2014 Breeders' Cup Turf Predictions and Betting Odds

[Table] IamA Assistant Racehorse Trainer in the UK. If you want to anything about the industry or horse racing in general let me help. AMA!

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Date: 2014-03-22
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Questions Answers
I'm involved in horse welfare and rescue in the USA. Here, owners and trainers rarely make provisions for horses that fail to race well or horses that can no longer race. They are commonly shipped to slaughter in Canada. Is it any different in the UK? Here in the USA, horses are raced as 2 and 3 year olds, despite the fact that no horse is skeletally mature before age 5 or 6. (For perspective for non horse people, a 2 year old horse would be about 13 human years old.) Is it the same in the UK? In the last ten to twenty years there has been an increased push to rehome and retrain as many horses as we as a sport can. I personally try to rehome every horse that leaves the yard to a good home, provided the owner is willing and doesn't want to keep it themselves. I wouldn't say that selling horses, particularly race horses, for slaughter is common practise here. I haven't encountered any instances personally. Horses are frequently run aged two or three in this country as well however I think it's wise to mention that while they do work hard it is not in our or the horses interest to overwork or break them down. In our yard if a young horse is showing signs of struggling we will ease off and give them time.
But, don't a majority of your horses run on turf (compared to US dirt tracks). We don't use dirt at all here. There are a few all weather tracks for flat meetings but most racing is done on turf.
, aren't pain medications more restricted in the UK circuits, so you really can't run a horse into the ground in the same way as US trainers can. Drugs are extremely restricted here, even a whiff of it and they will come down hard. Especially after the last couple of years.
Does the horse have any idea that he is going round and round? Oh yeah. They are clever bastards. You can often tell when it's time to retire a horse from racing because instead of carrying on the race when they get round the course and near to the stables they will try and pull up.
Where do they get jockeys from? Is it genetic? Do they have funny voices from getting their nads squished on the saddle every race? From Ireland generally! A lot do come from a long line of jockeys or racing families in general.
Well other than being Irish I guess the funny voice could come from the pounding their bollocks take...
What is a good resource to learn about racing in the UK if I wanted to attend as a tourist? This website is run by the governing body of racing and has lots of good information on racecourse and fixtures.
Once you have decided on where you want to go I suggest visiting some of the individual racecourses website as they are much more detailed. If you are visiting London during summer I do suggest going to Windsor they do fantastic evening racing, generally on a Monday night where you can get to the racecourse on a boat that comes up the River Thames. Cool huh?
Is racing there seasonal or year-round? Horse racing as a sport happens all year round however some elements of it are indeed seasonal.
For example Flat racing is predominately held over Summer, this is because these horses are generally smaller and appreciate 'faster' (read harder) ground.
During Winter we get most of the National Hunt meetings. National Hunt is the full name for jumps racing. Generally speaking horses are larger and as such need softer ground to prevent injuries and slow them down.
I've never been to a horse racing track and what are some of the reasons for me to want to go? Have you ever felt like the horses weren't being treated fairly on or off the track? Final question is have you ever witnessed anybody on the track gamble to much that you started to feel it was running their life? Sorry about all the questions! Horse racing is a fun and enjoyable pastime. It's great to get a lot of people together and go and have a few drinks and a couple of bets on horses, it really is exciting when there is money on it. It's a good fun day out and provided you budget like any other day out, it doesn't have to be really expensive either.
Welfare is a tough question to answer briefly but I will give it a shot and if their is more interest I can write up a larger response. I personally feel that the majority of trainers provide a very high level of welfare for their horses. We really do love the animals regardless of what people may say. Racehorses get treated especially well, better than most horses kept just for riding I would argue. We are incredibly strictly regulated on animal welfare issues and the punishments are severe for the very few people who do break the rules.
I personally am not a huge gambler, I have a little flutter every now and then but for the most part It don't gamble. I have not ever seen someone ruin their lives through betting but that's not to say it doesn't happen I'm sure.
If the horses are treated well, why are they whipped to make them run faster at the end of the race? It's to make them go faster, it causes the horse no damage and Jockeys are carefully regulated. Limits are set in place for how much a whip can be used and bans and fines for excessive use are common.
Horses are big animals and the whip is primarily a correctional tool, they are trained to respond to it and it's used to keep them under control. Most schools of equestrianism use the whip in some form.
Last year, there were some interesting articles in the press about how horse racing was a dying sport (for example, here and here). How does it look from your perspective? Horse racing is the second most attended sport in the UK, we also hold something like 6 of the highest 10 sporting fixtures in the UK each year. However the average age of the racegoer is getting higher and higher, at a higher level than I there must be a push to encourage a younger audience to attend racing. Racing in this country is coming under attack from decreasing in funding by the betting industry. Every year we receive less money to go towards prize money and such due to an archiac system called the Levy which is supposed to provided the sport with a proportion of bookmakers profits. Improvements look to be being made in this are as the Government, I believe, is pushing to regulate the betting industry differently allowing online betting in particular to be properly taxed and the money collected. It's tough for trainers right now. There aren't as many trainers around than there were in 2007. The recession hit us hard as unsurprisingly the first cost most people shed was a racehorse in training. Ultimately though the situation does start to look like its improving, people are buying horses again and yards are starting to be a bit larger each year. The next one to look out for is China. Racing is becoming very popular there and gambling isn't even legal on mainland china. If China liberalises at the rate it has been it may only be a few years before they regulate the betting industry and everything really kicks off.
Thank you so much for the reply! If you have a minute, I have another question or two... How often do horses race internationally, such as coming from the UK to race in the US or vice-versa? What about going to the Middle East? Also, are there many horses from South America in the UK racing circuit? Our top flight horses travel all over the world to contest titles. This is called "raiding" and foreigners come to England to do it too! The Breeders Cup is something every trainer wants to win. As for the Middle East the main draw is the money. It is insane. Next Saturday is the Dubai World Cup held at Meydan. They built this huge racing complex way out in the desert and hold loads of expensive racing at night to avoid the heat. Pretty surreal compared to here. I don't know of any South American horses running under rules and I'm not certain why they wouldn't. I suppose they don't have any good enough to warrant the expense of travelling over.
