08/16/2009 2:58PM

Day 17: 8/16/09

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3:00 pm: The pick-6 with a $262k double-carryover starts in about 45 minutes, but we might already have seen the most impressive performance of the day when Mythical Pegasus upset the 3rd race at 11-1.

Now a 4-year-old, Mythical Pegasusmade a little splash in the 2007 Belmont Futurity, battling for the lead before settling for third to subsequent G1 stakes-winners Tale of Ekati and Kodiak Kowboy. He didn't stretch out successfully during a brief ride on the Derby trail, then ran into some physical problems and had started only twice in 20 months before today and was in off a six-month layoff.

In a very tough N1x, Mythical Pegasus got into a protracted early duel with John Kelly and B Z Warrior, and looked cooked after winning the battle of 21.79, 44.06 and 1:08.81. Somehow he held on another half furlong, holding off last-to-second deep closer Top It by half a length in 1;15.69. Mythical Pegasus homebred Fusaichi Pegasus-Lilly Capote colt, is a James Spence homebred who spend most of his career with D. Wayne Lukas and is now back with his original trainer, Ralph Nicks.

As for the pick-6, it looks manageable if you're willing to lean on the same two heavy favorites as everyone else -- Siren Serenade in the 8th and Banrock in the 10th, the featured West Point Handicap -- but first you've got to get through a pair of firster-loaded maiden races. And while Siren Serenade and Banrock look like they should win, there's at least one significant drawback to each.

Siren Serenade comes off a strong-fig, key-race performance that trounces anything her opponents have done, but she's had six chances to win and faces several second- and third-time starters with licenses to improve. Banrock towers over his rivals on figures and accomplishments, but there's one possible chink in his armor: In 25 lifetime grass starts, he's 7-for-12 on good/yielding/soft turf and only 2-for-13 on firm courses, the kind he'll get today. My plan is to lean on both of them but also give myself a chance a beat one or the other on backup tickets.


4:00 pm: They bet another $1,037,132 on top of the $262k carryover, and I was around two-tenths of one percent of "they." (i.e. $2k). My graphics are being a little balky right now but I'll put up the whole play when I can. First-leg winner One Note Samba, the $5 favorite, was one of two A's for me. The whole world is alive, as I shall be regardless of what happens in leg 2: I've got all 9 of them tiered this way: A-1,2,8; B-4,5,6; C-3,7,9.

Astounding money showed up (as it sometimes does for Flying Zee Stables runners) in the first leg for second-timer Mineswept, 12-1 on the line but 5-2 at post time despite finishing four lengths behind One Note Samba, and with a better trip, when both made their debuts here July 29. Mineswept was a distant third today.



4:30 pm: The biggest-priced A got home in leg 2 -- 7-1 Sackatoga/Tagg New York-bred (vs. open) Seattle Mission -- keeping me alive on six tickets that go as follows the rest of the way:

2/1,2,4,9/7/2,3,4,5,7,8,9

1,3,8/1,2,4,9/7/7,8,9

2/1,2,4,9/1,2/7,8,9

5,7/2,9/7/7,8,9

2/3,5,10/7/7,8,9

2/2,9/5,6,9/7,8,9

So I can beat either Siren Serenade (#2 in the upcoming race) or Banrock (#7 in the penultimate one), but not both of them.


5:00 pm: Didn't know which way to root in the third-leg photo between an even-money A (Siren Serenade) and a 10-1 C (Whisked Away). Which do you want, the short price and 79 live combos, or the big price and only 12?

Whisked Away held on at $22.80, so I'm down to one live ticket: 1,2,4,9/7/7,8,9.


5:30 pm: Well, it's getting interesting. Citifest, longest price of my quartet, got up at 7-1 to win leg 4. So it's Banrock into three in the finale -- not as much coverage as I would have liked, but the payoff should be good if I get there.


6:00 pm: Phew. Banrock by a few whiskers. Alive for $56k to We're Hooked, $64k to Private Battle, and $69k to Latest Secret. At least I didn't leave out Linda Rice (We're Hooked) in a turf sprint. C'mon, Queen, one more time. 


