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Random Thoughts on the last day of 2010

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LOUISVILLE, KY - APRIL 30: A horse and rider train in front of the twin spires during morning workouts prior to the Kentucky Derby on April 30, 2009 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY - APRIL 30: A horse and rider train in front of the twin spires during morning workouts prior to the Kentucky Derby on April 30, 2009 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
With the clock winding down on 2010 I figured I'd take a moment to clear my head of any lingering thoughts rolling around.
  • Since the conclusion of the Breeders' Cup I've placed nary a bet on a race, something that will change as soon as the calendar flips over to "2011".  I'm playing in the NTRA Tour handicapping contest on Sunday and then Gulfstream begins on Wednesday.  I am more than ready to start attacking the GP Pick 4 and, possibly, the $0.50 Pick 5 with the 15% take.  Although, I have enough trouble hitting a Pick 4 that I'm not sure I need to up the ante with a Pick 5.
  • I don't know how many of you like to put a little something on college football games, but I do, and I'm getting absolutely crushed this bowl season after doing quite well during the regular season.  Perhaps March Madness will redeem me.
  • If you missed it, community member Lucky Duck wrote a nice FanPost on the "nemesis horse" that can be found here.  You guys always come up with some great posts for conversation.

    I'll expound a bit more on this in a few weeks when the site celebrates it's 1st anniversary, but I'd like to thank all of you that have read and contributed over the past 11 months.  I'm grateful for anyone that has taken the time to be a part of this site.
  • There is a lot of talk on horse racing sites around the 'net about the raise in takeout in California and a boycott of the state's races by the Horseplayers Association of North America (HANA).  I'm not sure what to make of that as of yet because as much as I agree that the take hike in California is bad, there are other states that still have a higher take than the new percentages in California.  It seems to me that if the goal is to have take reduced at all tracks that you can't just single out California.  While California has made the poor choice of raising takeout it seems a bit hypocritical to simply ignore those tracks that take more, and have done so for a longer period of time.

    I don't play a ton of races in California during the year to begin with (probably 70% of my play during the year goes to Gulfstream, Keeeneland and Emerald Downs, with the other 30% split between Derby week, Saratoga/Del Mar, and the Breeders' Cup) so it's not a huge impact on me.  At the same time, Santa Anita's handle performance could be very telling in terms of the impact of rate hikes (or cuts) on future growth.
      It's early in the meet, but already Santa Anita has had two days where handle was 20% less than the corresponding day from 2009.  
  • There's a movie house in the Central District of Seattle (Central Cinema) that shows a random assortment of films from the last fifty years, flicks like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Casablanca, Ferris Beuller's Day Off.  They have theme nights, "Salute to X" weeks, etc.  The best part is the theater serves beer, wine and food at your seat throughout the show and the late show is sans children, which is nice for some of us. 

    I was checking their website today to see what movies they had coming up when I discovered that their December parade of Christmas movies included a showing of Die Hard.  And I missed it.  I can't describe how disappointed I am at missing the opportunity to see Die Hard on a big(ger) screen with beer and pizza brought to my seat.  Maybe next year.
  • Is anybody else finding this to be the worst cold and flu season?  I am suffering through what seems like my fourth or fifth cold since the beginning of November.  In fact, it's bothering me so much that my New Year's plans are pretty much going to entail me sitting on the couch with my fiancée and my basset hound while watching the fireworks at the Space Needle on TV.  It doesn't get much more exciting than that!
  • Finally, a Happy New Year to everyone that has taken the time to stop by to read and/or comment during 2010.