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Jeff Tune's Gambling Blog
Sunday, 27 July 2014

I arrived at the Saratoga clubhouse Thursday seconds before the 5th race went off.  I got a bet in just in time.  Didn't win that one however.  I didn't have time to handicap the races but luckily I did bet the 4th in advance on my way up. I placed a win bet on a John Shireffs-trained horse who got the job done at 5/2.  I spent the remainder of the card making small win bets on longshots without any luck. Lost a little for the day.  Beautiful weather at the Spa!

 I wandered over to the Parting Glass Thursday night to catch Andy Serling's radio show.  His guests were Tom Durkin, jockey Rajiv Maragh, and trainer Christophe Clement. Definitely worth catching if you are in Saratoga (or on the internet).

Friday I hit the very first daily double!  But it only paid $8.60 and I lost money on my bet. I had an Ipad with me so I handicapped a Monmouth pick three and I hit it - .50 payoff of $26.35, which put me slightly ahead for the day. Then later on hit a nice $57 double for a buck.  Michael Matz with Michelle Nevin.  FYI, Michelle Nevin is 40 percent second off the claim!  Her gelding Writingonthewall got up by a nostril and a nice $19.80 return.  I finished Friday $50 ahead for the day.

On to Saturday - Jim Dandy Day!  Once again I was handicapping a bit on other tracks.  I hit a VERY small pick three at Woodbine (did you know they offer .20 pick threes?).  Going into the Saratoga 5th, I was alive to three horses in the pick three but not to the $58 winner.  However, the dude sitting behind me had him to hit a nice 4-figure pick four!  The Saratoga 6th was a mile-and-a-half on the turf.  Knowing that Jonathan Sheppard horses can run all day I placed a win bet on 7-1 Razzle Jazil.  He wins it! Going into the Jim Dandy I am about exactly even for the day.  I love Tonalist in the race and I am alive to him in a double.  I bet a few more doubles with Tonalist and four others in the finale.  But Wicked Strong gets the jump on him and Tonalist finishes second.  And of course one of my horses in the finale wins at 7-1.  It would have been a good day at the windows had Tonalist won but it was a slight loss on the day for me. 

Sunday it rained a good deal in the AM at Saratoga so races were taken off the turf and there were plenty of scratches. It was getaway day for me but that doesn't mean no betting.  I stopped at Vernon Downs about two hours west of Saratoga to play a couple Saratoga races.  I play doubles on the 3rd and 4th race.  Both favorites win but I get about double my bet back. So a slight win for day five.

Day six - Monday.  I am home and it's my last day of vacation.  I spend the morning doing laundry and handicapping Saratoga and the Meadows.  More rain at the Spa so once again races are off the turf, many scratches, sloppy sealed track.  Not good for betting the Spa so I focus mainly on the Meadows.  My best bet at the Meadows wins but only returns 2-1.  Picks threes aren't clicking but I do catch a 7-1 winner in the 11th.  I'm betting a little at the Spa but it's a chalkfest early on.  I did play a single $2.00 pick six and I get a little excited when I hit the first three legs.  I have a couple longshots in the latter three races.  Longshots indeed do win the last three legs but not my horses.  A slight loss for the day for me.

Definitely had a great time the past six days.  I cashed tickets each day and ended up with a small profit. The Saratoga experience is not to be missed.  This was my 24th consecutive year of going.  As usual I went to Breakfast at Saratoga in the morning.  So relaxing and fun to see the horses, jockeys, and trainers.  Angel Cordero was wandering around, and I got to see Palace Malice workout.  He'll be going in the Whitney next weekend.  And downtown Saratoga is great.  SO much music going on - there is probably close to a dozen bands playing in the four-block stretch of downtown (and that doesn't include all the street musicians you see).  If you haven't visted Saratoga during the racing season, make sure you get there!



Posted by pa/tune at 9:05 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 28 July 2014 8:54 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Ok, I am officially on vacation.  I left work at noon to play some Saratoga and a little Meadows.  Well, it turned out to be some Meadows and a little Saratoga.  Sat out the first three Spa races but hit my first Meadows bet - a 3-1 winner.  The Meadows offers only four pick threes a card and I played every one today.  No luck in the first three but in the final one I was alive for .50 payouts of $165 and $365! Exciting but not to be.  I didn't really like the Saratoga card today so I was just making small win bets on longshots with no luck.  But the late double bailed me out again! VERY similar to my late double score from Sunday (see last blog entry).  I played just two combinations.  In the 9th, Alan Garcia got the Graham Motion-trained Daring Dancer up by a head to win the Lake George Stakes on the turf.  Then in the finale it was George Weaver again! Hot Squeeze went wire-to-wire to win it at 4-1.  Double returned $41.00.  So my Saratoga angle for 2014 is a George Weaver-trained turfer, off the layoff, in the last race. 