I was curious about the South American horses because a few years back there seemed to be a bunch of them on the American circuit from Argentina (that American owners had purchased). I think it had to do with the dollar being so strong and the economy in Argentina being so bad. Ahh. I think they race on dirt over in Argentina so they would be better suited for American racing.
Where are the races held? What are the most popular meets? Is "meets" the right word? Racing is held all over the UK Some of the most popular meetings are Royal Ascot, the Derby Meeting at Epsom and Glorious Goodwood on the Flat. Thousands of people attend these three or four day long meetings every year and it's really quite a sight!
Over the Jumps the most popular are the Cheltenham Festival and the Grand National meeting at Aintree in Liverpool. The Cheltenham Festival is a personal favourite of mine as the atmosphere is truly electric, around 60,000 people attend each day.
Edit: Whoops! Yes meets is a fine phrase. More commonly people will say meetings, fixtures or races.
Thanks so much for your time, and I wish you the best of luck in the future! Your father sounds like a proper horseman. Id like to think I can spot a good one but not nearly as well as my father or my grandfather. It's a skill we all pick up the more we watch.
What's your favorite track? Have you had a few of your horses run in the US? I know whenever I see a steeplechase race in the program, the overwhelming majority of horses in the race are from Great Britain. My favourite to go to as a racegoer would have to be Newbury. The facilities are amazing and the racing is generally of a really high quality both on the flat and over the jumps. Professionally in recent years we have had some success at Plumpton down on the South Coast near Brighton, it's a nice little country course.
Not for my yard no sadly but I would love to come over for some of your racing. Some of my extended family take a few horses out there every now and then. It's every trainers dream to raid a Breeders Cup!
When it's clear your horse stands no chance, how much do you lay the horse on betfair? Call me a man of integrity but I don't at all. Maybe that's because it's been so long since I had a favourite...
Who makes the best sausages in Newmarket? Dunno mate. I'm all about the lasagne.
Roughly what percentage of races are still fixed? I have no idea to be honest. It's probably very very low, it's a hard thing to pull off and the punishments are very strict. Life long bans and potential criminal prosecution.
A few do attempt it of course, a big ring got taken down a few years ago. It's a shame that this is an issue that press fixate upon really as on a day to day basis you don't even think about it within the Industry.
Would it be advantageous for a midget to be a jockey? Not at all! Jockey's are professional sportsmen in a job where if you can't make the weight you can't ride. Some jockey's have to be very light while others can afford to be heavier, it depends on their role as every horse generally requires a different weight based on their handicap rating (A whole other kettle of fish).
Jockeys not only have to be light but have to be incredibly fit and strong. It's really hard work to ride a horse in that style for possibly four miles. Most jockey's I know aren't just good jockeys they are athletes who are proficient at most sports. They really seem to love golf.
If I could go back in time I would love to have gone the career path of a jockey... their commitment to the sport is fantastic and they really put their bodies on the line. Complete Commitment
I just hope some people understand the distances these jockeys travel just to do the job, they will do 2 meetings a day where possible, day in - day out. The physical exertion must be intense only to wake up and do it all over again. It's important to note that during the day most of them work for a trainer as well. They will ride out maybe three or four lots in the morning before going racing sometimes.
Do you gamble? Do you often get tips and are they reliable? Not often, I do for fun every now and then and always over the Cheltenham Festival.
Sadly not often but sometimes a good tip comes along. Often I'm too sceptical to believe it.
Thanks for doing this! I'm a big fan of horse racing and was wondering, what should I be looking at when placing my bet on a certain horse?. Days off? Avg class ? High speed? Etc. in other words , what is the most important stat? Form is the big one. Form over a comparable distance with comparable ground conditions. You can start to make educated guesses each way after that if you start to take in other variables like equipment etc.
The going has a massive impact from my experience, if the horse doesn't run well on a certain ground its a no-no. I couldn't agree more, going is vitally important however generally speaking when we run a horse on different ground than normal we are hoping it will overcome it.
When they state in the paper that they are wearing headgear or blinkers etc. do you think this can make a significant difference? Headgear is a really useful tool, sometimes they go really well. Other times it has no effect. Sometimes the effects deteriorate over time. Generally if one of mine is wearing head gear for the first time it means we have worked it at home and it's worked really well.
What was the most expensive batch of horse seed you know of being sold? By horse seed do you mean semen? If so in the Thoroughbred Bloodstock Industry Artificial Insemination is banned. Only natural coverings are permitted. Race horses are still crazy expensive though. People can spend millions of pounds on one horse.
What's your most gruesome story? i've heard some pretty horrific stuff from botched castrations/surgeries on horses. As for most gruesome I don't have any really awful ones about horses. We have had some nasty falls and one went through a barbed wire fence once but nothing truly disgusting. Likewise never seen any botched geldings or surgeries. But they do happen, I like to think the vet we use is pretty good so I hope it won't happen anytime soon!
Only live coverage is allowed? Fascinating. Why is that the case? So I take it that there is a limited amount of bloodlines unless you actually ship the horse out of country/continent? A few reasons.
One, limits the number of stock from a single stallion. AI decreases the cost of covering so semen would be more readily available. You would end up with thousands of foal in the same year by the same sire. Thats a quick way to fuck up your bloodlines.
Two, why would they change to it? Now all the selling power is held by those who it would affect most. The studs which own the stallions make millions of pounds a year in coverings, if they saturate (literally in this case) the market they will make loses.
Three, racing is an international sport, if one country did it and no one followed suit very quickly they would find themselves isolated with a horse population that couldn't compete abroad.
What is your favorite color? Blue. I like Blue...
That is the correct answer, OP. Now you must answer one more question to cross the bridge. What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow? African or European?
European. Ffffuuu...
