Friday, May 22, 2015

Positive Tax Changes for Horse Players Needs Your Support

The US Treasury Department is considering making changes to the tax code that will have a positive affect on horse players.

It is important to let them know we support these changes!

Below is an article written by Andrew Beyer.  He outlines the changes that would allow us as horse players to claim the entire cost of the ticket against winnings and not just the minimum bet cost, which is the way it reads now.  To let the US Treasury Department know you support these changes please use the links in this email.  Once you click the link you will be taken to the NTRA website where you click on the button that says, "Click Here to Support This Effort".  Then you simply have to input your name, zip code and email address on the first page.  Then, enter your name again on the second page and click "Submit".

Link to Support:

Horseplayers have chance to make tax relief a sure thing
By Andrew Beyer

Horseplayers are accustomed to dealing with tough losses and cruel tricks of fate, knowing that they’re an inescapable part of the game. But most bettors cannot abide a rule that was issued by the Treasury Department in 1978 and has tormented them ever since.

Treasury mandated that bettors fill out a tax form before collecting “certain gambling winnings,” and that the Internal Revenue Service withhold tax from large winnings. Some results of the policy were unfair: The IRS confiscated money from many bettors who, at year’s end, didn’t owe any taxes. The rules that govern reporting and withholding have become absurdly outdated but have undergone little change in 37 years.

What hurts the customers hurts a business, and for many years, racing’s leaders have bemoaned the effects of tax withholding on their industry. Finally, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association has found a smart way to confront the issue. It is urging Treasury to change the calculation that determines what money is subject to withholding. The modification would be an infinitesimal item in the gigantic mass of U.S. tax regulations, but it would be a significant benefit to the sport.

In 1978, Treasury was trying to make sure that windfall gambling profits didn’t escape detection by the IRS. It chose to define a big win as one that returned more than $300 for each $1 wagered. Under today’s rules, a winner must complete IRS Form W-2G if he hits a 300-1 payoff and collects $600 or more. If the payoff is $5,000 or greater, the IRS withholds 25 percent. Thus, a player hitting a pick six worth $10,000 will collect only $7,500.

Treasury was principally targeting games like keno and bingo, not horse racing. Payoffs at huge odds were rare in an era when most wagers were placed on horses to win, place, or show. But by the 1990s, of course, racetrack betting was being transformed by the proliferation of popular exotic bets – trifectas, superfectas, pick threes, pick fours, etc. – that regularly yielded big returns. Instead of conservatively betting horses to win, most players adjusted their approach and tried to hit occasional large payoffs in the exotics. In the process, they got caught in the maw of the IRS.

The typical horseplayer doesn’t make a net profit over the course of a year; if he had money withheld during the course of a losing year, he would be entitled to get the money back. But to satisfy the IRS, he would need records documenting all of his gambling transactions to establish his loss. He would have to file a return itemizing deductions to show losses that offset his reported winnings. Many players either surrendered their money to the IRS or else turned over a winning ticket at the track to a so-called “10 percenter” who would cash it for a fee.

The whole system produced many negative effects. Maury Wolff, gambler and economist, said, “It used to be a standard belief that a dollar at the track would be bet three or four times a day.” A player cashes a bet, feels a little more confident, bets a little more on the next race, and the process continues – what racetracks call the “churn.” But every dollar taken out of circulation by withholding may never get churned again.

The cumulative cost to the racing industry is significant.

One aspect of Treasury’s rules governing withholding was blatantly unfair: the way it chose to define what constitutes a 300-1 return. Bettors almost always play a multiplicity of combinations in pursuit of a big payoff in the exotics. If a player boxes six horses in a superfecta with a $1 base unit, the cost is $360. If he catches a $7,200 payoff, he’s getting a return of 20-1 on his money, well below the 300-1 threshold that triggers withholding. Yet the IRS ignores $359 of the investment and maintains the fiction that this was a $1 bet returning $7,200.

Individual racetracks have tried to reduce the frequency of withholding by offering wagers with lower base units – 10-cent superfectas, 50-cent pick fours, for example – so that they pay less than $5,000 and are exempt from withholding. The industry has for years sought legislative remedies for the policies that govern withholding. But Alex Waldrop, the NTRA’s president, acknowledged, “With the gridlock in Washington, it was a waste of time.”

