Archive for the ‘horse racing’ Category

Wings of Eagles is a surprise winner at Epsom

June 3, 2017



Wings of Eagles (by Pour Moi) was a surprise winner of the Investec Epsom Derby (also known as the English Derby) on June 3, 2017 at Epsom Downs in England.  The Aidan O’Brien trained horse, ridden by Padraig Beggy, was second-to-last before going on to win the race by three-quarters of a length over Cliffs Of Moher (by Galileo), trained by O’Brien and ridden by Ryan Moore, a horse with 5 to 1 odds.  Cracksman (by Frankel), trained by John Gosden and ridden by Frankie Dettori, the 7-2 favorite, came in third.  Emiment (by Frankel), trained by Martyn Meade and ridden by Jim Crowley, was fourth.

The odds of Wings of Eagles winning was 40 to 1.  Wings of Eagles was the longest priced Derby winner since 1974, when Snow Knight won the race at 50 to 1 odds.

Wings of Eagles paid $113.20 to win, Cliffs Of Moher paid $5.20 to place and Cracksman paid $3.60 to show.  The $2 exacta paid $1,170.20 and the $2 trifecta paid $8,460.60.

It was O’Brien’s sixth win in at the Epsom Derby.  O’Brien trained six of the 18 horses in the 238th running of the classic horse race.  (O’Brien trained horses have won the race four times in the past six years.) The Telegraph called this year’s race “the richest race ever run in Britain.”  (Epsom Derby 2017 result: rank outsider Wings of Eagles pulls off shock victory — June 3, 2017.)  Wings of Eagles earned 931,000 British pounds ($1.2 million).

Wings of Eagles, a three-year-old colt, is the son of Pour Moi, a horse that won the 2011 Epsom Derby.

It was the first English Derby win for jockey Padraig Beggy, 31, who joined O’Brien in January 2015.  Beggy previously raced in Australia until he received a 15-month drug ban at the end of 2014.  (He tested positive for cocaine.)

“I got into a bit of trouble in Australia, a bad mistake and something that I’ve put behind me,” Beggy said.  “I was knocked down then, I had to pick myself up and I’ve come back out fighting and today I think I’ve proved that.”

Beggy said that he did not know that he would be riding Wings of Eagles until the Thursday before the Saturday race.

The Guardian capsulized Beggy’s jockey career:

“Beggy started in Ireland in 2003, rode for eight seasons with some level of success but never achieved more than 22 winners in a year in a country that has never been short of riding talent.  He came to Britain in 2011, basing himself with John Quinn one year and David Evans the next, adding another eights wins before deciding to try his luck in Australia.” (Derby -winning rider Padraig Beggy: “I thought big winners had gone by me” — June 3, 2017.)

“I traveled the whole way round the wold to get on a horse like this but it didn’t happen until I came back home,” Beggy said.

“Paddy Beggy is a brilliant rider,” O’Brien said. “He’s strong, he’s got a great mind and is tactically very aware. . . . An absolutely world class rider.”

O’Brien’s previous winning horses were Australia (2014), World (2013), Camelot (2012), Chaparral (2002) and Galileo (2001).

Douglas McArthur, trained by O’Brien and ridden by Colm O’Donoghue, led for much of the race before Cracksman took the lead and appeared to be on the way to victory.

Wings of Eagles was 16th of 18 horses with three furlongs to go and made up five lengths during the final furlong.  Wings of Eagles managed to catch Cliffs Of Moher with 50 yards to go to the finish.

“Still my best furlong was the last furlong and that is the one that counts,” Beggy said.

Queen Elizabeth attended the race.  Sophie Hamilton wrote in the Hello Magazine: “The Queen looked to be having a wonderful time at the races on Saturday as she attended the annual Epsom Derby.  Dressed in a bright yellow coat, a floral patterned dress and a yellow hat with pretty flower detail, the monarch looked radiant in her summery ensemble.  She teamed her cheerful outfit with pearl earrings and a matching pearl necklace, completing her look perfectly.”  (The Queen enjoys a day in the sunshine at the Epsom Derby! — June 3, 2017.)  Princess Alexandra also attended the event in the Queen’s party.