Ohh boy. I've been wanting to ask so many questions about your industry but wasnt quite sure what sub to go to. Thanks for doing this ama.A bunch of questions here. Hope you can clear things up for me. How do trainers even make money. Sometimes the odds of a horse winning are upwards of 20/1 when the prize money is usually around 10k-20k(?). factor in the logistical, training and acquiring costs and seems like a losers game to train a horse (?) Hey man! Hope I can help. Trainers charge the owners of horses a training fee. This is generally a daily charge plus extras . Sometimes it's very hard to make money as a trainer, a lot of people don't turn a profit training racehorses many just do it for the fun and the lifestyle.
How do you even judge how fast a horse will be when you go to three auction? Generally breeding, if the mare and stallion are good the horse has a better chance of being good. Ideally you compare the horse to a full sibling however this is rare and you generally end up comparing them to half brothesister on the maternal side.
The Grand National seems like an absolutely absurd event to me. Would you say it enjoys broad support among the racing community? I think it's a truly impressive spectacle that is the hardest test we throw at our toughest horse and jockey teams. I don't feel it's representative of the day to day life in the racing world however.
I worked at the grand national once. a G4S man tried to crush me in a bin. Consequentially I don't trust anyone associated with your profession. Sorry about that. Aww come on. G4S as in the men being done for manslaughter? Trust me when I say we hate those hired security at the big meetings more than you do. We normally know the guy on the gate because it's been the same one for maybe twenty years. However at the big meetings they roll out extra staff and they get lost in the crowd somewhere...
How much pressure is there for the horses to get results? If you had a severe patch of not winning many races does this affect the finances of the yard? Everyone wants their horse to perform at the height of it's ability so it's tough. Hopefully you have owners who understand it's just a patch and that fortune will turn round in the long run.
Yards as a general rule of thumb don't really on prize money to fund themselves, it does however draw in new owners!
So whats the bread and butter of a decent yard then? The brad and butter is training fees through a daily cost per horse plus extras.
One or two wealthy owners who love the sport and who have three or more horses each are what every yard really needs. These owners are hopefully loyal and will use you year after year, topping up their stock. They are the ones who keep racing afloat.
In respect to training under saddle, what do the horses need to learn beyond the very basics of carrying a rider? In other words, what are some of the subtleties of a good racehorse's training? A lot of the time it's basic riding skills, shortening and quickening stride etc but the real aim is to get them to respond as well to the rider as possible. They have to respond to being asked to quicken or shorten. Ultimately each horse is different and generally the rider changes a lot to suit the horse.
Do you worry about having them change leads during certain sections of a race? With stride length, is it all based off rein cues since the jockey doesn't really have any leg (or seat!) aids to work with? Thank you! To be perfectly honest by this point I'm just glad I have got them there, it's the jockey's job to make sure he gives them a proper race. If you watch a race you will see the jockey uses his entire body when quickening, they still use their heels as much as they can!
So it's basically all about speed control? Could you explain how jockeys signal for the changes? Watch this
You can see as they come round the corner the jockey is holding his hands in a way that the bit just makes contact with the horse and holds it steady. When they ask them to go faster they break that contact and the horse no longer feel the bit and are physically encouraged by the jockeys movement.
Where do you get the leprechauns used in horse racing? and how do you coax them to ride horses for you? I generally find them hanging around rainbows actually. I offer them gold.
Did you ever get to work with / alongside Kauto Star? If so, just how awesome was he in person. His last King George win brought me to tears, such an amazing, beautiful horse! Sadly no but I was always a great fan of his. Great looking animal he was!
When I was in Newmarket visiting some of the tracks I was told that horse racing began to decline in the community when corruption with gambling and the treatment of jockeys were made aware. Due to these dilemmas, the community no longer firmly supported horse racing because it did not contribute to the steady state of the community that they initially sought. Is there truth to this? Can you further explain? Thanks! I think that maybe historically that could be the case but less so in this day and age. Nowadays corruption is rare and much easier to detect, staff welfare is very important and they have their own unions which continually lobby for better conditions.
Would you rather train 100 duck-sized horses or 1 horse-sized duck? Come on.
One horse sized duck. Think of the eggs...
Have u ever met John McCririck and is he a douchebag ? Not a face to face introduction but have attended several events he's been at.
Can confirm. Is a douchebag.
I just purchased an OTTB here in the US...he has set osselets and his last race was this past January. Is it common to race a horse with known ankle problems? Nope. If it moves badly it doesn't race. Fluid, comfortable movement is one of the most important things in horse welfare.
Do your racehorses piss frequently, or is it just that when they do have to piss, they really have to piss and can't hold it in? Aww man. They piss a lot. And it's not pleasant either. Did you know, horses are unable to walk and piss. They just can't do it.
Horses like to piss at irritating times, unless of course we are being dope tested and they will absolutely refuse for hours.
Did you know, horses are unable to walk and piss. I don't think that I could either; it's an eitheor thing for me. You should try it. it looks hilarious.
Odd question, but have you ever had any luck teaching them to do their business in one particular place, like a dog, or do they go pretty much anywhere? I worked at a stable once, and there was an old stallion who would only "go" in one corner of his stall... Horses are weird. There is no method. Some are just mental.
What kind of preparation does the horse go through the day and night before a race? I've always wondered do horses ever have a terrible nights sleep or a bad travel to the course and that causes them to under-perform. Whats the most common reason a horse under-performs in your opinion? There is a few things that may happen. If the race is far away the horse may travel to the racecourse the night before. This is to allow it to recover to be in best condition as long travel is taxing to the horse.
If it's at home I will give it less bulky feed at it's morning feed. Just high energy protein generally. We will then jump in the box and drive to the racecourse to arrive a few hours before the race. I think travel is a consideration when considering under performing horses.
Most common reasons for underperformance... I'd have to say the ground. If the ground isn't to the liking of the horse it can have a real effect on the way they run the race.
