06/15/2011 1:00PM

Big Belmont Carryover: As Tough as it Gets



1:00 pm: Today's 4th through 9th races at Belmont Park are interesting, challenging and contentious -- terrific for fool-around horseplaying but a nightmare for Pick-6 players chasing a $1.13 carryover from Belmont Stakes Day, the second largest carryover in New York racing history.

I've been looking at these six races for many of the last 24 hours and the more I look the less I like this pick-6. This is in no way a complaint about the card, and I'm looking forward to playing and watching most of the races in the sequence. I feel obligated to participate in the pick-6 because of the seven-digit carryover and the off chance that I'm walking around particularly smart or lucky today, but I'm making more of a token play than a full frontal assault.

These carryovers are usually taken down once they get into rarefied financial territory because syndicates and whales jump into the pool with massive investments, and because even the toughest-looking card can always end up being a chalkfest. This one feels different, with the distinct possibility of another carryover.

Five of the six races are on turf (listed as "good" after taking just a few sprinkles since Belmont Day), three of them at six furlongs. Turf sprints are tough enough, but even the kinds of races that can usually be boiled down to a couple of standouts have come up tough. The first leg, a 10-furlong maiden race, has a field of just eight but six of them have something to recommend them. The lone dirt race, a statebred N1x, is not the usual clash between a recent impressive maiden winner or two and those who have been running 2nd or 3rd at this level -- instead, it's filled with returnees from layoffs and out-of-towners facing statebreds for the first time.

Here's the lineup after scratches. Scheduled post time for the first leg is 2:36 p.m. I'll post my play before it starts and and follow it through to the end win, lose or carry.



2:15 pm: Having some computer issues posting art today, so instead of a pretty Formulator screen-grab with color-coded chiclets, here's a spreadsheet version of my $792 play:


Pretty thin, right? Please understand that I'm not opining that every horse absent above is a true "x" in the usual sense of being a throwout or a no-hoper (like, say, Mission Approved and Ruler on Ice last Saturday.) If I felt like investing more heavily, I'd move all the B's above to A's and the C's to B's and add a dozen or more C's throughout the card. I also note that $648 of my $792 singles a 0-for-13 maiden in the finale, not a horse I'd ever bet $48 to win on much less $648, as a 3-1ish favorite. But if by some miracle I get that far, maybe I'll be looking at a $15k payoff and I'd bet $648 to win on Galaxy Jet at 20-1 any day. 

It worked out to just three tickets because I spent an extra $72 combining all the A's and B's on my main ticket. Ergo:

3,5,7/2,8,10/6,7,9,10/7,9/8,10,11,13/1 = $576

2,6,8/2,8,10/6,7/7/8,13/1 = $72

3,5,7/2,8,10/6,7/7/8,13/3,9 = $144


2:45 pm: Clear Attempt ($4.50) and Colossal Gift, who ran a close 2-3 in an April 29th maiden race at Keeneland, ran a close 1-2 as the 6-5 favorite and 5-2 second choice in the opening leg of the Pick-6. The dime super paid $10.02. What an easy game. Everyone's alive.


3:00 pm: Today's additional pick-6 handle was $4,103,130, a NYRA record other than Breeders' Cup Days. 


3:15 pm: Farewell, Pick-6. My trio of 3-1 shots ran 2-3-4 behind gate-to-wire Must Be Love ($9.60).


3:50 pm: Prince of Danger, first-time Fawkes and facing statebreds for the first time after three starts in Florida last year, ran a hole in the wind demolishing an N1x field on the lead in 21.66, 44.43 and 1:08.94. Not much chance of a four-day $4 million quadruple carryover after winners at 6-5, 7-2 and 7-2, though I suspect all of them were bigger prices in the pick-6 -- the pick-3 of the first half of the pick-6 paid $182 for $2.


4:00 pm: So what are those of you still alive playing for between the $1.1 million carryover and the $4.1 million in new handle? Let's do the math.

Put aside the carryover for the moment. Take the $4,103,130 bet today, and subtract the 26 percent takeout ($1,066,813.20) That leaves $3,036,316.80, of which 25 percent -- $759,079.20 -- will be paid out as consolations today. Now add the $1,130,718 carryover to what's left after takeout and consos and $3,407,955 will be paid out to today's 6 of 6 winners.

And that's the magic of carryovers: Even with the exorbitant 26 percent takeout rate, there was $4.10 million bet today but $4.16 million will be paid out.


4:30 pm: Under other circumstances, I would have been delighted to see my first single, Ms. Stiletto ($5.40), charging to victory. Instead, having used her and my lone B, 7-1 Australis Princess, in equal strength in the pick-4, I only grimaced as the favorite ran by Australis Princess. And no, I didn't pound the $37.40 exacta.

Weird: The race 7-8 doubles are paying $12.40 to Upper Afllet and $28.20 to Saratoga Steve, but Upper Afleet is 3-1 and Saratoga Steve is 5-2.


4:50 pm: Hey Steve, you didn't like Hooligan's Delight? You didn't see him as the uncontested speed?

