Candy Boy tops West Virginia Derby

Candy Boy tops West Virginia Derby

Brisnet | August 1, 2014

A vintage year for California-based three-year-old colts could become even more memorable if Candy Boy makes a successful invasion of Mountaineer for the Grade 2, $750,000 West Virginia Derby on Saturday.

The 1 ⅛-mile feature, which attracted a field of nine, is the highlight of an all-stakes, nine-race card that is traditionally Mountaineer’s lone foray into daytime racing during its extended Thoroughbred meet.

In the shadows of such standouts as California Chrome, whom he chased in the Santa Anita Derby and Kentucky Derby, and champion Shared Belief, who he finished second to last out in the Los Alamitos Derby, Candy Boy will attempt to earn his first stakes win since taking the Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita in February and follow-up on the success of Bayern in last weekend’s Haskell Invitational.

It will not be an easy task. Tapiture has three graded stakes wins to his credit, including a 4 ¼-length tally in the Southwest at Oaklawn in February. Last time, the Tapit colt rebounded from a poor showing in the Kentucky Derby to claim the Matt Winn at Churchill Downs by two lengths.

Vicar’s in Trouble, the Louisiana Derby winner, could be the most dangerous of the three. The Mike Maker trainee did not show his customary foot as the 7-5 favorite in the Iowa Derby last out, and ultimately faded to third over a sloppy track. If able to outbreak the other speed, which have less class, Vicar’s in Trouble could replicate the form that produced two graded stakes wins at Fair Grounds last winter.

The big three all raced in the Kentucky Derby, though none were much of a factor. Candy Boy finished 13th and Tapiture 15th after meeting trouble in the first turn, while Vicar’s in Trouble also was roughed up en route to trailing the field of 19.

1 Key for Success 50-1
2 For Goodness Sake 6-1
3 Classic Giacnroll 12-1
4 Vicar’s in Trouble 3-1
5 Tapiture 5-2
6 Gold Appointment 20-1
7 Divine View 10-1
8 Only I Know 50-1
9 Candy Boy 9-5
The remainder of the field all have form to find. For Goodness Sake has landed in a tough spot for his stakes debut, but daylight maiden and allowance wins during the Churchill spring meet mark him as a progressive sort. Classic Giacnroll finished second in the Jerome back in January, but has picked up only minor checks against easier since.
Divine View, runner-up against allowance foes at Delaware Park last time, and the Louisiana-bred stakes winner Gold Appointment, complete the field along with extreme outsiders Only I Know and Key for Success.

Moonshine Mullin, whose five-race win streak includes back-to-back wins in the Churchill Downs’ major spring stakes for older horses, the Stephen Foster Handicap and Alysheba, headlines the $200,000 West Virginia Governor’s at 1 1/16 miles.

Likely to keep the ex-claimer on his toes is multiple Grade 3 winner Falling Sky, who stretches back out after taking the Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship and Donald LeVine Memorial in two of his last four starts.

A swift pace might aid Carve, last-out winner of the Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap, and the classic-placed Mylute, unplaced twice behind Moonshine Mullin at Churchill Downs and in the Suburban Handicap last time.

Noted sprint star Delaunay figures to be an overwhelming favorite in the $100,000 Senator Robert C. Byrd Memorial over six furlongs. The Tom Amoss-trained seven-year-old has won numerous stakes throughout the Midwest and Louisiana, highlighted by graded scores in the Churchill Downs and Aristides in Louisville.

Mico Margarita , who’s finished behind Delaunay in their two recent outings, is back to oppose. Other possible contenders include multiple stakes veterans Star Harbour, Res Judicata, Ghost Is Clear, Russell Road and Lucy’s Bob Boy.

A more contentious race might be the $100,000 West Virginia Secretary of State. The six-furlong dash for fillies and mares includes the venerable seven-year-old Winning Image, a prominent force on the Mid-Atlantic circuit, and Flattering Bea, who landed the Sugar Maple at Charles Town in April and was runner-up in this event last year.

The Kentucky invaders Sweet Cassiopeia, Aireofdistinction, and Anahauc also merit respect.

The $100,000 West Virginia House of Delegates, at one mile and 70 yards on turf, features Regally Ready, a past winner of the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint who has developed into a capable miler in the region. He earned back-to-back wins at Churchill Downs in May, including the $64,000 Opening Verse.

Free World, hero of the $207,000 Centaur at Indiana Downs last season, was a solid fifth in the Firecracker at Churchill last time and might prove tough to catch. Coalport, a multiple stakes winner campaigned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, is another leading contender in his second start off a layoff.

