10/23/2007 12:54PM

Capital Dilemma


A few weeks ago, Capital OTB asked me to make out a $5,000 pick six play that it will put in for its Albany teletheater customers, at no charge, on Breeders' Cup Day. It seemed like a good, fan-friendly idea at the time, and it still is, but it has left me with a couple of dilemmas for which I invite your suggestions.

The first is how complicated to make the investment. When I told Capital that I usually eschew one-ticket caveman plays, believing you can get more and better coverage with an array of multiple tickets, they told me I wasn't limited to one ticket. Still, won't I utterly confuse the shareholders if I make out 25 or more main and backup tickets? So my first dilemma is whether to make out more like 1, 5 or 25 different tickets. It's appealing to do a basic 2x2x5x5x5x5 for the $5k, though I'd never play it that way myself.

Which brings me to my second problem. As the fine print in the contest rules says, "Mr. Crist will not collect any winnings if his ticket wins." As it should be. But am I going to feel like the world's biggest idiot if my Capital ticket(s) hit and I get absolutely nothing? Am I sort of obliged to put in the same $5,000 ticket(s) for myself, even though that's about twice as much as I was planning to invest in the thing? I could pare down the Capital play to a more comfortable level, but then I'd just feel worse if I whittled away the winning combo at the last minute.

So at the moment I feel like I'm probably stuck playing it for $5k myself. (At least they're not putting in $10k.) I'll post the ticket here Saturday when it's released to the shareholders, shortly before the first leg of the bet. If you're near Albany and interested in participating, check the rules carefully: It sounds as if you have to show up at the Teletheater both Friday AND Saturday to be eligible, and you have to register with a driver's license and Social Security card on the off chance that we win.

--I'll be updating the Friday and Saturday cheat-sheets throughout the day as the post positions, rider assignments and ML and DRF odds come in. Then tomorrow and Thursday, I'll refine them further, ranking and grading the horses in order of preference. I'll provide links to both the ungraded and graded versions so you'll have the option of printing out either the ranked or opinion-free versions of the lineups.