02/05/2009 3:14PM

The Case of the Putative Putover

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Lemmings1 Thursday's 5th race at Aqueduct. an otherwise forgettable $10k claimer for N2L older fillies, would have been called one the biggest betting coups ever to rock New York racing -- if only the object of the putative putover hadn't run a bad fifth at 2-1.

Call An Audible was 20-1 on the morning line, understandable given that she had run fourth beaten 8 lengths in her lone start, three months ago at Charles Town, and was facing winners today. On one hand, she didn't belong in the race: Why would a Charles Town maiden be entered for a $19k purse against winners in New York instead of trying maidens again at Charles Town with $28k up for grabs? The most plausible answer, at least to cynical horseplayers, was that Call An Audible was at the Big A only because the betting pools are so much higher in New York and someone could cash a big bet without knocking her down to 3-5.

Call an Audible's lone start didn't scream larceny but she was not ridden hard after falling 17 lengths back early, and she closed the gap to 8 without any particular encouragement. Her trainer, Renee Schlesinger, had not started a horse in New York in over six years but clearly is sharp, winning with 85 of 394 starters (22 percent) over the last five years (almost all at CT) and showing strong Formulator stats with second-time starters.

In the last five minutes of betting, Call An Audible went from 6-1 to 5-1 to 4-1 to 3-1, ending up at 2.45-1 at closing. She stumbled slightly and was away next-to-last, and the race chart says she "raced in traffic" around the turn, but she did no real running in a slow and mediocre race and checked in 5th beaten 8 3/4 lengths. If she has secret talent as yet unseen on a racetrack, it remains a secret.

I suspect the race is destined to remain an unsolved mystery. Did inside schemers really bet tens of thousands into the race -- Call An Audible took roughly $40k of the $161k WPS pool, and an additional $230k was bet on exactas and tris on the race -- or did they take a modest shot while hundreds or thousands of lemming horseplayers followed them over the parimutuel cliff?

craig More than 1 year ago
The subject of the blog entry returned to win at CharlesTown on Sunday paying a ridiculous $12.
scaramuzzo More than 1 year ago
can anyone explain to me how is ti so many long shots that frankly do not figure show up in superfecta's run on grass. are these hidden bets to score large in an economy where money is paramount now?
Dutch More than 1 year ago
Regarding your Sunday DRF article, on the increase takeout in Maryland on Pick 3 $ 4's. Even a business school flunky knows, in hard economic times you lower prices, you do not increase them.
Lon Keller More than 1 year ago
Steve, This USED to be a great blog. Until one person decided to flood this space with countless posts, most of which are pure nonsense... Steve--Please limit the mumber of posts from this pest or ban him entirely. Thank you.
bjchapin1 More than 1 year ago
Speaking of possibly betting coups, did anyone see SA race 3 on Friday? 5 out of 10 horses go to post after event is taken off lawn. Frankel's horse goes off as chalk at 4-5, starts feeling the whip before the clubhouse turn, and ultimately finishes last of 5. Superfecta for $1 returns $340. Does anyone else think that's a little convenient? Looking over the video a few times, doesn't seem like the most aggressive ride. Hey, Im no conspiracy guy, but it seems like it would be pretty easy to hold a horse there in order to box the other 4 if you are going to get 340 for every 24 invested. And no, don't tell me that Bobby Frankel is above this. Most interestingly, how is superfecta wagering even allowed in a 5 horse field?
Flip Dawson More than 1 year ago
Attn: Lon Keller: When you see my posts under my log in name, simply don't read them. A lot of guys like the comedy, linked in with important facts. I have one very important set of rules that I will put on in the next few days. Don't limit yourself in life to being mediocre. Step in and take a bite out of life.
Saratoga_Mike More than 1 year ago
Jim/G. Quinn, Given Charles Town starter allowance races are restricted to horses that have started for a claiming price of $6k or less in the past two yrs, running Call An Audible at Aqueduct didn't accomplish much from that standpoint. I think Steve's explanation (i.e., an attempted - but failed - betting coup) is the most logical.
Forego76 More than 1 year ago
Steve, I was hoping that you would comment on the Animal Planet show Jockeys that aired last night. I would comment myself, but I wouldn't know where to start.
Flip Dawson More than 1 year ago
ray_flack--I'm very prouid that you now have the secret play in your hands. Easy to use--lots of winners there. Works the best at tracks like Mountaineer. You must follow the rules, and not deviate from them. The biggest rule is the 4 point part. Works at harness also. I had one about 2 1/2 months ago, paying $52.60. Works best in last race. Most first doubles (races 1 and 2) are chawky.
Flip Dawson More than 1 year ago
Repeating jockeys!!! M E Smith won a claiming race at $10.00, won a large stake at SA ($2.80), then changed his colors, and won the second stake in a row, paying $14.00 and change. Who said the boys don't get high after winning a stake? Momentum, I call it.A harness hardboot in Fredericton, New Brunswick told me that little trick.