11/24/2007 3:15PM

Cigar Card


It's a cold and sunny Saturday afternoon in New York and the original plan was to enjoy it at Aqueduct, but there's just too much going on to pull me away from the home-office wagering command center: The $118k Aqueduct carryover with four stakes; the Stars of Tomorrow card at Churchill; a $143k carryover at Hollywood with a pair of G3 grass stakes; the DeFrancis Dash at Laurel. And if you still need a midnight snack after all that, there's the Japan Cup from Tokyo.

I'm alive after the first leg of the Aqueduct pick-six on a moderate 6x3x4x1x1x2 caveman play for $432 that singles Court Vision in the Remsen and Midnight Lute in the Cigar Mile. I intended to get more heavily involved, but I found the first leg utterly daunting, a statebred maiden sprint filled with chronic losers and firsters not taking a nickel of action. Forunately I used a couple of those seemingly dead firsters and 14-1 Regal Prince got it done.

It's been bombs away so far today at Aqueduct, with $86, $26 and $31.60 winners in races 2-4. Heading into race 5, three of the seven horses in the Discovery are uncovered in the pick four, and I don't remember ever seeing three 3-of-4 will-pays in a New York pick four. The pick-fours to the four covered horses are paying (for $2) $54k, $90k, $90k and $271k.

In any case, my ticket goes 2,3,7/2,3,5,7/1/2/1,4,5 the rest of the way. Here's what I thought about the quartet of upcoming stakes:

2:19 pm EST: Aqueduct race 5, G3 $100k Discovery H., 3yo, 1 1/8m
Went three deep with Buffalo Man, Helsinki and Now a Victor, and would have added Dr. V's Magic if I'd wanted to add one more. Buffalo Man won three stakes last winter and returned with a good second to C P West; Now a Victor and Helsinki ran 2nd and 4th in the a decent Pegasus and looked like the best pure speed and pure closer in the race.

2:49 pm EST: Aqueduct race 6, G2 $200k Demoiselle, 2F, 1 1/8m
Felt I had to use four of these six fillies to feel good about getting through the third leg. I was tempted to take a shot by leaning on Mushka, who may have the most raw talent and upside, but her two promising races were on turf and sealed slop. I also know I have to be careful not to fall in love with all the Empire Makers just because I liked him as a racehorse. So I also used Expect the End, Sunday Elegance and Elusive Lady.

3:19 pm EST: Aqueduct race 7, G2 $200k Remsen, 2yo, 1 1/8m
Court Vision circled the field to win the Iroquois at CD last time out and just looks better than these to me. I'm not sold on the second and third choices in the race: Big Truck has struggled against statebreds and Atoned got loose through soft fractions last time out. Springs Road is a little bit interesting at price -- while he's seemingly overmatched on figures, he's won his two starts easily and those behind him have come back to improve sharply.

3:49 pm: Aqueduct race 8, G1 $300k Cigar Mile, 3+, 1m
Midnight Lute may be the best horse in training this side of Curlin, and has been monstrous in his two starts since throat surgery, blowing away the fields in the Forego and BC Sprint. A one-turn mile looks perfect for him. Daaher is a very nice 3-year-old who figures to be a top handicap horse next year and will be dangerous even here if he gets loose, but Midnight Lute just seems capable of running down anyone right now.

cwhit80 More than 1 year ago
court vision certainly should have come down..Coa forced his way into position and impeded the 3 and the 5...Similar incidents yesterday at Hollywood resulted in 2 disqualifications...the stewards should have to post a reason for the decision or in between races send one of the stewards to the TV booth to watch the replay and explain why the decision was made...it seems like there isnt any consistency from race to race and certainly track to track...of course I also had Atoned on top so maybe I am a little biased in this case...but the greater point remains
jrzingg More than 1 year ago
Just read your commets on weight, and my thoughts on the subjick is thar "GREAT HORSES" carry weight, and "ONLY" great horses.
Tony More than 1 year ago
David Good point . that the horses after a race like the BC could be over the top . But then again I should just take my wife's advice when I play the pk 6 the horse that I single who can't lose . ALWAYS LOSE ! And I mean Always . Its amazing . I played all in the 1st leg and all in the last with singles in al the races in between and I lose 13k because of lute Tough Game indeed .
George Melillo More than 1 year ago
Steve: Wondering your take on Mushka's performance? I think we may be watching a star in the making here. Granted that wasn't the strongest field ever assembled, but to break that bad, spot all those lengths, then come 5 wide turning for home to blast that field was quite impressive. Talk about an overlay. With the filly with the most proven class underneath, I also thought $46 for the exacta was quite generous indeed!
david More than 1 year ago
people continue to bet on horses that ran there eyeballs out in the breeders cup and then exclaim UNBELIVABLE (sic).once you realize that big horses are pointed to specific big races and that other horses - and stables - may be "over the top", you'll do much better in the long run. HINT - NOBIZ LIKE SHOWBIZ. pointed for the hollywood derby or over the top ?
C.Rich More than 1 year ago
Would have had 5 of 6 and the Pick 4 if the 10, 11, 5 or 1A go by the 2. What was Eibar Coa doing on the the 10? (check the head on replay) He wrestled him down like a alligator the first 1/2 mile not to get near Johnny V. The 11 had run, but the apprentice on the horse thought he could sneak inside of the 2 and was shut off by Leo's son-in-law. Johnny V will be on the 11 next time @ 8-5 and you'll need a search party to find the horse. My guess is the #2 will be stuck in the statebred NW2X class for a long time. Hope he gets overbet.
the bya More than 1 year ago
Sometimes there are hidden gifts in places slightly off the "big track" path. To wit, Zito refugee Autobahn Girl (a one time Crist favorite)tries the grass in New Orleans and pays $61. It pays to set up "watches" for grass stakes across the country.
Christine More than 1 year ago
Bad breaks for both you guys....ouch. Hopefully Sundays card goes better. Our garbage tracks out here on the west coast have this big ole pick 6 if interested ;-> Christine
kchris More than 1 year ago
Played a similar "caveman" ticket to you today @ Aqueduct but went 6x1x7x1x1x2 ($184)with 1,2,3,7,10,12/7/ALL/1/2/1,2. When City Attraction scratched, I should've used Daaher in the Cigar Mile. At least I got my money back by putting him in the pick-4. Looking back, I would have been better off if Atoned had won the Remsen and maybe showed a profit on the day.
Tony More than 1 year ago
and of course midnight lute loses and knocks me out of the pk6 and pk 4 . I had all in the 9th ..... unbelivable