, obviously it hasn’t done very well.
Statistically, over the years, Yeah. I, you know, I think it can, yeah, a little bit overblown, but it put it this way. It is definitely suboptimal, right? Not ideal. If you could pick, you know, pick the rail, but if you’re a deep, closer, it sort of doesn’t matter. You just, you just pull back out of there and you find your comfort zone at the back of the pack.
It’s most critical for horses that want to be forward or need to gain position early, uh, best where it can be a detriment in, in. To the as degree, right? I think otherwise it can be a little bit overemphasized, but it is definitely suboptimal. Who do you think is going to be the favorite in this race? Uh, I think Omaha beach is going to be favorite.
I just think they’re one of the classic questions. I always like to ask myself when doing morning lines, if it’s, if it’s not Omaha beach, then who is it? And I think there’s just too much going on between Roadster game winner and Tacitus to really figure out which one of those three. Is going to be the favorite.
I also think that the public does have a bit of a hard time separating courses from the same Barnes. The Bob Baffert component is there as well. And I just think that Omaha beaches move Mike Smith’s decision. Uh, I think that all’s going to sort of gravitate the money toward him, but it is a very tepid favoritism, my opinion, nine to two, five to one, barring any, uh, big scratches or bizarre posts positions that we’re not, there’s no five to twos in this year.
Yeah, that sounds about right. In terms of wagering on the Derby itself, what is your favorite pool historically? And what advice do you have in terms of betting on your favorite pool for this year? You know, I, I unfortunately don’t bet the Derby anymore since I called the race now. And it’s sort of, you know, I don’t want to have a, sort of a biased race called the biggest race of the year.
Um, so I miss it though, because I think betting on the Derby is just such a fun and fascinating exercise. I don’t try and pick the winner necessarily. I, I try and find the handful of forces I think are wind contenders. And hopefully there’s a decent price in that mix. I try and find the horse is going to round out the trifecta.
The superfecta and if it’s been a good weekend, the high five, uh, cause that’s where, that’s where the real money is. And I think there’s some interesting sort of one run deep closers that are going to offer the right price to round out those wagers horses like win-win win, who tried to close in on a speed favoring racetrack.
The last time out, maybe code of honor offers a little bit of juice because he couldn’t win the Florida Derby. And there’s some other horses that look a little bit better. So maybe he drifts up in the bedding and offers some value. High call is totally legitimate to run third, fourth, and fifth. And this year’s Derby.
He’s going to be a big price. I like to just find horses like that, that could come on for a piece and, uh, you know, a 20, 30, 40 to one juice up those exotic and really boost the, uh, the super effective and high fives. There’s no shortage of them this year. You could argue horses like country, house. Fit that role as well.
So that’s, that’s my preferred way of playing the Derby. You mentioned some interesting long shots to get into the number. Is there an interesting, long shot? We got this one from the crowd that you think can win. Ooh, that’s a great question. Uh, the, the top level through the top tier of horses seems it’s fairly formidable in my opinion.
And you could maybe convince me a horse. Like the coma is going to go off higher than he should. Of course like this horse. I thought he had a lot of talent, uh, as a two year old and he’s coming around pretty nicely. I don’t hold the fountain of youth against him. That was his first race. Since November, he move forward in the bluegrass, even though he’s sort of enjoyed the favorable circumstances of the way the track was playing, uh, George Rivers of talent to trainer.
He’s now third off the layoff, the cycling back to, uh, uh, a good number. Um, I’m a little bit skeptical. He truly, truly wants to be a 10 for a long horse, but I do think there’s a chance he’s going to offer a little bit of value on the top end. Um, you know, we’ll see, I, you know, he’s gonna, he’s going to have a bit of tactical speed, right.
Going to be useful in the spotlight this, because, uh, I think that the race is a little bit lacking on the front end and I’ll give you one more. And purely because I, you know, I, I think he’s an okay horse and that’s tax, you know, tax is going to be a little bit forgotten, a little bit of the, uh, excuse me, funny side empire maker deal, where he was second in the, uh, in the wood Memorial, but ran a really gutsy and game race.
