08/27/2009 11:20AM

Day 26: 8/27/09


12:20 pm: Sunny, mild, fast and firm at Saratoga for Day 26, but the forecast is iffy for Travers Day: with Friday-night showers and Saturday rain supposedly on tap.

As for today's card, the feature is the New York Turf Writers Handicap, a 19-furlong steeplechase being run as the third of nine, and the last five races are all on the turf. I'm passing the early races, might fool around in the late pick-4, and may skip the nightcap to get an early start on the annual visit to the Washington County Fair.

2:20 pm: You just saw why I passed on playing the early pick-4: Spy in the Sky ($43.00), the longest shot and most implausible entrant in the NYTW Steeplechase, won by 10 1/2 lengths in a race that should have been carded as the first of the day to minimize its impact on multirace wagers. Congrats if you hit the all button.

I already said this below, but since commenters keep asking: No, I'm not getting seriously involved in the $777k Del Mar carryover today unless one of my friends who follows that circuit closely wants to sell me a slice of his ticket for karma or rooting action. I might be more interested if it were a Saturday card with multiple stakes races and horses I follow, but life's too short for me to start exploring the mysteries of synthetic-track racing among California's $10k platers and statebred maiden-claimers on a one-shot basis.

If you regularly play California, it may be worth getting involved today, even if you're not usually a pick-6 player. The idea isn't that you're going to out-handicap the syndicates making huge investments, but that if it's a logical, chalky sequence, it could pay a lot more than it should.

3:30 pm:  Congratulations if you had the $78,316 early pick-4 of winners who paid $21.40, $43.00, $17.40 and $32.40 (a $68,846 parlay.) Let's see....if you hated the hateable favorite in the 2nd...hit the all-button in the 3rd....threw out the....nah, still couldn't come close.

I'll go way out on a limb and say the late pick-4 pays less but seriously, it's not easy. I think I could lock it up with a 9x5x4x5 (all/3,4,6,9,10/2,4,5,8/2,4,7,9,10) but I think I'll play them one at a time if at all. 

3:40 pm: Oh, what the hell. can't go a whole day without a little play. Instead of the $900 caveman, I'll go for $328 splitting them up as follows:


5:05 pm: If I'd played the $900 caveman, instead of splitting them up as poorly as humanly possible, I'd be alive to just about break even with the 2,4 and 7 and to make some money with the 9 and 10.

No live tickets in the pick-6, so a little carryover tomorrow. But first, it's off to the fair.