6:40 pm: Rats.

Oh well. It was fun while it lasted. As Woody Stephens used to say after a disappointing defeat: "What are you gonna do, go home and shoot yourself?"

The pick-6 paid $119,797 with $6.20 favorite Smart Trade. Congratulations to the seven winners.

yuwipi More than 1 year ago
I'm bummed. We were rooting. Don't know how you can handle the tension that has to accompany the race to race process of the P6, intensified by the pot o'gold at the end of the rainbow. Three reasons I don't play - the cash needed to buy enough combos, the nerve wracking over several hours, but most importantly the intimidation factor of seeing how good experts like you really are at this wager. Pick a bigger one off next time!
Mitch More than 1 year ago
Quite amazing how casually you take losing $60k-plus. If I had that same que sera sera attitude I would probably sleep better. Nice run, though
race More than 1 year ago
Steven--Nice Run!!!--As one of the previous followers of your handicapping said--your dogs don't know your not President of the Unites States, or how we do at the Track---I must admit I enjoy the feeling when my Aussie barks with me when I'm cheering one of my Horses Home to the Wire--But I guess most important he still rewards me when my Horse doesn't hit the wire as well--Take Care and Good Luck---race
bochalls More than 1 year ago
Neat little fan club you've got here Steve. I'm not being pissy (I was rooting for you too), but all this lamenting has gotta make it hurt a lil more huh?...The Peloton was supposed to run WITH THE PACK! That is his name. Why would anyone name their horse The Peloton? Why not name him 'Also Ran' or 'Middle Of The Pack' or 'Fifth Of Ten'? [Nah. All the encouragement and consolations took a lot of the sting out -- SC.]
dolphinblue More than 1 year ago
If my calculations are correct Steven still hit 5 of 6 four times for just a little over 2k I wonder how much the original tickets cost for the pick six probably close to his 5/6 payoff
gk_wisc More than 1 year ago
Steve wow NICE job on the pick six. It is amazing to read all the blogs on how many people are pulling for you! But then again- I am too, so it should not be a surprise! My teen daughter even asked about 3 races in, "How is that blog guy, Steve doing?!!!" great day all around for you. I took the day off, after a trip to Saratoga and a week of home betting but I did write down your "Talking Horses" picks. You will be too modest to post em I am sure. Check this out English Channel.... and others, I believe he only missed the 1st and the last races with winners, posted how many hours BEFORE the races! 1- 271 2-8265 (8 Won) 3-1653 (3 Won) 4-412 (4 W) 5- 9235 (9W) 6- 984 (9W) 7- 2815 (8W) 8-2815 (1 W) 9- 4921 (9Won) 10-7214 (7 won as a single!) and 11- 7895 Great Job Steve good luck on the next one!
Todd Pearce More than 1 year ago
Steve, there is no doubt you are the maestro of handicapping. Thanks for letting us accompany you for the ride on a daily basis.
EnglishChannel More than 1 year ago
Steve, Nice run, very exciting to follow it. Do you know if your picks from talking horses are posted anywhere? I know nyra puts the host's and Andy's up but I don't see the guests picks posted anywhere. Sometimes I'll only catch the end of it on the simulcast but am curious who you liked in the first races. Thanks!
gk_in wisc More than 1 year ago
bobm gotta love that stablemail!! nice to see one come in the old email when it is a horse you have been waiting for! loved Try Your Best too! Nice Pick 4 score almost 1600! well done
Nick Briglia More than 1 year ago
6th race: Make Note ran well and will improve with distance and seasoning. Dam has dropped 6 out of 6 winners including a stakes winner. 7th race: Seattle Mission was an amazing price. Dam had 7 out of 9 winners including 2 stakes winners and 4 turf winners. Also bred nicely to go distance. 8th race: Etincelle will win as she continues to stretch out. Gave me a cheap thrill at 9-1. Dam has dropped 9 out of 11 winners including 3 stakes winners and 5 turf winners. Looks like the Dynaformer/Roberto influence is strong with this one and she will love longer distances. I'll take the one out of three today getting 6-1, 7-1, and 9-1 on three good breeding plays...