Apparently not.

Unraced since November, Hooligan's Delight ($52.50) was a daylight winner over 8-5 Upper Afleet and 3-1 Saratoga Steve, finally providing a true bomb in the pick-6. I guess you could say he's a horse for the course, having registered his lone victory going 6f on the grass at Belmont a year and six days ago. Winning trainer Bobby Barbara is now 5 for 11 at the current meet.

I'll post the willpays in a couple of minutes. Looks like there's one uncovered horse -- #10, Magic Queen, who's currently 41-1. 


5:00 pm: Here are those willpays -- thanks to Hooligan's Delight, they range from a low  of $106k to a highof $1.13 million:

 I know, the math doesn't work out to the penny when you multiply the live tickets by the  payouts, for reasons that I can never quite get to the bottom of and that sometimes have to do with the intricacies of Canadia currency conversions -- but they're close enough.

Magic Queen has actually gone down from 41-1 to 34-1 since the betting opened. Wonder how much of that is hedge money from those alive elsewhere?


5:25 pm: Copious Notes ($9.80) completed a sweep of the three turf sprints by gate-to-wire winners to reward 11 pick-6 winners with $308,963 apiece. Congratulations. Grrrr.

Barry More than 1 year ago
Hey Steve : Thanks for doing Monday night Madness- it was fun.
Walt P. More than 1 year ago
Two items to note here: First, there was a Letter that appeared in Sunday's (6/19) print edition criticizing NYRA for raising admission prices on Belmont Day and that leading to the decline in attendance (http://www.drf.com/news/letters-editor-june-19). What the writer forgets is a lot happened after that 2004 Belmont between the bankruptcy and other things that forced NYRA to increase prices on Belmont Stakes day and also a ban on bringing in alcohol following as I remember an incident of a drunk driver ramming into a car with a small child who was seriously injured following a day of tailgating outside Giants Stadium that led to a substantial judgement, forcing NYRA to change to avoid being liable for such. The latter is likely the reason for the attendance decline, especially given what happened at Pimlico two years ago before the bottomless cup and Kegasus came about. The other is concerning Mr. Crist's article on adding the BC Juvenile sprint: From a business standpoint, adding a Juvenile Sprint is a smart move as yes, that will attract a far bigger handle than a race on the BC undercard for the same group of horses. The Sprint being cut to $1.5 Million won't be hurt at all by this move, as that race is still by far the richest such race in North America. There are other BC Races that likely won't get hurt at all by seeing their purses cut some while others probably would benefit from an increase. As I would be looking to do in a restructured Breeders' Cup, including shifting the races in some cases around for a possible move from ESPN to NBC in 2014 and assuming by that time the Breeders' Cup will be a full blown nighttime event, with coverage if on NBC by then on Friday from 7:30-10:00 PM ET on Versus and 10:00-11:00 PM ET on NBC and Saturday from 4:30-11:00 PM ET on NBC (all post times noted are Eastern): Friday (Six Races, first four on Versus or USA Network, last two on NBC): 7:45 -- The $500,000 Juvenile Sprint 8:20 -- The $500,000 Juvenile Fillies Turf (down from $1 Million) 8:55 -- The $1,250,000 Juvenile Fillies (down from $2 Million) 9:34 -- The $500,000 Juvenile Turf (down from $1 Million) 10:13 -- The $1,000,000 Filly & Mare Sprint 10:45 -- The $2,000,000 Filly & Mare Turf Notable here is the Juvenile Turf being shifted to Friday, with the Filly & Mare Turf becoming the Friday headliner with the Marathon and Ladies Classic shifted to Saturday. The Juvenile Turf and its filly counterpart would not be hurt by decreases to $500,000, nor would the Juvenile Fillies be hurt at all with a decrease to $1.25 Million. Saturday (Nine Races, all on NBC): 4:59 -- The $1,000,000 Dirt Mile 5:44 -- The $750,000 Turf Sprint (down from $1 Million) 6:38 -- The $1,500,000 Sprint 7:17 -- The $1,000,000 Marathon (up from $500,000), lengthened to two miles. 7:55 -- The $2,000,000 Turf Mile 8:33 -- The $1,500,000 Juvenile (down from $2 Million) 9:12 -- The $2,000,000 Ladies Classic, returned to its original distance of 1 1/4 Miles 9:51 -- The $5,000,000 Turf (up from $3 Million) 10:32 -- The $5,000,000 Classic The gap between post times of the second and third BC events on Saturday allows for local NBC stations to air local news between 6:00-6:30 PM ET if they are required to without missing a BC race, with the gap between the first two BC games allowing NBC to have a Notre Dame football game start at 1:00 PM ET that Saturday and go multiple overtimes as the first BC race can be pushed back up to 15 minutes if necessary. The Turf Sprint and Juvenile would not be hurt by cuts to $750,000 and $1.5 Million respectively, whereas the Marathon would greatly benefit from seeing its purse doubled to $1 Million and increasing the Turf to $5 Million likely makes it more enticing for Euros to ship over following the Arc. The purses listed here do not reflect for a nighttime Breeders' Cup a likely severe influx of new handle from the Asia-Pacific region (where it would be Saturday for Friday BC Races and Sunday for Saturday BC Races) that could be well over $1 Billion. If that handle materializes, any cuts would likely be rendered moot as the purses for Breeders' Cup races could rise to levels no one may think is possible now, including the Classic potentially being worth $15-20 Million, the Turf being worth $12-15 Million and so forth, along with major funding of other races for older horses leading up to the Breeders' Cup that likely will help keep horses who currently retire at three in training for races at four and five.