What happens to mediocre horses after they're through racing? We try to rehome them just as well as the best ones. A lot of owners really care about their horses and take them back for their retirement. If nothing can be done sometimes they have to be put down which is always sad.
What's the best breed? Both for racing and in general. Well thoroughbreds. It's the only professional racing in this country and I think they look just great.
Would it be legal for you to bet? It is legal for me to bet on one of my horses to win. I can't bet to lay a horse. I believe Jockeys can't bet at all.
Edit: Word change...
Who's going to win the Derby this year? God I wish I knew. Aidan O'Brien's probably got a good shot with his thing. That man gets some class horses.
What kind of jobs are there in the racing industry? I have grown up with horses and would love to work with them professionally but unsure what is available really. Do you need racing experience to become involved in the racing world? Exciting to see a fellow Brit here :) Try this
My best advice is find your local trainer and offer to work on weekends. They may pay you but they might not. If you're lucky they will give you a chance.
Hi,I was a part time worker of japanese horse racing track.it was the easiest and well paid job I have ever gotten. do you have any ideas to improve japanese horse racing industry?or do you know any good japanese jockeys or horses? Hey there, I don't really know much about Japanese racing apart from it's got one of the best prize money returns! I think we can learn a lot more from you than you could from us.
When jockeys change weights, do they have to make up additional weights? If so, how are the additional weights attached on? They do indeed need to carry more weight. This done in the form of weight plates, these are made of lead and added to a special weight cloth worn under the saddle.
Do you get to go to the races with the horses you train? I try to go with as many as I can, either to lead up and groom or to saddle up. Sadly I don't have as much time as I used to but I still make all the effort to go. Especially for my favourites.
If you make it to Brighton, there's a load of redditors who meet up several times a week. Fantastic! I quite frequently go to Fontwell and Plumpton which are both nearby (kinda) haven't raced at Brighton though. I will have to alert the redditors next time I'm there...
BTW, Where's Shergar?? I will forward that question to Findus for you. They are good at hiding horses.
Is operant conditioning used in training, i.e. race with other horses and reward the horse when it wins? I wouldn't say it's used as a training method. If one of mine wins I always give it a little something extra and a few days off.
My potential future father-in-law was a horse trainer in his youth. What are some things I can learn about it for conversation topics? Perhaps a book or some similar resource so I can ground myself in some of the basics? Just start to follow racing a little, try and understand how it works. As for books I don't really know anything personally but some people are great fans of the Dick Francis novels which are based round horse racing however I can't say I have read them.
What does it take to train a good racehorse? Im yet to have a good racehorse, maybe I could let you know in around 30-40 years? I might find one by then...
But seriously some guys have a really good strategy, Nicky Henderson is always right up there on the Jumps side and Aidan O'brien recently has been incredibly good. I think the trick is to lots of wealthy owners!
Does the industry believe that sheikh Mohammed's investigation, that coincidentally cleared him of any knowledge of what was going on, was genuine? Who knows? I doubt Shiekh Mohammed would have actually turned to his trainers and said "Use drugs bro." I would imagine that the environment of pressure he puts on those who work for him is so great they feel like they have no choice.
that Dubai airlines flight full of drugs... that was just a coincidence then? Not at all, the drugs scandal has stuck very firmly to Shiekh Mohammed. He might well be guilty but I wouldn't know either way!
Were you just at the gold cup in Cheltenham? My wife is from (and her parents still live) about five minutes drive from the track :) Sadly not the Gold Cup! I went on Thursday for the World Hurdle and it was a really great day. Cheltenham is one of the best courses in the country and I really love that part of the Cotswolds.
What happens to foals who don't make the cut as racing horses? We try to rehome and retrain as many unraceable thoroughbreds as possible. However if nothing else can be done some are sadly put down.
I've won the last two grand nationals with 100 to 1 winners from random tips off strangers on the internet. So random stranger do you have a tip for me? I am not your random stranger my friend. Go with your system, pick a long shot for the national. Anything could win it.
As someone from Louisville, Kentucky, have you ever been to Churchill Downs? If so, what is your opinion on the track? It's one of the most known tracks worldwide because of the Kentucky Derby. Sadly no! But I am visiting Kentucky this time next year so let me know what I should do when I visit.
Do ya'll eat the horses when they are too old to race? What do you think I ate for dinner? Pizza?
(It was Pizza...)
Hi! You answered in another question that the horses know they're going round in circles, they know where the stables are and so on, but how well do they understand the concept of racing - i.e. how well do they know that the point is to be ahead of all the other horses at a certain place? Yeah some are better suited to different kinds of races. Some like to be in front all the way and hate to have other horses compete with them. Other like to slowly build from the rear of the field and then burst forward using their turn of foot. Others just plod along at the same pace and hit the line just right.
Last updated: 2014-03-26 20:02 UTC
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[Table] IAmA: I am Jake Browne, marijuana critic for the Denver Post featured on CNBC's "Colorado Pot Rush". AMA:

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2014-03-27
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Questions Answers
When trying out different strains, do you have a routine you follow? If so what does it entail? 1) Be sober.
2) Have a clean pipe. Even if there's a little resin in the bowl area, I can still get the taste off the first hit, but I'll heat up my pipe and give it a good scrape.
3) Give it a good squish with my fingers. This always helps pick up the nose of a strain. If I'm having trouble picking out distinct notes, I'll smell some coffee beans to reset my sniffer.
4) Take a couple hits, and write some initial notes. How long does it take to hit me? If I had any aches/pains, how do those feel? What do I feel like doing? When do the effects start to wane?
5) Submit about 15 minutes after my deadline. Thanks, my awesome editors!
Does smoking pot for a job change how you use pot recreationally? Like most people get home from work exhausted, and say to themselves "man, I'm gonna get baked to help me relax." For you, is it like, "man, I'm going to drink alot of water and hope this high goes away so I can relax." I have a joke about how now whenever I smoke pot I have to write a book report. It's not very funny yet, but you get the point. I try to be a little more observational, but the hardest part is probably doing the videos. They ask me to do two 45 second Tout's to accompany the articles, something I'm not very good at yet. Let the writers write!