The top two finishers from Mountaineer’s version of the Firecracker, a $75,000 stakes for fillies and mares run on July 2, highlight a contentious renewal of the $100,000 West Virginia Senate President’s Cup at one mile and 70 yards on the turf. La Malaguena and Sassy Kitten were separated by a neck in that heat, but will need their running shoes on to cope with graded stakes-placed veterans Moment in Dixie and Queen’s Award, as well as Canadian invader Surtsey and the capable pair of Quiet Success and Soft Whisper.

Recent maiden winners Tapitsphere and Gotta Get Paid should attract plenty of support in the $100,000 Mountaineer Juvenile over six furlongs, but the respective Churchill and Indiana Grand graduates figure to be challenged by the swift Arlington-based colt Creaky Cricket, and Hashtag Bourbon, a son of Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver who could improve off his debut third at Churchill.

A. P.’s Glory figures to be an overwhelming favorite to follow up her 7 ½-length Arlington debut victory with a score in the $100,000 Mountaineer Juvenile Fillies, also at six furlongs. Another daylight maiden winner, Brennan, exits an eight-length romp at Penn National, while Churchill maiden winner Rachel’s Ready was never involved after a slow break in the $108,000 Debutante last time.v

Uncle Todd, who has won three straight by a combined margin of 21 ¼ lengths, will try and outgun 10 rivals in the $100,000 West Virginia Legislature Chairman’s Cup going 4 ½ furlongs. Among those hoping to keep pace with that one are Amarish, Debt Ceiling, No Distinction, Beat Seattle, and Grade 3 turf winner Berlino Di Tiger.

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7 New Ways to Spend Your BitCoin

7 Unique Ways to Spend Your Bitcoin

Carter Graydon 02/08/2014 Accepts Bitcoin, Exclusive, News 1 Comment

So you have bitcoins and want to spend them, but you are not sure what to buy? We all know you can purchase items off Newegg or Dell, but what if you don’t want to buy electronics? You want those novelty products that make your friends jealous and quite possibly end up on a shelf in your office gathering dust before ending up as the perfect gift at a white elephant party. Here are seven ways to spend your bitcoins that you probably didn’t know about.

1. Tickets to Space

While this one won’t end up on your shelf, it will make your friends envious. Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Space flight company is now accepting payment via bitcoins. You’ll need several bitcoins to purchase a seat to fly into space. A seat on Virgin Galactic costs $250,000 which is a little over 416 bitcoins at a going rate of $600 per coin. Only 405 coins more to go for me before I book my seat.

Earn Bitcoin Points by Registering a user on CCN or Join our Mining Competition!

2. IRobot Vacuum Cleaner.

Does your partner complain you don’t do enough chores around the house? Maybe it’s time to purchase this little guy. While these robots are not programmed with The Three Laws of Robotics, the worst thing these guys could do is clean the floor extremely well – and I’m okay with that. Not only can you sit back on the sofa and read the news from your favorite cryptocurrency news site but you can also point to some tangible object and say, “We bought that with our bitcoins.”

3. A hand for your Iphone

Admit it, this will spend more time on the shelf then on your phone, but that won’t stop you for purchasing it. This novelty product is shaped like a human hand and allows you to talk on the phone while holding someone’s something’s hand. Why does the forever alone meme come to mind right now? Let’s be fair, there are endless opportunities for the partial joker out there – admittedly most of them begin with “can someone lend me a hand?”

4. Punnet

“Add a bit of zest to your wardrobe with these hand crocheted organic bamboo yarn beads, strung on waxed cotton.“ is the tag-line for this product. I see this on the rear view mirror of a VW bug or around the neck of the driver in the VW Type 2 Bus. After doing some browsing on their website they do offer some pretty cool items, and their recycled gallery and textile studio is very interesting. Take a look around.

5. Transformers Megatron USB Drive

Who doesn’t like the Transformers? Age of Extinction grossed over 8.75 million on the midnight screening in North America, which was the third biggest for 2014. For those of us who need to exhibit our fandom, there’s this little guy. The 4GB flash drive of Megatron is a 2.5” tall and uses hi-speed USB 2.0, technology the transformers would be proud of – maybe.

6. Vinyl Records

Nothing beats the sound of vinyl, unless that’s the sound of high-resolution audio. That’s right; you can purchase vinyl records with your bitcoins now and there is a surprisingly large selection for you to choose among. Now if only they sold the turntable record player as well.

