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Jeff Tune's Gambling Blog
Wednesday, 3 May 2017

I'm going to call this my I-should-be-in-Las Vegas blog.  Yes, I cancelled my trip this week.  I'm not 100% recovered from my injury.  I still have some trouble walking, and not being able to walk around downtown Vegas wouldn't be much fun.  As of one week ago I was still on the fence about going, and I'm better every week but it was still a no go.


So, what did I do today?  Since I'm not in Vegas, I went to the casino to play some blackjack!  I haven't played in quite awhile.  The casino offers $5 blackjack every day from 1-5 pm, and there are 4-6 tables going.  I sat down and started out pretty good.  I won two double downs and my $5 bet had now increased to $15.  I got dealt 11 so I doubled to $30.  I got an 8 for 19. Dealer got a 21 and beat me. Isn't it strange that when they change dealers your luck suddenly changes? In the middle of the shoe too. I soon got up a winner of $7.50.


I stopped over at the horse racing simulcast area and made a couple bets.  I hit a .50 pick three that returned $21. My horse in the 3rd part won it by a nose.  I was really rooting for the second place finisher as I was alive to that one too and the payoff would have paid $63. Oh well, can't complain (well maybe a little).


I've done well this week - I hit a 10-1 winner at Mohawk Monday night. Let's hope good luck carries into Derby weekend!  If you check my main page, I have my KY Oaks selections up.  KY Derby selections will be up tomorrow.

Posted by pa/tune at 9:19 PM EDT
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Monday, 1 May 2017

Hooray! Hooray!  It's the First of May!  Just a quick update before I get busy with Derby Day & Oaks Day handicapping.  I've been doing ok - cashing tickets. A few missed opportunities and more than a few 2-out-of-3 pick 3's with nice potential payoffs.  I haven't played many tourneys lately and haven't had much luck in the couple that I recently played. I'll most likely play for Oaks & Derby day.


Yesterday I ventured up tp the casino later in the afternoon to play a few late races  I got stuck in traffic and arrived later than expected so I missed some of the races I had intended to play.  I was looking for races to play and I pulled up Laurel Park's late double.  Laurel is a track I never bet other than Preakness day, I very quickly handicapped the races and made a small 2 x 1 bet. I had the winner of the first leg - a 8/5 turf runner trained by Graham Motion.  I had singled HUNGER in the finale.  I had simply looked at the Brisnet race summary and Hunger's speed figs towered above the others.  He was gonna be a big fave.  But to my surprise he ended up the 2-1 second choice!  HUNGER easily won it by nearly six lengths. But I heard the announcer's call.   "It's Hunger, not seen since 2014. . .  It's Hunger off the lo----ng layoff.  I pulled up the pp's and sure enough - Hunger hadn't run since New Year's Day 2014!!  I never would have bet such a horse.  Double returned $15.20

Sometimes you just get lucky.


Posted by pa/tune at 11:34 AM EDT
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Saturday, 15 April 2017

Happy Tax Day!  Hope y'all got a refund.  I got a little lazy this week and didn't update my horses-to-watch list, but I now have  put up some for tonight at Mohawk.


I played one contest this week.  It was Keeneland and I won it.  I only ended up with $22.90 but easily beat the other two players.  I now stand exactly even for the past two  months, lol.  I also entered a contest Thursday.  I handicapped the first four races and entered my selections only to find out after the first race that the contest was cancelled!  It didn't fill.  Bummer - I had a winner and two seconds in the first four races.  Not sure how I would have done the rest of the card.  I am (hopefully) playing a Keeneland contest again today.  Looks like a good Saturday card!


I made a trip up to the casino yesterday.  First time since my injury.  I parked the car and took the shuttle up to the casino entrance and then walked over to the simulcast area. I'm walking without the crutches but still not easy to walk more than short distances.  I lost a little bit- was playing mostly Keeneland and a little Tampa Bay and Gulfstream.  

Ok, let's get handicapping! 

Posted by pa/tune at 10:39 AM EDT
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Monday, 10 April 2017

First a quick update on my injury.  I'm doing MUCH better - getting around without crutches but still haven't ventured out to the casino.  Soon - I miss the comradery with my fellow horseplayers.  I'm still undecided about my scheduled trip to Vegas the first week of May. Only three weeks away.


Still gambling quite a bit from home.  Tried  tourneys from Santa Anita and Keeneland recently.  Came close to winning both but fell a bit short.  My recent highlight was the Gr.1 Ashland Stakes from Keeneland.  I liked the 22-1 winner SAILOR'S VALENTINE and had her in a daily double that returned $78 for a buck.  One of my favorite tracks to bet, Hoosier Park has started racing so I will be playing soon. 

Yep, I'm starting to get Derby fever!

Posted by pa/tune at 3:54 PM EDT
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Sunday, 26 March 2017

A quick recap of yesterday's Gulfstream contest. After picking two chalky winners early on, I was looking to go wire-to- wire.  Then after picking 4-1 winner Biondetti Song, I had a decent lead.  But there were four more races to go.  My two opponents closed the gap a bit and with one race to go I held a $7.00 lead.


