09/04/2009 1:21PM

Day 33: 9/4/09



12:40 pm: Today's pick-6 sequence at Saratoga looks a lot like yesterday's, only harder -- and you remember how easy yesterday was: so easy that there's a three-day $656k carryover into today's card, where first post is 2:30 and the pick-6 starts with the 4th race at 4 p.m.

Like yesterday, today's sequence has firster-loaded 2-year-old filly races as the first and third legs (today's are statebreds) and the last five races are all on the turf, including a tough overnight stakes.

I'm playing small, and playing at all out of obligation rather than enthusiasm. The carryover is so big that the payoff will be an overlay even if it turns out to be relatively easy and haveable. But there's nothing resembling a single in my mind, and not even a race where I'd feel like a heavy favorite to survive by using just two horses. This is no knock on the card: There are a lot of intriguing and very competitive races. To me, they're just better suited to intrarace play, or more affordable multi's like pick-3's and pick-4's, than to the pick-6.

My personal limit on pick-6 investments is $5k (Breeders' Cup Day) but I'm looking to spend more like $1,500 today. You could argue that carryovers of this size are so rare that I should be betting my max, but it's a card where I could triple my investment without raising my confidence 30 percent. There will be plenty of opportunities to invest that extra $3500 in these last four days of the meeting. And while it's unlikely, it's not impossible that this thing could carry one more time into Woodward Day.

4:09 pm: Here's the play, which came out to $1584:


(Main=$216; backups=$288, $432, $432 and $216. Total=$1584)

I saw no way to stay within budget without designating a pair of either-or singles, and the best I could come up with were Pearl River, a Clement firster in the 6th, and Thoroughly Holy, a Rice-trained turf sprinter in the 8th. That way, I was able to use 3 or 4 A's in each of the four other races.

They're at the post.

4:20 pm: Lovely Lil, Tiznow firster sent off the second choice (one of three 5-1 shots) to 3-2 Australis Princess, was a ton the best winning her debut for Schwartz/Hushion/Garcia. Lovely Lil was one of only two of the seven firsters who went off at under 19-1.

4:50 pm: Oh well. Could have used six of them, shaved it to four, and Classic Campaign got up to beat me and I'm Only Laughing at the wire:


5:25 pm: Linda Rice doesn't get extra credit in the trainer standings for running 1-2 with Gitchee Goomie and In Te Domine, but the 1-2 finish by the two firsters pulled her within one victory of Pletcher, who won the G3 With Anticipation with Interactif earlier on the card.

Pearl River, a tepid 5-2 given her $140k purchase price and pedigree (half to Incurable Optimist) ran a tepid 5th.

"Gitchee Goomie" is a phonetic spelling of the Ojibwe word for Lake Superior, made famous in Longfellow's poem "The Song of Hiawatha" ("By the shores of Gitche Gumme/By the shining Big-Sea-Water...")  "In Te Domine," Latin for "In you, Lord," are the first three words of Psalm 31  and also appear in the U2 song "Gloria" ("Gloria...in te domine/Gloria...exultate.")

Of more immediate relevance: With the first three winners paying 5-1. 5-1 and 8-5, I wouldn't get my hopes up for another carryover.

5:55 pm: Phew. By which I mean: I could have put in $5k or more and still wouldn't have used Leamington. I know she was only 6-1 and someone's going to lecture me that that "Motion is hot," but I just didn't see her in this spot. Rationalization is a wonderful thing: Now I can feel like I saved $3416 instead of losing $1584.

6:01 pm: The strains of the "Baby Elephant Walk" just started wafting from the tv, and that can only mean one thing: "Parliamo Italiano!" is back on the Nassau OTB channel instead of the last two from Saratoga. Glad I'm not alive or anything...

6:03 pm: ...but I had faith and didn't switch to TVG and after only two minutes of Italiano, the signal's back.

6:30 pm: The Queen is back in a tie with Pletcher after Thoroughly Holy ($4.90) disposed of Sweet Bama Breeze early and held Linsalata and Catty Madeleine safe late to win the 9th. FOurth winner of the day for Alan Garcia.

Here come the pick-6 willpays into the finale: 1: $72,858; 2: $154,486; 3: $187,467; 4: $111,977; 5: $104,934; 6: $34,330; 7: $88,747; 9: $153,069; 10: $51,023.

First person to say how gigantic those payoffs are for a 5-1 / 5-1 / 8-5 / 6-1 / 7-5 sequence is a rotten egg.

7:02 pm: Tobruk, 1 for 29,just up in the final strides to nip Here Comes Art, who nearly wired the field at 11 furlongs off a 23-month layoff for trainer William Phipps. Tobruk completed an $88k pick-6 and a $1395.

If you're playing Saratoga tomorrow, you might want to start looking now: 12 races with 147 horses before scratches. First post 1 p.m., and the Woodward is scheduled for 5:52.