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Belmont Stakes Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends

Belmont Stakes Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 3 weeks 1 day ago #521520

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Betting news, trends, odds and predictions from various handicappers and websites for Friday 6/19/20
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Belmont Stakes Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 3 weeks 1 day ago #521521

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By Anthony Stabile

Belmont Stakes Action at TVG!
Belmont Stakes
Betting Preview - Part I
Belmont Stakes
Horses to Watch
For the first time, the Belmont Stakes, on Saturday June 20 at beautiful Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., will kick off the Triple Crown. It will be followed by the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, September 5 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky and the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, October 3 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md.

Anthony “The Beast of The Belmont” Stabile has you covered when it comes to these unprecedented times for the Triple Crown. He’ll preview each of the races in the week leading up to the races then provide a full analysis the day before each jewel of the Crown and provide Picks Packs as to how he will play those racing cards! To purchase Stabile’s products, click here!!
Trainer Breakdown
Todd Pletcher vs. Steve Asmussen
Two of the top trainers in the world, Todd Pletcher and Hall of Hamer Steve Asmussen, are each pointing a pair of runners at the 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes. Both have won prior runnings of the Belmont, with Pletcher getting the money with the filly Rags to Riches in 2007, Palace Malice in 2013, and Tapwrit in 2017. Asmussen took down the 2016 renewal with Creator.

This year, Pletcher will send out Dr. Post and Farmington Road while Asmussen will saddle Pneumatic and Jungle Runner.

Dr. Post could very well be the second choice despite the fact that he will be making his graded stakes debut while making just hos fourth start.

After finishing fourth in his sprint debut at Belmont on Independence Day last year, Dr. Post resurfaced this winter at Gulfstream Park. In his first start off a near nine-month layoff he closed from mid-pack to break his maiden at seven furlongs by just over a length.

Less than a month later, under his new rider Irad Ortiz, Jr., Dr. Post stretched out to two turns in the Unbridled. With just once horse beat most of the way in the compact field of six, he eventually got through some mild traffic to win by more than a length.

Farmington Road is eligible for an entry-level allowance contest as hew owns just a maiden tally in a mile and forty yards maiden special weight race at Tampa Bay Downs in his third try from six starts overall.

It’s been a steady diet of stakes races since the maiden score for Farmington Road, a stone-cold closer. He finished a good fourth while racing wide throughout and against the speed-biased course at the Fair Grounds in the quicker division of the G2 Risen Star then came back to just miss when blinkers were added and he made up over 15 lengths in the Oaklawn Stakes over a sloppy track at Oaklawn Park.

Last out, in the slightly faster division of the G1 Arkansas Derby won by the now-retired Nadal, jockey Javier Castellano tried to get Farmington Road going a bit earlier than usual, making a mid-race move in a grinding-like manner. It didn’t work, as he flattened out in the stretch before finishing fourth.

Asmussen’s duo is led by Pneumatic, who could be the wild card come Saturday.

Pneumatic broke his maiden despite a bit of trouble at the start in a sprint at Oaklawn by a neck, covering six furlongs in a shade under 1:10.

Pneumatic stretched out to a two-turn mile for his next try against money allowance rivals and was able to work out a similar off-the-pace trip before coming with a more powerful closing kick to win the short-stretch mile at Oaklawn by almost three lengths while drawing away.

Asmussen tried him in the G3 Matt Winn at 1 1/16 miles at Churchill last out and Pneumatic was up against it from the start. Saddled with the rail draw, jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr. had little choice and was forced to use his charge early to avoid getting shuffled out. He alternated on the lead throughout and battled on nicely before finishing third to the undefeated, now-injured Maxfield. Pneumatic should be able to return to his off-the-pace style in the Belmont.

Jungle Runner is the most seasoned runner in the field as he has already faced the starter eight times. He’ll be racing at his fifth different racetrack and getting his sixth different rider in Reylu Gutierrez.

Off the board in his first two starts sprinting at Ellis Park, Jungle Runner won back-to-back races at Remington Park, a maiden race at a mile followed by the Clevor Trevor at seven furlongs, before finishing fourth in the track’s top juvenile event, the Springboard Mile.

