Mar 262023

Phil’s reprising these articles as they are probably 2 of the most cogent and important articles that the minions at Horse Racing Alberta will ignore.


Business is never so healthy as when, like a chicken, it must do a certain amount of scratching around for what it gets.

Henry Ford

No business can change what it does not measure. Racing’s public measurement of support, via wagering, hides serious issues.

Over the last century, U.S. racetracks have reported total handle on their races and, for most of that time, it was one metric that accurately depicted the health of the business. But in our modern era of simulcasting, rebating and high-frequency betting from professionals, often called computer-assisted or robotic wagering (CAW/CRW), total handle figures actually deceive industry stakeholders more than anything.

Using inflation-adjusted figures from that NTRA study, published in 2004, CAW/CRW betting has likely tripled in the last 20 years. That means mainstream betting is probably down about two-thirds since then. This is an atrocious trajectory from racing’s largest customer base–rank-and-file horseplayers–and has occurred during a period where racing had a veritable monopoly on legal, regulated betting via the Internet.

I’m all for technology. I’m not against CAW/CRW play. I want all customer segments to grow. I want a bigger pie for everyone. I’m FOR horse racing. We all enjoy bigger purses, but the realities of our core wagering business, which sustains the sport and keeps it in the public consciousness, is really alarming. Most owners and breeders don’t see it because it has been, relatively, hidden behind antiquated methods of reporting handle.

I encourage owners, breeders’ and horsemen’s organizations to demand far greater transparency–both of operators and regulators–as it relates to racing’s wagering business. We need to be stewards of our sport and not merely accept elevated purses while ignoring the economic fundamentals that impact our largest base of customers.

TDN = Letter To The Editor: Craig Bernick

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.

Aldous Huxley,

Phil has a question:

Do the powers that bee in horse racing remember that it was the part of the iceberg that wasn’t visible that sank the Titanic.

How soon before PETA and the other groups looming to kill racing and get the slot and casino revenues start using the figures that Bernick speaks about against horse racing.

Do you think anyone at Horse Racing Alberta understands the implications of this article

Do you think anyone at Horse Racing Alberta cares about the implications of this article as long as their slots paid cheques keep arriving.


Canadian Thoroughbred – Canadian Foal Crop 2022 Estimated to Hold Steady

Phil has a question:

With a foal crop drop from 267 in 2018 to 120 in 2021 do you think that Horse Racing Alberta is doing their job or just filling their positions.

Did the powers that bee at Horse Racing Alberta take a drop in their paycheques commensurate with the drop in foal production.

How can the UCPs who are supposed to be conservative continue to allow Horse Racing Alberta to exist and waste Alberta taxpayer dollars on window gazers.

Is it not time to get rid of Horse Racing Alberta and move the regulation of horse racing directly to AGLC.

Edmonton Journal – Toews – Finance minister Travis Toews not running in May election

TDN – Sunday Workers Target Santa Anita Derby

Randy Howg’s 3 year old American Freedom colt Airtime steps up in class in the Saturday, April 1, 2023’s GI Arkansas Derby after his win in an Allowance optional claiming $100,000US with a purse of $104,000.00. Trained by Robertino Diodoro Airtime will be under the capable handling of Cristian A. Torres. Airtime was claimed from a Starter Optional Claiming $50,000.00US from Gary and Mary West.

TDN – Reincarnate Named 5-2 Morning-Line Favorite For Arkansas Derby

The projected Arkansas Derby field from the rail out: Bourbon Bash, Reylu Gutierrez to ride, 15-1 on the morning line; Interlock Empire, David Cabrera, 20-1; Harlocap, Ricardo Santana Jr., 15-1; Two Eagles River, Nik Juarez, 10-1; Airtime, Cristian Torres, 15-1; Angel of Empire, Flavien Prat, 9-2; Rocket Can, Junior Alvarado, 4-1; Reincarnate, John Velazquez, 5-2; King Russell, Rafael Bejarano, 30-1; Red Route One, Tyler Gaffalione, 3-1; and Kolomio, James Graham, 30-1.

Paulick Report – Reincarnate Made Morning-Line Favorite For Arkansas Derby; Wet Paint Tabbed Program Favorite For Fantasy

Bloodhorse – Byron King – Forte Favored at 4-5 Odds in 12-Horse Florida Derby

TDN – Baffert Vs. Locals In The Sunland Park Derby

Bloodhorse – Byron King – Trainer Desormeaux Weighs Options for Confidence Game

Somebody asked me – you know, how come it took you so long to win a national championship? And I said, ‘I’m a slow learner; but you notice when I learn something, I have it down pretty good.’