He’s poised to move forward. People forget that he made the first move into that solid wood Memorial page and his numbers are going the right direction. He’s got a lot of tactical speed. I think he could be a little bit under the radar, too. Some good thoughts there. We’ve got categories. We’ve got about three categories of questions.
We’ve got a couple of race calling questions. We’ve got a couple of, sort of more personal questions for you. And then we just have some out and out silly questions. So that’s how we’ll round things out. We’ll start with the race calling ones. We’ve had one listener. Ask how you feel about the specificity we’re hearing in some race calls these days.
When it comes to fractions 23.88 as opposed to 23 and four. What’s your opinion of that? Do you ever see yourself gravitating towards that new, newer way of calling things? Yeah. So, um, I remain undecided in this category still, as lame as that sounds, it’s sort of figuring it out because here’s the thing.
I don’t think that rattling off the digits to the a hundred sounds good in a race call. I just don’t like it. I find it distracting. I find it to sort of take away from both happening at hand. I feel like the, you know, the fifth fractions, 23 and two 23 and four rolls off the tongue better just sounds better in the flow of the race call.
So. I’m actually, before I do decimals, I’m more inclined to commentate on the pace itself and try and give some, um, insight there as opposed to the cold, hard facts of the fractions. Because one of the arguments for, for saying hundredths, is that the numbers on the screen. So why would you change what you see on the screen?
Instead of saying 23.23, why are you saying 23 and one? And so I’m. Mike, take that one step farther and say, well then why am I saying anything? That’s on the screen to begin, right? It’s already there. Nobody needs to, I mean, it’s there and you don’t have to look forward to, they see that as fair. So I don’t know.
Maybe I’ll go to the Trevor Denman route and commentate on the pace and sort of how the race is shaping up rather than the cold, hard facts of the fractions. But a jury is very much, Oh, out still. Your friend and mentor, Tom Durkin was always good at giving those clues, you know, zips through a quarter and, you know, plotting the certain code words almost he’d use to clue into the pay.
So, I mean, there definitely is precedent for that. I think it’s a pretty cool idea. Yeah. Yeah. I’m thinking about it a little bit. It would be, I mean, I’ve called thousands of races. So talk about a habit change that would take some time and I’m certainly not going to, I’m not going to try that out first time out in a race, like the dirt Churchill.
We’ll start to explore that a little bit. We got a question. I think this was just being cheeky. Looking to, looking to get a grown out of you or something. What do you think of the stakes races? When they have the saddle towels? All the same colors. That we’ll get a grown, you know, raise callers rates, callers.
Don’t use this saddle cloths. However, we all know that number seven is orange and there’s a little bit of a security blanket there when you can see soaks and maybe some orange, it helps too a little bit. Uh, I’m honestly not a fan, but. If, if I run a race track and a sponsor wants the same color, subtle Claus, cause they’re sponsoring the race.
Uh, um, I’m going to have a hard time, uh, going the other direction. I mean, there’s with track it’s out there. It makes it a little bit easier. But uh, you know, if you, if I were elected president, uh, stick with the various, how is your prep work as an announcer, different for a race like the Derby? I like this one.
It’s, uh, it’s just totally different. It’s a way more intense way more involved. I mean, I was watching replays of Omaha beach the other day, looking for nuances of his running styles. Uh, keeping in mind that Mike Smith is a very decisive writer. So there might be an early move to lead for Omaha beach. If that happens, what can I say?
Uh, what happens when Tacitus comes with his rally? Uh, what happens if the pace is scorching or the pace is dawdling all the various scenarios. Uh, I’m just trying to think of, I’m trying to have in mind and just be ready for, you know, the third race on a Thursday evening at Churchill in June. Um, I’m not going to be quite as in tune to all the nuances of the race.
It’s because it’s not the Derby, right? This is the Derby. So the prep is ongoing and it started and is ramping up with each and every day. Oh, we’re getting there. We’re getting there. I did have one more handicapping type question for you that I, that fell through the cracks. Do you look in a race like the Derby at the foaling date as any kind of factor?