As a sophomore, Jungle Runner has failed to hit the board in three tries. He beat home just one in the Smarty Jones over a muddy Oaklawn Park strip, last of five when he trailed throughout in his lone start with blinkers in the Mine That Bird at Sunland Park then beat just one home in Charlatan’s division of the Arkansas Derby.
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Belmont Stakes Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 3 weeks 12 hours ago #521532

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By Anthony Stabile

Belmont Stakes
Betting Preview - Part II
Belmont Preview
Trainers to Watch
For the first time, the Belmont Stakes, on Saturday June 20 at beautiful Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., will kick off the Triple Crown. It will be followed by the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, September 5 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky and the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, October 3 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md.

Anthony “The Beast of The Belmont” Stabile has you covered when it comes to these unprecedented times for the Triple Crown. He’ll preview each of the races in the week leading up to the races then provide a full analysis the day before each jewel of the Crown and provide Picks Packs as to how he will play those racing cards! To purchase Stabile’s products, click here!
Handicapping the Favorite
Tiz the Law will be the overwhelming favorite in the 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes when he makes his first start in 12 weeks. The question is, how low will his odds be?

Trained by Barclay Tagg and owned by Sackatoga Stable, the connections of the gutsy gelding Funny Cide who finished third in this back in 2003 when his Triple Crown bid was denied, seek redemption with another New York bred in Tiz the Law, the only G1 winner in the field.

After breaking his maiden against fellow NY breds, including eventual multiple stakes winner Dream Bigger, Tiz the Law stepped up to win the prestigious G1 Champagne in just his second start with a powerful stretch run after stumbling start under regular rider Manny Franco.

Franco came under scrutiny for his ride in the G2 KJC at Churchill next out when Tiz the Law suffered what would be his only defeat to date. Over a sloppy track, Tiz the Law was covered up most of the way and didn’t appear to care for the track or kickback that resulted from the pouring rain. When he finally found room in the stretch, he managed just a third-place finish though was beaten just under a length.

Tagg had a game plan for Tiz the Law when he returned to the races – get him to the outside. And when he returned in the G3 Holly Bull at Gulfstream for his first start of the year, Franco did just that. After breaking alertly from post 3, Franco took a strong hold, maneuvered his colt to the outside and eventually drew off to win by three lengths.

His effort in the G1 Florida Derby was a near-carbon copy of the Holy Bull. A bit closer through slower early fractions at the nine-furlong distance of this race, Tiz the Law pounced approaching the far turn and powered home to win by over four lengths.
Keep an Eye On!
Trainer Patrick Biancone will send Sole Volante up from Gulfstream off an allowance win just 10 days ago. Regular rider Luca Panici will make the trip north to ride.

After starting his career with two upset scores from far back, including a minor stakes, on the turf in South Florida last year, Sole Volante started his sophomore season with a third place finish in the one-turn mile Mucho Macho Man, a race in which he made up some ground late that was otherwise dominated towards the front end.

Sole Volante shipped across the Florida peninsula to try the G3 Sam F Davis at Tampa Bay Downs. Back around two turns, but this time on dirt, he made up over a dozen lengths to run down the favorite and power away to an over two length victory.

A month later in the G2 Tampa Bay Derby at the same 1 1/16 miles distance of the Davis, Sole Volante found himself at the mercy of a speed-biased track but still managed to make up a boatload of ground to finish second as the 3-2 betting favorite.

Last out in a money allowance contest at Gulfstream, with the help of his speedy, uncoupled barnmate, Sole Volante, under nothing more than a Panici hand-ride, rolled down the center of the course to win by a little less than a length.

Tap It to Win will be wheeling back in just 16 days from his last effort for the newest Hall of Famer, Mark Casse, who trained Sir Winston to an upset in last year’s renewal of this event.

Tap It to Win, is by Tapit, a sire who has had an amazing run in the Belmont, as one of his sons has finished first, second or third in the last five runnings.