Walt P. More than 1 year ago
Haven't been here for a few days, but I did want to say a big thank you to Jeff T., who replied to what I wrote a few blogs back. What you said in that blog is greatly appreciated about the things I feel need to be done for the sport as a whole.
peat moss More than 1 year ago
todd pletcher needs to retire life at ten. the horse can not run anymore.
ajvrvc More than 1 year ago
a little late posting: I was looking to put in tickets with a total investment well under $1000 using TicketMaker. To achieve that I ended up having to knock my 'B' 's down to 'C' in all cases and completely eliminate all my 'C' 's from the tickets, an effective but unintelligent startegy. I ended up with a $864 play. I also ended up with 2 original 'B' 's, the Barbara $52 horse (had to put him in given past form and Barbara's current numbers) and Prince of Danger (who wasn't much of a reach) as single 'C' 's on otherwise all 'A' tickets. Result: zilch. Steve-what would have been a better strategy in your opinion? p.s. had the winning ticket in my first TicketMaker stew but investment was over $4500, well worth it after the fact. [I can't think of a better strategy given your target budget. That was a very tough sequence to hit for my $792 or your $864. One investment group put in $90k and didn't hit it. -SC]
Todd R. More than 1 year ago
I don't know why there is so much disdain for turf sprints. I enjoy them and have done well on them over the years. I would much rather a large field going 6 panels on the grass than a small field running anything else anytime!
Dogs Up More than 1 year ago
Back to Bump in the Belmont Like reviewing the famous Zapruder films over and over, Johnny V (as well as other outside riders) was looking to his left at inside horses and was not watching the traffic pattern developing in front of him. Everyone knew and expected the outside horse, Shackelford, to be where he was 5 jumps out of the gate, in front. When JV turned his head forward it was too late to correct the fact that he took his eyes off of the shake out from the gate. The fact that the stewards did not light the Inquiry sign (and they did say they reviewed the race prior to posting results) , Rajiv should have gotten 5, 3 for no contest at best. Possibly no days. Were the stewards forced to have the meeting with the jocks and adjudicate precipitated by Johnny V's public comments? Fact that they didn't light the sign, Johnny and the parties should have handled this outside of the media/public first, then the findings of the stewards announced and made public.
Don Reed More than 1 year ago
“Farewell, Pick-6. My trio of 3-1 shots ran 2-3-4 behind gate-to-wire Must Be Love ($9.60).” Mine is a useless suggestion in that we have to put our P6 ticket in prior to the first of six races, so what the actual odds of horses will be in the 2nd thru 6th legs can be at best a blindfold job. So the following pertains to just playing a race, period: When there are –it’s not a rare event – three, even four horses at 5/2, 3-1, 7/2 on the board with five minutes to post, these often are the Sirens trying to lure the ship onto the rocks – and anything at 7-1 & up actually stands a decent chance of winning/hitting the board. This would be relevant only to races with larger pools. Should one of the multiple 5/2’s-7/2’s suddenly plunge with a minute to post as the result of a whale landing in your canoe, then, conversely, the trend of the 7-1 besting horses backed by indecisive stabbers (leading to a homogenization of the odds) stands a good chance of going off the cliff. “Homogenization of the odds” can also describe the odds of the Belmont Stakes runners, i.e., Ruler On Ice (“R.O.I.,” also stands for “Return on Investment”!) going off at a preposterously low 24-1. ***** “And… even with the exorbitant 26 percent takeout rate, there was $4.10 million bet today but $4.16 million will be paid out.” Would it make sense for NYRA, on days when this ballooning of the P6 pot occurs, to cut their 26% to a 23-22% TO - as a lure to attract even more money – would this, in turn, produce a higher TO profit NYRA? No definite opinion; what do you think?
john florides More than 1 year ago
steve, last year same time i had holligans delight in thebig pick6 carryover,the same day landlash won i lost withthe heavy fav in the last race the 12 horse,how ironic today i lost with hooligans delight ,last year500,ooo this year300,oo0. tommorow in the ninth race october dreams is running ran second to hooligansdelight had to tell somebody who knows about horsesdoing the same thing a year later.
Tony V More than 1 year ago
I sure hope the don't ruin the Spa meet with all of these turf sprints for "horses that can't win doing anything else . " Knowing NYRA it will probably be in every PK6 and 4 . Clueless what we the horse players prefer .