In other words, do you give preference to horses who are older and actually three on the day, as opposed to younger foals, et cetera? No, not really. Um, my sort of let, what they’ve done on the racetrack, my guide. And, you know, you can tell if a horse is still developing or not, or sort of peak that to, or feet, this fee, you can make a pretty good assumption of that based upon, you know, watching replays and looking at the PP profiles of the horse.
So I tend to let the data guide me more there and not get too hung up on, uh, March or April full. I mean, Could you imagine missing out on a life-changing Derby superfecta because you tossed the horse. Cause he was born in February and not late March. Uh, I just, I don’t think I could live with myself. And so that’s one of the things I’m going to, I’ll just let that go for now and, and, uh, let the paper at hand, show me what to do.
What do you think about the fact that before you started at Churchill, the callers there for the previous 37 years, didn’t get to call one that went on to win the triple crown. And you’ve been there. What is it now? Four years and had two triple crown winners. How does that make you feel? No, it’s pretty special.
It’s pretty special. And, and, you know, I’d never been to the Kentucky Derby before and so American Farrow. Obviously won the Derby that year is my first Derby I’ve ever attended. I get to call it. And then he goes on to win the triple crown. And then, you know, we’ll write back with justify a couple of years later, I thought it was pretty cool.
Uh, it’s a big honor. I mean, just, you know, being a part of the Derby as a racing fan is it’s just awesome. You know, it’s, it’s a lot of work and. The lead up is big. The buildup is significant. The, uh, the obligations throughout the weekend, two weeks leading into it are, you know, not short, but that’s why we do it.
And, uh, just to be a part of it is pretty cool. When you, when you search for crown winner onto that mix, it gets a little bit more special. Uh it’s it’s all great. All right. We’re moving into the silly questions now. Travis, do you still follow the Knicks? Unfortunately? Yes. Uh, it’s a very torturous.
Lifestyle, but, uh, if nothing else I’m loyal and I’ll stick with them to the end. Um, you know, they’re running out of time to get a championship in my lifetime. I don’t have much optimism at this point, but we’ll see our old friend and our old boss, Joe Clancy wanted you to reflect a little bit from sitting in a closet and a half finished condo, doing an internet radio show to your current broadcasting duties.
Travis at the track. I remember what it was called, an internet radio show. Um, I did it at Saratoga for a summer. It was fun. It was really a great experience. You know, my objective at that time in my life was to try and get my name out there, get some experience, do some fun things. Uh, and that show was a hit.
I, you know, I interviewed all the big trainers leading up to the. To the big races that we can have revenue conversations with brick, duck, trow and St. Liam was getting ready for the Whitney and, uh, Charlie Hayward, who was been running Niara at the time talking about Saratoga. It was, uh, that was a lot of fun.
Um, and yeah, I’ve always liked radio and podcasting as a medium. So I enjoyed that, but, uh, that’s a throwback that’s for sure. You were so ahead of your time, like there really weren’t. I mean, I don’t, I don’t think I’d heard the term podcast at this time that we’re talking. I’m not even sure that the medium existed.
And I remember one time you were so hard up for a guest, you let me on your airwaves. Yeah, we must’ve dug really deep down in the, well on that one,
just a couple of, more for you and I’ll let you, I’ll let you get on with your life. Uh, our friend, Kevin Kirsty, and wants to know when was the last time you beat norm Cassie at racquetball. I walked into the gym this morning, walked onto the court and beat him in the first game. And that’s, that’s the God’s honest truth.
Clean norm is listening. He did beat me in the second round, but you know, we, we got him on the first one. That’s good. That’s very good. We had a, this was more of a debate on Twitter. It was a question about the over, under, on the amount of lozenges you would consume on Derby day, where would you put that number of, for the over-under.
Oh, it’s a big number. I, you know, so I have tested them all out. This is a true story. I’ve tested them all out. I’ve tried all the various, uh, flavors and brands and approaches and Rico. Those are the best and it has to be the, the original, not the sugar-free. The sugar-free is not quite as good. Uh, I. I found those down throughout the day.
I mean, it’s not uncommon for me to have three or four, maybe even five between races and on Derby day, you know, there is hour and a half between some of those races. I buy the bulk industrial bags commanders. I’ll put it that way. It almost doesn’t matter what the number is. One should, one should pretty much take the over.