After a second place finish on turf in his debut at Woodbine, Tap It to Win broke his maiden in his first start on dirt on the Travers undercard, with a rail-skimming run on a day where the inside WAS NOT the place to be.

Stretched out in the G1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland, Tap It to Win was rank and called it a day early when last by a long way then came back to run just as poorly in the Street Sense at Churchill Downs, his final start as a juvenile.

Casse brought Tap It to Win back in a six-furlong, entry-level allowance contest against fellow Florida-breds at Gulfstream. He sat just off the pace, made the lead on the turn, and moved away to a handy score.

In his most recent outing, going 1 1/16 miles at Belmont in an allowance contest loaded with potential talent, Tap It to Win was dismissed at 6-1 and under new rider John Velazquez, went gate-to-wire in a smashmouth performance, completing the distance in a couple of ticks shy of 1:40. The defections from this race over the past few weeks, namely the Baffert duo, should help his cause as he appears to be poised to be the speed once again.

Though an official decision hasn’t been made, it appears as if Modernist will join Tiz the Law and Max Player as the only graded stakes winners in the field for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, who won this 10 years ago with Drosselmeyer.

Winless in his two starts last year, including a third place finish in a one-turn mile at Aqueduct, Modernist broke his maiden in a big way at The Big A in his first start this year when he went gate-to-wire at this distance, by four lengths.

Mott sent Modernist to the Fair Grounds for the G2 Risen Star, a race that was split into two divisions this year. Sitting just off of the pace under regular rider Junior Alvarado over a course that favored front runners, he made the lead turning for home before staving off a couple of late challengers to win in a race that went a bit slower than the earlier division.

Back to the bayou for the G2 Louisiana Derby, run this year at 1 3/16 miles, Modernist was a bit further back and this time fell victim to a speed-biased course, finishing an even third, some four lengths or so behind the front-running winner. Modernist will be making his first start off a 90-day break.

Mott has mentioned the G3 Ohio Derby a week after the Belmont as another option for Modernist but a solid breeze in company with last year’s Belmont Stakes runner up and multiple G2 winner Tacitus seems to have tilted the scales in favor of this.
Belmont Stakes
Long Shot Look?
Linda Rice will look to become the first women to saddle a Belmont Stakes winner when she sends out Max Player with a new rider in Joel Rosario, who was aboard Sir Winston last year.

After a second place finish in his debut at Parx going a two-turn mile, a race in which he closed from far back to miss by less than a length, he came back to cruise to a four-plus length victory when he sat a bit closer to the pace with the addition of blinkers over a sloppy course going the same distance.

Stretched out to the distance of this year’s race, 1 1/8 miles in his next and last start, Max Player closed from a handful of lengths off the pace to win the G3 Withers at Aqueduct. This will be his first start in 139 days.
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Belmont Stakes Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 3 weeks 12 hours ago #521533

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by Anthony Stabile

Date: Saturday, June 20, 2020
Start Time: 5:45 p.m. ET
Where to Watch: NBC Sports
Location: Belmont Park - Elmont, New York
Odds: Morning-Line
Picks: VegasInsider.com Experts
History: Past Winners

Handicapping the Field
Belmont Stakes
Morning Line Odds are created by Belmont Park Head Oddsmaker Eric Donovan

(Belmont Stakes Career Record)
1) Tap It to Win

Morning-Line Odds: 6/1
Trainer: Mark Casse (1-2)
Jockey: John Velazquez (2-23)

Plenty of people thought this guy’s trainer was off the wall for running Got Stormy back in a week after she romped in the De La Rose at Saratoga to try the boys in the Fourstardave. She rewarded him with her first G1 tally. Now, 16 days is different from seven days but this would still be a neat trick. For a week or so it sure looked like this colt was loose-on-the-lead but Fore Left should be a front end factor as well. The pace company and quick turnaround combined with the shortish price he’ll likely be have me looking elsewhere.