7. Female Voice

Have a product you need to advertise but you don’t sound like Bruce Buffer, or Don LaFontaine? Maybe you need a softer touch or perhaps you don’t know where to begin when it comes to voice recording – yes it takes more than a microphone and the pre-installed Sound Recorder on your PC. Stephanie Murphy offers her voice and will accept Bitcoin as payment. She even offers a 20% discount for those who use Bitcoin as their payment method.

There you have it, seven completely unique products and services you can purchase with your bitcoins. For me, I think I’ll start a campaign to raise money for my trip into space. What will you buy?

List compiled by Jon at

The BitCoin Secret Project Reveals Stellar

The Bitcoin Secret Project Reveals Stellar

Andrew Quentson 01/08/2014 Altcoins, News, Services 1 Comment

Jed McCaleb, the founder of MT Gox, Ripple and e-Donkey, has finally revealed his much anticipated Secret Bitcoin Project. Stellar, a new payment protocol and currency, aims to bridge the gap between cryptocurrencies and fiat by allowing easy and instant exchanges between currencies.

The payment protocol, much like Ripple, is based on gateways, which act as banks, holding their user’s currency in return for an IOU. An IOU, of say Bitcoin, can then easily be exchanged for an IOU of say USD, via Stellar’s inbuilt decentralized exchange and without the gateway taking part. The holder of the new Bitcoin IOU can then redeem the IOU from the gateway. It is therefore a trust based system as you need to be sure that the gateway will redeem the IOU, but with low barriers to entry as anyone can become a gateway.

Stellar is also a currency in itself, which may gain value either through speculation or due to a demand for transactions, but it is meant to act as a “conversion path” for the payment protocol as each transaction burns 0.00001 stellars. Most of the currency, 95%, will initially be given out for free, 50% will be distributed to account holders who sign up for stellars and log in via facebook, 25% will be given to charities, and another 25% will be distributed to Bitcoin and Ripple holders.

We will take a snapshot of the Bitcoin blockchain at a particular date and will set up a claim page that will allow bitcoin holders to receive their pro-rata share of the stellars reserved under this program by verifying they control their address from that blockchain snapshot. For example, a user owning .001% of the bitcoins in the blockchain snapshot would receive .001% of the stellars set aside for bitcoin holders under this program, or 190,000 stellars.

Earn Bitcoin Points by Registering a user on CCN or Join our Mining Competition!

Both the payment protocol and the currency differ substantially from Bitcoin as there is no “mining”, but rather a node consensus network, and furthermore the currency is inflationary in nature at a rate of 1% a year. There is little, if any difference, between Stellar and Ripple however. Indeed, the Stellar announcement suggests that Stellar is a continuation of Ripple for Jed McCaleb, who recently publicly announced that he was to sell all of his Ripple holdings due to what may have been an argument over the way the Ripple currency, much of which is still held by Ripple Labs, was to be distributed. Stellar aims to avoid this issue by distributing all of the currency, except for 5%, but it is yet to be seen how quickly the Stellar Development Foundation, a nonprofit organization, will be able to do so or to what extent Bitcoin and ripple holders will claim their share.

The reception of the new payment protocol and currency has been mixed. Stripe recently made a blog post stating that they had invested three million dollars on Stellar’s development and that Stripe believes “that a system with properties like Stellar’s should exist in the world”. Bitcoin holders however expressed much skepticism, pointing out that a central entity controlled the distribution of the currency and that trust was needed.

However, almost 2500 people have claimed their Stellars so far, amounting to 14 million out of 100 billion.

jed mccalebpayment protocolStellar


Andrew QuentsonFeel free to contact me at with any information you may have. For sensitive information feel free to use my Public Key at

BitCoin Whale

The term “whale” is frequently used to describe the big money Bitcoin players that show their hand in the Bitcoin market. The ocean as a metaphor for the market is apt, since one can then extend it to include the big fish and the small fish; sharks; rallies as feeding frenzies; waves as market moves; and so forth. It may be, however, that the term “whale” has been applied to the wrong class of investor because the players described below are truly the biggest creatures in the ocean.

Bitcoin Dolphins

They show themselves in the exchanges with orders of 1000 BTC, every now and again, and the common perception seems to be that the orderbook “whales” are the heavyweight players who move the market and can manipulate price if they so desire. However, this view is inaccurate.

The fact is that there are even bigger players than the so-called whales, who do not engage in the Bitcoin market via the dinky web interfaces the exchanges offer us, the “retail market” (small fish).

