The Six Furlong Drill - Andy Asaro

Out of the gate: How you did you become such a vocal advocate for the horseplayer? “It started about four or five years ago when I saw what the guys from HANA were doing. I really started to get involved when they had that takeout hike at Santa Anita and I tried to help avoid a boycott. When I saw the way Jeff Platt and Barry Meadow were being treated at the CHRB meetings when they tried to show how reducing the takeout would make a big difference, I knew something had to be done.”

The first quarter: You were a major force behind The Players Pick 5, which has proven to be a big hit with the bettors. Do you think it’s because of the 14 percent takeout or the fact that it’s a 50-cent wager? “They’re both equally important and it makes for the perfect combination. One thing to remember is that these are often the worst races on the card and the shortest fields, but it handles great and attracts extra attention to those races.”

The half-mile: Do you have any betting superstitions? “If I have a certain amount in my account and I make a bet, I always want to be left with an even number.”

The eighth pole: What do you think of the job they do covering the races on TVG and HRTV? “I believe it’s a lot more difficult than we think. One network acts like it’s a carnival and other is much more serious. I actually think the answer is a combination of the two. The one think I would like to see more of from both is showing us how the horses look on the track.”

The sixteenth pole: Everybody has a tough beat story, what would be your best one? “No question it would be 1990 at Bay Meadows. I bet on a horse named Allijeba in a $250,000 race and he won at 10-1 with Ricky Frazier.There was an inquiry and then after a very long delay he was disqualified because he wasn’t carrying the correct weight.”

The finish line: Is there a handicapper you like to follow and maybe one that you hope they pick a horse other than yours? “The handicappers who's opinion I greatly respect are Jon Hardoon, Ken Daniels, Aaron Hesz, Steve Pollack and Ty Alexander. To answer the other part of the question, I don’t want to say his name, but there’s handicapper on Twitter who is pretty sharp, but every time he picks a horse that I also like, they lose. I don’t know if he’s bad luck for me or I’m bad luck for him.”

The gallop out: Did you get a Christmas card from Bob Baffert? “No.”