John Wooden

Bloodhorse – Curry – At A Glance: Hard to Figure Imposing in Sunland Derby

Paulick Report – California Shippers Fort Bragg, Hard To Figure Face Local Prep Winner Henry Q In Sunland Derby

Woodford Reserve® 2023 Kentucky Derby® 149 Bottle, , main_imageTDN – Woodford Reserve Derby Bottle Celebrates Secretariat Anniversary

Phil is advised that the Woodford Reserve Derby Bottle will be available at some Alberta locations of  Wine and Beyond on March 28, 2023. The Edmonton Southgate store will be stocking their shelves on Monday March 27, 2023.

DRF – Derby Watch

Bloodhorse – Byron King – Forte, Instant Coffee Remain 1-2 in Derby Dozen

TDN – Thornton – TDN Derby Top 12: Forte Vs. Everyone Else

Paulick Report – Champagne -The Derby Bubble Presented By Kentucky-Breds: Do These Horses Look Familiar?

Horse Racing Nation – De Rosa – Kentucky Derby 2023: DeRosa’s Fair odds for Forte, 18 rivals

Horse Racing Nation – Kentucky Derby 2023 Contenders

Dorth Vader, a John Ropes Florida homebred fresh off her victory in the Davona Dale returns in the Gulfstream Park Oaks on Saturday April 1, 2023. The Pletcher pair of Miracle and Atomically (also by Girvin) both look tough and the field is compact but competitive. Dorth Vader is by Girvin (Tale of Ekati) out of the Yonaguska mare Hardcore Candy who was campaigned in Alberta by Darrell Landry and then Amber Buniak and Ryan McLean. Hardcore Candy won 8 races from 40 starts with 8 seconds and 4 thirds, earning $101,308. She was Stakes placed in the Freedom of the City Stakes (Black Type) at Northlands Park.

Bloodhorse – McCroskey – Dorth Vader Looks Fierce in Gulfstream Park Oaks

TDN – Bill Finley – Kentucky Oaks Top 10: Strange Year Continues

ESPN says 37 out of their 20 million brackets picked the Final Four correctly.

That’s .000185%

Sports Business Journal – After thrilling weekend, the NCAA has its Final Four

The end result: an Elite Eight without a No. 1 seed for the first time; and a Final Four without a top-three seed for the first time; the second-highest seed total (23, topped only by the 26 in 2011. This free-for-all is a challenge to the established tournament dynamic that plays the best with the viewing public: upsets early, bluebloods late. Instead, we have upsets early, upsets late, and a lot of new faces crashing the party in Houston.

Sports Illustrated – Forde – Men’s NCAA Tournament Chaos Berths a Free-For-All Final Four

If you want to catch the Huskies in the Final 4 of March Madness at Red Devil Pizza better make your reservation early

Front Office Sports – Christovich – Parity Rules at Men’s Final Four Despite NIL, Transfer Portal

Sports Illustrated – Forde – Controversial Yet Correct Call Sends San Diego State to Its First Final Four

Sports Illustrated – No. 4 UConn Rolls Past No. 3 Gonzaga to Reach Final Four

National Post – Stokes – You don’t have to be in the north to see the spectacular Northern Lights

Phil heard a rumour that the Northern Lights were brilliant and visible far south this past week to illuminate the path to the Final Four for the Huskies.

Sometime Around Midnight

If you want to catch the Huskies in the Final 4 of March Madness – Red Devil Pizza better make your reservation early

Sports Illustrated – Taddeo – No. 9 Florida Atlantic Downs Kansas State, Books First Spot in Final Four

San Diego State did what the fucking ballless NCAA, Alabama AD and that fucking brutal excuse for a coach Oats didn’t have the balls to do, got rid of that scumbag Miller.

The NCAA is so mad at Kentucky they’re going to give Cleveland State another year of probation.

Jerry Tarkanian

In the final analysis, Alabama sacrificed every shred of its institutional integrity for a meager Sweet 16 run. That’s not a great return on the mortgaging of a reputation. But then again, this is the pattern for the Tide under Oats: NCAA tourney upset losses that transpire well short of the expected performance.

Sports Illustrated – Forde – Faced With Great—and Controversial—Expectations, Alabama Again Falls Short

Deacon Blues

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.

John Wooden

Sports Illustrated – Forde – Brandon Miller, Alabama and ‘a Moral Dilemma of the Highest Order’

Chuck Stop

Unfortunately, as I tell my white friends, we, as black people, we’re never going to be successful – not because of you white people but because of other black people. When you’re black, you have to deal with so much crap in your life from other black people.