Edit: I'm a bad writer. Have fun with that one, too.
What is the most potent strain you have tried, and what were the effects like? When I first started at The Releaf Center there was a strain called Herojuana we got from a caregiver that was a real one-hitter quitter. We didn't know that at the time. Probably the closest I've gotten to visually hallucinating with a strain. Amazing, intense body high with tons of mental stimulation. Came from a caregiver, never saw it again.
How are people in Colorado who don't smoke weed taking the legalization? Do they hate it, love it, or is it pretty much a 50/50. And how do they react to your articles/reviews in they're magazines? I haven't received any hate mail yet, but my editors might be keeping it in a secret bag somewhere to preserve my sanity. Overall, I think when the first big tax numbers came in, people were stoked. That money goes to school construction, keeping the kids off of drugs, and keeping stoned drivers off the roads.
My stuff stays online for the moment, not in the paper itself, but my colleague Ricardo Baca has said in the past that the backlash to print pieces wasn't nearly as big as they had expected. So hopefully that means I'll be getting a column next to Dear Abby.
Do you currently foresee any potential pitfalls or problems that could cause a reversal of the new cannabis laws in Colorado? Tons of them. I worry about stoned drivers, although drunk drivers are still a massive problem around the country but no one bats an eye at booze. (insert Joker meme)
Colorado needs to regulate shops well, as we're the testing ground for all of this. Make sure that money (and pot) aren't flowing out the back door. The MED (Marijuana Enforcement Division) has their hands full.
What is your least favorite misconception about marijuana and how do you debunk it? That potheads are intrinsically stupid. Mostly, I just yell "CARL FUCKING SAGAN" at them. I'm not sure I'm helping the cause.
I'm from Illinois and been thinking of taking a drive to Colorado to buy some green. Am I allowed to buy it being from another state? What's the best kind of bud to get? Yes, that is totally a thing you can do. Some shops will limit how much out-of-staters can buy or charge you more, so do your research in advance and call around. Do you like to sleep and feel incapacitated? Try some indica! Want to be energetic/feel like strangers can read your thoughts you're so paranoid? Try some sativa! Everyone has a different experience, so whatever you try, try it in moderation.
Have you ever met Doug Benson/Snoop Dogg/other celebrities associated with cannabis? Would you consider going on Doug's podcast "Getting Doug with High?" Can everyone tweet this to Doug Benson? We've smoked after a show before but he's a busy guy. He'll be out here for Mother's Day and want him on MY podcast. Other than Doug, nope. What up, Here_Comes_The_King?
I just tweeted him. Ya welcome. Thanks! He DM'd me so it worked.
Since it's legalization in Colorado, what is the strangest marijuana related product you've seen come on the market? I know a girl who is working on marijuana infused lube. Not sure why that needs to exist, but it does. I've seen pictures. Of the bottles.
Have you reviewed any strains which enhance sex? Like horny goat weed or something? Not yet, but any strain can enhance sex. You're high.
Medically, I always say that marijuana will gain mainstream acceptance if it can help people lose weight, grow hair, or grow boners.
Do you have any stories about police or citizen harassment? None. People kind of give zero fucks around here about pot. Also, I'd like to keep it that way.
Do you think there is a single company poised to become the "Philip Morris" of marijuana in the US? If so, who and how might that impact the product? There are companies trying. Take Dixie Elixirs for example. The CEO has openly said he wants to be the Coca Cola of cannabis and sell to a multinational corporation. I don't think people want an industrially grown marijuana product. No matter what, I think you'll continue to see "artisan" pot grown, similar to craft beers.
How did you get your start as a marijuana critic? Sounds like an interesting line of work. When the industry popped up, there were tons of magazines that saw dollar signs. They needed content, so I started submitting. It helps when you live in a state with a medical marijuana program. I can't imagine trying to do this in Arkansas.
Do you feel like your exposure may hurt future career opportunities? I'm a writer and comedian, so I'm not sure I have many career opportunities. Honestly, I'm hoping we get to a point where casual marijuana use isn't a big deal in society. Or at least we get to where online dating is. Your friend can do it and you just make snarky comments behind their back.
Could you tell us the story of the first time you smoked weed? Oh lord. It was after debate practice with some friends out of a pop can. We drove around and listened to Ben Folds Five and I laughed like a madman. I wish I remembered more, but I'm turning into more and more of a cliche in my old age. Those were the days.
You mentioned in an answer above you had a medical card. Has the quality and or cost of marijuana increased or decreased since it was legalized? Cost has skyrocketed. Jesus, I paid over $20 for a GRAM at a rec shop last week. Medical shops are running better deals than ever. (Note to self: do more medical shopping)
Quality wise, I haven't noticed any change. People have been growing here for years, so that part of the equation is fairly static. Of course, there are shops rushing herb to the store to keep up with demand, so the curing isn't always as great as you'd like. Like if there was a tomato shortage, so the store only had green tomatoes and you were like "Man, shouldn't these be red?"
When it comes to names and strains, is there any system that protects intellectual property? How do I know I am really buying "Maui wowee" or whatever, and someone hasn't just thrown a recognizable name on a random strain they have? That's why I'm here! You should be able to recognize most strains by sight and smell. It's like that field guide to birds your grandparents are always reading. Breeders are really passionate about this, because strains can "dilute" and then people get pissy. "You haven't had Swerve's REAL Tahoe OG, bro!" and so forth.
So what do you thin about the legality of pot? Should other countries be taking notes from Colorado? Definitely don't take notes from California. Their system is a mess. Colorado's tax rates are pretty high, but that was to be expected with being one of the first. Let's see how well they control the shops in place before everyone says "This is the model!" and moves forward. But on a macro level, yeah, legalize it.
