Incase you missed it, the Belmont Stakes last Saturday nearly blew up the toteboard.  Ruler on Ice took the 143rd running at 24-1.  I figured he could hit the toteboard, just not in the win spot.  The horse I was rooting for, Brilliant Speed, appeared to have the race in hand at the stretch, only to stall out shortly after.  Animal Kingdom faltered out of the gate and ended up sixth.  Thankfully I had enough common sense to not tout him, especially at 2-1.

That upset, along with a few others, helped carryover the pick six pool into Wednesday’s card, where a record pool of 5.2 million was created by bettors.  11 syndicates or individual bettors then walked away with 308k each.  Not bad for a day of racing, and those lucky enough to win in Canada are exempt from the 30% withholding tax that US bettors face.

Meanwhile at Hastings Park, early nominations for the BC Derby were closed on June 15th.  A total of 56 horses were nominated.  In comparison, 31 horses were nominated in 2010.  Not totally sure what the implications are, but it seems the increased purse has attracted more owners and trainers to run their stock (the purse was increased by 50k for 2011).

Betting handle at Hastings has been very low the last few weekends also.  Chalk it up to poor weather, smaller field sizes, the Canucks, etc.  The bottom line is both the simulcast and live customer are not betting as much as they used to.  While that’s discouraging news, Canada Day, BC Cup day, and BC Derby day still lie ahead.  Big race days can make a huge impact in terms of marketing and bringing repeat patrons back to the track.  Just look at the recent Triple Crown races, and the Breeders’ Cup.


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