11/18/2012 1:38PM

Aqueduct 11/18/12: Triple Carryover

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12:37 pm: About 70 minutes to the start of an Aqueduct pick-6 with a triple carryover, though the amount in the kitty to start the day is a little light -- $155,839. Still, worth a try.

It's a robust sequence today -- 11 x 10 x 11 x 9 x 9 x 10, a mere 980,100 possible permutations -- with three dirt sprints alternating with three 8.5f turf races, four of them for maidens. As usual, NYRA arranged the races with absolutely no consideration for multirace players, positioning the most firster-laden race as the 5th, one race into the pick-6. Can anyone give me one good reason the 4th and 5th shouldn't have been switched, making a race with four firsters the first rather than the second leg and a race with 11 maidens who have already run the second rather than first leg? This issue has been raised often, here and elsewhere, and remains ignored by management.

I'll try to get through that firster-filled second leg by leaning on two uncoupled Chad Brown-trained fillies (Wave Theory and Atlantic Dream) who have already run and who are emerging from the Miss Grillo, on the theory that fillies so highly regaded as to be put in graded stakes in their second career starts are probably better than thefirsters, but a look at the board before the pick-6 would have been nice.

I'll be back with tickets in a little while. First leg at 1:47 pm, last at 4:17. Here's the lineup after scratches:

 

1:20 pm: Here's the play:

 

Thought there were four possible singles in the sequence. In the opener, Azasecret (#9) has a last-out figure that would crush the field, but she's a chronic stopper wholcoughed up the lead at 1-to-5 at this level last time out, so I also used Thetrainwasgone as an A -- she's dropping from MSW to MC20 for the first time and that's frequently enough to get the money in these statebred maiden claimers.

I leaned on Wave Theory over Atlantic Dream in the 5th and ignored the four firsters. With a bigger investment, I would have used them equally as A's and added the firsters as C's, but you've got to trim somewhere.

Shakeira in the 7th just looks better than these and appears finally to have found a field with no killers. Sean Chai and Geisha Gal look next best and appear to have the most upside. Dreaming of Cara is probably not good enough but her two best turf efforts came at Aqueduct. She's an unlikely winner but may well outrun her 30-1 ML odds.

The finale brims with possibilities but I'll take my chances with Katie Malone and Fast and Strong if I get that far. The latter was a potential lean off a string of superior figures, but her continued losses at short odds, and the stretch back to a route after having been cut back from routes to sprints, made me sufficiently queasy to double up on the A line.

 

1:52 pm: The drop was enough. Thetrainwasgone (#1-$5.80), in for $20k after four MSW tries, won the early duel and held off 18-1 Tina's Note late to win the first leg as the 9-5 second chooice. Azasecret was a distant third as the slight 9-5 favorite.

Tina's Note, aluminumpad off and trying dirt again after seven straight grass tries, opened 9-1, doubled in price during the betting. The eternal dilemma: Down the stretch, should I have been rooting for the 9-5 A or the 18-1 C? In the first leg, I think you always root for the A.

Unusual to see a race with five horses at 48-1 or higher, but they really did look that bad on paper -- including Caninann, beaten 75 3/4 in her debut at Suffolk Downs but along for fourth at 76-1 today.

 

2:00 pm: Wave Theory opened 3-to-5 for the second leg with Atlantic Dream the 5-1 second choice. As for those four firsters: Stormy Rhapsody (J Englehart) is 19-1, Trophy Point (Albertrani) is 23-1, Rock Show (Terranova) is 14-1, and I'm a little nervous that My Aly Rae (Nihei) is the third choice at 8-1.

One race before the pick-6 started, Saginaw ($3.20) won the $76k Fourstars Allstar to run his 2012 record to 9 for 12. The race was equally noteworthy for the return of Friend or Foe, who was second by just three-quarters of a length while making his first start since the 2011 Whitney. The 5-year-old by Friends Lake will stay in training and is being pointed for the Donn at Gulfstream this winter.

 

2:25 pm: In a battle of the Chads, 4-5 Wave Theory (#4-$3.60) was up in the final strides to nail uncoupled entrymate 5-2 Atlantic Dream, with pacesetter Voodoo Tales third and My Aly Rae a belated fourth. Wave Theory was best by more than her one-length margin: She swerved at the start, was rank between horses for the opening half mile and made up an impossible-looking gap in the final furlong, whereas Atlantic Dream had a perfect trip stalking from second.

Lisalisalee, Dubb/Rudy second-timer,opened 6-5 for the 6th with the other 10 at 8-1 or higher. No parimutuel love for $230k McLaughlin firster China Gold, currently 17-1.

 

2:55 pm: Phew. Graceful Meghan (#11-$12.00) looked like she was done in midstretch after dueling with and turning back 7-5 Lisalisalee, but found just enough to hold off 16-1 Raven Rise to win the 6th. Graceful Meghan was beaten a dozen lengths in the mud in her debut but clearly was more highly-regarded than that as she was bet to 4-1 second choice behind a runaway 7-5 winner that day.

Staying on the A line through the first half of the sequence has kept 6 of the 11 tickets alive (#'s 1,3,4,7,10 and 11 in the array below):

That boils down to three live outcomes:

4,6,9/1,2,5,6,8,9,10/7,8

1,8/1,5,6,9/7,8

4/1,5,6,9/1,3,5,10

 

3:30 pm: Shakeira (#4-$3.80) just up at the wire from far back to nail 1-2-around-the-track Inaugurate and Geisha Gal in the 7th. Lots of live combos (7x2 or 4x4) but with winners at 9-5, 4-5, 5-1 and 4-5, it's not shaping up as a bonanza.

 

3:40 pm: Per NYRA release, Groupie Doll is "confirmed" to take on the boys in the G1 Cigar Mile next Saturday. Hurrahs to the Bradleys for doing something extra special with an extra-special filly.

 

3:55 pm: Grrr. Looked like 9-1 Be Bullish might catch 8-5 Rigby in the final yards, but Rigby held on to continue the chalkfest and win the 8th in a snappy 1:09.15. That makes four victories in six starts since Steve Asmussen took him from Dominick Schettino for $17,500.

The understandably mild willpays:

All 10 are covered in the pick-6. I'm alive to 6 of them (1,3,5,7,8,10) but come out on the wrong side of the ledger if favored Fast and Strong wins and it pays $586. (First person to say "Yeah, but it's under the IRS reporting threshhold" is a rotten egg.) Actually pretty unusual to see willpays where longshots are paying 400 and 800 times as much as a favorite when that favorite is 2-1 and not 2-to-5

I would actually do better if three of the four horses I did NOT use wins, as I have saver 50-cent pick-4's to them (the insanity-insurance A/A/A/X play) that would pay more than the pick-6 to the favorite.

 

4:25 pm: Fast and Strong was neither, chasing and as usual hanging late, and Katie Malone ($12.40) benefitted from the switch to Ramon Dominguez (fifth of the day) to win the nightcap and complete a $2,870 all-A pick-6. Could have been better, could have been worse.