What am I? This is a serious broadcaster to broadcaster question. Does it just help with like the. Tongue feel in the mouth. Is it literally just to keep the throat from not getting sore? What’s the effect of it. It’s a little bit of everything. It keeps the mouth, um, moist. It keeps the mouth moving a little bit.
Um, it definitely helps to throw it, which is a big thing for me. Um, my throat can dry out pretty quickly, so it helps there. Uh, it also in a weird way helps with the nerves. It’s just like chewing gum, a little bit of energy when you’re moving that thing around. So that helps a bit. But, um, it’s mostly about preserving the voice and keeping the throat clear.
Which is what it seems to do. Uh, you know, one of the things you can screw up with, with race calling is have your lunch 20 minutes to post. And just the residual effects of eating in the last half hour can affect your race calls. So this helps clean that up, clear that up and keeps everything moving in a good direction.
I think I need to go with in the lozenge direction. And I think we know if you make the audio return of Travis at the track, you’ve got your first sponsor, all lined up and recolor. I’ll tell you what I mean, I should, I should reach out to Ricola and try and get them. Uh, I I’d wear some sort of Ricola shirt on Derby days, as long as there’s a big audience audience in the booth angling for Ricoh, or there’s gotta be a key target market for them.
That’s a tremendous, just, just make sure burger King isn’t allowed to stand behind you and we’ll be all good, Travis. There you go. All right, Travis, I know you are so busy this time of year. We really appreciate you taking time out and coming on with us today. We’ll be listening with great interest to your work this weekend, as Churchill opens and throughout the meet.
And we would love to have you back on soon. Maybe we’ll make you put your, uh, handicapping hat on the next time, anytime enjoyed it and, uh, enjoy the Derby as well. Before we bring in JK and do some handicapping. There was one more Derby question I wanted to get to specifically about Derby parties. And since I’m throwing this Derby party this year at Treadwell park on 42nd street, come join us Derby afternoon.
I figured I should give this one, a crack at being answered. One of the questions it was about wagering. I would say, keep it really simple. I mean, one thing you could do these days, you can sign up and have your ADW rocking and rolling in minutes. So if you have the patience to deal and help get your guests set up with their Keelan select account or their Niara Betz account, that is an option.
But I think I’m going to go more the Superbowl square root, and I think it’s going to be pretty simple. I’m just going to. Make a grid with the numbers one through 20 and your bias square. And then those will be randomly assigned and probably do them at different price points. Maybe do a low roller five or $10 one, maybe do a $20 one, maybe do a $100 one, depending on how into gambling people are.
The thing with that system is you can just. Start opening new games when one game finishes and what we’ll be doing. If I have anything to say about it, just doing it sort of like a 50, 50 raffle where half the money goes to the thoroughbred retirement foundation. So that’s my thought on the simplest way to do the bedding.
There are some other ideas out there. Maybe I’ll try to put together a blog post about it or something over it in the money podcast.com DrinkWise. You need to do Juul lips, the key to Juul lips, the recipes easy. I’ll let you find it online. The key is. Crack that ice smash, that ice, there are machines you can get to do it.
Honestly, you could wrap the ice in a towel or a pillow case and smash it with a bottom of a wine bottle and get a similar effect. But you need that cracked ice to get the full Julep thing going food-wise JK is always talking about burgoo. I wouldn’t say no to making a giant VAT of that. That could be fun.
Uh, if you want to do some sort of mini version of a Kentucky hot Brown, that’s not a horrible idea, country, ham and sliders. That’s super easy way to get a little bit of that flavor. And of course, on the dessert front don’t sleep on the Derby pie. I don’t think restaurants are allowed to call it that, but I think if you just Google what that is, You will find something that you like, bourbon tastings, always an excellent idea.
If you have questions about the specifics of any of this stuff, feel free to hit me up on Twitter or send me a note, happy to point you in the right direction for your Derby party needs. But of course, this year, if you’re in New York, come join us at Treadwell park, the 42nd street location. We’re going to have an awful lot of fun.
