06/14/2008 11:09PM

6 of 6: $48.00


Sometimes the best bets are the ones you never make -- like Saturday's all-stakes pick-6 on the Foster card at Churchill Downs.

If I hadn't stayed out too late at a Steely Dan concert Friday night and then elected to goof off instead of gamble after sleeping in on Saturday, I would have put in more than a bit more than $48, and thus come out a heavy loser on the proposition. The combo of Hysterical Lady ($3.00 in the G2 Fleur de Lis), Pure Clan ($4.00 in the G3 Regret), Pyro ($5.60 in the G3 Northern Dancer), Tizdejavu ($8.00 in the G2 Jefferson Cup), Curlin ($2.80 in the G1 Foster) and Dreaming of Anna ($3.00 in the G3 Mint Julep) returned precisely $48.00. That's for 6 of 6. You got only $2.80 worth of consolation for 5 of 6. And Pyro and Tizdejavu weren't even favored.

There's nothing you can do except be happy for the $4 investors when this happens. What else can you do -- try to have it multiple times? I never do. Even when a sequence looks this chalky going in, I see no point in trying to hammer the super-chalky combos -- something usually goes wrong at least once in a six-race sequence. I'd always rather spend any extra dollars on additional backups that could pay five digits than on trying to have a two- or three-digit payoff a few extra times. But that's just me.

So how did the pick-six pay $48.00 while the pick-4 of only the last four pick-6 races paid $69.00, more than the $48.00 you got for two additional winners? The pick-4 pool was twice as large ($269k vs. $123k), and the consos in the pick-6 cut the 6-of-6 payoff by 25 percent. This also seemed like a pick-6 where regular pick-6 players may have passed because of the standouts.

--Hail to Curlin for his dominant Foster victory, winning off by 4 1/4 lengths under 128 pounds, spotting 10 to 15 pounds to his nine rivals. It would have been nice to see the race live on one's home television, but: HRTV is unavailable on cable on Long Island; TVG, for which I pay an extra $4.95 a month to Cablevision, is not allowed to carry the live Churchill signal; and Belmont did not run its last race until 5:50 pm, and didn't finish with the payoffs and replays until 6, and the Nassau OTB channel is not allowed to show out-of-state races until NYRA signs off, so they switched to a quarter-screen view of Churchill just in time...for me to see Curlin being led into the winner's circle. I waited for the replay, and got to see some of it but about halfway through, the Nassau OTB video jockey dropped it for a full-screen view of the 9th at Arlington.

This does not seem the optimal way for the sport of racing to showcase the best horse in the world.

OaktownABQ More than 1 year ago
$48?? I'm surprised it paid THAT much. That was a horrible card filled with short fields and uncompetitive races -- which pretty much sums up Churchill's spring meet in a nutshell. I guess management feels that withholding the Churchill and Arlington signals from Youbet.com and TVG was a good idea. Nice job!
Steve Breen More than 1 year ago
Churchill has featured largely unbettable cards of 6 horse fields all meet. What was once one of the top wagering tracks in the country has become, for me at least, a non-entity.
Spearmint More than 1 year ago
If I were taking bets on Pyro, I'd guess he was looking at the Super Derby. How he gets there is the question. Possibly Pennsylvania Derby, possibly Prevue Stakes down there in LA, possibly Travers.
Flipper Dawson More than 1 year ago
To david: When I read your response to me, I was thinking that rather than play the Caveman, and take all mental choices away, would it not be better to struggle with the coal lamp at midnight, and try to up your/my percentage of personally picked winners. A good example would be the tip/handicapping sheet I studied for a week, took results, found weak and strong points of the sheet, and then played $3.60 to win/steal $896.00 on the Pick 4. Also, if you are hitting 3 of 4, you are knocking at the door. The less bet, the better. I also would try to find 1-2 singles in any pick 4 you/I played. This sheet I found hands them to you on a silver platter. On the late Pick 4, which I didn't play, due to Father's Day party, the sheet had the long shot in race 7, then 3 consecutive faves dying to win.(they did.) Late Pick 4 paid $525.00, handing a 20 cent player the sum of $105.00 for the paltry sum of $1.20. The results looked like this: Race 7-LS,LS,LS,LS,LS Race 8 to 10-Favorites picked everywhere. Saturdays and Sundays are the best days, but with the small outlay, all days can be looked at. ---------------------------- Asmussen may win the Queen's Plate if he can find a horse.He is making noises to win a nice stakes at WO. He has been very quiet since moving some stock to WO. So, don't be surprised if he puts one over with MacAleney up.
tklawless More than 1 year ago
Steven, Do the chart callers actually watch the races? We had a colt run in the 2 yo Handicap at Calder last Sunday....to make a long story short, he was head & head for the lead into the turn, the saddle slipped,the jock ended up pulling him up & riding across the finish line with both legs out of the irons, bareback Indian-style. The chart makes no mention of it, other than to say Red Nation vied for the lead into the turn & faded.....obviously, that will help the price when he runs back (which I'll gladly accept), but not a very good representation of what happened Sunday. Thanx
dorothyp More than 1 year ago
Hey John, lay off the dude's hair. He's cool, and it looks damn good. And as soon as you're as good at what you do as he is, and you do it with as much wit as he does, you can wear your hair any way you want too.
Willow Hour More than 1 year ago
Speaking of Pyro, do you know where he may be headed next? I fell in love him after that sensational stretch run in the Risen Star, and I think he'd relish the opportunity to make amends for his Derby debacle in the Travers.
Annie More than 1 year ago
Unitas, LOL
Marshall More than 1 year ago
Steve, I looked at the Best Beyers leaderboard and didn't see Curlin or Pyro listed. Presumably Curlin ran slower than a 106 and Pyro slower than a 102. What did they run? Both races had slow early fractions perhaps contributing to the low Beyers. Thanks.
John Hahn More than 1 year ago
Steely Dan, eh? Who'd have known, what with your 30-years-out-of-style aging hippie hair? C'mon dude -- go see a stylist, for chris'sakes. Rumor is you have a few bucks and can afford a decent cut.