Do you think time is linear or cyclical? Link to imgur.com
Do you tend to prefer Indicas or Sativas (and why)? I'm a utility smoker, so they both have their place. Indicas are my sleep aid and big pain reliever, so I use them a lot less. Sativas are great when I want to work on anything creative like new jokes or an article or Hemp Box stuff, so I'd say I usually have them on deck. Especially haze strains.
Smoking so much weed, how do you manage your body weight munchies-wise? Any tips to eat less while smoking? I rarely get the munchies anymore, but some people have a huge struggle with what I call "grazing". Try sativas! Strains like Durban Poison, Haze of all types, or a Maui Wowie/Island Sweet Skunk are more active. Some people find that sativas give them munchies, so if that's the case, try indicas! It's brilliant, this pot system we have here.
Do you believe that all these different strains have the effects that the growers boast about? Like are some strains really that much better for head highs vs body highs? I've even had some people tell me some strains don't make you as hungry as others do. Is be interested to hear your perspective. Growers are the worst people to talk about the effects of pot with, best about how to grow it. That's why I have a job. There are so many different effects that marijuana can have, but let's talk about hunger, for example. There's cannabis indica, which I find gives me munchies. Much less so with cannabis sativa. You know THC, which gets you high? There's also THCV, which is an appetite suppressant. They're working on breeding for it.
Hello Jake. I really enjoyed the CNBC special and have watched it several times. What advice would you give to cannabis entrepreneurs looking to get ahead in states that have yet to legalize for recreational use? Thanks - that's cool to hear and I'm proud to be a part of what CNBC did. Would recommend everyone check it out.
Do what people did here: start an industry group. It gives you clout with local pols and shows leadership. Then, when rulemaking comes around, you usually have a seat at the table. If you're also a good person (because why wouldn't you be?!) then get involved with patient advocacy. There are great groups out there like ASA, for example, that can assist you. Be the change and all that good stuff.
To what extent do you think the quality of the high is determined by the strain versus how carefully it is grown? Great question. Growing and curing play such a huge part, as an expert cultivator can do amazing things with pretty shit genetics. It's harder for a novice to grow something great from a good genetic line. For that reason, and that reason alone, I'll go with GROWN!
Which strain have you personally enjoyed the most and why? Super Lemon Haze. When it's done correctly, it's euphoria and energy and creativity in a bowl. I'm not a big "couch lock" get high and play video games guy, so I'm looking for something that is motivational. Haze almost always fits the bill.
I certainly don't advocate violence in any matter but is it even possible for you to want to punch Nancy Grace in the face more than me? Nancy Grace is a great source of humor in my life. I'd like to think that if I were confronted by Nan, I'd have the grace of Mason Tvert.
Do you think in the long term the taxes will benefit the state enough that other states may consider legalization as well? They already are. It's just a question of if they find pot more acceptable than riverboat gambling or whatever other sin tax they're looking at. Medical marijuana is moving forward in a lot of states right now, which is the gateway drug to legalization..
I'd imagine the black market is doing better than ever (street sales.) Knowing that there's no tax on a sixty dollar eighth as to oppose going into a dispensary and getting taxed to high heaven for essentially the same thing. Have you any knowledge as to what's going on in the streets? I know you have had a card for a while but, maybe you have a friend or something that's been blazing for years and doesn't fall for the "it's legal" hype and still gets it from their dealer. What's the situation as far as that goes? DenverNick pretty much nailed it. There are absolutely still black market dealers, dispensary mules, and the like. People with red cards get asked ALL THE TIME to go grab pot for friends. Some people are just paranoid about stepping into a dispensary on camera. Dealers are still doing well, but they've had to adapt. I truly believe they'll be all but phased out in the near future, because prices will come down and growing is a pain in the ass.
Interesting. I have been growing for 5-6 years here in Colorado. So far, nothing has changed for me. Still have my customers, and they are happy coming to me instead of a shop. I wonder if I will be phased out. No signs of it happening yet. Thanks for doing this AMA. I think there will always be people that enjoy the experience of having "a dude" to buy from.
Do you feel that drug tests for employment discriminate against marijuana? Will there be reform? When? I'd be shocked if the testing game doesn't move toward current impairment. Right now, you'll fail a test if you've smoked as recently as a month ago (usually). I think employers care more if people are showing up high than if they like to get high in their free time. But yes, they clearly discriminate against marijuana.
Recently I made a post on /trees that we start a community review board of all the different strains so users could compare their experience with each strain. I received a lot of criticism over the fact there is a large inconsistency between batches. Do you find there to be inconsistencies between batches of the same strain? What systems are in place to ensure quality and consistency? Well, I don't necessarily think that "a lot of criticism" is fair, but there is a difference between how things are grown, where the genetics came from, etc. The biggest thing is helping people identify what they smoke, which is where I come in and getting a large group of people together is key. I wouldn't say that in a "batch" (I'm going to assume that means harvest) there's much of any difference. Quality and consistency systems? None. The state lets people grow what they grow and the market determines if the pot you grow sucks.
Is trademark law applicable? I don't know much about this. There's rumors that RJR or some big tobacco has trademarked a number of names. I've never looked into it because I'm not too interested.
Where do you think the marijuana industry is heading? In the sense of, 20 years from now this product could be legal in more states with wider public acceptance. Will there be a huge marijuana conglomerate in the US? The GE's and Apples of the marijuana industry I suppose? God, I'm terrible at predictions. Sure, there will be more legalization. I think that's inevitable at this point. We won't move backwards. And yes, they'll be a "Budweiser" who comes in, but there's always going to be interest in the "microbrews" of pot. It's just not a great plant for growing on an industrial scale and keeping the connoisseur quality. Hemp will dwarf it all, though. Hemp is the future.
Do you do anything to reset your tolerance between tests? I feel like growing a tolerance would be a deal breaker for a tester. {edit} spelling. I think people lend a little too much credence to the tolerance issue. I'm not a wake-and-bake, smoke-weed-erry-day guy, so it hasn't been a problem so far. I should probably work out more, but it is what it is.
Preferred method of consumption? I'm so boring. A little one-hitter suits me just fine most of the time.