So, the NTRA altered its strategy and asked Treasury to change its “definition of the amount wagered” and recognize the entire size of the investment that produced a payoff. Congressmen wrote to Treasury seeking to modernize the treatment of racetrack winnings, as did Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear. The NTRA wants racing fans to do the same.

In a perfect world, Treasury would instantly recognize that a $360 bet on a superfecta is a $360 bet, not a $1 bet. But in case the regulators do not understand this fact, racing fans ought to remind them.

Link to Support:

Saturday, May 16, 2015

5/16 Pimlico - Preakness Stakes

I am in Baltimore for the Preakness, so I am unable to post all the stakes races for Saturday.  Below are my Preakness Stakes selections and thoughts.

Pre Scratches

Race 13 - 1-3/16 miles Preakness Stakes G1 - Play
A - #2 Dortmund (7/2) - Tired with an easy lead in the Ky Derby. There seems to be a lot of other speed in this race, but the same thing was said in 2012 and Shackleford went gate to wire. I don't think anyone is going to want to run early with the top 3 that seem so dominant and that could open the door for Dortmund to get a clear lead. A clear lead in the Preakness has proven to be dangerous, see Oxbow in 2013. I think he'll rebound off the Derby and run a big race, whether it is good enough to win or not I'm unsure. But, if he can get a clear lead and/or if Pharoah gets boxed in, then I think he has a big shot. Any of those scenarios could very well happen. Sometimes jockeys are busy trying to keep track of the horse to beat that they forgot about the major threat on the lead. Win selection, definite exotics use.
B - #8 Firing Line (4-1) - Was the winner of the post position draw. Gary Stevens can sit outside of horses, which allows him to watch and react easily to what is going on inside of him. A lot has been made of how much American Pharoah had to work to win the Ky Derby, but little has been said that Firing Line had to work just as hard. And, he seemed to tire late and drift just before the wire. It wouldn't be a shock if he regressed off his Ky Derby effort, but I also wouldn't be surprised if he moved forward. Regardless, the post position draw is a big plus in his corner, esp since American Pharoah drew the rail. Win chance, definite exotics use.
C - #1 American Pharoah (4/5) - Had he drawn outside, he would have been my top selection. A lot depends on what happens at the break. Does American Pharoah go for the lead? Does Martin Garcia on Dortmund leave space on the inside for his stablemate or does he get ahead of him and shut the door. The other thing that could make the post position a non-factor is if Dortmund, Firing Line and American Pharoah separate themselves from the rest of this mediocre pack on the far turn. That would allow him to move out and swing wide. Positives - got the best of these in the Derby while fighting down the entire stretch, has the tactical speed to get good position early, is the best horse in the race, if the track turns up wet he has already won in the slop. Negatives - rail post position could easily get him boxed in, not sure how he will handle kick back, other jockeys could be riding to keep him boxed. Lots to consider. Definite win contender and exotics use.
D - #7 Diving Rod (12-1) - Ran well we easily beating rivals in the Lexington Stakes. He'll need a step forward to win and horses that ran in the Ky Derby dominate the win category in the Preakness. Good exotics horse.
E - #4 Danzig Moon (15-1) - Ran evenly around the track in the Kentucky Derby. Don't think he can move forward enough to win against the top 3, but he could very well crack the exotics. Exotics use.

Multi-Race Horses:  2,8,1
Suggest Plays: 

$2 - 2,8,1 / 2,8,1 / 2,8,1 = $12
$0.50 - 2,8,1 / 2,8,1 / 2,8,1,7,4,3 = $12
$0.50 - 2,8,1 / 2,8,1,7,4,3 / 2,8,1 = $12
$0.50 - 2,8,1 / 7,4,3 / 7,4,3 = $9
$1 - 2,8 / 2,8,1 / 2,8,1,7,4,3 = $16

Saturday, May 2, 2015

5/2 Churchill Downs - Kentucky Derby Day Stakes Races

Our Stat Guide Package for the Triple Crown is Now Available!  These guides contain detailed stats for all the races in Triple Crown and 100 Point Kentucky Derby qualifying races including Positive ROI Stats and our analysis.  To Buy or for more information and pricing, visit our website

Updated 11:54am EST.

