Gaming News

Craps Tip: Good Betting

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FROM MARK: My first bet is $220 inside. After three hits I make a $15 come and go down with full 75 odds.  I play at a casino where I can go 5x odds.  Am I better off just pressing to $75 or continue to make the come bets? I have read from some writers that the Pass Line and Come bets are not really that good; that the casino is tricking people to make those bets. I’d also like to know about systems that call for betting those bets that come in with high house edges in order to balance out expectations based on probability. What say you?

 

FRANK RESPONDS: Dump the placing of $220 inside. You are putting $50 on the 5 and $50 on the 9 and bucking a four percent edge. That’s a major edge and means your expectation is to lose two dollars for each number. That’s four bucks for those two bets. That’s way too much money. And the more you play and the more you bet that 5 and 9 the more you will start to see your money going downhill.

Placing the 6 and 8 is okay but you are still far better off going with Pass and Come (after the 5-Count). By betting $15 at a 5X odds game you can put $75 in odds on the 4 and 10; $100 in odds on the 5 and 9; and $125 in odds on the 6 and 8.

The Place bets are only superficially interesting because you can Place the numbers you want directly, call off the numbers when you feel like it and take down the numbers at any time. This is how the bets are sold by many gambling writers because at first these options seem to be quite good.

Well, they are and they aren’t. Here’s why:

Let’s take a look at the best of the Place bets, the 6 and the 8. The house edge is 1.52 percent – pretty good right? You have to make these bets in increments of six dollars and based on the size of your betting you are placing these numbers for $60 each. With a 1.52 percent house edge your expectation is to lose 91 cents per bet for a total of $1.82.

Not too bad.

Now take a look at a Pass Line or Come bet with 5X odds so a Come Bet of $15 bucking a house edge of 1.41 percent will lose the player 21 cents; meaning 42 cents for two numbers. Keep in mind that when the Come bet goes up on a number you can put the odds on the bet that I stated above – your potential losses are small and your potential for wins is far greater than using Place bets.

You can see just how much better the Pass Line and Come is compared to Placing the 6 and 8. And the 6 and 8 are the best Place bets if you feel compelled to make Place bets. Often even good bets have even better bets if you look into the situation closely.

The other Place bets are simply awful. Let me repeat: Awful.

The 5 and 9 come in with four percent edges (as stated a loss of $2 per $50 wagered) and the 4 and 10 come in with a hefty 6.67 percent edge which means a loss of $3.34 on each number if you are betting $50. These bets will shred your bankroll in short order.

Even “buying” the 4 and 10 in Atlantic City is not a great deal. If you buy them for $35, paying a $1 commission on both winning and losing bets, the house edge is 2.8 percent. In Tunica you can buy them for $25 dollars with a one dollar commission or $50 with a two-dollar commission bringing the house edge down to 1.3 percent. This is far better but still nowhere near as good as the Pass or the Come.

So stick with the Pass Line and Come bets with odds. Math is the key to the game of craps; the casinos know that and the players should know that. Those who tell you otherwise are wrong.

The casinos are not tricking anyone with the Pass Line or Come bets. You rarely hear the Stickman hawking those bets but they really hawk the worst bets on the table such as the Hardways, the Horn, the Whirl (World), the C&E and so forth. The very bets the house hawks are generally the bets to avoid.

Many players will give you systems that they think are logical but are really just silly and, more important, bad betting choices. The game of craps is random and you will not be able to figure a betting system that can actually allow you to predict what numbers are coming up next. As they say, it’s a crapshoot.

You must go with the best edges to have any chance at a win today, tonight or for this week or month. It is doubtful that “crazy crappers” have much of an expectation except losses time and time again, with an occasional win here and there.

 

Frank Scoblete’s new book is I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps! Available from Amazon.com, Kindle or at your favorite bookstore. Join Frank on his web site at www.frankscoblete.com.