All right. And now, because. Three guests is not enough. We’re going to bring in the usual co-host of this show to talk about a couple of races and some exciting stuff going on this weekend. I am talking of course, about the people’s champion. Jonathan Kenshin JK what’s up. Did you guys miss me? Did, did, uh, did, uh, I wasn’t on, I was, I was in an airplane, but I do want to make sure.
That you guys talked about with, with Skurka all the fun ways you can get them on with park. Funny enough, I didn’t get to that because I was thinking we’d save it for another show, but the future is now give us your spiel on this. So the coolest thing about Monmouth is, is, is the city that it’s in, I believe is ocean port, right?
Is that right? Something like that. Yeah. Anyway, whatever’s Google it if I was wrong. Sorry, but it’s um, it’s, it’s, you know, it’s like, uh, you know, a seaside beach town kind of down in New Jersey, like in that little area. So it’s cool obviously to be down there, but if you don’t get to that side of the world, very often, my favorite move is just stay in New York city and you can do two things.
Both are very fun. You can take the train that literally drops you off at the quarter pole and mile at Monmouth, maybe to three eights. Dropped you off the three eight pole and you just walk right over to the track. Take the train back. It’s great. Um, you can handicap on the train. The S the more fun version is to take this ferry called the sea streak.
It picks up in the financial district in Manhattan. And so you can stay in Manhattan, hop on a train to get down there, or you can know to cab or Uber over there, you get on this ferry, they’ve got a adult beverages. It’s a cool ride. Past the, uh, past the, uh, statue of Liberty. You also go under a bridge that was named after a horse that I lost a lot of money on the Derby.
Um, and it’s a ton of fun. It’s, it’s just, it’s a really fun to kind of hop on that thing and you can handicap. You gotta be careful. Handicap can get a little seasick, but it is really, really fun to do. So it’s a good, it’s a good option. If you’re going to Monmouth to, uh, to stay in the city Verrazano reference.
J K and I w I’m glad you mentioned the statue of Liberty, because I remember for Austin’s first trip to New York, as it turned out last year, we had so much fun. We did the museum of natural history one day. I remember playing some contests from the, from your phone underneath the giant T-Rex, uh, on the fourth floor there.
But the best thing I thought we did in many ways was that ferry ride back because we caught it perfectly at sunset. It must’ve just been the time of year or whatever on the circuit, June 1st, it was for the pickier prize contest. And I just remember thinking as we’re on the boat, super close. Watching the sun set in the statue of Liberty is right there that you could get tourists to pay four figure sums for the experience that we got for the price of a ferry ticket.
And it was made all the better. If you remember, we stopped off at that really cool brewery in Atlantic Highlands carton and got some to go beers. So we were enjoying our beer, watching the sunset. It was, it was spectacular and I do love the ferry. It does leave a little bit early coming back, but Hey, if you’ve got stuff to do in New York anyway, make that part of your routine going down to Monmouth.
And as we talked about with Brian, lots of really cool in-house entertainment options these days, we’ll save those for another show though. JK. Cause we still, I know you’re on a tight clock and we’ve got a few races to talk about. I think we’re going to breeze through them and maybe pause on the last one, but let’s start with the elusive quality at Belmont on Saturday.
It’s going to be a fun day out there. Weather supposed to be okay. They’ve got the beer festival, check that out on their website, but let’s give people a winner for this elusive quality. Well, you know, I talked about it on the Niara vets pit late pick five show that we did with Anthony steel earlier this week.
Um, I’m working on a, uh, an idea, um, when it comes to these turf sprints, I think turf sprints are tricky because they’re always a different. Distances. And I think the horses will Excel at five that can’t win at six and horses when it’s seven, that can’t win at six and a half. And just all these weird things that come up.
One of the things that I’ve found in the, in the, in the infancy of this, these ideas I’m trying to formulate is that the seven Furlong turf races. Are won by closers. They’re not won by loose on the lead types. Those types of horses don’t Excel. Like you would think that maybe a six for a long horse can get loose and, uh, in a race that doesn’t have much pace.