Bitcoin Whales

The large players being referred to are institutions such as Hedge Funds and Bitcoin Investment Funds. Some of these funds have announced their presence in the water:

Pantera Capital
Bitcoins Reserve
Binary Financial
Coin Capital Partners
Falcon Global Capital
Bitcoin Investment Trust
Global Advisors Bitcoin Investment Fund
Others have yet to put oar to water…

Bitcoin Index Fund
… and others may or may not exist, depending on your sources and the reach of your sonar.

These funds typically manage hundreds of thousands of bitcoins, which they strategically and covertly put through the exchanges via special arrangement – out of sight and obscured from regular retail traders.

With their large capital mass, institutions can move the market at will. It is here where the metaphor of a Bitcoin Whale comes into its own because any other inhabitant of the ocean must simply get out of the way, or be moved forcefully. Additionally, no current is strong enough to deflect the whale from its course, so its intention becomes the way.

Bitcoin Liquidity

By injecting, say, 50,000 BTC, over the course of a week, a massive price change can be effected. Yet, doing so, for its own sake is pointless because the institution’s objective, just like smaller players, is to buy low and sell high – in other words, to turn a profit after each investment.

Here is an interaction with the Bitstamp API via IRC channel #bitcoin-otc:

[14:01] | ;;market buy 50000
[14:01] | Bitstamp | This order would exceed the size of the order book. You would buy 19,434.758 bitcoins, for a total of 19,191,083.3531 USD and take the price to 99,999.9900.
Buying 1 BTC now and selling a split-second later results in a trading loss due to the spread between the buy and sell prices. Let’s increase the amount of BTC in this example: buying, say, 10,000 BTC all in one go, and assuming the exchange could absorb that amount, would not only move the market price, it would also trigger ask orders on the way up, as well as see many participants take profit at higher levels.

[14:07] | ;;market buy 10000
[14:07] | Bitstamp | A market order to buy 10,000 bitcoins right now would take 6,213,164.9471 USD and would take the last price up to 660.8200 USD, resulting in an average price of 621.3165 USD/BTC.
Hence, large market transactions are appropriate for exiting trades, but not for initiating them, since the effect of spread and of triggering “obstacle” limit orders reduces the net effect of large orders in the market. Instead, the largest players have to stagger and obscure their market entries by splitting large trades into hundreds or thousands of small orders and then drip these into the market over hours, days or weeks.

This Way, Please

Given the institution’s desire to maximize the profitability of a large trade it initiates, it would increase the distance that this trade travels if the institution can have retailers (the small fish) join them in the move. Hence, the largest players have no choice, but to “prime” the market: to read wider market conditions, assess the retail sector’s “mood” and the willingness of market participants to go in a particular direction.

Once an opportunity is identified, the task is then to “massage” the market and steer participants in the desired direction. The institutional player, therefore, achieves a greater return on investment – the investment having been the expenditure of setting up and “massaging” a particular move – and the outcome of the move being that small retailers and new public participants had taken the bait and herded into the rally, thereby increasing its market impact and slingshot effect.

Market-wide phenomenon

If any reader thinks that this sounds incredible, be assured that this is not my proposal of how I think it works, it’s standard hedge fund practice. Large banks, the market makers for most of the Forex market, have teams of traders dedicated to doing just this via trade plans that last anywhere from a day to a few weeks.

The Bitcoin market has several characteristics that make it ideal for high risk institutional investors like hedge funds:

Small market capitalization
Relatively naive participants
No bank competitors
No regulation
The institutions listed at the top of the article have apparently become active in the Bitcoin market during the course of the past two years. While there is no sense in speaking of collusion, it seems only rational that large players should (at least, sometimes) coordinate their actions. Given that there are community members who are known to hold sizable amounts of Bitcoin, one could imagine that they would reasonably discuss and align their interests with other potential market movers.

So, it’s not about that 1000 BTC order you see in the exchange orderbook, or the 50 BTC that went through Dell’s online retail store today. The BTC market, although high-risk and based on an innovation that’s difficult to fathom, is a speculator’s wildest dream come true. All the time while it is adjusting downwards, it’s because the largest players are herding the bait-ball.

As for the small Bitcoin fish it’s most beneficial to just swim with the Bitcoin whale and swim away when the mood starts getting frenzied near the surface. Knowing what time it is, is the challenge.

Want to discuss this further? Join our Bitcoin trade discussion in our Bitcoin trade group!

Article written by Venzen Khaosan, images by Shutterstock.