Does Finger Lakes ever release their meet handle stats? I've noticed many tracks will release/publicize such information at the end of their meet, and it's always interesting to see the year to year changes. But I see no such releases from FL..
This was the first year (of slots) that Finger Lakes reduced purses, and I was curious if had any effect on handle.
Bob Matthews of the Rochester D&C recently reported that the 2010 live betting handle at Finger Lakes was down 15.6 percent (around $1.6 million), but the simulcast handle was up 6.1 percent (around $9.6 million).
Finger Lakes phenom Head Heart Hoof is now a track record -holder at Aqueduct. The 5-year-old gelding, who was 0-for-4 over Aqueduct's inner dirt strip, now holds the 5-1/2-furlong mark after running the distance in 1:03.50.
In for a $10,000 claiming tag, Head Heart Hoof ($4.20) led them start to finish under C.C. Lopez, shattering the mark of 1:03.66 set by Mr. Bourbon Street on Feb. 16, 2008.
Head Heart Hoof is 9-for-17 in his career at Finger Lakes and is now 3-for-12 elsewhere. The win was the second on the day for trainer Chris Englehart, who also saddled New York Style ($13.80) to take the opener.
The 5-yr old now has a career of: 29 12-1-0 $ 161,452
As for the topic with FL handle I have to assume that if the NYC OTB mess isn't resolved whereby NYRA either provides walk-in venues for wagering or somehow (but doubtful) the NYC OTB are restored that FL will be hurt significantly.
I recall reading last year when there were early signs of NYC OTB maybe shutting down there was a mention that FL actually gets something like 25% of all their wagers just from NYC OTB.
And Head Heart Hoof was geared down late in that race with the big lead, and still set the record! Very impressive..
As long as we're talking about top-notch FL horses, I noticed that former FL runner Say Toba Sandy is now running for a $5K tag at Philly Park.
STS got her impressive start at FL in the Fall of 2007, winning her MSW debut, and then the FL Juvenile Fillies Stakes. She went on to run well against the late, great Tin Cup Chalice in the Juvenile Stakes.
She then moved up to the NYRA circuit where she did very well, winning several rich AOC races. On 4/15/2009, she went off as the favorite in the Illiterate Stakes at AQU. She finished third..
And then she disappeared for 18 months. I assumed she'd been retired for some reason.
Nope! She reappeared at FL this past October in a couple AOC. She wasn't offered for a tag, but she didn't perform to her old standard.
She then moved on to PARX after FL closed, and ran for a $7.5K tag in a claimer on 12/31. She won by a neck, and was not claimed.
Now she runs on the 26th for a $5K tag.
She's a favorite of mine, and I hope she's healthy. I wish her nothing but the best..
I did notice that Head Heart Hoof won the other day as I check the NYRA charts regularly (gotta' see how the "home team" is doing in the winter!). As I recall, he's been through quite a few trainers in a relatively brief period of time and seems to always be on the improve.
I also note that he's by Intidab. I have a 2006 Intidab as well. I agreed to winter him in December of 2009 and it wasn't long before the owner was crying the blues and asking me to "find him a home". Grrrreeeat. The horse broke his maiden easily and then tailed off. Frankly, I think he was pounded and had some stifle issues, chasing money so to speak.
He's been on R and R since that time and has blossomed by gaining weight and muscle and getting a better attitude. He's sound as a dollar, looks like a million bucks so...yep....he's going back to the track and I'm really excited. His dam is black type and he has a Stakes placed sister as well.
I'm hopeful that he, now in great physical and mental condition, will thrive under my DIL's training. I totally trust her and will have input as well.
If the racing gods are willing, and the planets aligned, I hope to have another HHH in my guy!