 

Frank Notes: I’ve been writing for Southern Gaming and Destinations since it began. So here’s a FREE deal for our readers: a free copy of my book The Virgin Kiss (while supplies last). Just send me your address by dropping me a note at Frank Scoblete, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565 or emailing me at fscobe@optonline.net. You can also email me at Facebook.

Judge: Roulette Eye-Injury Lawsuit Can Proceed

A U.S. District Court judge for Washington D.C. has declined to dismiss a lawsuit filed against The Cordish Cos., which operates the Maryland Live casino, by gamer Leander Stocks.

Stocks was playing roulette at the casino in December 2013 when, according to the suit, an employee’s breach of duty resulted in his being hit in the eye with a roulette ball.

Further injury allegedly resulted when the casino tried to administer care.

According to the Capital Gazette:

A casino employee was “operating the device negligently” causing the ball to become airborne and strike Stocks just above the left eye at “high velocity,” an amended complaint filed in the case on Friday states.

After being struck, Stocks was taken to a private room at the casino where he lay down on a bench, according to the complaint. While he was reclining, another employee squeezed eye drops into Stocks eye “without warning or consent,” the document states.

The drops caused Stocks’ vision to blur and he become disoriented, court papers said. As he attempted to rise form the bench his “severe disorientation” caused him to fall forward and “violently” hit his head against a wood door, losing consciousness, according to the complaint.

Southern Gaming recommends that in the future Mr. Stocks stay with Blackjack, where the most likely injury is a paper cut.

Atlanta Mayor Betting on Braves’ Turner Field

Now that MGM Resorts International and three of its gaming competitors have made overtures on the property, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is feeling pretty sporty about the price tag for Turner Field. But that doesn’t mean southern gamers ought to be Googling directions for the home of the Braves anytime soon.

In fact, according to stories in the Atlanta Business Chronicle and the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the mayor as well as Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (pun doubtless unintended) have remained dubious concerning the wisdom of opening a Vegas-style casino in the city. (Not to mention that the state constitution would need to be amended to allow gaming.)

That said, anytime a company dangles a $1.1 billion investment and 3,500 permanents jobs in front of an urban mayor’s eyes, that mayor is going to pay attention.

“I believe Las Vegas is in Las Vegas for a reason,” Reed said during a news conference at Atlanta City Hall. “[But] it would be fiscal malpractice … not to hear these people out.”

According to the Chronicle, Reed said “he still prefers Georgia State University’s plans to redevelop Turner Field into a mix of student housing, stores, restaurants and athletic fields.”

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Breeders’ Cup Million Dollar Finish a Home Run!

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The Breeders’ Cup is the Super Bowl of horseracing. Held annually at various racetracks around the country, the 2-day thoroughbred spectacle encompasses 13 races ranging in categories based on running styles, age and distance specialties for the best horses in the world. This year, the event comes back to the homeland of horseracing in Kentucky at the historic Keeneland Racecourse on Friday, October 30 and Saturday October 31st. As we near the big day, the excitement builds with anticipation of watching Triple Crown winner American Pharoah’s attempt to complete horseracing’s Grand Slam in the Breeders’ Cup Classic carrying a purse of $5 million!

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TournEvent of Champions Announces 31 June Qualifiers for the $1 Million National Championship

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LAS VEGAS — Multimedia Games, a GCA Inc. company (NYSE: GCA), is hosting the TournEvent of Champions in collaboration with casinos across the country to crown the nation’s best slot tournament player.

Through June, the first 58 casino finalists have qualified to compete for the national title at the Wynn’s XS Nightclub in Las Vegas on September 29-30, 2015. Qualifying rounds will continue into September with more than 175 slot players expected to compete for the National Championship and a grand prize of $1 million.

