12/09/2011 1:01PM

Aqueduct 12/9: Chasing the $81k Double Carry



1:00 pm: 50 minutes to the start of the Aqueduct pick-6, where a two-day $81k carryover awaits and the challenge is what to do with three standout favorites in the sequence: Sanchise in the 4th, Alphabet Jamerica in the 6th and R Clever Cat in the 9th. All of them deserve to be favored but all three have textbook drawbacks:

*Sanchise, 7-5 against six other older maidens in the opening leg, has run second against similar company in his last two starts at Laurel and Parx, earning Beyers that trump the field. On the other hand, he has gotten late early and lost ground in the stretch of all seven career starts.

*Alphabet Jamerica, 2-1 (and likely shorter by post time) in a filly statebred N1x that goes as the 6th, won her debut against open company at Parx last time earning a Beyer of 76 that is 10 points better than anyone else's recent best, but the runaway came at 6.5 furlongs in the mud and today she gets fast footing while stretching out to two turns and a mile and 70 yards.

*R Clever Cat, 1-1 on the line and probably more like 3-5 when the sequence comes to a close at 4:15 pm, comes off a good third in N2x company at Monmouth that would trounce this weak field, but inexplicably plummets to $7500 claiming company.

If you think they're all truly 50-50 propositions, then it's 12.5 percent that all three of them win, 12.5 percent that all of them lose, and 75 percent that 1 or 2 of them will win, the range where most of my combos will fall on a play I'm trying to keep under $1,000. Here's the post-scratch lineup, and I'll be back with the array before it starts.


1:45 pm: Here we go:

7/2,5,6,7,8/2,3/1,5,6,11/1,3,7,9/5 = $320

1,5,6/2,6/2/1,5,6,11/1,3,7,9/5 = $192

7/2,6/1,5,8/1,5,6,11/1,3,7,9/5 = $192

7/2,6/2/1,5,6,11/1,3,7,9/1,7,8,10 = $256

I singled the three aforementioned standouts as "A's," and any two of them must win for me to go 6 for 6, but only 80 of the 480 combos I played ($960) have all three of them winning.

The crucial choice I had to make to stay within my budget was whether to ditch the one-wins/two-lose tickets or to split my four A's in both the 7th and 8th into two A's and two B's. I went the former ropute, finding it impossible to split my quartets in those two races. I feel sliughtly better about getting two of the three big chalks to win than in finelining two tough open races.

Sanchise opened 1-9, still 2-5 as they head for the gate.


2:00 pm: Sanchise got the job done at 1-to-2, but not without a couple of different kinds of anxious moments.

First, he couldn't clear Charlestonian going into the first turn and had to be used to get by him heading into the backstretch, after which Charlestonian came back at him from the outside. As they headed into the stretch turn, I had no confidence Sanchise had much left for the stretch after being dogged the whole way, and then.....the sattellite picture went out for a good 10 seconds. Did that happen to everyone or just on the Nassau OTB channel? Fortunately for me of little faith, by the time the picture came back, Sanchise had gotten clear from Charlestonian and the rest and was on his way to a lengthy victory.


2:30 pm: Which way should I have been rooting in the photo-finish 5th: For 6-5 favorite and "A" Iron Lou, who would keep me alive 5x4x4x1 and 1x4x4x5, or for 13-1 "B" outsider Ever a Friend, who would knock out a lot of competition but thin me down to a 2x4x4x1? The photo went to the latter at $28.40, so here's hoping.

Ever a Friend, now an 8-year-old, was winning for the 10th time in 40 career starts. He was a high-caliber grass miler back in 2008-2009, when he won the G1 Kilroe and was second in the G1 Citation (to Fluke) and second in the G1 Shoemaker (to Daytona). Today's victory was for a restricted $20k tag.

Apbhabet Jamerica not getting a lot of love at 9-5 in the early betting for the 6th. 


2:55 pm: Alphabet Jamerica, pounded late to 4-5, made it 2 for 2 with a front-running victory in the 6th, clearing early from the inside, kept under mild pressure as Purely Majestic and Ginger Snapit were hustled to stay close, and drawing clear late as the chasers faded and longshots Guyana Princess and My Unbridled Storm got up for the mninor awards.

Weird double and pick-3 payoffs into the race: The 5-2 double of Ever a Friend ($28.40) and Alphabet Jamerica paid a fat $115.50 while the pick-3 beginning with Sanchise ($3.00) paid only slightly more at $131.00.


3:25 pm: Honey Mou ($7.70), 12-1 ML (when race was carded for turf) but second choice at post time to 6-5 Miss Mexique, got through on the rail to win the 7th and give owner Drawing Away Stable, trainer David Jacobson and jockey David Cohen their third winner on the card. The connections scored earlier with Copy My Swagger ($3.90) in the third and Ever a Friend in the 5th. Alive 4x1, 1,3,7,9/5.


3:55 pm: Arggh. Ran 2-3-4 behind box-to-wire Joan's Choice ($14.80), top Beyer in last that I cleverly discounted because it came with a perfect set-up and against restricted claimers. But he somehow got loose early in what I thought was a speed-packed field and no one could get near him late.

Looks like he was a lot more than 6-1 in the 6-7-8 pick-3 pool: The combo of Alphabet Jamerica at $3.90, Honey Mou at $7.70 and Joan's Choice at $14.80 came back an enormous $449.50.

The pick-6 to 1-to-2 R Clever Cat is paying $11,565. Double arggh. Be pretty funny if the three favorites I singled all won and I missed it. Yeah, uproarious.

Those $11k payouts are 22 of the 26 live combos. There would be two winners at $127k with the #7, one winner at $254k with the 1 and 8, and a three-day $254k carryover with the 3,6,9 and 10.  


4:25 pm: Life's Measure ($23.80), away slowly, finished strongly to ru down 2-to-5 R Clever Cat at the 16th pole and reward one pick-6 player to the tune of $254.651. Uncovered First Penny was second as R Clever Cat held third after making the lead, turning back OK to Pay in upper stretch, and then fading late. The 5/6 conso was worth $633

The Saturday feature is the $65k Stymie at a mile and 3/16ths for older males, which drew a field of five including Ron the Greek (6-5 ML), Inherit the Gold (5-2), and a pair of uncoupled 4-1 Rick Dutrow trainees, Arson Squad and Ea.