08/22/2009 9:31AM

Day 22: 8/22/09


9:30 am: Races 1, 4 and 7 are off the turf at Saratoga. Races 9 and 11, the 2nd and 4th legs of the $500,000 guaranteed late pick-4, remain on the grass. As of 7:22 a.m., NYRA was calling the main track "muddy" and the turf "soft." Forecast for the rest of Alabama Day is for temperatures in the high 70's with our constant companion "Isolated Thunderstorms."

1:45 pm: The main track is still labelled "muddy" but it looks more like "good" after being cut open and harrowed before the opener. The first two races, both at 5.5f for statebreds,  were nearly identical in style and clocking, with two speed horses going at each other from the top of the stretch to the wire. Before you go calling it a super inside-speed track, though, consider that the two in each heat were perfectly logical and may simply have been that much better than their opponents.

Alan Garcia, who won the first on Love My Mondays, claimed foul in the 2nd after finishing second to City Trooper aboard heavily-bet Violette firster Fenway Faithful. The stewards took a look and then properly left the result alone. City Trooper (Catellano) came over slightly but the momentary incident did not appear to alter the outcome of the race.

The upcoming third, a 9f route for older $25k claimers, features a racing rarity: Four of the seven entrants ran 1-2-3-4 in the Aug. 1 version of the race and every single one of them was claimed and goes for new connections today: Commodore Way (S. Dutrow to Parisella), Marina Market (Arroyo to Levine), Untopable (S. Klesaris to Contessa) and Targe (Maker to Ritvo.)

2:45 pm: None of the four claimers mentioned above won the 3rd -- the quartet that ran 1-2-3-4 last time ran 5-6-3-4 behind new shooters Three in the Bag and Chris Got Even -- but three of the four (as well as the winner) were claimed again:


--Commodore Way (1st for S. Dutrow, 3rd for Parisella) now goes to Scherer;

--Marina Market (2nd for Arroyo, 4th for Levine) was reclaimed by Arroyo;

--Untopable (3rd for Klesaris, 3rd for Contessa) now goes to Levine.

--Three in the Bag, an 8-length winner for Tony Dutrow, now goes to Linda Rice.

3:45 pm: Commenter jpc asked how to calculate a parlay to compare it to a pick-4 payout. Here's how it works, using today's early pick-4 at Saratoga as an illustration.

You start with $2. Bet it on the first winner, City Trooper, who paid $7 for $2, and you're up to $7. You bet the $7 on Three in the Bag at $7.20 and you get back $25.20 (3.6 x $7.00). You bet the $25.20 on Bad Action at $10.80 and you get back $136.08 (5.4 x $25.20.) You bet the $136.08 on Happy Bull at $10.00 and you get $680.40.

The $2 pick-4 of the same four winners paid $1,303. It usually does pay more than the parlay, primarily because although the wager has a 26 percent takeout, you are spreading that over four races rather than subjecting yourself to a 16 percent takeout four times in a row. This is a big reason I like and advocate multirace wagers.

5:25 pm: Best finish of the meeting in the 9th race, with six of them across the track and noses apart at the wire. It took a while to sort it out, but it was favored Grassy (2-1) by a nose over 20-1 Cherokee Speed, by a nose over 2-1 Good Prospect, by a nose over 8-1 Rock in Bage, with 9-1 Yankee Empire fifth and Boots Ahead sixth, beaten five noses: Sar082209photo

6:00 pm: No doubt about who's the second-best 3-year-old filly in the land: Careless Jewel, who won the G2 Delaware Oaks by 7 1/4 in her dirt and stakes debut last time out, and just won the Alabama by an almost Rachellian 11 lengths. The gray/roan daughter of Tapit sat just off Be Fair through square fractions, took over on the stretch turn, and drew away from a sputtering field in 2:03.24. Turned out to be a very chalky Alabama Day, with no winner better than 4-1 through the first 10 races. The pick-six to #1 is paying only $975, but you have to wonder how many of those tickets were bought by people who thought they were getting #1 Lemon Punch, a late scratch, as opposed to the weaker remaining runner in the entry, Marula.