Race Rating System-

I always give you 5 picks in each race to help you fill out your exotic bets.  In some races I may not use all 5 in my bets.  The A horse is ALWAYS my selected winner.  If no suggested plays are listed then I would not consider betting the race.  See the key below for how I label the races.

Weak - Poor races to invest in.  Usually too wide open.  Winner possible outside of my top 5.
Action - Some clarity in the race, but winner likely in top 4 or 5.
Action+ - Some clarity, but winner likely in top 3.
Play - can usually key top 2 (A & B) horses in exotics.  Good Exacta or Trifecta play.
Prime - Excellent race to key or single in the exotics. 

NOTE:  Usually I try to try to type something about each horse, but due to time constraints today I am just commenting on my top selections.

Race 5 - 1mi Pat Day Mile G3 - Play

A - #2 Gimme Da Lute (7/2) - I really like the workout pattern with the nice 5f work followed by  the longer 7f work.  He's 2 for 3 and beat a next out winner last in his last race.
B - #6 Competitive Edge (6/5) - He's moving in the right direction and you can't deny his connections or his win margins.  But those wins have come against much lesser competition.  He's working well and is a definite contender.
C - #5 Lord Nelson (3-1)
D - #4 Hillbilly Royalty (8-1)
E - #3 The Truth or Else (15-1)

Multi-Race Horses:  2,6,5
Suggest Plays:

$2 - 2,6,5 / 2,6,5 = $12

Race 6 - 1-1/16 mile American Turf G2 - Play
A - #6 A Lot (9/2) - Is improving, 50% on the turf and he ran a really fast closing fraction in his last race.
B - #1 Luck of the Kitten (7/2) - Always finishes well, but he is a speed horse in a race with some other speed.
C - #14 World Approval (15-1)
D - #11 Divisidero (20-1)
E - #8 Conquest Typhoon (5-1)

Multi-Race Horses:  6,1,14
Suggest Plays:

$10 Win #6 = $10
$5 Exacta 1 / 6 = $5

Race 7 - 7f Humana Distaff G1 - Play
A - #8 Judy the Beauty (6/5) - If she run anything close to her past form she'll handle these with ease.  But we haven't seen her since the BC FM Sprint.  Like that Smith is back on her.
B - #3 Dame Dorothy (9/2) - I think this is the horse to beat only if Judy the Beauty does not run back to her good form.
C - #1 Sweet Reason (5-1)
D - #6 Moonlit Stroll (20-1) - Exotics boost.
E - #2 Thank You Marylou (10-1)

Multi-Race Horses:   8,3
Suggest Plays:

$2 - 8,3 / 8,3 = $4
$1 - 8,3 / 8,3,6,5 = $6

Race 8 - 1mi Churchill Distaff Turf Mile G2 - Action+
A - #5 Coffee Clique (3-1) - Will try to repeat here.  Is a G1 and G2 winner and he closes as good as anyone on the turf.  Excellent shot.
B - #8 Sandiva (7/2) - Another horse that closes well on the turf.  I expect to see her in the mix late.
C - #4 Lady Lara (7/2) - Another good turf closer that figures to be in the mix late.
D - #11 Water Hole (12-1) - US debut.  Big question mark.
E - #3 Tepin (15-1)

Multi-Race Horses:   5,8,4
Suggest Plays:

$1 - 5,8,4 / 5,8,4,11 = $9

Race 9 - 7f Churchill Downs G2 - Play
A - #5 Pants On Fire (5-1) - I think this race sets up for him with all the speed.  He's run the numbers to win if the speed comes back. 
B - #2 Bayern (Even) - May put the field away if he is in top form.  Technically, he's won at CD, but was dq'd to 2nd place.  When he gets an easy lead he is nearly impossible to catch, but I don't think that will be the case here.
C - #4 Private Zone (2-1)
D - #6 Gentlemen's Bet (10-1)
E - #1 C. Zee (15-1)

Multi-Race Horses:  5,2
Suggest Plays:

$5 Win #5 = $5
$2 - 5,2 / 5,2,4,6 = $12

Race 11 - 1-1/8 mile Woodford Reserve Turf Classic G1 - Action+
A - #12 Grand Arch (8-1) - Is always in the mix with several of these.  He can close well and was within a length of Wise Dan in the 2014 Shadwell Turf Mile.
B - #2 Sky Captain (15-1) - Will need a step forward to win here, but he can close well and his last workout suggest he is ready.
C - #5 Finnegans Wake (9/2) - Seems to be in top form.
D - #9 Seek Again (4-1) - 2015 debut.  Nearly won this race last year against Wise Dan.
E - #7 Jack Milton (7-1) - Is a G1 winner and has won over this turf course.

Multi-Race Horses:  12,2,5
Suggest Plays:

$1 - 12,2,5 / 12,2,5,9,7 = $12
$1 - 12,2,5,9,7 / 12,2,5 = $12

Race 11 - 1-1/4 mile Kentucky Derby G1 - Action+
A - #18 American Pharoah (5-2) - I hate to say that I am going to pick the favorite in back to back years in the Ky Derby, but I just can find anything to knock him on. The clockers have loved him, he's won 3 Grade won races, sired by a Ky Derby runner up, his stride is beautiful and seem effortless and he drilled the Arkansas Derby field by 8 lengths with his ears pricked after running some solid fractions. Not much value in a race that has had 9 winners that were 10-1 or higher in the last 21 years. Win selection, definite exotics key horse.
B - #3 Materiality (12-1) - A move forward off that slow and deep Florida Derby track could set him up for victory. Not crazy about the post, but he has some gate speed which will help him. He's sort of an unknown as he raced in only 1 Ky Derby prep. Like his chances with a good trip. Win candidate, definite exotics use.
C - #10 Firing Line (12-1) - He ran above par in all 3 of Ky Derby prep races, but he was never able to get past Dortmund in 2 of those races. He made the Sunland Derby field look like a bunch of 5K Claimers in his most recent start. I'm giving him a win shot and will definitely use him in my exotics.
D - #8 Dortmund (3-1) - Sired by Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown, Dortmund has won all six of his races and done very little wrong. Two of those races were Grade 1 wins, which included the Santa Anita Derby in his most recent race. In the Robert B. Lewis Stakes, Dortmund lost the lead and looked beaten in the stretch by Firing Line, but he fought back to edge him at the wire for the win. He won the San Felipe by two lengths after being challenged by Bolo. In the Santa Anita Derby, he went straight to the lead and put all challengers away turning for home. Good win chance, definite exotics use.
E - #19 Upstart (15-1) - Couldn't quite get past Materiality in the Florida Derby. But, I think the post position will help him.  I think he is a horse that will be in the mix at the end. He's been in the Trifecta in all 4 of his Ky Derby prep races and the clockers have been impressed with the way he is working. Definite exotics use, with a very small win chance under the right circumstances.

Horses to Consider for Underneath in Exotics:
#2 Carpe Diem (8-1) - The post is bad for him, but he is 4 for 5 including two Grade 1 wins in the Breeders’ Futurity and the Blue Grass Stakes. Two races back in the Tampa Bay Derby he stalked the pace, took over the lead coming into the stretch and won easily. He earned a 103 par rating in that race. In the Blue Grass Stakes, he used that same running style and easily put away Kentucky Derby contenders Danzig Moon and Ocho Ocho Ocho to win by three lengths. He is sired by Giant’s Causeway, who was runner up in the 2000 Breeder’s Cup Classic and winner of a Group 1 race in Europe. I like him and he's done little wrong other than act up prerace a few times. Win shot with really good trip, definite exotics use.
#6 Mubtaahij (20-1) - He's a big unknown since all of his recent races have been in Dubai. His UAE Derby win was nice looking, but no horse from the UAE Derby has finished in the Superfecta in the last 21 years. Maybe he is the horse from the UAE that will finally break through, but against this field he's going to have to be a great one to pull it off. I do give him a solid chance to hit the board. Definite exotics use.
#12 International Star (20-1) - I really liked this horse during the Ky Derby prep season as he always tries hard. I think he has the right style to come plodding along at the end of the Derby and hit the exotics at a nice price. With some of the others in here, I think it is getting lost in the mix that he has won 4 out of his 5 Ky Derby prep races. I think he'll need a pace meltdown to win and I'm not sure that is going to happen, but I will definite use him in my exotic plays.
#5 Danzig Moon (30-1) - He determinedly chased Carpe Diem during the stretch run in the Blue Grass. I've heard really good things about how he is working. I think he is a horse that can hit the board at a really large price and blow up the exotics. Definite exotics use.
#20 Far Right (30-1) - Not much to knock him on other than the fact that American Pharoah drilled him by 8 lengths in the Arkansas Derby. I think he is a horse that could plod his way into the exotics in the stretch. Plus, I always have to respect Mike Smith. Bottom end exotics use.
#15 Frosted (15-1) - Would have like to have seen a better time in the Wood Memorial, but when you run the opening 3/4 miles in 1:13.41 you can only finish so fast in the stretch. And, he still won the race with a good run in the stretch. I wouldn't talk anyone off of him that likes him, but I am going to use him only on the bottom end of my exotics.

