Thoroughbred Vs. Harness Racing
Dee Leftwich /Horse Racing Illustrated July 25, 2010
I want to write about differences in Thoroughbred and Harness Racing. What I have experienced Is that you either bet one or the other, obviously Thoroughbred's are the most bet races, and usually a bettor that sticks to these races only bet's a Harness race when there is nothing else running, Now your die hard Harness bettors ususally stick to Harness , but might bet the bigger Thoroughbred Races like the the Tripple Crown Races. I happen to enjoy both, since I have worked closely in the past with both Industries.
Im going to focus more in this article on Harness Racing and maybe try to convert a few of you strickly Thoroughbred Bettors over. You have 2 types of Harness racing, Pacers and Trotters, the difference is the way their legs move when running, also called their gait. You can google this and find out how this looks probably better than I can explain it. 85% or more of the Harness races are Pacers. The reason being is that Trotters tend to Break more than Pacers. A break is when a horse comes off stride. There is nothing more frustrating than when a harness horse breaks right before crossing the wire. When a harness horse breaks it must be taken to the outside untill it regains it's stride. If a horse breaks before crossing the wire and still finishes 1st , It is put back and does not get the win. Also Pacers are faster than Trotters
Harness Race riders are called Drivers, what ever you do, do not call them Jockeys, as they take great offense to that. In my Opinion and Experience , the Drivers mean more to a Harness Horse than a Jockey does to a Thoroughbred Horse. So when betting a Harness race pay attention to the Driver and his record in the program. It wont take you long to learn the Top drivers. Also 99% of all Harness Races are run at the distance of 1 mile and on the same surface which is usually a rock dust type surface. In thoroughbred Racing there are different types of surfaces, Dirt, Turf (grass) and the New Polytrack dirt surface. Again since the Harness Horses always run on the same surface and Usually Distance , this takes alot of your problems Handicaping them away as you dont have to worry about those. All Harness Races are 2 laps, with the exception of Colonial Downs, which is the only one turn track in the US. In fact since Colonial Downs Opened, it has a seperate listing because of the only one turn in far as World Record Times go.
The #1 thing most advanced Harness handicapers first look at is the final 3/4 Time, which is found in the Past Performances in the Program. Whether the horse won or not, this final 3/4 time show's the horses speed in the final stretch. Some other things that can happen are horses getting boxed in, since Harness Horses have more Equiptment, mainly the Sulky, Which the driver sits in, It is harder for them to swing outside like in Thoroughbred races where it it just the Horse with the Jockey on Top. Another thing I like to look for in Harness racing is a change in the Driver, Top Drivers in Harness Racing are in high demand, so a Horse that gets a Upgrade in Driver , highly increases Their chance of Bettering.
Last I want to point out that you get really good odds on some great Harness Horses, especially in lower class races. Most Harness Owners and Trainers that run at smaller tracks dont make alot of money and usually run for small Purses , which in my opinion makes the competition better and the Payouts better. So even if you are only a Thoroughbred Bettor , take some time and get Introduced to Harness Racing. Use some of the tips above and you might find out that handicaping Harness Racing is easier than with Thoroughbreds
Exclusive Interview with Rosemary B Homeister Jr.
Dee Leftwich / Horse Racing Illustrated July 21, 2010
Let me Start by saying congratulations on being the top Jockey for the second year in a row at Colonial Downs
A: Thank you very much
Q: What was the name of the first horse you ever rode?
A: I dont remember the name of the Horse, but it was for Buddy Edwards and it was the 5th Race at Calder on March 20th of 1992
Q: What is the name of the last horse you rode?
A: (laughs) That would be Frex about 30 minutes ago
That is right and by the way let me point out you also won that race (laughs)
Q: Who was the best horse you ever rode?
A: That would be Cloudy's Knight who finished second by a nose in the 2009 Breeders Cup Marathon Race at Santa Anita. Trained by Johathan Sheppard and Owned by Mr & Mrs. Shwartz
Q: You are 2nd Alltime in Winnings for a female Jockey behind Julie Krone, Do you know her?
A: Yes we are friends, I have even ridden agaist her
Q: So you retired briefly to sell Real Estate, were you successful?
A: Yes Very, I made $100,000 my first year
Q: Well with the real estate market the way it is now , are you glad you went back to riding?
A: Yes, It was the best decision I ever made, I really missed racing, especially the Fans and in general all the people involved in Horse Racing
Q: So what does your signature Kiss to to the sky symbolize?
A: The kiss is to my Grandparents Frank & Phyllis Sangi, who have supported me from the start, sadly Frank my Grandfather has Passed
Q: What is your Favorite Track?
A: That would be Tampa Bay Downs
Q: So where are you Headed to now?
A: Delaware, Tampa, Penn, Really all over the east , I love being at different tracks
Q: So are you coming back to Colonial Downs next year to defend your Jockey title?
A: Most Definately!
Well thank you very much for your time and I wish you continued success
A: Thank you very much and please check out my website Jockeyrose.com
Please check out our Gallery for Pictures of Rosemary from the 2010 Colonial Downs Meet
Steinbrenner still Winning
Dee Leftwich / Horse Racing Illustrated
Even though George Steinbrenner has passed, he continues to Win. Saturday on Virginia Derby day, Kinsman farm and stables owned by Steinbrenner , produced a winner in the $50,000 Kitten's Joy Stakes. Vanquisher ridden by top Jockey Rosemary Homeister Jr won by a half length. Homeister in her ritual fashion, blew a kiss and stared up at the sky , Ironically as she crossed the wire during the race, Services were being held for Mr. Steinbrenner
Using the Show Bet to your advatage
Dee Leftwich / Horse Racing Illustrated
I want to talk about, in my opinion, one of the most overlooked bets in Horse Racing, the Show Bet. Now I know some of you will scoff at me about this, but you can make money just betting to Show. It can also make your day at the track or OTB longer and more Enjoyable., No you wont get rich more than likely by betting the show, but you will cash more tickets in. Picking a horse to Win is hard , very hard especially consistantly. Now think back how many times that horse you picked to win , ran 2nd or 3rd. What I like to do is find a horse that I like with real good odds 8-1 or more and put a $5 or more show bet on them, this way I still have chance when that heavy favorite leads wire to wire and in some cases I win more money than if I had bet on the favorite. Now the payoffs are determined by the pools, if you have acces to these pools before the race , you have a great chance of making some decent money. sometimes the winning horse will pay more to show than win. If i spot a horse I really love say a 2-1 or 3-1 I will look at the show pool to see the amount there, sometimes these horses are just not bet alot to show, if I see a small number in that show pool, I jump all over that horse to show.For those who might not have the access of the show pool then take a high odd horse you like and bet them to show, it's a whole lot easier cheering for your horse when you just need at least third to get paid. So next time at the track try the Show bet , you might just fall in love with it
Fan Pictures from the Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs
Dee Leftwich / Horse Racing Illustrated
Be sure to check our Fan pictures from the Virginia Derby in the Gallery section of our website.If you would like to purchase a picture please contact us..