The June qualifiers are:

  • Linda Sue Smith, Kokomo, Ind., Hoosier Park Racing & Casino
  • Michael Hoff, Anderson, Ind., Hoosier Park Racing & Casino
  • James Potts, Kokomo, Ind., Hoosier Park Racing & Casino
  • Benjamin Padilla, Williams, Calif., Colusa Casino Resort
  • Roy Hathaway, Hammond, Ind., Majestic Star Casino & Hotel
  • Jeffrey Peschke, Crown Point, Ind., Majestic Star Casino & Hotel
  • Kit Sengone, Porterville, Calif., Eagle Mountain Casino
  • Linda Denney, Indianapolis, Ind., Indiana Grand Racing & Casino
  • Charles Guhl, New Palestine, Ind., Indiana Grand Racing & Casino
  • Demitra Aaron, Indianapolis, Ind., Indiana Grand Racing & Casino
  • Cheryl Lieberman, Centerville, Ohio, Miami Valley Gaming
  • Axel Johnson, Ludington, Mich., Little River Casino Resort
  • Billy Elwell, Prudenville, Mich., Little River Casino Resort
  • Michael Makowski, Traverse City, Mich., Little River Casino Resort
  • Wanda Coulson, Midland, Mich., Little River Casino Resort
  • Maureen Sharpe, Carmichael, Calif., Thunder Valley Casino Resort
  • Dawn Flaming, Sacramento, Calif., Thunder Valley Casino Resort
  • Daeng Viengxay, Madison, Wisc., Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison
  • LaNita Halloway, Woodward, Okla., Riverwind Casino
  • Cynthia Baker, Guthrie, Okla., Riverwind Casino
  • Barbara Sperry, New Lisbon, Wisc., Ho-Chunk Gaming Black River Falls
  • Elise Olson, Eau Claire, Wisc., Ho-Chunk Gaming Black River Falls
  • Mary Jo Faris, Fond Du Lac, Wisc., Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells
  • Rita Kellerman, Nekoosa, Wisc., Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells
  • Jeffrey Krywcum, Tohawanda, New York, Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel
  • Mary Adair, Syracuse, New York, Turning Stone Resort & Casino
  • Ian Kuper, Manlius, New York, Turning Stone Resort & Casino
  • Donald Lee Bear Robe, Mission, S. Dakota, Rosebud Casino
  • Marie Bishop, West Seneca, New York, Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel
  • Desiree Hapka, Mentor, Minn., Shooting Star Casino
  • Judy Anderson, Perham, Minn., Shooting Star Casino

The in-casino qualifying competitions are approaching the halfway point and the competition is fierce said GCA CEO Ram Chary. “Many of our partner casinos, who have been with us from the beginning, are reporting record crowds. Driving traffic and excitement to the casino floor is what TournEvent® is all about, and we’re seeing that the secret is out and slot players from across the country are focused on the opportunity to compete for the Championship.”

The TournEvent of Champions takes slot tournaments to a whole new level. Two TournEvent of Champions buses are crisscrossing the country from April through August, visiting 22 states with more than 250,000 players competing for the chance to represent their favorite casino in Las Vegas. Casinos are hosting slot leagues, semi-finals and then in-casino finals to find their top players to represent them at the National Championship.

TournEvent of Champions began in 2012 with regional competitions in California and Washington. The event crowned its first national champion in 2013 after 88 players from 77 casinos competed in the finals at Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo in Las Vegas. The 2014 event expanded to 123 players from 98 casinos and a total purse of $500,000. In 2015, TournEvent of Champions is expecting more than 175 players from 100 casinos to compete for the $1 million top prize. TournEvent of Champions tour buses are sponsored by Strictly Slots, Effinet, Norwegian Cruise Line, Virtex Enterprises, Transact, PC Promotions, CS Creative Surfaces, Andover Audio, Sequel Data Systems, Unistar-Sparco Computers, Sunkist Graphics, Cole Kepro, Gary Platt Mfg., Suzo Happ, AMW Precision, Columbus Data Systems, and VSR Industries.

About Multimedia Games, Inc.