2) Sole Volante

Morning-Line Odds: 9/2
Trainer: Patrick Biancone (0-2)
Jockey: Luca Panici (Debut)

If Tap It to Win’s quick turnaround scares you, how about this guy shipping up from Gulfstream to try and do it in just 10 days?!?! He wound up winning that allowance race at Gulfstream after his uncoupled stablemate got himself into a big speed duel up front. This colt came running down the center under nothing more than a hand ride. In fact, Panici never even turned his stick up. He gets some extra distance and his running style is perfectly suited for the one-turn trip. I still think it’s a tough task. I’ll use him I some tris and supers but find it tough to make him a win candidate.
3) Max Player

Morning-Line Odds: 15/1
Trainer: Linda Rice (0-1)
Jockey: Joel Rosario (2-8)

Has improved in both starts with blinkers and closed nicely into a slow pace when taking down the Withers at this trip when last seen 139 days ago. He’d need to improve leaps and bounds off of his early season races to be a factor but he does have a two-time Belmont winning rider aboard and one of the top conditioners on the circuit. I’m not a huge fan but wouldn’t be shocked if he found his way into the tri or super.
4) Modernist

Morning-Line Odds: 15/1
Trainer: Bill Mott (1-8)
Jockey: Junior Alvarado (0-1)

He has certainly improved off of his first two starts at shorter distances and appears to be thriving as the distance get longer and he gets older. Mott expressed earlier that he thought he’d be one to take advantage of the unusual Triple Crown schedule this year as he enjoys some time between starts, which makes his Risen Star win just three weeks after his maiden tally, both at this trip, that much more impressive. He should be sitting in mid-pack, not far from Tiz the Law and wouldn’t be surprised if they were making a move on the turn at the same time. Kind of hard for me to envision him staying with the chalk to the wire but stranger things have happened. He’s my key horse in the second slot of exotic wagers. I think he’ll run a big one.
5) Farmington Road

Morning-Line Odds: 15/1
Trainer: Todd Pletcher (3-28)
Jockey: Javier Castellano (0-13)

If this were a traditional “Test of The Champion” at 12 furlongs, people would be running to bet this horse. He has the grinding, closer style that lead people to believe that they don’t write races long enough for him. He had a strange winter as he’s had some good setups, some bad setups and they tried changing tactics a bit with him. The one thing they have in common is a losing result. Not really for me but maybe he’ll enjoy the cutback to one-turn.
6) Fore Left

Morning-Line Odds: 30/1
Trainer: Doug O’Neill (0-1)
Jockey: Jose Ortiz (1-5)

A last-minute change of heart finds him in here as opposed to the seven-furlong Woody Stephens earlier on the card. He won the UAE 2000 Guineas at a mile when last seen in early February and his lone start beyond a mile was a disaster. If anything, he may hurt Tap It to Win’s chances of stealing this on the lead. I’ll pass.
7) Jungle Runner

Morning-Line Odds: 50/1
Trainer: Steve Asmussen (1-6)
Jockey: Reylu Gutierrez (Debut)

A later edition to the field, he’s failed to fire in his last four starts against stakes company. Closing type would need an absolute pace collapse and several to run real clunkers if he were to get a piece of this.
TVG Horse Racing
T&C's Apply, 18+/21+ in legal states
8) Tiz the Law

Morning-Line Odds: 6/5
Trainer: Barclay Tagg (0-2)
Jockey: Manny Franco (Debut)

Save a tough trip in the slop at Churchill where he lost by less than a length, he’s done nothing wrong. He won the Champagne going a mile over the course last fall, the Florida Derby at this distance most recently and got an outside draw. Really can’t find any flaws, unless it comes up sloppy, which it likely won’t. I hate to be the guy to tell you the favorite looks too tough but I have to be in this instance. I’ve been one of his biggest fans since the beginning and was ready to make a BIG bet on him when Charlatan, Nadal and Maxfield would have all been shorter prices. Now, he’s 3/5, at best.
9) Dr Post

Morning-Line Odds: 5/1
Trainer: Todd Pletcher (3-28)
Jockey: Irad Ortiz, Jr. (1-6)

