10/13/2011 1:22PM

Belmont Carryover: Just Kibbitzing


Much as I hate to pass up any double-carryover in New York, I just couldn't make heads or tails of today's sequence at Belmont Park. So I'll just kibbitz it while quietly kind of rooting for a triple-carryover into Friday.

(Kibbitz, a useful verb of Yiddish/German derivation, means to issue unwelcome or meddlesome comments, especially during a game that the kibbitzer is not actually playing. The term allegedly arose from the chess cafes of central Europe at the start of the 20th century.)

Here's the lineup for today's sextet, a 7x11x9x10x6x9 with four legs on the grass and $102,902 in the kitty after no one picked six Sunday or Monday. Forecasts for heavy rain here Wednesday proved unfounded, and after a day of perpetual cloudiness and just a few showers, the main track is fast and the turf is labelled firm:

The upcoming 4th, a race for older maiden fillies at a mile on the grass, was typical of the difficulty I had with this card. I'd have to either single 2-1 favorite Passionate Gold or go six-deep in a field of seven, and I just can't get excited enough about the favorite to put the majority of a four-figure investment on her. Good luck if you saw the race, and the five that follow it, more clearly than I did.


2:40 pm: Dead-heat for the win between 7-2 Ostensibly ($5.40 after the split pool) and 13-1 Style Squad ($12.60) with Passionate Gold an outfinished third behind them at 6-5. That starts things off on a confusing note -- maybe you're alive twice, but not that many people got totally knocked out -- and also raises the longstanding question of why dead-heats are treated differently in some multirace bets from the way they are in straight pools or intrarace exotics.

Let's pretend for a moment that this had been the last rather than first leg of the pick-6, and that there had been 15 tickets alive to Ostensibly at $20k each and 5 alive to Style Squad at $60k each, meaning a total payout of $300k for 6-of-6 winners. If the pick-6 worked like a win pool, double, exacta, tri or super, half the $300k would be awarded to each group of ticketholders. The 15 tickets to Ostensibly would pay $10k each (15 x $10k = $150k), and the five tickets alive to Style Squad would pay $30k each ( 5 x $30k = $150k). Instead, in every jurisdiction I know of, there would be a uniform payout of $15k to each of the 20 tickets, regardless of whether they used the 9-2 shot or the 13-1 shot.

There's really no justification for this method. It's not a question of technology, obviously, since bets as complicated as the superfecta are programmed to pay different amounts when there's a dead-heat involved. And it's inconsistent with the way dead-heats are treated in two- and three-leg multirace bets, where there are two payout amounts. For example, in the pick-3 on races 2-4, the 1-2-3 combo (with Ostensibly) paid $107, while the 1-2-6 (with Style Squad) paid $179.50. In the early pick-4 and the pick-6, however, there will be only one payout.


3:15 pm: One more stride and we might have had another dead heat, but 2-1 favorite Synthesizer ($6.80) held off 12-1 Chad Brown firster American Buffalo after almost giving back what looked like an insurmountable lead.

SYnthesizer outdueled the other speed and opened up a three-length lead with a furlong to go, but American Buffalo was weaving his way through the field and suddenly making giant strides, just falling short at the wire.

While the pick-3's ending in the dead-heat 4th weren's as far apart as might have been expected, the multirace payoffs ending the 5th reflected a wider gap. The 2-3-3 pick-3 through Ostensibly paid $122.50 while the 2-6-3 through Style Squad paid $274.50, and while the 3-3 double on races 4 and 5 paid just $20.20, the 6-3 double paid nearly four times as much at $80.00. But the early pick-4 paid $492.00 for both a 1-2-3-3 or a 1-2-6-3.


3:50 pm: This thing is turning into a regular chalkfest: After a dead-heat including a second choice in the opening leg and a 2-1 favorite hanging on in leg 2, 9-5 fave Lady on the Run ($5.90) swooped to an easy victory in race 6.


4:15 pm: Dax ($10.20), third choice at 4-1, outsurged 14-1 Staff Sargeant at the wire to keep plenty of players alive two-thirds of the way through the double-carryover. The 3-year-old Thunder Gulch gelding had been running against better at Monmouth and was dropping from $35k N2L company to $20k N2L company today. Only four lengths separated the first eight under the wire.

Cinder Cone, opened 3-5 for the six-horse 8th race, but is not appreciably shorter than 5-2 Rigby or 4-1 Distant Sky in any other pool.


4:55 pm: Rigby, eventualy bet to 3-2 favoritism (with Distant Sky 2-1 and Cinder Cone 5-2), took advantage of a prolonged due between Cinder Cone and Joan's Choice, surgin late to run by both of them to win the 8th and set up the following somewhat surprising Pick-6 willpays:


Those are pretty healthy returns for a sequence with three winning favorites. Good luck if you're alive. The only uncovered horse is Miss Dolan's Rose, who would provide a three-day, $290k carryover into Friday.


5:25 pm: For a tantalizing opening half-mile in 46.92, 54-1 Miss Dolans Rose was in front by daylight, raising the possibility of a million-collar Friday...but she was done at the top of the stretch and 8-1 Bobs Pinup Girl held off 31-1 Chick In Slacks to cap a $24,173 pick-6 payoff on 12 tickets. (There would have been 3 winners at $96k had Chick in Slacks prevailed.) Wonder how many of those were on each of the dead-heat winners in the opener maybe 9 one way and three the other?

Bobs Pinup Girl was the 1000th career winner for jockey David Cohen.

Far Isle, hammered to 6-5 favoritism, broke a length behind the field and never got closer than fifth down the backstretch. The 5-of-6 consolation was worth $185.00.