12/31/2008 7:40PM

Auld Lang, No Signer

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Took a swing at the mandatory-payout final NYRA pick-6 of 2008 and missed badly (not even a stinkin' conso) despite getting singles home in the last two legs. It was one of those sequences where you knew going in which two legs were going to be the tough ones, but I truly would have had to hit the all-button twice to connect:

I carved up the nine runners in the 5th into a trio of A's, B's and C's and even in hindsight can't see Great Emperor in a higher tier. The complete bustout came 22 minutes later when 34-1 Personal Good came up the inside from last. Personal Good had been racing in weaker restricted claiming races than this open $20k sprint and had never exceeded a Beyer of 72 in 12 career dirt starts in a heat where it looked like it was going to take a minimum of an 85 to win.

But two people either went "all" or found a reason to like him, leading to a pool-splitting $68k payout. Only three of the dozen horses in the finale were covered for 6/6, and I'm guessing one person was singled to Mrs. Holden while the other also had A Word to the Wise and My Time of Day. Consos were worth $403 apiece.

Blankslate Delosvientos waltzed home an 11 1/4-length winner of the Gallant Fox at 4-5 despite coming off a 100-day layoff. If we gave out year-end awards for long-distance specialists, I'd vote for him over BC Marathon winner Muhannak. Delosvientos, a 5-year-old Siphon gelding, won four dirt stakes at 1 1/2 miles and up in 2008, including the G2 Brooklyn, for owner-trainer Giuseppe Iadisernia. An admirable racehorse.

Turn the page and toss the program. Horseplayers mark the arrival of a new year not by a dropping ball but by a blank slate for a gambling ledger. No matter how good or bad your 2008 was at the windows, we're all even for the new year starting at midnight. Let the game begin, again.

Walt More than 1 year ago
Tom: Miami and Broward County would be overcharging for rooms right now between the Orange Bowl that took place last night (Jan. 1) and the BCS Championship Game that is taking place this coming Wedensday (Jan. 7) You are going to have a lot of people from Oklaholma as well as some from Gainesville taking over Miami for most of the next week because of the latter game.
Don Reed More than 1 year ago
Happy New Year, Steve. Here's hoping you're the King on the next Saturday in May. Highly Recommended: "In The Footsteps of Marco Polo," by Denis Bellivue and Francis O'Donnell (2008). Dial up PBS On-Line and watch the video segments of a show they ran one night @ six weeks ago. Both men travelled 25,000 miles on foot, hitchhiking, and on horse and camel back, along the same approximate route that Marco Polo had taken on his way to China over 700 years ago. The photography and writing are both superb. By my count, they narrowly escaped getting killed on four separate occasions. This may seem "off-topic" (New Years Resolution, to all: Let's retire this trite expression). Not so. See the substantial chapter in the book about the present-day Mongolian horsemen. Also finished "Champions." Outstanding - and it helped me discover a work of plagiarism by another racing writer who had lifted another writer's description of a major historical race - because your book presented the same - this time, in quotes & stating who had originally written it. "HEY! Didn't I just read this a month ago, somewhere else?" (Yep.) (Another New Years Resolution: Toss the Blood-Horse issues when they arrive each week, and let the subscription run out in March.) Go With The Flo Joe just won the final race of the year at Balmoral, in Illinois. If you had the MoJo, Flo Joe was Your Big Mo. (The stentorian-without-grace race caller, at the end, wishing us all well in 2009, somehow failed to single out "The Human Hair Ball," Gov. Rod Blagovich, to thank him for his infamous support of Illinois racing in 2008. These ingrates.)
Stan More than 1 year ago
Happy New Year. Lets have a great 2009 year.
B.A.Bob Grant More than 1 year ago
Happy New Year Steve & racing fans. While I didn't bet them, there was a certain karma to bridesmaids Mrs.Holden & Royal Seal winning the 2008 finales @ Aqueduct & Santa Anita today. The "if not now, never" rule seemed to be in effect!
p ensign More than 1 year ago
Happy new year - quick question Steve - when you have a chalky outlook for 1/2 to 2/3 of a pick 6 sequence, do you ever just take those solid A's and put them together with the basically unthinkables in the other legs? i.e. 3 singled favorites by 2 A's in the fourth leg, with the five least likely horses from the remaining brain twister legs? for a hundred bucks or so, it seems a reasonable enough strategy where you're feeling good about a lot of the races but not a couple. this card seems a pretty good example - your A & B in leg one, by the bottom five in the next two, then three singled favorites (I know you had three A's in leg 4, but just as a fer instance) - whammo $68k. just a play i've been messing around with on paper for a while but haven't actually put into practice yet - wondered about your thoughts on it. thanks p ensign
The Plod Boys More than 1 year ago
Can't tell you the Plod Boys had them all, but Great Emperor was a stick out based on VP -84 & VP -128 efforts off the gap, with 3 solid efforts before that. Personal Good was VZ 220 turning back (we love that). We just couldn't get the the chalky late double. P6 no DD priceless
Tom D. More than 1 year ago
Killed on the last day of the year! I'm torn between treating myself to Tampa(1.5 hrs away) or Gulstream (3 hrs. away.) Alas, Miami and Broward County are overcharging for rooms so Tampa it is.