The finale was a MSW turf race at 7-1/2 furloings.  The 9/5 favorite was GAME FACTOR, trained by Christophe Clement.  This filly was a good second in her debut at this distance. She was definitely the horse to beat and I was going with her as my contest pick.  There were certainly other options in the race including firsters from Chad Brown, Todd Pletcher, and Alan Goldberg.  But I felt pretty confident with my choice.  Well, Game Factor finished second and the winner was a 5-1 Bill Mott runner who hadn't done much in her four career races,  but did have trouble in her one turf race and also showed a bullet work.  I checked the contest leaderboard.  Yep, another player picked this one.  Hats off to him (actually her).  

After playing sixteen of these contests in the past two months I am exactly even.  



I did win a little from betting yesterday.  Hit a daily double at Gulfstream and then a small pick three at Woodbine harness last night. 

Posted by pa/tune at 12:10 PM EDT
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Saturday, 25 March 2017

First a quick update on my injury.  It's been almost six weeks since my fall and I'm doing much better.  Still on crutches but I can walk a bit without. I see the doc on Monday.  I may be going back to work soon - half days. Still unsure if I will be able to make the Vegas trip first week of May.  We'll see how I'm doing.


Now for a quick update on recent action.  After losing five consecutive tourneys, I won one yesterday.  I'm still playing the $2 ones which are almost always Gulfstream.  When I handicapped the card it looked to be pretty chalky and sure enough, a lot of favorites were winning.  The last 3 or 4 races really featured strong favorites so my strategy was to get the lead early and then just go with those late faves.  It turns out that was what happened and with one race to go I held a $2.80 lead.  I really liked the favorite in the finale, MORE ALEX. He ended up losing by a neck but neither of the other players had the 7-1 winner so victory was mine.

I will play the tourney again today.  I'm not crazy about the two turf sprints but at least the weather looks good. 


Regular betting has been ok.  I hit a 14-1 winner at Tampa Bay and a couple of ok Woodbine pick threes recently.  March has certainly been better than my awful Jan and Feb. 

Posted by pa/tune at 10:28 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 14 March 2017

 So I fancied a flutter on a 16-1 horse at Cheltenham---and I won!!


Let me explain. I was checking out Twin Spires this afternoon just to see what tracks were running, and I noticed Cheltenham.  Cheltenham is a British steeplechase racing meet that began in 1860!  This festival of racing takes place every March for only a four day meet!  Check it out at the link below.


There was one race left for the day so I went online to see if a program was available.  What I did find was a video of a bloke giving out his tips for today's races.  He liked #16 GOLD PRESENT.  There were 20 horses in this race! I decided to go with a flutter on that one. I discovered the term "flutter" online as well---a British term for placing a bet on something.


Just for shits & giggles I placed a $1.00 place bet on GOLD PRESENT--and he came in 2nd! But when the results went up there were three place prices!  Hmm, is this a British racing thing?  So I researched it and sure enough. Here is the British definition of a place bet. 



Place - Finish in the top two, top three, top four and sometimes also top five in a competition or event. A place bet will win if the selection you bet on is among those placed. Usually, a horse runs a place if it finishes in the first three in fields of eight or more horses. If there are only six or seven runners the horse must finish first or second to place.


So my $1.00 place bet on a 16-1 horse returned $3.80.  

British racing/betting is really interesting,  When at the track you can still bet with a bookie in a betting ring, and get fixed odds on your bet.  Or bet with Totepool, paramutuel betting like here in the US.  However, they have different names for types of bets.  An "each-way" is what we call a win-place bet.  Check out the video below for some of the other bets like Toteswinger, toteplacepot, totequadpot, and more! 

Posted by pa/tune at 3:06 PM EDT
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Thursday, 9 March 2017
Last Weekend Action

If it was a fight they woulda stopped it!  Contest player Daniel V.  took the lead right off the bat when he hit a 6-1 winner. Then added to it in the second race with a 5/2 winner.  The best I could do in the first five races was a $4.00 place horse.  So going into contest race six it is Danial V - $32.80, me - $4.00.  


I had originally picked MISS MUNNINGS for this race.  MM is trained by Angel Penna Jr.  Wow, I thought he was long retired or dead but here he is at Gulfstream.  He used to be a high percentage trainer years ago.  But MISS MUNNINGS opened up at 4/5 so I switched picks to my alternate horse, AWESOME SONG, coming off a layoff for trainer Brian Lynch and ridden by Joel Rosario.  A big price too.  But with a minute to post I noticed MISS MUNNINGS had drifted up to 6-1!  I switched my pick back to MM.  Well, you can guess what happened.   Yep. AWESOME SONG gets up for the win at  10-1. I'm just shaking my head.  But really shaking my head when I see that leader Daniel V. picked this one! Well, that pretty much did it for this contest as everyone was shut out the rest of the way. Daniel V. wins it with $68.00!