He’s lightly races, has high profile jock/trainer combo who have both had plenty of success in this event and has some recency on some of his rivals. While some in the field haven’t competed for several months, he just started his season in late March. That’s the good news. The bad news is he hasn’t faced much in his three starts, appeared to have slowed down a bit when he stretched from one turn to two turns last out and those high profile connections likely means hell be over bet. I think he’ll be the second choice. I don’t really want him at any price, let alone in that role.
10) Pneumatic

Morning-Line Odds: 8/1
Trainer: Steve Asmussen (1-6)
Jockey: Ricardo Santana, Jr. (0-1)

Now, I said earlier that I’ll be using Modernist as my key horse underneath Tiz the Law but if you were to tell me the favorite was definitely going to lose this event I would tell you this colt would be the one to beat him. I loved his first two starts and think he ran a bang-up third last out in the Matt Winn. He was forced to go to the lead from his rail draw, battled a far more experienced and accomplished runner through the stretch and was beaten less than two lengths. I do wonder how long he can sustain his rally and feel like he’s a bit more likely to tire in the lane because of that. I’ll make a saver exacta with him and use him extensively in tris and supers.
Belmont Stakes
Picks and Predictions
If Things Go Well...
Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta Picks:

Exacta: 8-4
Trifecta: 8-4-10
Superfecta: 8-4-10-2
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Belmont Stakes Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 3 weeks 12 hours ago #521534

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Horse Races Today: Saturday's Belmont Park and Churchill Downs Analysis & Odds
June 19, 2020
By Mike Dempsey

The Triple Crown finally gets underway this afternoon, seven weeks past the first Saturday of May, and two weeks later than the day the Belmont Stakes was originally scheduled.

But who is complaining? While most sports are still in shutdown mode, horse racing has continued throughout the pandemic on a limited basis with no fans, all of us more than willing to wager from the comfort of home, and that is what we will be doing this afternoon as there will be no fans at Belmont Park this afternoon.

We lost several major players over the past few weeks including the Bob Baffert trained Nadal and Charlatan to injuries, and when the dust cleared, we have a field of 10 that will line up today, with an imposing favorite.

Tiz the Law comes into the Belmont off wins in the Holy Bull (G2) and Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park and was installed as the 6-5 morning line favorite.

The colt’s trainer is Barclay Tagg, who is based in Maryland as I was for most of my adult life. I got a chance to watch him work up close on a daily basis and he is one of the most respected trainers in the state.

Tagg trained Funny Cide, winner of the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes and another couple of Triple Crown race wins this year with Tiz the Law would probably put him in racing’s Hall of Fame.

I will certainly be rooting for him and his colt, but my betting dollars will go elsewhere. I just can’t back him at what likely will be around even money. If he beats us, we have 11 other races on the Belmont Park card including five graded stakes to pad our bankroll.

My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my 11 strongest plays from Churchill Downs and Belmont Park.

If you plan on wagering on the Belmont Stakes, it is one of 12 on the card that gets underway on 11:45 ET. Post time for the Belmont Stakes is 5:42 ET on NBC, part of a three-hour telecast that starts at 3:00 ET. You can stream the early action using the TVG App. The horse betting company based in the U.S. is offering a risk free bet up to $300 for new players.

Here is the opening race from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:
Belmont Park Race 1 Analysis - 6/20 (12:45 p.m. ET)
BEL Race 1 Md $75,000 (12:45 ET)
#10 Souper Energizer 8-1
#1 Conglomerate / 1a Traffic Pattern 7-2
#11 Turn of Events 9-2
#7 Holy Emperor 6-1

Analysis: Souper Energizer made his first start for a tag last out, setting the early fractions and was unable to hold off the winner late in a runner up finish at Gulfstream Park over good ground. He was eight lengths clear of the rest of the field. He returns a gelding off a three month break here for the Trombetta barn. He should be fit off works at Fair Hill and catches a field here he should be able to handle. He picks up Rosario and should be forwardly paced in this spot.

Conglomerate was a 4150,000 Ocala purchase, by Lemon Drop Kid out of the turf stakes winner Maddy's Heart ($253,039) who has drops three foals to race with one dirt winner to date. Entrymate Traffic Pattern is where Irad lands. He was a $170,000 Keeneland purchase. He is by Temple City out of a Grand Slam mare that has dropped one dirt winner. The barn hits at a 22% clip with first time starters. It is not a real deep group here and either of these looks capable of being in the mix here in their debuts.