Multimedia Games, Inc., a GCA company (NYSE: GCA), develops and distributes gaming technology from its operations, technology and manufacturing facilities in Austin, Texas. The company is a creator and supplier of comprehensive systems, content and electronic gaming units for Native American and commercial casinos. Revenue is derived from gaming units in operation on revenue-sharing arrangements as well as from the sale of gaming units and systems that feature proprietary game content and game themes licensed from others. Multimedia Games also supplies the central determinant system for the video lottery terminals (“VLTs”) installed at racetracks in the State of New York. The company was recently listed as one of Fortune’s 100 Fastest-Growing Companies of 2014. Please visit www.multimediagames.com, twitter.com/MultimediaGames or facebook.com/MultimediaGames, where Multimedia Games discloses important information about the company, its sales, and its business.

About the TournEvent of Champions®

The TournEvent of Champions is a collaboration between Multimedia Games, a GCA company, and top casinos across the country to bring unprecedented competition, intensity and glory to the casino floor through a national slot tournament, crowning the industry’s only Slot Tournament National Champion. The first TournEvent of Champions took place in 2013 with 88 players, representing 77 casinos competing for the national title and $100,000 grand prize. The 2014 TournEvent of Champions hosted 123 players from 103 casinos, with $500,000 in total prize money, including a Champion’s share of $200,000. In 2015, over 175 players from more than 100 casinos are expected to compete for a prize purse of $1.3 million, including a Champion’s grand prize share of $1 million (see complete contest rules for prize disbursement governance)*.

*Grand prize awarded using periodic payments over 20 years.

Delta Downs Racetrack Casino Hotel in Louisiana Getting a $45 Million Expansion

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Delta Downs Racetrack Casino Hotel in Vinton, Louisiana announced a $45 million expansion that will make it one of the premier casino properties in the region.

Set for completion at the end of 2016, the centerpiece of the project is a new hotel tower, featuring 167 additional guest rooms and suites. In addition to the new tower, the 200 existing rooms will also all get re-designed providing a fresh new look and feel to the hotel.

The property will also redesign its food and beverage facilities, as well as expand its special events center to better accommodate meeting and banquet functions.

“Delta Downs is extremely popular with our guests, and demand exceeds what we can accommodate with our current facility,” said Keith Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boyd Gaming. “With 370 rooms and suites, Delta Downs will be better positioned to meet this growing demand, giving us the opportunity to extend our unique brand of hospitality to more visitors than ever before.”

 

“With our new amenities, we’ll be giving our guests more options to enjoy, and more reasons to visit,” Smith said.  “And by creating a broader entertainment experience, we are confident we’ll attract many new guests to the new Delta Downs.”

Scarlet Pearl Casino on Track for December Grand Opening – D’Iberville, Miss.

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The latest casino addition to the Gulf Coast is moving along as scheduled and gamers should be excited about what’s heading their way! Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort will located minutes from the biggest resorts on the Coast.

The 18-story, 300-room hotel property located minutes from the biggest resorts in Biloxi, is expected to have a grand opening later this year, presumably in December. The casino will have 1,350 slot machines, 45-table games and a 10-table poker room. For non-gaming features, guests will enjoy an array of restaurants ranging from casual to fine dining and a World Class mini-golf course built by a design group known for elaborate layouts and features that can be found in world-class resorts such as Disney.

 

They are also excited to really cater to the gamblers of the region…after all, they are a casino! Where many regional casinos have been trying to capture the leisure, non-gambling customer to enjoy their non-gaming features, Scarlet Pearl management confirmed that they are interested in taking care of the gamblers. They want to offer a great experience in the casino and if the customer wants a comped room, they’re going to get a comped room. If they want a steak dinner, they’re going to get a steak dinner, based on play of course.

We will stay on top of the progress of this upcoming Gulf Coast gem and bring you more information as we get it!