Multi-Race Horses:  18,3,10,8,19
Suggest Plays:

Trifecta Play
$0.50 - 18 / 3,10,8,19 / 3,10,8,19,2,6,12,5,20,15 = $18.00
$0.50 - 3,10,8,19 / 18 / 3,10,8,19,2,6,12,5,20,15 = $18.00
$0.50 - 3,10,8,19 / 3,10,8,19,2,6,12,5 / 18 = $14.00
$0.50 - 18 / 2,6,12,5,20,15 / 3,10,8,19  = $12.00

Exacta Play
$1 - 18,3,10,8,19,2 / 18,3,10,8,19,2 = $30
$1 - 18 / 3,10,8,19,2,6,12,5,20,15 = $10
$2 - 18 / 3,10,8,19,2 = $10

Friday, May 1, 2015

5/1 Churchill Downs - Kentucky Oaks Day Stakes Races

Our Stats Guide Package for the Triple Crown is Now Available!  These guides contain detailed stats for all the races in Triple Crown including Positive ROI Stats and our analysis.  To Buy or for more information and pricing, visit our website

Pre Scratches.

Race Rating System-

I always give you 5 picks in each race to help you fill out your exotic bets.  In some races I may not use all 5 in my bets.  The A horse is ALWAYS my selected winner.  If no suggested plays are listed then I would not consider betting the race.  See the key below for how I label the races.

Weak - Poor races to invest in.  Usually too wide open.  Winner possible outside of my top 5.
Action - Some clarity in the race, but winner likely in top 4 or 5.
Action+ - Some clarity, but winner likely in top 3.
Play - can usually key top 2 (A & B) horses in exotics.  Good Exacta or Trifecta play.
Prime - Excellent race to key or single in the exotics.

Race 6 - 1-1/16mi Edgewood Stks TURF G3 - Play
A - #1 Quality Rocks (3-1) - Has the best closing fractions of any horse in the field.  Beat a next out winner in her last race while running a career best speed figure.
B - #4 My Year Is a Day (5/2) - Filly makes her debut in the US and it is her first race in 2015.  She ran some good winning races in France and you can't complain that she is trained by Graham Motion and ridden by Velazquez.
C - #5 Lady Zuzu (15-1) - Her pace numbers like decent enough to run in the exotics.  I'm not sure she can win, but definite exotics use.
D - #6 Feathered (4-1) - Has never run on the turf, but you have to respect that Pletcher has placed her here.  Exotics use.
E - #7 Flying Tipat (30-1) - Has closed well on the turf, but she has had two tries at this distance and never hit the exacta.