I played again this past Sunday. I have a 7-1 Chad Brown firster in contest race 4 who takes the lead in the stretch only to get beat a neck at thw wire, grrrr. Even still the place price puts me slightly ahead. Two races later other dude takes the lead when he has the logical 4/5 winner.  I just couldn't take the small price.  But it's a real dogfight and we trade winners the next two races and going into the final race we are exactly tied!  What happens with a tie?  I had to go to the HorseTourney rules.  First tiebreaker rule - whoever has the most wins.  Well, my opponent has two and I have one.  


The final race is a wide open turf event with a full field of 12.  All I need is a place price.  I land on 4-1 KITZYS ROCKET coming off a layoff  with good connections of Barclay Tagg/Joe Bravo.  KR settled midpack, then looked to be making the winning move coming around the stretch turn, but hung and finished a close 4th.  So a blowout and a dead heat in these two contests but I come up empty.


I did cash some decent tickets this weekend.  I hit an ok  $.20 pick 3 at Woodbine Friday night that paid three-and-a-half times the parlay.  Then Sat afternoon hit 4-1 and 16-1 winners at Gulfstream.  I really liked a couple of my horses-to-watch Sat. night at Woodbine but both didn't do much. Then yesterday at Tampa Bay I needed a 6/5 to come in for a decent daily double after a 7-1 had won the previous race, but he lost by a neck.

Posted by pa/tune at 6:31 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 13 March 2017 3:55 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

 I'm still recovering from my pelvic fractures - I can drive but don't go out unless I have to.  It actually was a warm sunny day today here in Erie, PA.  I almost didn't play today's Gulfstream contest since it included two 5 furlong turf sprints. I do very well with turf races but not the turf sprints.  These midweek Gulfstream programs are quite a few notches below the excellent weekend racing. Today's contest races included three maiden claimers.  I was bored today so I figured what the heck, let's take a shot.


 Nobody was doing any good.  Out of the first five contest races I had two small winners and two place horses.  Even though there were winners paying $40.40, $27.20, and $21.40, my grand total of $19.60 led all the way to the final race. This was one of those turf sprints - a $20,000 maiden claimer.  I had picked the 2-1 favorite but there was no way I was going to play him in the contest.  I had a $14 lead over the 2nd place guy so I had to stategize.  Who was he gonna play? Most likely someone in the 5-1 to 8-1 range. My second choice was DIXIE GRITS, a horse who had battled for the lead last out in a fast pace.  Today he was adding blinkers.  He was sitting at 8-1.  This one was my contest play, and my best guess as the one the other two players might go with.  The second choice was CAN'TCATHTHERAXX, trained by Phil Serpe. There were things to like about this guy - Luis Saez was jumping aboard, and I knew Phil was good with mdn. claimers. But Serpe had bad numbers second off the claim and down in class.  Even if the 2nd place guy picked him, this runner was sitting at 7/2 and probably wouldn't pay enough to overtake me.


 Well, CAN'TCATCHTHERAXX won it paying $10.40 and $5.20.  Oh geez, 2nd place guy probably had him and beat me.  I went to HorseTourneys to see the final leaderboard.  No change.  I won it.  2nd place guy had played the 2-1 favorite! And 3rd place guy played a 59-1 shot!  Maybe these guys put their picks in earlier? Oh yeah, I forgot - it's a beginner tournament!

Posted by pa/tune at 7:49 PM EST
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Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Just a recap of the last couple of tourneys I played.  As usual the $2 ones, the last eight races at Gulfstream.  For a change I found myself playing from behind in Thursday's contest. After contest race six I only had cashed with  three place horses.  I hit the 7th race but it was only a 9/5 winner so going into the final race I was $10.80 behind the leader.  I figured I needed at least a 3-1 or better in the finale.


Even though it was a 12-horse field only four horses were being bet.  I had originally picked #11, BREAK THE MOLD who was sitting at 5-1, so I went with him. I considered #1, ELOY ROD who was sitting at 5-1 and trained by the high percentage Jorge Navarro.  But I just knew that one of the other contest players would pick this guy. Well, ELOY ROD went wire-to-wire. It turned out both other players picked him.  Check back for more tourney highlights!


Friday's contest was again an eight race event from Gulfstream. This time I was back to my usual form - early speed out of the gate. I surged ahead in contest race four when my 12-1 pick finished second.  And look who's chasing me - the same guy who beat me yesterday!  Actually I'm beginning to see some of the same guys and learning how they play the contest. 


Going into the final race I have a pretty good lead of $16.40.  CC (the 2nd place guy) needs a 5-1 or better to catch me.  It turns out my pick is WOLF DANCE who is currently 5-1.  I go with him.  WOLF DANCE gets up in the final strides and I cruise to victory with a final total of $48.60.  CC also picked him but never would have beat me since the final odds on WOLF DANCE dropped to 7/2. Check back for more tourney highlights!

Posted by pa/tune at 4:02 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 7 March 2017 4:03 PM EST
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