So ends day one of my six day Saratoga betting spree.  I promise I will blog a little about each day.  Check back! 

Posted by pa/tune at 7:14 PM EDT
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Sunday, 20 July 2014

For the next six weeks you will find me sitting on my back porch handicapping the races - it's Saratoga time!  Saratoga opened Friday and I handicapped all the races the past three days.  I had to work Friday so I only got a couple of bets in. Bet all day Saturday and about half of today's races.  Here are some of the highlights:

I was fuming midway through Saturday's card when one of my fave Sar trainers, Tony Dutrow won with Big Trouble.  Dutrow is lethal at the Spa, especially with dirt sprinters.  I had picked him third in this stakes race and I walked out into the casino for a quick hot dog.  Not quick enough as I come back to see the race going off and Big Trouble win at 11-1! Grrr! In the next race I like the #1 horse a little, Fade to Black.  When I see that NYRA handicapper Mike Beer picks him I place a win bet at 16-1.  Fade to Black loses by a nose!  But wait! There is an inquiry and objection on the winner.  It appears that Fade To Black was squeezed into the hedge but the results stand official.  The winning horse pays $15.40 and is trained by. . .Tony Dutrow!!  Double Grrrr!!  Luck finally turns my way in the next race as my 9/2 horse wins by a nose.  Then I hit a small exacta in the finale to actually win a little for the day.

Today I lost a bit early on but then really liked the Mott-trained Crown Queen in the 9th.  She was the 2-1 fave so I played exactas with her on top of six others.  But I do not have the 10-1 second finisher.  But I get bailed out with the late double.  The first part is the Grade One Coaching Club American Oaks.  I like the three faves, Stopchargingmaria, Unbridled Forever, and Taketheodds.  The finale is a head-scratching $40,000 maiden claimer on the turf.  After giving it a good long look, I figure when in doubt go with George Weaver on the turf.  He's also pretty good with layoff horses.  I decide to just play a couple doubles - Stopchargingmaria and Taketheodds with the Weaver-trained Hard Rumor.  Stopchargingmaria wins pretty easily at 6/5 and Hard Rumor gets up at 8-1.  A nice $47.00 double!

I will be up at Saratoga this week and will try to blog a bit.  Check back for all the fun reports! 

Posted by pa/tune at 8:51 PM EDT
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Monday, 9 June 2014

Well, my final two qualifiers at Mohawk did not win so this ends my little experiment and only affirms that I will now focus the bulk of my harness handicapping at Hoosier.  Hoosier was my most profitable track in 2013 so let's dump horses to watch at Mohawk and add Hoosier!


Amount bet:  $22.00

Amount won: $5.70     

Posted by pa/tune at 9:50 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 9 June 2014 9:58 AM EDT
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Friday, 6 June 2014

Two qualifiers in the past couple of nights.  Last night, SUES YOUR DADDY went off at 7/2 and didn't run much.  Tonight it was BRUSHSTROKES who I really liked at her 12-1 ml odds.  However she ended up going off at 2-1.  Because of the low odds I passed the race but she counts as a qualifier.  Had a nice second over trip but flattened out and dead-heated for third.  Two qualifiers tomorrow night - both in the same race!  ST LADS PEEPER and REQUEST FOR PAROLE are both going ine the 4th.  We will use them both and end our little experiment tomorrow night.

Results so far:

Amount bet:  $18.00

Amount won: $5.70   

Posted by pa/tune at 9:43 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 6 June 2014 9:58 PM EDT
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Monday, 2 June 2014

BOOGIE WOOGIE was the lone qualifier tonight. He went off at 5/2 - much lower than I thought he should be, so as far as real money goes he was a no-play for me.  He broke at the start.

Results so far:

Amount bet:  $14.00

Amount won: $5.70  

Posted by pa/tune at 10:30 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 2 June 2014 10:34 PM EDT
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Sunday, 1 June 2014

TWO qualifiers last night.  Both were number TWO.  Result was TWO identical ok trips but crappy finishes.  Looks like one qualifier for Mon. night - BOOGIE WOOGIE in the 9th.