Charles Barkley

March is a month without mercy for rabid basketball fans. There is no such thing as a ‘gentleman gambler’ when the Big Dance rolls around. All sheep will be fleeced, all fools will be punished severely… There are no Rules when the deal goes down in the final weeks of March. Even your good friends will turn into monsters.

Hunter S. Thompson

ESPN – Lunardi – 2023 NCAA Tournament Bracketology

ESPN – Men’s Tournament Challenge

CBS – NCAA® March Madness® 2023 Men’s Bracket Games


ESPN – Hensley – QB Lamar Jackson says he has requested trade from Ravens

Bloodhorse – Rollins – Wild On Ice Lands 35-1 Upset in Sunland Park Derby

Paulick Report – Wild On Ice Springs 35-1 Upset In Sunland Park Derby

TDN – Hometown Hero Wild On Ice Stuns In Sunland Derby

Phil has a question:

What goes through a jockey’s mind when they’re dueling for the lead and hear the announcer say that the first quarter went in 20.58.

TDN – Nyquist Filly Goes Gate to Wire in Sunland Park Oaks

Paulick Report – Road To Kentucky Oaks: Flying Connection Wins Sunland Park Oaks On Front End

Los Angeles Times – Bernhard – Busting the myth of the cowboy — one performance at a time

Thoroughbred Racing Commentary – Lees – ‘I survived – that’s the most important thing’ – champion jockey Filip Minarik reflects on life after career-ending fall

Paulick Report – The Friday Show Presented By Walmac Farm’s Pinehurst: Lisa Lazarus On What To Expect Under HISA Medication Policy

Bloodhorse – Rollins and McCroskey – Two Phil’s Seals Derby Ticket With Jeff Ruby Romp

In The Air Tonight

One cannot step twice in the same river.


TDN – Hard Spun’s Two Phil’s Dominates Jeff Ruby

Take Me Home

Paulick Report – ‘We’re On Our Way To The Derby’: Two Phil’s Rolls To Jeff Ruby Steaks Win

Brisnet – Scully – Two Phil’s overpowers rivals in Jeff Ruby Steaks; Botanical stretches win streak to four in Bourbonette Oaks

Radetzy Marsch Op. 28

DRF – Russo – Two Phil’s storms into Kentucky Derby lineup with Jeff Ruby romp

In The Air Tonight

Won’t Get Fooled Again

DRF – Grening – Kingsbarns uses Louisiana Derby to gain Kentucky Derby spot

Bloodhorse – Angst –Kingsbarns Uncatchable in Louisiana Derby

Brisnet – Hansen – Kingsbarns dominates Louisiana Derby on front end

TDN – Uncle Mo’s Kingsbarns Stays Perfect, Wires Louisiana Derby

Thoroughbred Racing Commentary – Kentucky Derby: Japanese star Derma Sotogake set for Churchill Downs after UAE Derby rout


TDN – Japanese Superfecta In UAE Derby, As Mind Your Biscuits’s Derma Sotogake Romps

Asked about the Kentucky Derby, Lemaire said, “How could you refuse a mount in the Kentucky Derby? I had my first experience last year (13th aboard UAE Derby winner Crown Pride) and I’d be happy to go again.”

Bloodhorse – Kieckhefer – Derma Sotogake Wins UAE Derby, Targets Kentucky Derby

Phil has a question:

Can the horses combine the Japanese points with the UAE Derby points.

Losing My Religion

TDN – Southlawn Upsets Fair Grounds Oaks

Paulick Report – Road To Kentucky Oaks: Southlawn Storms From Last For Fair Grounds Oaks Triumph

TDN – Botanical Perfect At Turfway With Bourbonette Oaks Score

Bloodhorse – Baffert, Shirreffs Excited About Clients’ OBS Purchases

Phil has a question:

Does Baffert know what a combine is.

International Harvester

Thoroughbred Racing Commentary – Joao ‘Magic Man’ Moreira: Frankie Dettori is the most brilliantly talented jockey there has ever been on earth

Bloodhorse – Kieckhefer – Ushba Tesoro Runs Downs Algiers in Dubai World Cup

TDN – Ushba Tesoro Completes Japanese Desert Double in Dubai World Cup

TDN – History-Making Lord North Secures Third Dubai Turf Victory

So Alive

TSN – Coyotes’ minority owner Barroway suspended indefinitely by NHL following arrest

New York Times – Wirecutter – Johnson – The Best Frozen Pepperoni Pizzas

With all due deference to the writer Mace would make a frozen pizza taste better. Phil’s philosophy is that every once in a blue moon you need to order a Little Caesar’s or bake a frozen pizza just to remind yourself how awful they are.


