Calder goes to extremes
All horseplayers at one time or another have asked -- silently or out loud -- for a race to cease, usually early in the proceedings, when the running order of the field was to their liking.
Such bettors will get some wish fulfillment today as part of the creative Extreme Day program at Calder Race Course in Miami. One of the events on the extended 15-race card is a $10,000 claimer for older horses at one mile. However, in terms of wagering, not only where the runners finish is going to matter, but also where they are halfway through the race.
Players who bet on which horse will be in front after the first four furlongs of the race can collect, as will exacta players who have the first two runners at that point. A possible leader after half a mile is Tomorrows Pick, an 8-1 longshot. The 3-year-old showed the way before tiring in a couple of races at seven furlongs this year.
Extreme Day also includes a daily double where the two races will be run simultaneously -- one at six furlongs on the main track and the other at a mile on turf -- and races at two furlongs and two miles in addition to a 1 3/8 -mile grass race that will be run the “wrong way” -- clockwise rather than counterclockwise, which is the norm in the U.S.
Greg Maddux has been stuck on 340 wins for quite some time. The 41-year-old pitcher has failed to win in his last five starts for San Diego, but the future Hall of Famer has pitched very well in his last two games.
In his last 11 innings pitching for a team that is offensively challenged, Maddux has given up two runs. Perhaps Maddux and the Padres can get back on track today in Houston against the favored Astros.
Maddux’s mound opponent is Roy Oswalt, who hasn’t been as effective in 2007 as in years past and is something of a question mark today. Oswalt missed his last scheduled start because of soreness in his chest.
Carlos Baldomir, who will fight Vernon Forrest tonight in Tacoma, Wash., for the vacant WBC super-welterweight title, is the underdog in his first fight since he lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. last November.
However, Baldomir, who is +200 on the website vegasinsider.com (a bettor would win $200 if he bet $100 on Baldomir to win the fight), has had success as an underdog before. He defeated prohibitive favorite Zab Judah at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 7, 2006. Forrest, who like Baldomir is 36, is +160.
ON THE WEB
For Bob Mieszerski’s Del Mar handicap and Insider Trading, go to latimes.com/horseracing.