07/26/2007 7:57PM

Day 2: Bombs Away


we were headed for the carryover we should have had yesterday, but again there was one winning ticket, this one worth $66,594. Not only that, but every horse in the finale was covered.

The key to hitting the $4,417 late pick four would, in retrospect, have been to single the very impressive Ready's Image ($3.80) in the Sanford. That was my initial plan but then I got greedy and talked myself into a speed-duel scenario where Ready's Image and Fed Watcher would run each other into defeat and set things up for a closer, so I went four deep in the Sanford and shaved Truly Blushed off my tickets.

Bad move. Ready's Image sat right off Fed Watcher through a sensible half in 45.30 and blew past him on the turn, widening his lead to four lengths at the wire in a fine 109.90 that should translate to a Beyer even better than the sparkling 99 he earned winning the Tremont July 1. Tale of Ekati, The Roundhouse and Sok Sok closed from the rear to complete the superfecta in that order, though there was no superfecta betting on the race. (NYRA seems allergic to the popular bet, offering it on only two or three races a day and never the same ones, not to mention being about the last track in America to shun dime supers. Even the Breeders' Cup announced Wednesday it is offering those this year, which perhaps will embarass NYRA into changing its lonely and medieval stance.)

With Tremont and Sanford victories in his pocket, not to mention Beyers of something like 103 and 99 in his last two starts, Ready's Image is the serious and solid leader of the nation's juveniles, but how far will he go, being by More Than Ready out of a Clever Trick mare? The flashiest late move in the Sanford came from The Roundhouse, a half-brother to Circular Quay and, like that colt and Ready's Image, a Todd Pletcher trainee.

The pp's are up for Saturday's stakes-rich card that includes a tremendous renewal of the Whitney, which drew a field of 12 in which you could make a case for at least 11 of them. You might want to get an early start on it.