For updates and information, visit: www.scarletpearlcasino.com

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CLICK HERE for more photos of the construction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having Phun with Pharoah

PHOTO 20150526 American Pharoah Post Breeze Bath

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015 Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah

Owner: Zayat Stables Trainer: Bob Baffert Jockey: Victor Espinoza

Kentucky Derby (1  1/4 mile in 2:03) : 3-1 odds – 18 post – Won by 1 length over Firing Line Payout: $7.80 $5.80 $4.20

Preakness Stakes (1  3/16 mile in 1:58.46) : 4-5 odds – Won by 7 lengths over Tale of Verve Payout: $3.80 $3.40 $2.80

Belmont Stakes (1  1/2 mile in 2:26.65) : Won by 5 1/2 lengths over Frosted Payout: $3.50 $2.80 $2.50

 

June 2015 (Photos Courtesy of Churchill Downs)

 

 

American Pharoah leaving Churchill Downs (Photo by Churchill Downs)

American Pharoah leaving Churchill Downs on June 18  (Photo by Churchill Downs)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trainer Bob Bafferts Wall of Fame at his barn at Churchill Downs

Trainer Bob Bafferts Wall of Fame at his barn at Churchill Downs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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American Pharoah heading out for a gallop at Churchill Downs.

 

 

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Bath time after a gallop at Churchill Downs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bath time after a gallop at Churchill Downs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHOTO 20150612 American Pharoah heads to track for jog

American Pharoah heads out to jog at Churchill Downs as Trainer Bob Baffert looking on. (June 12)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHOTO 20150612 American Pharoah jogs

American Pharoah jogs at Churchill Downs. (June 12)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHOTO 20150612 98yo Dr William McGee feeds American Pharoah carrots (1)

Dr. William McGee feeds American Pharoah carrots. McGee has taken care of past Triple Crown Winners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Southern Gaming’s Sips & Cigars – Louisville, Kentucky

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Don’t miss our Sips & Cigars Happy Hours featuring Angel’s Envy Bourbon specials, premium cigars, appetizer specials, live music, gambling getaways to Rising Star Casino, and more.

All events are FREE to attend. Bring your own cigars or we’ll have some at the event!

Event #1: Captain’s Quarters – Thursday,  June 4th –  5:00 – 7:00

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CLICK HERE for pics from Sips & Cigars Happy Hour at Captains Quarters!

 

Event #2: Porcini Louisville (Frankfort Ave.) – Thursday, June 11th – 5:00 – 7:00 

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Event #3: Saint’s Pizza & Pub (St. Matthews) – Thursday, June 18th – 5:00 – 7:00

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Event #4: Ramsi’s Cafe Around the World (Bardstown Rd.) – July 9th – 5:00 – 7:00 

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All events are FREE and will have Angel’s Envy drink specials. Appetizer Specials. Great giveaways from Rising Star Casino and more!

Don’t miss out!

 

Brought to you by: 

RisingStar-LOGO

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Southern Gaming’s 2015: Readers Choice Award Winners

 

We are excited to announce the winning properties of Southern Gaming’s 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards. It goes without saying that gaming properties have their hands full when it comes to meeting the high expectations of their customers. Whether it is providing a perfect meal in their steakhouse, showcasing exciting entertainment acts or having an abundance of life changing jackpots in the casino, attention to detail is always a priority and the recipients of these awards have proven that.

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$250,000 Three Card Poker National Championship Announced

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Qualification kicks off on June 1, 2015, at more than 200 casinos across the United States. To celebrate 20 years of table-game excitement on casino floors and to honor the historic success ofThree Card PokerSM, the Shuffle Master Classic tournament will culminate in an exciting Three Card Poker National Championship event in Las Vegas on Monday, September 28 at The Venetian Las Vegas, where national qualifiers will compete for a total prize purse of $250,000 in cash including the top prize of $100,000.

 
The Shuffle Master Classic is open to any player who visits one of the more than 200 participating casinos in the U.S. during the month of June. To qualify for the Three Card Poker National Championship, players must hit a “Classic Hand” on one of eightShuffle Master proprietary table games – Three Card Poker, Four Card PokerSM, Caribbean Stud PokerSM, Let it RideSM, Mississippi StudSM, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘EmSM, Texas Hold ‘Em BonusSM andCrazy 4 PokerSM. A “Classic Hand” is a six card straight flush inThree Card Poker or a five card royal flush in any of the other seven games.

