09/25/2008 2:46PM

Bicoastal Carryovers


2:45 pm: Outsmarted myself in Leg 1 of the Belmont double-carry. Some people will look at the result, a victory by Shadwell firster Habaya, and wonder how a Storm Cat-Golden Apples filly could possibly pay $20.20 in her debut on the turf and wonder what sort of idiot used her only as a backup.

Well, here's where this sort of idiot went wrong. Habaya was one of four very well-bred firsters in the race and wasn't even the only one out of an Eclipse-winning turf mare -- Christophe Clement had a Storm Cat-Wandesta firster -- and she was dead on the board opening at 14-1 in the win pool and no better than 6th choice in the multirace will-pays. Also, trainer Kieran McLaughlin, though proficient with firsters, was 0-for-20 with firsters on the grass in New York over the last five years. Finally, regular stable rider Alan Garcia wasn't on her, instead taking the mount on the Clement firster who was half the price.

I had planned to use Habaya as a B, and downgraded her to a C based on the tote action. Bad move. Habaya was best and comfortable beat one of my A's to leave me with a rotten 2x1x4x1x2 the rest of the way on a difficult card where a lot more coverage than that seems in order. The lone live ticket now goes 1,2/7/1,5,6,8/4/4,8.

They're speeding up the card by about three minutes per race to try to beat the expected late-afternoon storms. Post time for the 9th, originally scheduled for 5:17 p.m., is now at 4:53.

4:30 pm: I'm almost glad that Benlayla, who I couldn't have used with $10k in Confederate money, won leg 4 because while I didn't put the first three winners on the same ticket they were all plausible and I might have hooked them up together with just a slightly different approach.

Just about 40 minutes until the pick-6 fun begins at Oak Tree with their 3rd race. I won't be participating -- put all my time and eggs into the Belmont basket -- and I know Californians don't get too excited about a lousy little one-day $100k carry, but I'll keep an eye on it in case it carries again.

Anyone still alive is now in position for a monstrous score, and I congratulate anyone who's gotten this far. A triple-carryover isn't impossible if Boca Grande loses at 6-5 in leg 5 momentarily -- it's hard to imagine that anyone could have singled any of the first four winners, and Boca Grande looked like the most likely winner in the sequence on paper. They're going into the gate....

Nope, Boca Grande won pretty easily. The pick-6 will-pays are posted in the chart above. Looks like there are 3 tickets at $158,590 alive to the favored #11; 1 ticket at $475.770 alive to the 3,4,6,7,8, 10 and 12 (one person?); and four others (the 1,2,5 and 9) who would produce a $475k triple-carry. Guess which four I'm rooting for?

5:00 pm: Congrats to the three $158,590 winners as Musca just held off Powerchord. The winner was not the post-time favorite -- a flood of late punches knocked Iwinski firster Royal Tapit from 4-1 to 5-2 in the last two flashes -- but was the only one of the 12 with multiple live tickets. The outcome must have been a bummer to whoever was alive to 8 of them, since the other seven would have produced three times as big a payoff -- but what a finish for the two people who appear to have singled the last-race winner. Firster Right of Way, who would have produced a triple carry, might have been best: He broke behind the field, was about 10 wide turning for home, and was a fast-closing third.

Two minutes to leg 1 at Oak Tree. Holy Thunder's even-money with Dogmatic 5-2 and the six others 7-1 and up.

I'll do some late 'capping and fool around with the laye p4 at OSA and hope for a longer ride than yesterday's, where I was immediately eliminated in leg 1, running 2-3 behind the difficult 1-for-14 Man to Man. I went ACA the rest of the way, using $47.40 California Flag as a possible loose-speed backup, a tantalizing outcome since the thing paid $14k for $1.

People still seem confused by how these pick-6 pools are carved up -- I just heard some commentators speculating about whether there were 4 or 5 winning tickets at Belmont since the "pool" was supposedly $700,000 or so. Here's how it works:

The amount wagered today was $522,160. Of that, 26 percent ($135,761) is extracted as takeout, leaving $386,398. Of that, 25 percent ($96,599) is recerved for consolations. That leaves $289,799. Add that to the carryover of $185k and you get the $475,770 that was paid out to three winners at $158,590 apiece.

6:30 pm: Vienna firster Feisty Suances made the OSA pick-x's interesting by scoring at $21.60. The three race parlay of $240.67 is less than half the $516-for-$2 pick-3 payoff, so maybe he was an even longer price in the multirace bets.

Here's the Riddle of the Day, one to which I do not know the answer: Of the 11 Grade 1 races at Belmont and Oak Tree Saturday, only six are "Win and You're In" races for Breeders' Cup purposes: 5 of the 6 at Oak Tree are WAYI's (all but the Clement Hirsch) but only 1 of the 5 at Belmont (the Jockey Club Gold Cup) is. Can anyone explain how the Lady's Secret, Yellow Ribbon and Ancient Title are WAYI's but the parallel Beldame, Flower Bowl and Vosburgh are not?

It's probably academic, since Grade 1 winners don't usually have a problem getting into BC races, but this sort of discrepancy makes the entire WAYI system look like a joke.