10/11/2014 12:00PM

Belmont 10/11/14: A Small, Wet, Triple Carryover


Time was, a $138k Pick-6 carryover in New York would have been too high for a one-day carry and too low for a two-day carry. Now, it's what we start with for a triple carryover into today's rain-soaked card at Belmont. After being hit last Sunday, the wager eluded the public on the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday cards.

All of today's grass races except the G3 Knickerbocker have been switched to the main track, including 4 of the 6 Pick-6 races, which prompted 30 scratches from the original 64 entrants in races 5 through 10.

Here's what the lineup looked like before scratches:

Here's what we're left with. (Top Beyer Speed Figures have been changed from top-grass to top-dirt figs for the off-the-turfers):

That's a reduction from over 600,000 possible Pick-6 permutations to just over 50,000 in the new 5x7x6x6x5x8 lineup.

I've still got some re-handicapping to do. My strategy going in is to play it a little bit like a mandatory-payout pick-6 -- thin on the A line, but with a slew of C's. Days like this seem prone to a results slate with five logical short-field winners and one completely wacky winner with dreadful form who woke up in the slop. It's also entirely possible that every off-the-turf race will go to one of the obvious favorites, but at least with the carryover it will still probably pay more than it should.

I'll be back with my tickets before the sequence is scheduled to begin at 2:54 ET

1:40 pm: This is tougher than I expected. The fields are small, but the off-the-turfers have one horse after another who has never raced on dirt. Do you want the horses who have been running decent seconds and thirds on the turf, even though they are complete mysteries on dirt, or the experienced dirt horses who aren't very good but can at least handle the surface?

2:10 pm: For what it's worth, the first three races on the card were run pretty formfully (It's Easy at 9-5, Non Stop at 5-2, Okey Dokey Smokey at 4-5). Nobody's making up oodles of ground late, but it doesn't seem like one of those wet tracks where the races are effectively over after the first quarter.

I may be down to the wire posting the play, because I want to look at the betting on the race 5-6 double -- race 6 is a seven-horse field with five firsters. One of the firsters is going to have to be awfully good to beat second-timer Ready for Rye, and perhaps the early double betting will offer some clues as to whether that is the case.

2:30 pm: You can win from off the pace and on the rail. In the 4th, 7-2 Dawly sat behind a protracted duel between 1-1 Integrity and 4-1 Pass the Dice, then rallied up the inside to pass them in deep stretch.

2:45 pm: Here's the play:

With 8 mtp, there's already $235k on top of the $138k carryover.

None of the firsters in the 6th is being bet like he's a worldbeater, with Ready for Rye a third the price of anyone else. Kiaran McLaughlin has the next two choices in second-timer Kick Off and firster Mathooq.

3:05 pm: Nice start if you used C C's Pride, who ran down 4-1 Get Gorgeous and somehow floated to 8-1 despite having the top dirt Beyer figure in the race, which also came in the mud at Belmont. Granted, last two starts not so good, and trainer Araya (4 for 54 this year) and jockey Israel Rodriguez (4 for 73 at the meet) inflated the price.

Prayed For, making dirt debut but from the family of Corinthian, was hammered to 6-5, started out well but began to fade in upper stretch and ended up third. Monmouth shipper Long Blooming Rose, bet to 3-2, was last of five.

C C's Pride ($18.00) completed a $2 pick-5 that paid $3537 and a $2 pick-4 worth $833.

Ready for Rye opened 2-5 for the 6th with four others between 7-1 and 9-1.

3:30 pm: Ready for Rye ($3.10) broke like a shot, shrugged off challenges from 19-1 Unlock the Glory early and 9-2 Mathooq ($850k Distorted Humor yearling) on the turn, and drew away a decisive winner in 1:09.92. Ready for Rye, a City Zip colt, was second in his only start to Carpe Diem, who came out of his debut to win the G1 Breeders' Futurity a week ago.

4:00 pm: Awkwardly-named Checkupfromzneckup led from flagfall to finish line in the 7th. Away since her March debut at Gulfstream, where she finished fourth behind stakes fillies Size and Princess Violet after trailing early, was chased early by Sykvia T and Colorful, then drew away with 17-1 Silverama a distant second. Third winner of the day for owner Michael Dubb.

Up With the Birds is a solid Knickerbocker favorite in the double and pick-3 pools, but Mshawish opened the 2-1 favorite.

The late pick-4, which was guaranteed at $300k, narrowly hit that target with a posted final pool of $304,755.

4:45 pm: Legendary ($10.20) ran down Plainview in upper stretch and then held off a late bid from favored Up With the Birds to win the G3 Knickerbocker. The winner was bet down from his 8-1 morning-line to be one of three horses who went off at 4-1 behind 2-1 Up With the Birds and 7-2 Mshawish.

Legendary, a 5-year-old British-bred gelding by the Australian-born Exceed and Excel, is owned by Walter Swinburn and trained by Niall Seville. He ran the nine furlongs on a yielding course in 1:51.69 under Sheldon Russell. This was his graded-stakes debut after winning three of five starts since being sent here from England last spring.

AAAA. On the other hand, I made Vona, currently 8-5 fave in the upcoming 9th, only a C, which would leave me alive only to Jimmy Fillpot in the finale.

5:05 pm: Rats. Vona it was as the 2-1 second choice over 9-5 Old Upstart in a race where the other three could not get within 10 lengths of the top two. March Reward missed the break.

So here are the willpays into the finale, where I'm now covered only with likely favorite Jimmy Fillpot for a $9402 return:

5:35 pm: Jimmy Fillpot it was not, as the 6-5 favorite finished a distant second to 3-1 Political Farce. Voter Turnout, who shot out to an enormous early lead, bolted on the turn and finished third. I did a doubletake when I thought I noticed that Political Farce, a maiden claimer, is out of Havre de Grace. Closer inspection revealed she's out of Harve (as in short for Harvey) de Grace and was not produced by Horse of the Year Havre de Grace.

Political Farce completed a $17,863 pick-6. The conso was worth $138.50 and four of those did not cover expenditures. Vona. Argggh.