 

Roger Snow, Scientific Games Senior Vice President of Table and Utility Product, Gaming, said: “With a 32-year heritage of gaming industry innovation, we are thrilled to continue Shuffle Master’srich legacy of excellence in table game products with the launch of this event. The first-ever Shuffle Master Classic  is an ideal way to celebrate Shuffle Master’s legendary proprietary table games and the 20th anniversary of Three Card Poker – the most popular casino card game in play today around the world.

 

“The championship event, which is being held in conjunction with the gaming industry’s largest global conference and trade show, the 2015 Global Gaming Expo (G2E), will bring the best and luckiest players from around the country to a single location for a day filled with tournament action and excitement.”

 

Each qualifier will receive travel credits to cover expenses in Las Vegas and VIP treatment once in town – including an exclusive welcome party the night before the National Championship and a cocktail party during the final table.  The top seven players will be awarded a share of the $250,000 purse, with the winner receiving $100,000 in cash and year-long bragging rights as the luckiestThree Card Poker player in the country.

 

Snow added: “This innovative proprietary table games tournament will create an entirely new experience for players and offer a unique marketing opportunity for participating casinos.” Visitwww.shufflemasterclassic.com or follow the tournament onFacebook and Twitter to find out more about the 2015 Scientific Games Shuffle Master Classic.

 

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A Day in the Life of…. A Jockey

shutterstock_162041381It was 5:37 am on a cold Saturday morning in September 2013 when I pulled off the Watterson Expressway and took the sharp right turn into the Circle K parking lot. I had 18 minutes to get a coffee and drive the 1.3 miles to Gate 5 of Churchill Downs before missing the first set of work-ers that appear like apparitions out of the inky darkness every morning.

Problem was the slow-moving pickup truck with out-of-state plates in front of me didn’t seem to share my sense of urgency. Maybe it was camaraderie of being awake at such an ungodly hour, but like riders loading into the starting gate, this fellow driver and I both turned our heads to acknowledge each other when we finally parked under the neon sign.

That’s when I couldn’t help but laugh. Out of the truck hopped a very chipper Jesus Castanon wearing his riding boots and an unzipped red protective flak vest with his usual ear-to-ear grin. All that was missing from the ensemble was his helmet – which was sitting on the passenger seat atop a stack of conditions books from various tracks the journeyman jockey has called home in a career that has spanned over a quarter century.

Standing in the checkout line with one eye on the clock (which now read 5:42 am) and my hand holding a very large, very hot coffee, Jesus and I got to chatting. He had a few horses to work that morning before he planned to hit the gym and head back to ride a few of the afternoon’s races.

With a $2 coffee warming my frozen fingers, I jumped in my car, luckily caught all the lights on Southern Parkway, waved a quick Hi! at the security guard, and was settling into my seat trying not to spill coffee on my clocker’s notebook as the first set of D. Wayne Lukas trainees reached the half-mile pole. “Hey you!” I heard from somewhere below. Looking over, there’s Jesus Castanon sitting on a big chestnut. It was 5:57 am. I still have no idea how he had time to check out, drive, drink his soda, find the barn on Churchill’s vast backstretch, park, don his protective gear, get a leg up on the horse and ride over to the front side of the track when I barely had had three sips of coffee.

But jockeys are a rare breed.

These brave men and women live at under 115lbs and zip around hairpin turns at 45mph in herds of 1200lbs animals ~ and they do it all balancing on their toes. They are also tireless workers: visit any track in the mornings and you’re guaranteed to see the best riders in the country in addition to the plethora of unsung hero exercise riders on every caliber of racehorse. Santa Anita has Mike Smith and Gary Stevens; Gulfstream Park has Joe Bravo and Edgar Pra-do; Kentucky has everyone from Calvin Borel to Robby Albarado.

Why would Hall of Fame jockeys wake up before dawn almost every day to work out a handful of horses? Jesus Castanon has nearly 2,300 wins in a 17,000 race career: the man has earned the right to sleep in.

