02 December 2006

Another plate at the round table

Those who've noticed that the lights haven't been on at the Quinella Castle for quite sometime may wonder: what could possibly bring the Quinella Queen out of her post-Breeders' Cup hibernation?

Why, nothing less than a mainstream article about that most melodic of bets, the quinella. Thanks to the ever-vigilant Alan over at the ever-excellent Left at the Gate, I've been awakened from my slumbers to discover that this week on the ESPN site, Jay Cronley reports: "It happens all the time -- Quinellas outperforming Exactas -- Quinellas paying more than half of an Exacta's take; sometimes Quinellas pay well more than half; occasionally, Quinellas pay more than Exactas, flat-out, cold. "

Ahhh. Sweet vindication. That's the clink of goblets you're hearing, as we toast Mr. Cronley's observation that sometimes quinellas are cool -- or at least rewarding.

Actually, I believe that Mr. Cronley should be honored for his bold homage to the Q, and thus, we shall refer to this journalist evermore as Sir Cronley. He joins at the wobbly round kitchen table, the delightful Sir Richard Eng, who noted in his breezy Betting on Horse Racing for Dummies, that "the advantage of betting a quinella instead of an exacta comes when the horses you like are roughly the same odds." Sir Eng also points out that if you like a long-shot, the exacta is the place where you'll get the most value. But in those races where two horses stand out over the rest of the field, or your two are roughly the same odds, a quinella will "maximize your investment."

And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the immortal words of Sir Tote Board Brad, who once observed: "... If you box your exacta, you're guaranteed to lose one of the wagers. Hitting both your cold exacta & the backup quinella is a delight." Of course, Sir Tote Board plays in California, where quinellas seem to pay pretty well. For example, at Bay Meadows, on Dec 1, the quinella paid more than 1/2 of the exacta in all 8 races, and in 3 races, it paid more. (In the 7th, the quinella payoff was $57 to the exacta's $38!)

Of course, I'm sure that no one was focusing on the quinella payouts when history was being made at Bay Meadows in the 4th, as Russell Baze became the winningest jockey ever. And if you were rooting for the valiant filly who ran second in the 5th after she was boxed in on the rail -- well, then you know, that sometimes the exotics aren't nearly as important as the win.

Still, there's a new jockey king to crown; I suggest hoisting a nice goblet of grog. Round table optional.


Ruben Bailey said...

Hey, hey.

I've got a mission/question for you, please.

I remember a few weeks ago, or even a little more, there was a story on Equidaily about a book out written by a former MEC exec who totally dishes and trashes on Heir Stornach and his philosophies, company, family, etc.

I've searched on google and amazon, but can't find anything on it. Do you have any insights or knowledge about this book? Is it possible that it just hasn't come out yet?

I really want to get it, as it sounds more than interesting.


QQ said...

I believe the book you're looking for is MAGNA CUM LAUDE: HOW FRANK STRONACH BECAME CANADA'S BEST-PAID MAN by Wayne Lilley. There's an excerpt over at globeandmail.com. I believe it came out in October.

And I see you noticed that Batgirl was a librarian! Zap! Kapow!