It just seems that horses that are closer to succeed. And I can give you some more information about that as we get further along the Belmont meet. But for me therapist kind of came up as one of those horses that was going to be finishing. He’s also one at this distance, but the best part about it is he won at this distance.
Uh, kind of by open links, one by two links when he ran in a steak, uh, last June. So, you know, he’s been, he’s been gilded since, um, I almost did the, uh, my, uh, the abbreviation or my not abbreviation, my nickname for gelding. Uh, luckily I went with gelding, but, uh, he, uh, you want buy two laptop and I, so I just liked them to go on seventies, cutting back a little bit off of a layoff it’s Claremont it’s Eric Kanso horse made the most sense to me.
Second choice could even drift a little bit. Yeah, I can’t disagree with any of that nice flow upgrade horse. I’ve always liked doing a task he suited to. And with that, let’s just go ahead and move on. We’ve got a stakes race for opening day at Churchill downs, or is it opening day? It is opening day. I think, I think they’re night racing too.
Yeah. At night racing, which if you’ve never been to Churchill’s night racing, it is very, very fun. I’ve been to Steven Foster night and they do a great job, like kind of having themes and stuff and kind of making it a party for the city of Louisville. Um, it’s really cool. It’s fun. So I’d imagine that this opening Saturday night will be, uh, will be the same.
Maybe just maybe if we do a good job, helping Churchill promote the Kentucky Derby betting challenge, they’ll keep us on board JK to promote the foster heck. Maybe I’ll even get there this year because I’ve never done night racing at Churchill. One of the stars on the card, really the star on the card is bulletin in that state, grace.
It sure didn’t look to me like anything was going to beat. And what did you think. No. I mean, there’s no, I mean, the only other horse that you can think can beat him is a obsidian for Wesley ward and Bolton buried him last time. And if city and had a race of city and excuse me, how to race leading up to that.
So that horse was second off of the layoff bulletin was first off of a long layoff. I think bulletin’s only going to continue to improve. And, uh, I would imagine that bulletin and the, the connections, this horse will eventually see, uh, some longer distances. And, uh, Bolton’s the type of horse that I I’m looking forward to maybe.
Getting a couple mile races into him and then maybe cutting him back down the Hill for the breeders’ cup. Well, ask it’s meant to be next JK. I’m not sure if you knew that, but we’ll so we’ll have to see how that affects the plan, but certainly a fun story to follow in bulletin. And with that, let’s go South to your home state of Texas.
I’m just going to let you go here. Cause I know there’s a lot going on Steve Sexton, mild date, which is Sunday. This contest is a great opportunity thousand dollar buy-in. None of it goes to an entry fee. The house is putting up the prize and it’s a whole lot of NHC seats and you don’t have to pay to take your crack at them.
I imagine you’ll be playing in that. We’d love to hear your thoughts about everything going on in the day and, uh, let us know who’s going to win the race as well. Well, first of all, I’m really excited. Uh, lone star was the first racetrack that I ever went to. It was the first race track that I ever placed.
A wager it’s the first racetrack I ever won a wager. It’s the first race track I ever had an adult beverage app. It’s my first for everything. Um, from maybe when I was 15 years old, the first time I started going, my first breeders’ cup was there. So it’s very cool for the, have the opportunity to get to go back and, and I’m gonna be doing a seminar, um, at 1230 central.
So it’ll be on the, uh, on your ADW or wherever you watch races. Uh, those, uh, just go to the lone star feed and it will be there. Uh, Pete’s going to send you a free book. If you can get a really good screenshot of me making a funny face, I might actually do that. Yes. People send you a free book. So tweet us if you can get some funny pictures, but yeah, I’m looking forward to it.
We’ll be on Fox. Fox is like, it’s a super long episode. I got the, uh, I got the email today. They’re covering like six races at Belmont. Six races, eight races at Oaklawn, two races at lone star. I think that’s like a six hour show. Don’t quote me on that, but I’m pretty sure it’s pretty thinking long Friday, Saturday and Sunday, there’ll be a Fox sport show on.