But unlike most professional athletes, jockeys don’t have a front office to rely on for guaranteed assignments. There is no depth chart for the position: if a rider wants to succeed, every day is draft day.

So jockeys and their agents use the mornings to build relationships with trainers and get a feel for the stock in each shedrow. Not every horse a jockey works will turn into an afternoon mount: sometimes a trainer wants to put a young horse in more experienced hands or to test a young jockey’s timing with a temperamental charge. When the chemistry is right between horse and rider, though, it’s obvious.

Brian Hernandez, Jr., the 2004 Eclipse Champion for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey, often works horses for Ian Wilkes, but there was something different when he got aboard Fort Larned. The near-black son of E Dubai had nine different riders in his 25 starts, but six of his ten career victories came under Hernandez, Jr., including American racing’s richest prize: the $5million Breeders’ Cup Classic. Watching the pair fly through the lane during their weekly pre-dawn workouts over the course of three years was textbook: Fort Larned reaching for ever more ground as Brian sat chilly in the saddle.

Similarly, Hall of Fame rider Calvin Borel has a knack for calming nervous horses. In Rose to Gold’s final 2013 Kentucky Oaks prep, the compact chestnut filly came through the Churchill Downs stretch moving well enough, but the real magic was after the wire: Calvin stood up like he does with every horse, but this time he ran his hand along her neck and stroked her mane for a few strides. The horse took a breath and relaxed noticeably: she started to move in a more fluid manner and even seemed to puff up a little with added confidence. She may not have won the Oaks, but she was a different horse after that work.

Morning workouts are over around 10 am, so jockeys take a few hours to go to the gym, visit with trainers, or grab a nap before checking in with the Clerk of Scales. They may not haveteams, but one similarity to other professional athletes who have equipment managers is that riders will have a valet who makes sure they have the right silks, saddle, enough goggles, and a whip throughout the raceday. Most riders won’t have a mount in every race, so they occupy their downtime by studying past performances, playing ping pong, or signing autographs for fans. Once the races are over, there is the opportunity to dine with owners and trainers and continue building solid relationships both on and off the track.

To succeed as a top jockey requires more than good hands or the courage to thread a horse through a barely-there hole between rivals: it takes a near-24/7 commitment to the craft.

Inside the Numbers: Preakness Stakes by America’s Best Racing

Whether you come to enjoy the infield fest or to dream about a Triple Crown possibility after the day is over, the Preakness Stakes is a great experience. While we can only guess the amount of black-eyed Susans and crab cakes that will be consumed at Pimlico, we do have some interesting numbers that go along with the Preakness.

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Southern Gaming’s Celebrity Derby Party Hits the Jackpot!

56891_SOGD_Logo_v3aIf you are looking for a great Derby party where you can see celebrities, dance to one of the hottest bands around, enjoy a premium open bar that includes the best bourbons in the world, and feast on a great selection of bourbon themed food, we’ve found your party… Jim Beam’s Derby Poker Celebrity Bourbon Bash presented by Draft Kings.

The event is hosted by Hall of Fame basketball Coach Denny Crum, and poker professional Robert Williamson III on Oaks Eve (April 30) at The Olmsted in Louisville, Kentucky and is much more than a poker tournament.

Guests will enjoy a premium open bar, food stations, live music by Tony & The Tanlines and more,

In addition, this year marks the 35-year anniversary of Coach Crum’s 1980 National Basketball Championship. Several members from the 1980 team will be on hand and there will be a special airing of the championship game from 7:00 – 8:00, as well as limited edition bottles of Jim Beam and posters commemorating the team.

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HORSERACING: Intentional Pari-Mutuel Wagering

I’ve spoken with hundreds, maybe thousands of horse players in my day, and while most of them grasp basic handicapping precepts, few have mastered the art of managing their bankroll. More specifically, I know some downright excellent interpreters of the Daily Racing Form who access Amscot Financial almost every other week in order to secure a payday loan. Preposterous you say!? Well, there’s simply an enormous difference between being an efficient handicapper and being an efficient bettor.  (more…)