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Churchill Downs:
Churchill Downs Race 9 Analysis - 6/20 (5:01 p.m. ET)
CD Race 9 The Wise Dan G2 (5:01 ET)
#7 March to the Arch 5-1
#3 Factor This 8-5
#5 Aquaphobia 6-1
#9 Casa Creed 15-1

Analysis: March to the Arch did not fire when shipped to Santa Anita last out for the Shoemaker Mile (G1), fading to finish a well beaten 10th. The gelding went into that race off a good third in the Appleton (G3) at Gulfstream Park and three back was beaten just a nose and ahead when third in the Tampa Bay (G3). He won the Sunshine Millions Turf four back in his first start of the year which was off a 3 1/2-month break. This guy won this race last year at 10-1 and I am going to draw a line through his trip to the west coast and look for him to bounce back with a much better effort here.

Factor This took the field gate to wire to win the Muniz Memorial (G2) last out at Fair Grounds at nine furlongs. He now has back to back career top speed figs and catches a field here where he is the lone speed. He had lost five in a row going into his last pair and if he gets some pace pressure he may regress enough where our top pick can get by him late.

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
Belmont Park Race 9 Analysis - 6/20 (4:53 p.m. ET)
BEL Race 9 The Jaipur G1 (4:53 ET)
#2 Oleksandra 7-2
#4 Pure Sensation 5-2
#3 Texas Wedge 4-1
#5 Stubbins 3-1

Analysis: Oleksandra came off a 6 1/2-month layoff with a solid effort in the Monrovia (G2) at Santa Anita at 5 1/2 furlongs. The mare was off a beat slow, trailed the field and came with a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot, beaten just a half-length and earning a career top speed fig. She has landed in the exacta in 9 of her 14 career starts, all on turf. She won the Buffalo Trace Franklin County (G3) two back at Keeneland with a good late rally. The extra half furlong here will come in handily as there is not an abundance of early speed in here and Rosario is going to need to keep her closer here. She is perfect in her two trips over the turf here. She looks capable of beating the boys here.

Pure Sensation won this race back in '16 and was third in '18. He makes his first start since running fifth in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita last fall which was contested at five furlongs. He earned triple digit Beyers in his three previous starts, not bad for an eight-year-old. The Clement barn is 20% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. A light work tab but this veteran has run well off the bench in the past. He is quick enough to be up front but with Irad aboard he may end up sitting just off the pace.

Live Longshots:
These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their trifecta and superfecta wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win-place wager.