Breeders’ Cup betting: another day of uncashed tickets; is there a “winning system” for the horse races?

October 26, 2008

Before I launch into my idea for a new “winning system,” a few comments about the races are in order.  On Friday, Zenyatta stayed undefeated in nine races when she won the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic by 1-1/2 lengths over Cocoa Beach.  The filly’s impressive win may result in her being named horse of the year.   The race may be viewed here:



On Saturday, Midnight Lute won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint for the second year in a row as jockey Garrett Gomez won his third race of the day.  (Mr. Gomez also won while riding Albertus Maximus and Midshipman.  He was third on Whatsthescript (IRE) in the Mile.)   In the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Saturday, Curlin was unable to defend his title and may have lost his chance for horse of the year honors.  Raven’s Pass led a 1-2 British sweep of the Classic with Henrythenavigator placing second. 

It should be noted that horse racing guru Andrew Beyer tipped off the racing public of the potential for Raven’s Pass to win the Classic.

“Besides Curlin, the most talented horses in the field are the three European invaders — Duke of Marmalade, Henrythenavigator and Raven’s Pass — who have accounted for 10 Grade I wins against the  best competition on the continent,” Mr. Beyer wrote in his column that appeared Friday morning in the Washington Post.  Raven’s Pass is the only one of the three who appears to be coming into the Classic in peak form, and I will gamble that he takes to the Pro-Ride and pulls an upset.”

My “winning system”

Now to my winning system: pick the same three horses (i.e., 1-2-3, or 3-6-9, or 4-5-6, or any three numbers you want) in each and every race to win.  Using 3-6-9, here is how my winning system would have worked on Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup if $6 to win was bet on each horse.

FIRST RACE (MARATHON) — $18 bet for no return.  (The winner, Muhannak (IRE), was No. 5.)

SECOND RACE (TURF SPRINT) — No. 9 Desert Code paid $75.  Betting $6 to win, the take was $225. 

THIRD RACE (DIRT MILE) — $18 bet for no return.  (The winner, Albertus Maximus, was No. 7.)

FOURTH RACE (MILE) — $18 bet for no return.  (The winner, Goldikova (IRE), was No. 4.)

FIFTH RACE (JUVENILE) — $18 bet for no return.  (The winner, Midshipman, was No. 11.)

SIXTH RACE (JUVENILE TURF) — $18 bet for no return.  (The winner, Donativum (GB), was No. 4.)

SEVENTH RACE (SPRINT) — $18 bet for no return.  (The winner, Midnight Lute, was No. 4.)  (Horse racing writer Billy Witz of The New York Times wrote that “Midnight Lute was the nickname given years ago to the University of Arizona men’s basketball coach Lute Olson by Jerry Tarkanian, his counterpart at Nevada-Las Vegas, after Olson swooped in to steal a prize recruit from him.)

EIGHTH RACE (TURF) — No. 9 Conduit (IRE) paid $13.60.  Betting $6 to win, the take was $40.80.

NINTH RACE (CLASSIC) — $18 bet for no return.  (The winner, Raven’s Pass, was No. 8.)

Now for the net gain or net loss.  Amount wagered: $18 x 9 = $162.  Amount collected: $265.80.  Net gain: $103.80.

A “winning system” remains elusive

While the result looks impressive, the nice take depended on winning the biggest longshot of the day: Desert Code’s surprising win in the Turf Sprint.  The longshot colt had to pass eight horses in the final 150 yards to edge past Diabolical by a half-length.   Without Desert Code’s longshot win, it would have been just another losing day at the race track by the user of my alleged winning system.

My conclusion: I still have not found a “winning system.”

Photo Credit:

Zenyatta in the Ladies’ Classic (photo by Bob Mayberger; copyright @ Storm Watch Photo 2008)