This is it for the state of West Virginia, the crowning jewel in a sparkling comeback made possible by the clanking of coins.
Left for dead not so many years ago, Mountaineer Park (now officially known as The Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort) is a racing Lazarus, resurrected and back to tell us all about the undeniable restorative benefits of slot-machine revenue on Thoroughbred horseracing programs.
Of course, there have been other racetracks who tried it first, but none of them have come as far as fast as Mountaineer has. While slot-invigorated Delaware Park has again become a classy Northeast haven, it always had a glimmer of upper-crust appeal, owing to its longstanding reputation as "Little Saratoga." And Prairie Meadows was so new in a land (Iowa) previously without racing, it had no reputation to either live up to or overcome.
Which brings us to Mountaineer (nee Waterford Park, for you oldtimers), which, like its sister West Virginia track Charles Town, was traditionally was a place where horses could do their thing for $2,000 purses when they couldn't be competitive at such already-shaky venues as Thistledown and Penn National.
All of that changed when state racing officials and legislators came to their senses and made way for slot machines to occupy some of the grandstand area at Mountaineer and Charles Town. The revenue generated by the one-armed bandits was in turn reinvested mainly in the purse structure for the Thoroughbred programs there.
The results have been nothing short of awesome. There are no longer $1,500 or even $2,500 claimers on the grounds at Mountaineer -- the bottom open-claiming price is $4,000. The purses start at $10,300 -- and that's for maiden-claiming $4,000 animals! How about that!
And now that the health of the Thoroughbred game there has been revived, some of the revenues have gone toward serious capital improvements, in the form of an upscale five-story hotel, a state-of-the-art convention center, golfing galore and, of course, more slot machines, no fewer than 3,000 of 'em. And, hey, when reasonably popular musical acts such as Smokey Robinson, Trisha Yearwood and John Cougar Mellencamp make Mountaineer a stop on their concert tours, it's time to pay attention.
Charles Town is going the Mountaineer route, but Mountaineer got there first, and shows no signs of slowing down. And Saturday night's program at Mountaineer is without a doubt a remarkable testament to the positive effects of slot-machine revenue on horseracing. Seven stakes races: six supporting events at $85,000 a pop, leading up to the main event, the $600,000 West Virginia Derby for three-year-olds, now a Grade III race. Last year's West Virginia Derby winner was Western Pride, who went on to capture a Graded event here in Southern California and was competitive in several others.
This year's West Virginia Derby field seems even stronger, what with early-season Triple Crown hopefuls Cappuchino and Wisemen's Ferry in the mix. Heck, even everybody's favorite rider, Jerry D. Bailey, is going to helicopter down from Saratoga for Mountaineer's big night. And he'll have company -- Pat Day and Jorge Chavez are making the trip, too.
Amazing. All the big money has drawn attention and horses to Mountaineer, as it already has for a year or so now, but not to the degree they're shipping in for Saturday night. Let's take a look through Fast Capper 2002's output:
Best wishes for a memorable West Virginia Derby evening!
Here are four more.
As always, best wishes for a prosperous weekend.
Jumping in at the three-eighths pole during Weekend 2 of the current contest. You can check out the current standings on our home page.
Things have also been hopping in the Weekday Hooky segment of the competition.
For complete details or to play, go to the Big-Prize Handicapping Contest entry page.
Good luck and good handicapping.
A violin, a bottle of wine, a Shakespearean sonnet. These are three of a handful of things that someone from the 17th century would recognize if he or she could be magically transported to today's world. How come? In essence, these things endure because they work.
Truly, the good things, the genuine articles, last, mainly because what you see is what you get. No need for gimmicks, no use for obfuscation or pseudo-sophistication by the Man Behind the Curtain. That old saw -- If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with balderdash! -- doesn't apply to a violin, a bottle of wine, a sonnet.
Same goes for handicapping. How many times has the Next Big Thing been nothing more than Just Another Thud? Variegation? Factors? Switch on, switch off? Digital! The age of computers has given rise to the age of the high-tech handicapping "experts," nearly all of whom like to think they have The Answer (and we're not talking about Allen Iverson, either).
But in handicapping, the classics endure -- speed, pace, genuine class, form cycle, meaningful trainer statistics, in-depth pedigree understanding. And it all begins with information and knowledge you can see, grasp, touch and feel (like the strings on a violin or the cork in a bottle of wine) and recite (like the lines in a sonnet). Yes, understanding still begins with facts and information, which in turn become a solid knowledge base to serve as a foundation for the software we wish to build or create. Without it, there's just too much to chance -- randomness!
We are proud of our entire catalog of products. There aren't any of them we have offered in haste and now shoved off to a remote corner hoping no one will notice or remember. When you order anything from our handicapping store, it's not enough to receive a CD and some photocopied pages telling you what buttons to press. That something extra you get from us separates us from the hucksters and the charlatans. That something extra you get from us is information -- it's facts and knowledge we have personally researched and looked hard and deeply into and give you to enrich your own understanding and grasp of the game, something you can palpably take with you even if you manage to press the wrong buttons on the computer.
We invite you to see for yourself. A few weeks ago we made the "Winning Move Factor" analysis available for Palm owners as the "Track Capsules" eBook. Now, thanks to the new eBook reader for Windows and Macintosh, you can benefit from this information even if you don't own a PDA. Please visit http://www.cynthiapublishing.com/ trackcapsules.html for your free download.