Belmont Park
R3: #5 Forever Changed 8-1
R4: #4 Mr. Kringle 10-1
R7: #3 Single Verse 8-1
R10: #10 Pneumatic 8-1
R11: #5 Argonne 12-1
R11: #7 Monarchs Glen 10-1
R12: #6 Kierkegaard 15-1
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    Betting On Virtual Motorsports Betting On Virtual Motorsports Virtual motorsport races are drawing a lot of attention from sportsbooks and their players. For those in the sports betting world, the cancellation of major sports has left us with few wagering options. But while fans of basketball, baseball, or hockey are patiently waiting to see their favorite players return to action, motor racing bettors don't have to wait at all. Competitive motor racing barely missed a beat when COVID-19 shut down sports worldwide, thanks to the realism of virtual racing simulators. These programs are used regularly by drivers to keep their skills sharp without the high cost of real track practice. Therefore, many of the top racers in the world entered eSports tournaments just days after real-world events were canceled. The first of these events were held in March and became so popular that sportsbooks began to take notice and offer odds. This is an excellent opportunity for any bookmaker to use the momentum of this sport to fill the gaps left in the absence of most leagues. The success of these events just goes to show how far the realism of simulation racing has come in the eSports era. With professionals now involved, along with the sanctioning bodies of F1, NASCAR & IndyCar, sim racing has been put into the spotlight. Make no mistake; the age of competitive virtual motorsports is upon us. With that in mind, let's explore the big three leagues going on right now that you can bet on. eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series The NASCAR season was put on hiatus after just four races, but a new form of the sport is experiencing an explosion in popularity. The NASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational was created to pick up where the Cup Series left off and use the iRacing platform to finish the season. Taking place each Sunday, this series pits NASCAR drivers and dignitaries against one another on a virtual track. Names such as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin, Jeff Gordon, and Kyle Bush are a big reason for the early success. The iRacing platform makes the action feel as genuine as possible and is used for training on off days. Denny Hamlin suggested that around half of the people who work for or with NASCAR already have home setups, including wheels and pedals in their homes. This allowed for a quick transition for many races from the real to the digital world. The success of this new form of competition has been undeniable. The races run so far have been watched by hundreds of thousands of people worldwide to rave reviews. The odds are available now for upcoming races at Dover and Martindale speedways. William Byron is 3/1 favorite to win both after taking the checkered flag in the last two races and Top-8 finishes in the other two. Timmy Hill is also a guy to keep an eye on. Hill has finished in the Top-3 in all but one race this year and is 15/2 heading into Dover. INDYCAR iRacing Challenge iRacing has also teamed up with INDYCAR to host a virtual racing series while real races are on hold. The competitors are a mix of NTT INDYCAR Series drivers, along with some special invitees such as F1 racer Lando Norris. Norris was a special guest driver for Arrow McLaren for last week's race at the Circuit of the Americas. The 20-year-old dominated the field in fact as he beat out the other 33 drivers on the virtual road course in Texas. Norris had more than 20,000 viewers watching his Twitch stream alone. The races last around 70 minutes and are broadcasted live on NBCSN with live commentary just like a day at the track would have. There is even a pre-race show featuring a national anthem presentation and more. The list of drivers includes seven Indianapolis 500 winners and features names like Josef Newgarden, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Simon Pagenaud. F1 eSports Virtual Grand Prix Series With the real-world Formula 1 series postponed, the F1 eSports Virtual GP series has stepped into the spotlight. Professional drivers, retired legends, full-time gamers, and celebrities go head to head in events that mirror the real-life series. This gives bettors a chance to continue watching and wagering on competitive racing on weekends. The major difference with the F1 Virtual Series is the platform that is utilized. Formula One has its own branded title developed by Codemasters. While not as realistic as the iRacing software, it is still a popular alternative for fans to watch. It must also be mentioned that this series is not a part of the competitive eSports series that is also currently active. This series is more of an exhibition event and features racers of varying driving and gaming talent. Races are 28 laps or less and follow qualifying to determine the starting positions for each race. The first race saw participants ranging from current F1 drivers Nicholas Latifi and Lando Norris, reserve talent Stoffel Vandoorne and Esteban Gutierrez, and legend Nico Hülkenburg. Formula 2 racers, Academy drivers, and pros from other series filled out the starting grid. Odds for these events have been popular betting options over the last few weeks. Heading into the next event, Team Renault is favorites to win a 4/1 with McLaren (5/1) and Mercedes (6/1), taking the next two spots on the odds board. The latter is an interesting play at those odds considering Guiterrez and Vandoorne are both F1 test drivers and gamers, making Mercedes a strong contender. These are just three of the major series going on right now, but IMSA, Porche, and the WRC all have eSports events running on a weekly basis. These series will continue to run and provide betting options even when real-world racing returns to action. This is the perfect time for the sports betting industry to embrace not only eSports but the competitive virtual racing scene. PayPerHead® agents can stand to benefit massively from this emerging sport. Especially during these trying times, having a weekly event for fans to bet on is a powerful thing. Any time you can get your clients interested in new events is time well spent. If your pay per head service provider does not include eSports on their list of odds, then it might be time to find a better option. At PayPerHead®, we pride ourselves on offering odds on a slew of virtual and simulation sports to keep your players busy while we await the return of major sports nationwide. If you are ready to switch providers to a company that offers a better variety of odd, then head over to the PayPerHead® and see what offers we have for new clients today!