Also, oils, edibles, or herb? Dabs are great. Love me a little dab. Edibles scare the shit out of me. Had to review them for another magazine and it was the thing I dreaded the most in the month. Just so inconsistent.
So jealous. As someone who is interested in becoming involved in the commercial marijuana world, I am curious to learn about new jobs being created as a result of legalization. How has the legal industry changed those who were already involved in the field before it was made legal, and what new changes have been made? Don't be, it's not as glamorous as I'm sure I make it seem. The jobs are the same as when medical was here. Mostly retail and cultivation jobs, which again, people tend to romanticize. People always ask me about moving out here and working in the industry. Want to sit in a chair and trim weed for 8 hours for minimum wage pay? Go get licensed by the state and you've got a job!
What do you typically smoke out of when testing different strains? Are you a paper or glass kind of guy? Thanks! Glass or a vaporizer, as papers can alter the flavor a lot. Plus, they're easier to use. I smoked out of a blunt for one review and a commenter wanted my head for it. Also, I hate reading the comments section.
What was the application and interview process like at the Denver Post for you to get your job? Some newspapers seem to have some chill employees but I'd still imagine it was still a little weird getting a marijuana-related job in a somewhat corporate setting. I'm a freelancer, so the whole corporate setting is really my living room. The process was great. I submitted a resume and writing samples, then did a review for them which ultimately ended up on the site. It helped, I imagine, that I had written a ton of reviews previous to my gig at the Post.
Misunderstood the title, thought you were critical of marijuana. Not a Marijuana Critic. My question: How can I get your job? But seriously, other than the "lose weight, grow hair, or grow boners" comment, what do you think will be the key point(s) that change the tide of the on-the-fencers and other uninformed peoples? At times I'm both. I think people tend to react based on what they see. Colorado hasn't burned to the ground, there aren't stoned drivers mowing over infants, so far, so good. Taxes will also play a big part, but mostly, people just want to know that someone else did it first and lived to tell about it.
What drugs should be permitted? Psychedelics get a bad rap.
It seems to me like there's going to be a large botany 'boom' in colorado. Have you seen rises in people taking it up in an attempt to legitimately get into the market? Also, (you can ignore this one if the answer is too long) where are the retail places getting their supply? Growing is done by registered and licensed facilities, so there isn't really an opportunity for hobbyists to break into the market. Back in the day that was different, as caregivers (people who grew for a limited number of patients) could sell to dispensaries and we'd see great bud coming in from off the street.
I'm a Denver resident with access to both recreational and medicinal pot. Do you have any shop/strain recommendations? I really want to smoke some super great weed. Where should I look? How should I look for the best pot? Gorgeous day! Why are we indoors? I like Good Chem in Cap Hill, as they usually have a good selection and well grown pot. Green Man has a cup under their belt and nice stuff, as well. The biggest things you want to look/smell for: good trichome coverage (the stuff that makes it look frosty) and a distinct smell. If the jars smell the same, smell like hay, or kind of like a basement, stay away. There are a lot of review sites like Leafly and Weedmaps that can help, too. Read the comments, especially the recent ones, to get a feel for what you're walking in to.
Yo dude, Have you ever tried Charlotte's web? If so what are the effects like (honest please)? I probably should, but I always feel guilty because people really need that strain and they should be the ones getting it. But it's just a gram or two, so does it really matter? I don't know. Maybe that'll be my next review.
What do you think about high cbd strains like that? I'm big on high CBD strains and am excited about CBD hemp products moreso. The best I've ever had was a CBD oil that was comparable to a valium.
So I assume any one who doesn't live in Colorado or Washington can't receive one of those beautiful, beautiful Hemp Boxes? Good question! The Hemp Box actually has no THC in it, it's just cool hemp stuff that we run across. Legal in all 50 states. Check out our Indiegogo page for more info.
As a Canadian, I always thought this would be happening to me before ANY state in America. Do you believe pot will become legal within all of north america by 2020? And if not, why? I wish, but sadly, no. We have this place called "the south" and they don't take kindly to us smoking the Devil's lettuce. Also, old people. It's funny, I think NORML released this graph that shows as old people die, pot does better and better in polling. Don't get me wrong, though. I love my grandparents.
How well can you discern strains from one another without being told what they are? For instance, could you smoke a bowl of some bud and say "oh, definitely Sour Diesel."? Usually I can get the genetics of a random strain without being told what it is. A friend came over the other day and I nailed it on his Tangerine Diesel, but it's also pretty easy to tell. With all the different OG Kush lines, that's harder.
Also, how many different strains have you tried, and what is your favorite high-sativa hybrid? I always say over 100 because I can verify that from my reviews. If I had to put a number on it, I'd say ~300. Blue Dream is my sativa hybrid of choice and it's pretty easy to find. Here, at least.
Is your research soley limited to cannabis, or have you experimented with other substances? If so, which did you like/not like, and why? Thank you! I love to expand my mind. I think that's all I can say here. Also, HELLO NSA!
Mr. Jake n' Bake, I'm the host of a comedy/entertainment based podcast. Our latest episode had over 100 views/downloads in 3 days. The premise is that a guest and I watch a movie and get "buzzed," hence "Movie Buzzed." We're expanding into interviews, and it would be wonderful to have you on to showcase your expertise. Questions would center around your profession. For example: What kind of medicine would you recomend for watching a movie with friends? Feel free to answer that question here, and I look forward to your reply! P.S. I'm not sure if I asked officially, but would you be interested in a 10-15 minute interview segment to set up our movie? I actually co-host a podcast called Whiskey and Cigarettes with a guy named Zac (and another guy named Jake - it's complicated) that reviews other podcasts, so I'll make sure to check you guys out. I always prefer to do podcasts in person, but let's talk.