Multi-Race Horses:  1,4
Suggest Plays:

$2 - 1,4 / 1,4 = $4
$1 - 1,4 / 1,4,5,6,7 = $8

Race 7 - 1-1/16 mi La Troienne G1 - Action
A - #5 Sheer Drama (3-1) - Beat a next out winner in her last race, the Grade 2 Royal Delta.  And she ran a career best speed figure.
B - #2 My Miss Sophia (7/2) - She could very well be the lone speed in here, but this is her first race in 2015 after she regressed at the end of 2014.  I'm not sure she will rebound here to win, but she could be the lone speed in the race.  She's a huge question mark.
C - #7 Gold Medal Dancer (9/2) - She's won over this track and should be able to get good position early.  Beat Untapable two back in the Azeri at Oaklawn, but the champion was not herself that day and she turned it around to beat this one in the Apple Blossom. 
D - #3 Sweet Whiskey (5-1) - Exotics use.
E - #4 America (10-1) -  Exotics use.

Multi-Race Horses:  5,2,7,3
Suggest Plays:

Race 8 - 1-1/16mi Alysheba G2 - Play
A - #2 Protonico (7/5) - He could very well grab the early lead and talk the field gate to wire.  Have to respect.
B - #3 Neck 'n Neck (10-1) - He loves Cd and his 4 for 10 at this distance.  Like the price.
C - #7 Honor Code (8/5) - Some pace will help as he has come from off the pace in his last two start.
D - #6 Midnight Cello (15-1) - Exotics use.
E - #8 Call Me George (15-1) - Exotics booster.

Multi-Race Horses:  2,3,7
Suggest Plays:

$2 - 2,3,7 / 2,3,7 = $12
$1 - 2 / 3,7,6,8 = $4

Race 9 - 5f Turf Sprint G3 TURF - Action
A - #3 Heitai (4-1) - Will be looking for him to take them gate to wire.  Is 4 for 4 at this distance.
B - #8 Good Deed (4-1) - His closing fractions have been good on the turf and he's 4 out of 6.
C - #2 Channel Marker (12-1) - Like his closing fraction last out while being beat only 1/2 a length.
D - #10 Something Extra (3-1) - Won the Shakertown last out and his turf numbers have been good.
E - #11 Power Alert (5-1) - Not without a chance, closes well.

Multi-Race Horses:   3,8,2,11
Suggest Plays:

Race 10 - 7f Eight Belles G3 - Action+
A - #8 Enchanting Lady (4-1) - Ran well while pressing the pace last out.  Looking for a repeat effort.
B - #1 Callback (3-1) - Is working well and is a G1 winner.
C - #12 Taylor S (4-1) - Is a speed horse in a race with a lot of speed.  Exotics use.
D - #7 Lavender Chrissie (12-1) - Is moving in the right direction and owns a win over this track at at this distance.
E - #3 Ekati's Phaeton (6-1) - Another speed horse, but I respect the jockey and trainer and she beat the Gulfstream Park Oaks 2 back.

Multi-Race Horses:   8,1,12
Suggest Plays:

$2 - 8 / 1,12,7,3,11 = $10
$1 - 1,12,7,3 / 8 = $4

Race 11 - 1-1/8 mi Kentucky Oaks G1 - Action+
A - #7 Lovely Maria (5-1) - Ran a nice Par Rating when she won the Ashland last out and I like her recent workout.
B - #8 I'm a Chatterbox (4-1) - Will either sit just off the pace or go to the lead, but the post should help her get a good position.  Is 4 for 6 lifetime.
C - #5  Condo Commando (4-1) - May very well go to the lead and play catch me if you can, plus she has already won at this distance.  Legitimate threat.
D - #14 Puca (15-1) - Good exotics price boost.  She's been working well.  Price is right.
E - #10 Oceanwave (30-1) - If she can hit the board she'll be an exotics bomb, but her race last out was really good and she was moving the best of any horse in the field at the wire.  Should like the added 1/16.

Multi-Race Horses:  7,8,5
Suggest Plays:

I think this race has the potential to really pay in the exotics.
$1 - 7,8,5 / 7,8,5 = $12
$1 - 7,8,5 / 7,8,5,14,10 = $12
$1 - 14,10,12,6 / 7,8,5 = $12 

Oaks/Derby Double
Looking to added some value by using 3 tickets.
$1 - 7,8,5,14,10,6,12 / 18 = $7
$1 - 7,8,5,12 / 18,3,10,8,19,2 = $24
$1 - 7,8,5 / 18,3,10,8 = $12