Tom D. More than 1 year ago
I was sitting by the Travers bar where you can't hear Durkin. I was a live in the pick with the Lemon Punch. Whoops! Apparently not. How the heck did this happen?
Bruce More than 1 year ago
I have a contrarian view on the value of multi-race exotics versus parlays, although my argument is largely theoretical.You gave an example where the 4 race parlay payoff was $680 compared to a Pick4 payoff of $1303. I agree that the difference is largely the result of the higher mutual takeout of the multiple win bets, but I don't believe that the story ends there. In the Pick4 case the bettor must make final selections before the first race is run. In doing so he takes on significant additional risk. A horse could be scratched in a later race totally changing the pace dynamics of the race. A sudden (Saratoga) storm could cause the track to be floated. A late scratch puts you on a favorite you hate. This is not to mention the middle NYBred maiden race with 9 first time starters. By making your bet early you have no opportunity to watch the tote board action. How does the bettor deal with this additional risk in the exotic? I believe that he has to "spread" a bit more in the later races to cover some of the contingencies. How much extra? Let's assume a hypothetical parlay situation (i.e. when you make final selections before each race) in which the bettor essentially comes up with a 4x3x2x2 all "A" caveman selection. At $2 a ticket, this would cost $96. In the exotic bet situation, in order to cover the risks discussed above, the player adds a single "C" horse in each of legs 3 and 4. This adds an additional $96 to the cost doubling the size of the bet. The result : The parlay returned $680 for a $96 bet or about 7 to 1. The exotic returned $1303 for a $192 bet or essentially the same 7 to 1. The (minimal) difference seems to be more in the mindset of the player and how they choose to deal with horse racing risk/reward. Am I missing something?
Arcstats More than 1 year ago
Saratoga_Mike, I couldn't agree with you more. However there is not a single stitch of evidence in the past performances to indicate your plea will ever come to fruition. On a separate front, I believe the Calder situation will call for intense journalistic investigation for all the facts to ever come out. People who bet the Florida races are intitled to know the entire story.
Tommy More than 1 year ago
Diceman, Good move! After hitting the exacta in the 1st Race my bank roll had about a $250.00 cushion, and it was all up hill from there. Usually I get in my car and leave the track with less than Fast and Firm conditions. In the Alabama I had 4 of the 6 horses in a Tri Key that finished in the photo and didn't hit the TRI. Going into the final race I am thinking patience is a virtue, however with my handicapping skills it is usually only on a firm and fast track. A tough but memorable day at the track to say the least. All the best, Tommy
EnglishChannel More than 1 year ago
Was on track yesterday and couldn't find a simulcast signal from Arlington anywhere. Arlington wasn't available as a track on the betting machines either....what gives?
prozacjack More than 1 year ago
When during the past 50 years. did the RICH men in the racing world EVER give a DAMN about the "little Guys" Jess Jackson needs the purse sweetened like all my fellow bloggers need a "big Fat DQ.The money has gone in the WRONG direction for many, many years, and they have the NERVE to wonder why OVER half the players have LEFT this game. It makes me SICK...
Tommy More than 1 year ago
Two weeks in a row my horse has been taken down for a lane violation of sort. After the 11th race today I was getting my ID card ready for a tax ticket and they pulled down the longest shot on the board 4 horse and put up a double digit 7 horse to SHOW breaking up my TRI. The 4 horse was running his race and then down the stretch the 7 horse was up his hind quarters dangerously close to clipping the 4 horse. The 4 horse makes a subtle evasive move to avoid the potential dangerous contact and they take him down? Why are they pulling the 4 down in this race? I don't get it! Thank you in advance for your analysis. Oh, one other question. In the 7th race I played a $30.00 Exacta Box 2-12 and it looked like it was in the bag. Can someone explain why Kent Desormeaux looks back 4 times for a ghost horse that wasn't there? Then the 5th time he looks back the 4 horse over takes him? All the best, Tommy
HorseRun More than 1 year ago
Over the last 3 days (30 races) not a single horse paid $20+ and ONLY 2 paid over 4-1...tough place to make a living
tc More than 1 year ago
I hope dave litfin didnt have to put his otb pick 6 contest picks in early, the track condition(s)change everything
david More than 1 year ago
synthetics are ruining racing.how many more careless jewel's are there floundering on synthetics only to flourish on real dirt. who knows what would have happened had rachel alexandra wound up in california for her career