Have any employers in the state considered relaxing drug testing that you've heard of? There wasn't anything built into the law that would make it illegal for a business to fire you for failing a marijuana screening in Colorado, right? I think what people aren't talking about is how companies have looked the other way for a while. A lot of tech firms are here, we're kind of a start-up hub, so they're looking for young talent that probably enjoys to smoke some pot now and then. I think what they're really testing for is meth/cocaine/etc. Nothing in Amendment 64 protects people who are high at work, correct.
Have you heard of any Colorado companies relaxing their drug test policies? If not do you feel that lawsuits could come up from people that have gotten fired? I haven't, but there is a case going through the courts still (I believe) about a Dish Network employee who needed it medically. Companies have protection, though, and can fire anyone they want. His case being medical changes the discussion. If you just smoke pot because you want to, you're screwed. We're a right to work state, as well.
I caught a municipal possession charge about three years ago. Can I get it sealed or maybe vacated? Thanks. Not a lawyer but pretty sure no. Drug charges suck, but at least it's not a felony? Might make a great conversation piece if your new boss is a stoner, too? Is any of this making you feel better? Someone give this man some gold.
Sounds like you have my dream job. Are there any downfalls to what you do, socially or professionally? What states do you think will get on board and legalize next? I have a joke about that. A lot of people tell me it was probably my dream job when I was 16. When I was 16, I thought I could be a lawyer. A lawyer with his own car.
I've probably lost a few Facebook friends, but my family is supportive and I've smoked pot for years, so most people just accept it. As for states, it's anyone's guess. I wouldn't be surprised if a state that a lot of people wouldn't bet on... say Iowa... jumps on board.
Edit: But not Utah.
What is the strangest strain name you've come across? We used to make up names for strains we'd get off the street from caregivers. Outgoing Panda was my favorite. There was a strain (and it's probably still out there) that was a cross of The White and Master Kush. They unfortunately called it White Master. I also reviewed a strain called Kuchi that describes a region but probably shouldn't.
Another separate question, have you worked with Doug Benson at all? I know he's a comedian and writer like you and is trying for the same goal. I'm a rookie, been doing stand-up for a year and a half. But, our podcast did just win reader's choice for "Best Local Podcast" by the Denver Westword, so I've got that going for me, which is nice.
What are the main reasons why marijuana isn't legalized in California? Do you seeany negatives from marijuana? I'm writing an essay on marihuana legalization and would love your input! From my understanding, California is kind of a free-for-all politically. Lots of cities making their own decisions and lack of regulation from the state government. One of the big reasons the feds stay out of Colorado (for the most part) is that we heavily regulate who can be in the business and where their pot goes. "Seed to sale" tracking is the goal. Cali is nowhere near that. But I'm in Colorado so that could all be wrong.
What if we're, like, just atoms in the fingernail of, like, some big monkey-slug in a higher dimension? Or we're all just Shrimpkins hurling through space on the belly of a Bender.
What makes some weed the best? It's all about what you want out of the experience. At the end of the day, we're self-medicating. Generally, though? Solid genetics that were grown with care and then left to cure properly, well flushed with no mites/mold/other gross stuff.
I take it you didnt need to take a drug test to get that job? Like, to make sure I was on drugs?
Your trapped on an island that has everything for you to live and one strain of marijuana? What strain do you wish it is? Hmm. Probably OG Kush, because from my understanding it's a great yielder and doesn't require a whole lot of effort. I'm terrible in the garden.
Hey Jake, llifetime Coloradoan here, I live up north in Fort Collins. I'm a rec smoker who has buddies I get herb from, usually around $15/g. I went to Garden City this weekend just for the hell of it, to the closest rec shop not in Denver. I was pretty shocked to see $80 per 8th as an accepted price. Do you think shops will price themselves more competitively to lure away street buyers? Or is the tax too high to stay profitable? Hey FoCo Gibbs! Prices will absolutely come down, but I hear you. The Garden City shop, from my understanding, has a pretty unique situation so they're making their money while they can. We're seeing the market play out (supply v demand) in real time and I think that's fascinating. With there being ~50 recreational shops in the Denver metro, prices are already starting to fall.
PS I enjoyed your segment on CO Pot Rush, but was rather surprised to see you sampling the strains you were reviewing out of straight glass! I'd presume you'd vape or use water. I do vape and use my bubbler on occasion, but I've always smoked out of straight glass and it's worked well so far. Flavor-wise, there's some difference, but usually the taste presents itself either way. Great observation, though.
Best strains for baked goods? Best strains for smoking? Opinion of oils? Infusions are less about the type of herb and more about the method you use to get it in there. Avoid something with a ton of terpenes that will change the flavor, unless you want Sour Diesel flavored brownies. Smoking? Depends on what you're looking for. Oils are great if they're made correctly. I hate smoking residual solvents.
Are you looking for an intern? My pot drawer is becoming a bit unruly.
Who is your favorite muppet? The two old guys who I just realized are critics. Right?
Last updated: 2014-03-31 16:09 UTC
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Big fields, longshots, and competitive races add up to serious money-making opportunities in the Breeders' Cup. Five handicappers offer their thoughts on the Saturday races from Santa Anita Park. Breeders Cup Turf Betting Tips Advice. Main Sequence and Hardest Core head a strong home contingent. Certainly master-trainer Graham Motion, who handled the career of Kentucky Derby and Dubai World Cup hero Animal Kingdom, seems to have improved Main Sequence since the switch to his yard. Motion knows what it takes to win at this meeting. By Emily Shields. Now that the last of the prep races have been completed, the field for the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) is coming together.. Despite losing in the Awesome Again (G1) at Santa Anita September 28, McKinzie remains a top choice for trainer Bob Baffert. He will have a new rider, however, as Baffert is opting to replace Mike Smith. That’s all the Breeders’ Cup horse racing betting advice we have for you. We’re sure you agree this is an increasingly important event both to the sport and the breeding industry which helps support it. 2014 Breeders' Cup Turf Predictions and Betting Odds by Trevor Whenham - 10/28/2014 The Breeders' Cup Turf has produced some all-time great races and some of my favorite Breeders' Cup champs.

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