Layoff hurts the Rockies |

Layoff hurts the Rockies

Joe Ellison
Nevada Appeal Betting Columnist

If Game 1 of the World Series was any indication of what to expect throughout, then it won’t be long before Boston is crowned baseball’s champion. The Red Sox set Game 1 records for most runs scored and largest margin of victory, crushing Colorado 13-1. Add the last three games of its series with Cleveland, and Boston was outscoring its opponents 43-6.

Regardless of who won last night’s game, the Bosox should eventually prove that they are the better team. The starting pitching, led by unbeatable Josh Beckett, is stronger, and their advantage in playoff experience is also huge.

Ironically, coming into the World Series Colorado was playing too well to win it. The Rockies were radioactive hot, having won ten straight and 21 out of 22 games, losing only once in a month and a half. But their reward for sweeping Arizona was a record eight-day layoff, which could only cool them.

Prediction – During this year’s playoffs, every team that won Game 1 has gone on to win its series. In World Series play, the Game 1 winner has captured the title nine out of the last ten times and at an overall rate of 61 percent. My pre-playoffs pick of Boston over Colorado comes through in 6. Congratulations to those who wagered on Boston at odds as high as 10 to 1 in local sports books, and extra kudos to those who got Colorado at 120 to 1. Rumor has it that the Rockies went as high as 200 to 1 at one Las Vegas establishment. Those are all good odds for hedging your bets and guaranteeing winnings no matter what the outcome of the series is.


Today and tomorrow most of the best horses, trainers and jockeys in the universe will be at Monmouth Park in New Jersey for the 24th Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. The three races today are all brand new events, while tomorrow will showcase the customary eight-race Grade I schedule. A total of $23 million in prize money is up for grabs, with each purse worth more than $1 million.

Predictions: Making a profit at the Breeders’ Cup is always very difficult because every horse is world class. Winning just one good-paying race should be considered an accomplishment. But playing the law of averages, handicappers can expect three favorites and three longshots to finish first among the eleven races.

According to my horse race-loving friends, these are some of the horses to watch:

Filly & Mare Sprint – Maryfield, Jazzy, Baroness Thatcher

Juvenile Turf – Gio Ponti, Strike the Deal, Achill Island

Dirt Mile – Lewis Michael, Park Avenue Ball, Corinthian

Juvenile Fillies – Tasha’s Miracle, Izarra, Indian Blessing

Juvenile – Salute the Sarge, Tale of Ekati, War Pass

Filly & Mare Turf – Passage of Time, Nashoba’s Key, Honey Ryder

Sprint – Smokey Stover, Greg’s Gold, Kelly’s Landing

Mile – Kip Deville, Jeremy, Excellent Art

Distaff – Lear’s Princess, Unbridled Belle, Ginger Punch

Turf – Dylan Thomas, Better Talk Now, English Channel, Red Rocks

Classic – The $5 million Classic field is the toughest ever. We’ll try Any Given Saturday, Lawyer Ron and Curlin.

I’ll be watching the Sprint the closest on television because my friend Oscar Moreno is a guest of owner Harry Aleo and trainer Greg Gilchrist, whose horse Smokey Stover is one of the favorites. Hopefully I’ll see a tall Mexican guy with a mustache and bushy hair while Aleo or Gilchrist is being interviewed, or better yet, I’ll see Oscar in the winner’s circle when they take the picture. Go Smokey Stover!

Thanks to Oscar, Pat Dailey, Bruce Nickles, Steve Fierro and Pete and Jim Reinschmidt for their selections, from which I came up with a consensus.