We are also very proud of our latest information offering, a pair of trainer books called "The Quick and Dirty Guide to Trainer Subtleties." These aren't just the same old trainer books. These are books that begin where all the trainer-computers of the world leave off. These are books that aren't a desperate, uninspired ripoff of everything else out there. Therefore, if you are looking for phonebook-style columns and rows of win-percentage numbers and in-the-money tallies and ROI scores, you will be sorely disappointed with "The Quick and Dirty Guide to Trainer Subtleties."
Now, if you're still listening out there, here's what you have to look forward to in "The Quick and Dirty Guide to Trainer Subtleties."
You'll begin to understand dozens of trainers on your circuit like never before. You'll view them as flesh-and-blood creatures who are governed much, much more by fear and greed -- as well as hope and optimism, and gloom and despair -- than by a last-race Beyer Speed Figure or a finish position. Yes, this book does for your knowledge of trainers and their moves what scouting reports do for sports teams. Indeed, reading "The Quick and Dirty Guide to Trainer Subtleties" is very similar to reading the expressive face of that patsy in your weekly poker game -- you get quite the advantage. (As well as that same giddy feeling of somehow being able to predict what's going to happen next.)
Truly, "The Quick and Dirty Guide to Trainer Subtleties" is your handbook to spotting the handful of telltale manoeuvres each trainer, consciously or not, repeats with unfailing consistency. Yes, trainers can be studied for the unique, psychological beings they are, beings who cannot be fully or simply expressed by the coldness of a jumble of numbers -- many of them contradictory. For this very reason, the same-old trainer reports are no longer sufficient to gain an edge on this fascinating slice of handicapping -- there are so many identical stats out there that their effectiveness has been diluted and their pari-mutuel prices have been discounted.
Rather, "The Quick and Dirty Guide to Trainer Subtleties" puts you on a higher level of trainer-consciousness. For example, a trainer is good with layoff runners, but is there a subset of layoff runners with which he's particularly adept? Or is there a specific blinkers-on scenario that is more telling than the others? Yes, a trainer could be fantastical with stakes runners, but is there a segment of his stakes runners -- perhaps dropping down from Graded events. or even rising from allowance races -- that outperforms the rest? These are the types of deeper-thinking questions "The Quick and Dirty Guide to Trainer Subtleties" seeks to answer.
And with the answers comes an exciting new outlook on many of the trainers on your circuit. Learn who the optimistic, good-gamble conditioners are. Find out who wins merely by attrition. Master the specific and recurring handicapping situations that distinguish one trainer from the next the way fingerprints and DNA fink out common criminals. Yes, it can be done! See how in "The Quick and Dirty Guide to Trainer Subtleties."
Visit the Cynthia Publishing Company Handicapping Store for more details.
Fast Capper 2002 is the computer program that can help you profitably resolve many thorny handicapping-and-wagering issues that may be hampering your best efforts to prosper at Thoroughbred racing.
Courtesy of its extensive library of par times for just about every combination of distance, surface and class level for almost all the racetracks in North America, Fast Capper 2002 gives you clean, definitive and easy-to-apply answers to such nagging questions as: How will this horse do on the stretchout in distance? Can this longshot successfully step up in class? Is this favorite actually a bogus one, even though he's shipping from a high-class track to a lower-class one?
In fact, Fast Capper 2002 answers these questions and many more like them because it actually projects the running times for each horse or contender in the race. And it projects these times to fall in line with the conditions of today's race. So there won't be a distance-switch, surface-change, class-move or ship-in or ship-out situation you won't be able to handle with amazing ease.
All you need to tell Fast Capper 2002 is which horses you feel are the logical contenders in the race, and which past race to use to measure each of your contenders by. That's pretty simple, isn't it? Fast Capper 2002 does the rest.
And with the exciting downloadable racefiles from Dr. Jim Cramer's HDW (Handicappers Data Warehouse), Fast Capper 2002 will gladly furnish you with an automatic last-race-for-each-horse-in-the-race handicapping outlook for the race -- at the touch of your mouse. These downloaded racefiles also give you the wonderfully accurate and projected Cramer Speed Ratings and Track Variants. Fast Capper 2002 makes optimal use of these very powerful handicapping tools. The result is an increased precision in Fast Capper 2002's running-time projections. How about that!
Manual entry of the data from Daily Racing Form past performance source also is a breeze, and the Fast Capper's catalog of average daily track variants for nearly every track in the country guarantees a more precise track-variant adjustment for manual-entry handicapping than ever.
For all Fast Capper 2002 can do for you, you might expect it to cost several hundred dollars, at least. Indeed, there are many programs on the market that can't begin to match Fast Capper 2002's thoroughness and precision -- yet they'll set you back up to $249, and the results will no better than random! Don't settle for that! Especially when Fast Capper 2002 will give you power, precision and profits at less than half the price.
That's right. The Fast Capper 2002 package -- which includes the Fast Capper 2002 handicapping software along with the 2002 Cynthia Publishing Par Times on CD-ROM plus the outstanding supplemental printed materials in the research-driven and stat-filled Pars Plus book -- is yours for $100, plus shipping and handling and applicable California state sales tax. Yes, Fast Capper 2002 gives you superior performance at a fraction of the price that some overhyped but underperforming software goes for.
But you won't know until you try. Taken separately, each distinct element of the Fast Capper 2002 package is well worth $100 on its own. To get all three elements for $100 is an outrageously great deal for you. Why delay? Get on an affordable road to improved results and satisfaction from your handicapping and wagering on Thoroughbred horseraces. Check out the Fast Capper 2002 now at the Cynthia Publishing Company Handicapping Store.
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