C More than 1 year ago
Hey Chris, When it comes to the P4, the IRS can confirm that I'm certainly not a 'naysayer' of this method (thanks Steve). I agree that the approach can (should) be tailored. For example, I try to load up on overlay A's in the first leg when the public is using the toteboard to finalize their decisions. They'll often chicken out at 12-1 and up. I was only disputing that the same method is a good approach to the P6. It's always been assumed that P6 success implies a massive investment. There's got to be a better way, whether it's through narrowed-down A's (as Steve suggests), standing with a good single, or a hybrid of such methods. I acknowledge there's no escaping a sizable investment (even though my friend nailed $1.6 mil with $64 a few years back), but I don't think it's unreasonable to play for $300 or less, depending on the sequence. Hey, $324 buys 162 combos, $256 buys 128... it can be done without a 4-digit outlay. Steve, relating this back to Saratoga, I'm standing against Street Sense tomorrow. I believe he's vulnerable there... if I didn't, I'd probably just skip it. I'm guessing over 80% of all combos sold will involve him. Hence, if he wins, we're looking at a slightly better-than-average P3. I'm fine with that, but at Saratoga, I'm not too interested in P4s that resemble P3s. Just my personal opinion. C
Steven Crist More than 1 year ago
Mark, (Plug alert): My book "Exotic Betting" spells out the ABCX approach.
Steven Crist More than 1 year ago
Okay, C, hardball it is: 1. You're right P4 strategy doesn't translate to pick 6 (unless you really feel like gambling with a whale-sized bankroll you don't mind possibly blowing through quickly). In the P4, you do a lot less narrowing and keying if you're playing to have a big one for a buck or two rather than trying to hammer something. 2. One way to free up some bankroll so you can go beyond 6A/5A1B is to make subsequent permutations (5A/1C, 4A/2B, 4A/1B/1C)dependent on further narrowed-down A's. Let's say your "root ticket" of A's that you use for 5A/1B tickets goes 1x2x3x1x2x3. For the next level (5A/1C, 4A/2B, 4A/1B/1C) you might shave it to a 1x2x2x1x1x3 and suddenly you can afford some more combos. 3. I personally don't like or agree with the "single two longshots" strategy Gibson uses but different things work for different horseplayers. To me that's reducing your chances of success below an acceptable threshhold. I'd rather try to get through the thing while taking a few positions but not immediately reducing my chances to 10%x10%= 1% right off the bat. It might work with an infinite bankroll over a millenium or two but I'm not that patient.
Phillypark Mark More than 1 year ago
Steven: While on the subject of Pick Fours - Which one of your books (or perhaps an article) breaks down your tiered strategy for playing them. I have not played many of them in the past, but all that changed 2 weeks ago when Ellis Park offered their 4% take-out. I've played the last 10 and haven't hit one yet. Perhaps I need help with my bet construction.
Chris Garrity More than 1 year ago
Steve, forget the naysayers: it seems to me that these guys want a system, something that tells them, "Handicap your A's and B's, and bet 5 A's and One B." And in looking for that they miss the point. It's not a system; it's a method that you can alter to suit your handicapping methods, budget and temperament. I don't have the bankroll to play the Pick 6, but after reading Exotic Betting I've had a lot of fun, and good succes, using your A/B/C strategy playing the Pick 4 (I wanna say that in my own crude way that I was doing something similar, but my efforts before I read the book were truly neanderthal). I was able to hit a decent ($924.50) Pick 4 at HOL a few weeks ago solely because of it: three of the winners were entirely logical, but one $52 horse (whom I made a C only because an obscure trainer with a terrible first-out winning percentage got a live jockey for his horse) was tough to have, and that made all the difference. My A/C/A/A ticket was only $18, and there was no way I could have come up with the winner any other way -- the C horse just wasn't worth including in any way other than what you might call a fringe contender. Exotic Betting was the most important handicapping book in the last 20 years, not because it tells you how to pick winners, but because it shows good betting strategies. I firmly believe that the difference between success and failure at the windows these days lies not in picking winners, but in structuring your tickets to maximize your bankroll, and (maybe) come up with those combos that nobody else has, and the book does an excellent job of showing the way. By the way, it's easy to get lost in the A/B/C +/- thickets -- AABB, ABAB, ABBA, BBAA, etc. -- which is why most guys don't like it. But that just makes it better for the rest of us who are willing to put in the time. Keep up the good work on the blog, by the way. The new format is great.
Northern Dancer More than 1 year ago
Steve, I have a winner for you today, curiously Red Birkin is 6-1 in the ML today and Ruthierienne is 3-1 in the ML for the Lake George, it doesn't take a genious after watching the Boiling Springs to be more attracted to the Red Birkin at twice the price, the weight spread, and the post position. I'm going to back Red Birkin today, got to like the Jock change to JC also. The horse or horses to fear today to me is Lady Attack, Howard doesn't ship horses over to the Spa unless they are live. At 12-1 she is very dangerous and too enticing to pass up. Red Birkin and a saver on Lady Attack today!
Clinton More than 1 year ago
HI Steve. 1st thanks again for your time on racedayny. Was truly a treat. two things concernng the grand slam wager offferec by NYRA. Why doesn't the drf have it posted in the results and for the first 2 days we've had some trmemndous payouts despite the pool being only 23K. What gives? I mean yesterday the 3/5 returns a winning ticket of $1400. did NYRA change something to inflate the payouts?
C More than 1 year ago
Hi Steven, Thanks for tip and the fast feedback. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the 'Carothers' strategy goes for 2 singles: an overlay and a standout. So, in actuality, your perceived or anticipated chances may be something like 10% times, say, 90% yielding 9%, which is easier to swallow than 1%. I hear what you're saying though. Comparing his method to yours, it's a matter of taking a firm stand on 1 (actually 2) races and having deep coverage in the others versus having at least some coverage in each leg, but relying on enough (at least 4)of your A's winning and having any potential crazy outsider covered too. I try to let the sequence dictate. I agree, different things work for different players. I also appreciate your column on the Ellis P4 last weekend. Predictably though, their pool has now leveled off. C
C More than 1 year ago
Hi Steven, No more softballs... I read your book and liked it, although I haven't had as much success translating your P4 strategy to the P6. The $2 minimum and the extra 2 races makes a huge difference... it's hard to go beyond '6A' and '5A1B' permutations. It's frustrating to have the 6 winners on different tickets. Just curious, what do you think of the strategy of singling a good-looking overlay, a la Gibson Carothers? I agree with you about NYRA and their superfectas. I'd like to see Tampa Bay's twin tri catch on too. thanks, C
Floppydog More than 1 year ago
Floppydog on the way up North to sniff out who killed the rail. Sorry for your shellacking. Arf. But you're not alone. Dis here hound lost a warehouse of biscuits today. So much for buying an iPhone. Don't overwork. Keep up the fun stuff. Flop