05/06/2010 11:50AM

Derby Cleanup Carryover


12:50 pm: Seven of the nine horses in the first leg of today's big carryover at Churchill Downs are between 4-1 and 6-1 on the morning line, and it doesn't get a whole lot easier thereafter. Play we must with a $947,641 carryover from Derby Day, but how much?

I'm probably going to get involved at the same $900 to $1200 level that I did on Oaks and Derby days and I'm sure some of you think that's crazily low. Why wouldn't I put in 2x, 5x or 10x as much as I did into a $96k carryover at Belmont Sunday?


Here's my thinking: I haven't followed or studied more than a handful of the dozens of races the horses in this sequence are emerging from; one of the two potential single "A's" I saw on the card was an early scratch (Spiritus, race 6); even after scratches, there are big, messy fields of 9, 10, 9, 11, 7 and 12 (748,440 possible combos, or nearly $1.5 million to buy the thing); and I'm up against a bunch of people and partnerships who are going to be putting in five-digit plays today. So I'm hoping for a pretty chalky sequence that pays way more than it should rather than a longshot-laden six-figure payoff.

The worksheet below is a work in progress and has some big gaps in it, meaning I've still got plenty of work to do between now and 2:53 p.m., when the sequence is scheduled to begin. (Every time I start going through the pp's for the 8th, the sprint for $5k older claiming fillies, I feel a headache coming on.) The column of Beyer Speed Figures to the left of the comment for each horse lists what I think of as a "best relevant Beyer" -- not necessarily a career top or last-race figure, but the best fairly recent performance achieved at something resembling today's surface and distance.


Good luck if you're playing, and I'll be back in a couple of hours to post my final tickets and follow along.

2:45 pm: Ten minutes to post. I set myself a limit of $1200 and spent every penny, as follows:


The more I looked the shakier everything seemed. To hit my budget, I had to downgrade some B's to C's and toss some C's entirely, but so it goes.

3:00 pm: Oh well. Second Choice Gold Bells Spin went to his nose and dumped his rider at the start, and my two other A's were awful. Fifth choice Berlioz ($20.40) dusted the rest of them, a good result for those who spread and put in a bundle. As for me, it's down to one backup ticket that goes 2x2x2x1x3 the rest of the way. The total pool is being reported as just over $4 million.

3:30 pm: Looks like I stayed alive as 4-1 Da Bossman just got up over the 2-1 favorite Speedy Solution, but the HRTV commentators are talking about a possible dq. Didn't look like one on the pan, but we'll see. DO they HAVE to go to a strong of commercials during a possible inquiry in a $4 million pool?

3:33 pm: Back from commercial, no mention of an inquiry, and we're watching races from Calder and Arlington....Ah, a graphic showing prices from Churchill. Apparently no inquiry, and Da Bossman official at $10.40.

3:40 pm: Baffled by the board for the 7th: Refined Silk, who looked like one of the two strongest contenders, is 13-1, and I have no idea why Pat Pat is 7-2 instead of 12-1 unless it's a Calvin thing.

4:05 pm: The other strongest contender, 9-5 Quiet by Seven, up late to collar 25-1 Proven Right and keep the thread going: 3,9/5/7,12,14 to go. Started with 600 combos, down to 6. Have to think Proven Right, first time Romans and with races last year as good as anyone's, was shorter than 25-1 in the pick-6 but he would have raised the strong possibility of a triple-carry. The $2 pick-3 of the first half of the pick-6 paid $396.80.

4:40 pm: Divvied upt the three obvious favorites into two A's and a B and leaned the wrong way. Good luck to those of you still in it.

5:15 pm: No triple-carryover: All 12 covered in the finale, ranging from one live ticket for $2.8 million on Sadlers Boot to 237 at $12k each on Groundwork. Thanks to making that $8.40 winner a B instead of an A, I'm alive only for consos -- five to the 7, 12 and 14 and three to the 6 and 10.

5:45 pm: Firster Necaise, only a $1,000 yearling purchase, won the finale at 5-1 to cap a $21,317.80 payoff, which amounts to 133 winning tickets. As it worked out for me (CAABAB), I got less than half my money back via three consos at $171.60 -- one for each A in the first leg. Can't really complain since, in a nine-horse field, they ran 7th, 8th and 9th.