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Jeff Tune's Gambling Blog
Thursday, 27 July 2017

Hello from Saratoga! Actually Glens Falls where I am staying this year. I was at Finger Lakes yesterday (more later), and this morning it rained all the way to Saratoga. Rain just about stopped when I arrived at the track but all turf races except one were taken off turf. The steeplechase race also remained on the turf. 

Because of the track condition and all the scratches, I was betting gingerly.  But I did win today. Win bets on three horses - two of them ridden by Irad Ortiz who got up to win both of them by a head at 3-1 and 4-1. 


Yesterday I was at Finger Lakes betting both Sar & FL.  Wasn't having any luck at FL but I hit a pick three at Saratoga. In the first leg Javier Castellano brought home a 7-1 winner in a turf sprint. Then it was a 4/5 maiden firster winning for trainer Danny Gargan. In the third leg I singled VOODOO SONG - trained by Linda Rice, owned by Barry Schwartz - a winning angle. Also this horse was racing after winning four days ago.  That's another OK angle for Linda Rice. And the race distance today was eleven furlongs! 

Well, VOODOO SONG opened up a BIG lead setting very fast fractions. I thought the horse was cooked but no, he hung on and won it at 4/5.  Dollar pick three return was $76.25. 


I finally did cash a winning bet on the last race at Finger Lakes.  Win bet on a 2-1 winner.


I will be at Saratoga Friday & Saturday so check back, I'll try to blog a report.

Posted by pa/tune at 8:15 PM EDT
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Sunday, 23 July 2017
Sunday Saratoga

It was a very good day betting Saratoga.  In the second I put a win bet on WE DID since he was the best price out of my top three picks.  Also a plus that Timeform's David Aragona picked him.  Bingo! $16.20 to win.

Then in the third it was a daily double play. Todd Pletcher-trained UNCLE MOJO was my choice. I also thought a couple of others had a shot.  I played these with my pick in the 4th, PHI BETA EXPRESS, with the bulk of my play on UNCLE MOJO. The mojo was workin as he held on to win by a neck at 5/2.  In the 4th, PHI BETA EXPRESS ($8.70) romped by eight lengths.  The $2 double returned $42!  Sweet!


Another daily double play in the 8th/9th.  In the 8th I used my top four picks, one of which was 11-1 GINGER N RYE. I singled ABEL TASMAN in the 9th - the G1 Coaching Club American Oaks. GINGER N RYE got the win and ABEL TASMAN ($3.60) won the feature by a head in a thrilling stretch battle.  The $2 double returned $45.80.

By the way, it was the second win of the weekend for the trainer/jockey/owner combo of Horatio DePaz/Ricardo Santana/Sagamore Farm.     They hit with 9-1 winner SOUTHAMPTON WAY on Friday (if you read my last blog, he was the key to my tournament win).  Both horses last raced in Maryland.  I think crab cakes are in  order for dinner!


One more winner for the day in the finale, a maiden claimer on the turf.  MAJOR FORCE won it at 5-1.  This one was a  dirt-to-turf runner for trainer Linda Rice.  Timeform handicapper David Aragona steered me to this one as he picked him and noted that the horse belonged on turf as he was a half-brother to two turf stakes winners.

It's worth your while to check out David's Saratoga picks on the NYRA Saratoga website. Click on RACING and then TIMEFORMUS RACE ANALYSIS.

Thank you David and Horatio. 



Posted by pa/tune at 8:40 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 23 July 2017 10:12 PM EDT
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Saturday, 22 July 2017
Saratoga day one

Was Saratoga day one a tough one?  Well, nobody picked six.  Nobody picked five!  A couple of early winning favorites and then a bunch of nice prices.


I ended up losing a little on the day.  I did bet 6-1 winner PROCTOR'S LEDGE in the Lake George, and my pick of DREAM IT IS won the Schuylerville at 9/2. Many of my 2nd and 3rd picks won and had I gone deeper in my bets I could have had a great day with doubles and pick threes.  

But I did play a $8 online HorseTourneys contest.  It was a pick-and-pray, not a live contest.  Turned out to be an exciting one.


I pretty much looked for longshots in this contest as there were 14 players.   I was blanked in the first four races but then had 9-1 winner SOUTHAMPTON WAY in the 5th. I was the only one who had this winner and I moved into first with a $19 lead and $31.40.  When Muqtaser won the 7th at 7-1, a number of players had this one and one of them surpassed me to take the lead - $37.80 to my $31.40.  In the 8th I was between DREAM IT IS (who was my original webpage pick)  and STAINLESS.  Ended up going with Stainless in the contest only to watch Dream It Is win big. Sigh.  Would have put me back in the lead.

Going into the final race the standings remained the same and my pick was DYNAMIC WAR trained by George Weaver.  My pick was based mainly on the owner/trainer stat.  In the past three Saratoga meets, Weaver has won 5-of-11 with horses owned by Jim and Susan Hill.   I was also encouraged that handicappers Mike Beer and David Argona also liked this one.  And doesn't George Weaver always win the last race at Saratoga? 


DYNAMIC WAR made a big wide move and looked like he was gonna win but could not catch 18-1 Joyful Joyful and finished second by a neck.  I quickly checked to see if any of the other players had picked Joyful Joyful and no one had.  Dynamic War was 9-2 and I needed at least a $6.50 place price to win the contest. She paid $7.70 to place and I ended up the winner by $1.30.


So I won $75 for first and my contest bankroll sits at $116.  Lots more contests to play! 

Posted by pa/tune at 11:15 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 23 July 2017 10:13 PM EDT
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Thursday, 20 July 2017

Time for a quick update on things!

Saratoga opens tomorrow!  My favorite time of year.  I really get into handicapping Saratoga every year.  I have my opening day selections here:


 Just remember to look for value at Saratoga.  I usually note my top 3 or 4 picks but the odds will determine who I bet. Be sure to check out the public handicappers thoughts.  Guys like Andy Serling, Mike Beer, and David Aragona can give you good info.


I will be up at Saratoga next week - my 27th consecutive year!  Check back for some blog reports. 


Contest update:  

As you may recall, I was playing many of the "beginner" $2 tourneys on Horse Tourneys.  Well, Horse Tourneys sent me an e-mail asking me to refrain from playing these as "you are not a beginner."  LOL.  They have since lowered their requirements for these to those who haven't played more than $100 in the past year so that excludes me anyways (it's since been lowered to $30).  

I plan to play the $8 pick-and-pray Saratoga contest for opening day.  Gotta look for some longshots!


As far as day-to-day gambling, nothing exciting to report.  I'm cashing lots of tickets but mostly all small pick threes.  I did have a win bet on 13-1 winner CLOUD COMPUTING in the Preakness.


Good luck with your summer gambling! 


Posted by pa/tune at 10:02 AM EDT
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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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