Results so far:

Amount bet:  $12.00

Amount won: $5.70 

Posted by pa/tune at 10:07 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 1 June 2014 10:26 PM EDT
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Friday, 30 May 2014

Ok, there were four qualifiers in tonight's Mohawk races - and we got one winner.  If you remember, a horse must be 2-1 or greater to qualify.  MIA SEELSTER was 2-1 at post time so we got a bet down.  However the horse went to 9-5 at the very last flash.  We will count this one - she returned $5.70. The other three did not win.  I probably should not have included OCEANVIEW BINDI as she was from the 10-hole and a bit outclassed, but I could not pass up her 25-1 odds.  The other two went off at 16-1 and 7-1.  Oops, forgot about the increase-your-bet rule. So total bet for tonight was $8.00. Naturally, my real betting will vary, but for this experiment bets will be $2.00 each.

Results so far:

Amount bet:  $8.00

Amount won: $5.70

Posted by pa/tune at 9:42 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 30 May 2014 10:55 PM EDT
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Thursday, 29 May 2014

It's been a struggle lately betting the horses so I propose a new betting experiment.  I have had some success with my Tune's Tips (horses who had tough trips in their last race).  I'm torn between Hoosier and Mohawk but I will start with Mohawk! I will play ten races.  Here are the rules:

1. Horse must have had a first-over trip in last race.

2. Horse must not have lost ground in that first-over race.

3. Horse must be 2-1 or greater.

Additional rules:

1. The bet will be $2.00 to win.

2. If I win, I will increase the next bet by $1.00.

3. If two or more horses qualify in the same race, bet them all!

4.  If the horse's final half in his last race is faster than any other horse's final half in their last race, double the bet!

5.  Be sensible - if a horse is way ouclassed or is starting from an impossible 10-hole, pass the race.

 This will start Friday May 30 and it looks like I have four qualifiers! And two are from the ten hole, but that is ok with me.  Here we go!


Posted by pa/tune at 10:46 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 29 May 2014 10:48 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Coulda, woulda, shoulda - every horseplayers lament, and I've had my share of missed opportunities lately.  

The biggest was last weekend's World Harness Handicapping Championship.  I gave some real serious thought to driving up to New Jersey and forking out the $800 to buy into the tourney and defend my 2013 WHHC title.  I decided against it but had to play at home just to see how I would have done.  Well, when my selection in race two at The Meadowlands won at 36-1, I got that sick feeling in my stomach (more so since I didn't even play the horse for real money). I continued to play as I would have had I been at the Big M and finished with a mythical bankroll of $1471 which would have been good for 7th place in the tourney.  So I would have received a little over $800 for 7th place plus my $1471 bankroll.  Note: that final tally of $1451 was more than my $1334 winning tally of last year!  Another note:  The winner of this year's contest only received $16,600 compared to my prize of $40,000 last year.  Only 83 players entered this year - the Meadowlands needs to rethink this contest.

A couple of other missed opportunities last week.  While watching the Meadowland's races last Sat. night, I was betting the Woodbine races.  I played the pick three for races 6,7,8.  I hit the first part but my single in the second leg finished second.  I then was pretty much done betting for the night and took a walk around the casino.  I came back just in time to see Woodbine's 8th race.  My horses included in my pick three for this race had been the 2 and 9.  And I watched them finish 1-2 at odds of 9/2 and 80-1!!  The exacta returned $557! 

Last night I was betting Woodbine harness.  The late double was race 9 and 10.  In the 9th, I made a note on the #1 horse, Samira Hanover that she had a tough first over trip last out.  Still she had been beaten by tonight's 1/2 favorite Rose Run Oriana by nine lengths and nearly five lengths the week before.  But Samira Hanover made a three wide move and beat the favorite by a head at 28-1.  In the final 10th race I had to do a double take at the outside horse Roger Mach Em's last line.  His last half in his previous race was 52-3!!  Hard to believe - even though he trailed the whole race he actually made up over 11 lengths on the leader.  However he again had the outside post.  Well, he gets up for the win with a last half in 55: and pays $26.70.  The double returns a whopping $1674!  I shoulda just stayed home and watched basketball.



Posted by pa/tune at 9:09 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 22 April 2014 10:19 PM EDT
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