On Track with Johnny D: Spa-tacular!

In this space last week, just before opening day at Del Mar’s, we raved about the merits of Xpressbet’s Dime-a-Day. Since then–through four days at the current seaside meeting–49 players have won a total of $4,000 in prizes ‘Where the Turf Meets the Surf.’ Those players also have collected a whopping $8,524 in winning contest mutuel payoffs based on fruits from ‘live’ $10 contest win, place or show wagers on one horse a day in any race!


Beginning Friday with the opening of Saratoga, we echo the sentiment expressed in an ancient Doublemint Gum ad reminding you to “Double your pleasure, double your fun” by adding Dime-a-Day Saratoga to your wagering regime.


Most days, Saratoga and Del Mar will combine to form a juicy D-a-D doubleheader, and Xpressbet will award a total of $2,000 daily to those players–$1,000 in each competition. Monday racing cards at the Spa, mean players now may chase D-a-D prize money six days a week!


All that fun and entertainment’s not even taking into consideration a hefty $20,000 in total prize moolah that will be awarded to the top three players at each track for accumulating the most contest mutuel payoff earnings over the course of the entire season–$6,000 to first, $3,000 to second and $1,000 to third, respectively.


So far, yours truly has been amazed by the proficiency of D-a-D Del Mar players who’ve been able to nail big-priced winners in groups. In two of the first four racing days, the D-a-D competition winning mutuel payoff was over $43 for a $2 win wager. That’s not surprising. Uncertainty is inherent in a change of venue and longshots often score. What is amazing, and also a tribute to the handicapping prowess of Xpressbet account holders, is that a total of 21 players correctly tabbed those early big-price winners—12 players on Saturday had Cindy’s Secret won she won the third race at $43.40; and 9 players on Sunday when Pat the Bear surprised in the sixth race at $43.60!


John Velguth, an accomplished horseplayer often found at the top of leaderboards, nailed both longshots and led all players into Thursday with $435 in total earnings.


Personally, this writer has found the fledgling Del Mar meeting to be tough sledding…or should I say ‘surfing.’ Part of the problem is because I was at the track in person for the first three days.


It’s nearly impossible to concentrate on wagering when simultaneously attempting to live up to the track’s slogan to be ‘cool as ever!’ At my age trying to be cool is a full-time job. Unfortunately, so is picking winners. Neither can be achieved without undivided attention.


At Del Mar there were just too many distractions in the form of friends, acquaintances and sun-kissed San Diego sweeties for a serious horseplayer to link together five consecutive winners to begin the afternoon, or to conjoin four to end proceedings. If, by some chance, I had avoided a case of whiplash caused by quickly turning the head from side-to-side to glimpse parading fillies, the sticker shock of a $10 bottle of beer would have knocked me sideways—broke to boot.


At Del Mar, for me, breathing ocean air while warm sunshine caresses my skin is reward enough. Who cares if I don’t cash a ticket for three days?


I do! I left Del Mar with more wounds than Saint Sebastian.


Good thing Saratoga opens Friday. That’s just what I need about now. Cool mountain spring water to heal my owies. Spa-tacular!


Native Americans attributed healthful and medicinal properties to the flowing liquid and bathing in the springs was believed to cure everything from skin diseases to gout and constipation. A bruised ego and an empty wallet should be child’s play.


Unfortunately, I won’t make it to Saratoga in person for Friday’s lid-lifter. The 55-degree effervescent bubbling water will have to wait. However, I will be there in spirit, watching and wagering via the magic of Xpressbet. It’s not nearly the same as being there in the flesh, but, currently, this flesh is weak and in need of time at home on the couch.


You can be sure that big-priced winners will continue to buoy D-a-D Del Mar and that Saratoga will produce its share of generous mutuel payoffs, too. It always does. That’s partly why it’s called the Graveyard of Favorites!


Trainers Todd Pletcher and Chad Brown will win way more than their fair share of races at the meeting…they always do. At times, peppered between that duo’s numerous predictable triumphs, others will find the charmed circle. And when they do, mutuels will be as fat as Christmas geese.


Let’s enjoy the feast.


Race On!








On Track with Johnny D: Spa-tacular!

On Track with Johnny D |

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