Community Pizza

And if you want to catch some March Madness action with the Huskies in the Final 4 – Red Devil Pizza

Piece of My Heart

TDN – McGrath – Sadler Staying On Flight Path

Study Finds – The world’s first horse riders saddled up 5,000 years ago, ancient bones reveal

There is no doubt about precisely when folks began racing each other in automobiles. It was the day they built the second automobile.

Richard Petty

Piece of My Heart

TSN – Ottawa mayor ‘wouldn’t be supportive’ of using public funds to build arena

Phil has a question:

What would the mayor of Quebec city say about using public funds.

Too often in human history (and in Jurassic Park), we ask ourselves, “Can we?” when the real question worth asking is, “Should we?”

Eater – Sparks – I’ve Had It With Stunt Ice Cream Flavors


Over my lifetime, heavy usage has woefully eroded profanity’s power.

Lionel Shriver

The Ringer – A Ranking of the Best F-words in ‘Succession’ History

The Ringer – Gayle – ‘Succession’ and the F-word, by the Numbers

The Ringer – Phillips – The Profane Poetry of ‘Succession’

Vietnam Song

Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.

Mark Twain

Garden and Gun – Daily – 7 Southern Getaways for Horse Lovers

Southern Living – 65 Easter Cakes For The Prettiest Holiday Finale

Southern Living – Best Carrot Cake

Rockin In The Free World

Garden and Gun – Brandes – “The Outsiders” Turns Forty

Bloodhorse – Downey – Zayat Lender Loses in Kentucky Supreme Court

Paulick Report – Hackbarth – Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: ‘I Don’t Think Anybody Would Do What He Did’

Los Angeles Times – Xia – Scientists uncover startling concentrations of pure DDT along seafloor off L.A. coast

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Paulick Report – Paulick – ‘Seismic Change’ Ahead As HISA Set To Roll Out Medication Control Program March 27

TDN – Thornton – Federal Bill To Replace HISA Reportedly In Pipeline

TDN – HISA’s Lisa Lazarus Joins TDN Writers’ Room Podcast

Bloodhorse – Byron King – Lazarus: HISA’s ADMC Launch ‘a Momentous Occasion’

TDN – Campbell – Stauffer’s Voice Booms At Lone Star Park

Bloodhorse – Racing Post – Record-Breaking Funds Added to Irish Purses for 2023

Thoroughbred Racing Commentary – Hovdey – Azeri: ‘She was easy to adore … she was all racehorse’ – spotlight on a forgotten filly

The Globe and Mail – Brian Greenspan and Julianna Greenspan – Opinion: Supreme Court Justice Russell Brown a victim of social media manipulation

Phil has a question:

Why was the ex-marine so jealous of Justice Brown.

There once was a lawyer named Tex
Who was poorly endorsed for his sex.
When arraigned for exposure,
he replied with composure,
“De minimis non curat lex.

FiveThirtyEight – Potts – Recess Is Good For Kids. Why Don’t More States Require It?

Study Finds – Seeing sporting events in person boosts mental health as much as getting a job!

I’m not going to the horse races, I’m going to an event to improve my mental health.

Phil has a question:

Why do the people who leave comments always seem to know more than the researchers.

Phil M Stockmen

  One Response to “Is beer better out of cans or bottles? and Sundre other Stories”

  1. Alberta Hansard from march 21/23 legislature transcript

    “BILL 10 will strengthen the leadership of HRA by allowing more public and industry representation to manage daily operations. More representation means more ideas and opinions, which will have more ROBUST and successful decisions and outcomes”

    Table of 14 to 16, strangely no board member expenses posted since July 2022

    2022 2021
    0 to 5k. 285/596. 48% 366/629. 60%
    5 to 10k. 114/596 19% 122/629. 18%
    10k to 15k 69/596. 12% 63/629. 10%
    15k to 20k 56/596. 9% 34/629. 5%

    Over 20k. 72/596. 12% 48/629. 7%

    KFC colonel’s secret recipe is rumoured to be adding MSG.
    HRA secret recipe is not MSG/ more spectators grandstand but in reality MSG more slot gambling.

    Positive news is that century mile is 17 miles from the next competitor, while century downs is only 8 miles from ace casino, moratorium on new slot facilities was dropped in January 2022 by UCP government.

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