So make sure you set your DVR to that in the Sexton mile. Um, you know, obviously this is a race that, uh, you could probably win some race track bar trivia situations. And if you want to do some bar tricks to someone and ask them, uh, which. Which race has CRE which you know, which race in Texas has created the last two winners of the medicine and people I would imagine, would struggle to figure out that it’s just one more spirit, won it in 2017, uh, B Jersey won it last year.
Steve asked mucin Charles show back up here with title ready. I thought Todd already made a bunch of sense. He’s uh, he’s he’s got some really fast numbers. He ran a bang up race to Vino Raso last time. He’s a extremely game. Um, uh, a horse that, uh, actually, uh, uh, you know, is the class here of some of these horses that are going to show up here.
And then there’s two California invaders, I thought were interesting fulfilled Demato King Abner. In airstrike. The interesting thing about King Avenue is they switched him to the, to the, to the mile, back in November at Del Mar and he won. Then he came back at a mile again and he won. Then they tried him on the turf twice.
That didn’t go good. Then they brought him back at a mile on a wet, fast track in March. When, when things were going a little funny out in California, he got beat. Uh, he ran second there to me, the California horses make the most sense to King Abner and the sixth airstrike. I thought airstrikes last racing, ins Nero, um, out a little bit of trouble.
He was wide all the way around there. I thought the inside was probably good in the race before that he, uh, he was beaten by gift box. So I think from a class standpoint, airstrike and King Abner, make the most sense. Uh, give me the longest price of those two. If you’re gonna make me pick, did you look at the other race?
That’s going to be part of the coverage. He had a little bonus pick here on the other lone star race real quick. I did. It’s a, it’s a, it’s a maintenance, I’m sorry, not a main special way. It is a maiden claiming 20 turf sprint, you know, JK loved the turf sprints. Um, there is an interesting situation. I was handicapping early and I noticed that called Broberg had a horse in here that was claimed.
And, and, and was, was claimed, but was reentered for the same owner of the same trainer. So I’m thinking, did they buy the horseback or what, what happened? And I, I sent him a message on Twitter and he actually replied and said, he’s gonna try to qualify for the NHC this weekend call bro bird though, one of the most leading trainers in the country.
Um, but he explained to me that this horse. Was entered because you enter so early in Texas was entered before the horse was claimed. So he will be an automatic scratch. So you’re handicapping. Um, there’s the answer to that question? Um, I thought there was two horses that made the most sense to two, uh, major shipment and the three time to stroll.
They’re both exiting, uh, similar races. I just thought that those two are just faster than these. Um, I just thought that their figures were faster. They were tactically, they were faster and they were running and maiden special weight dropping the huge drop. Some will say it’s the biggest drop in racing.
Benton’s maiden special aid to maiden claiming those are the two for me. Um, that I thought were the most made the most sense. Obviously you got to give Joe sharpen, Adam muskets, a little bit of credit for this first time starter. Uh, we’ll see what kind of money that horse takes. Uh, in the pool for more on that race, go make sure you check out JKS coverage on the Fox show.
Sounds like a lot of great stuff coming down the pike from them this weekend. Thank you. My friend PTL has always. And that’s going to do it for this edition of the show. I want to thank our guests today. We had Brian Skurka. We had Sean Galt. We had Travis stone and of course our man Jonathan kitchen.
Thanks to him. Hey, if you haven’t been reading the great stuff on the, in the money podcast.com blog that Brian has been writing. You’ve been doing yourself a disservice. These trip notes are fantastic. He’s going to cover every horse running in this year’s Kentucky Derby. Make sure you check that out.
Also just want to give a quick shout out to our friends at thoroughbred retirement foundation and 10 strike racing. And of course the sponsor of this show, black type thoroughbreds. For more information about race, horse ownership, go to black type tb.com. This show has been a production of in the money media.
In the money media’s business. Manager’s drew Courtney I’m Peter Thomas foreign, a towel. May you win all your photos?
Did you ever wonder what it would be like to own your own professional sports franchise? Well, we can’t offer you that, but we can offer you the chance to compete in thoroughbred racing at its highest levels. Black type thoroughbreds is a new public partnership that can put you in the winner circle for more information about thoroughbred ownership, contact Jake ballasts, a black type thoroughbreds go to black type tb.com.
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