01/31/2009 1:58PM

Donn Day


The plan was to get back into the pool today for the first time in a week, but the afternoon's two big multirace bets involving the Donn Handicap are problemmatic:

The problem is that both sequences contain two maiden races laden with first-timers, which to my mind is inexcusable in a specifically-designed national wager such as the Magna 5. There were other full-field races at Santa Anita that could have been positioned differently to be part of the sequence; I understand not wanting to make the Santa Monica and odds-on Ventura part of the sequence, but there are two contentious turf sprints on the card that would have been much better choices -- and you know how little I like turf sprints.

Maybe someone at Magna is experimenting, seeing if Magna 5 bettors enjoy guessing on races loaded with firsters without a chance to see the betting. I'll vote with my feet and take a pass.

Whether you play the Magna 5 or not, the opening leg, the $50k Dancing Count at Laurel, is worth a look. Mr. Fantasy, a half-brother to Tin Cup Chalice who won his debut by 10 1/2 lengths with a Beyer 97, has been scratched but there's still Russell Road, who has won five straight at Charles Town by a combined 43 3/4 lengths.

The Gulfstream late pick-4 sequence is somewhat more appealing than the Magna 5, despite also containing two maiden races, because the first of them features the debut of Nicanor, a full brother to Barbaro. This is one of those rare situations in racing, a little like Smarty Jones or Big Brown at 2-5 in the Belmont Stakes, where the most casual of bettors are going to create a false set of odds by betting on a horse solely because he has received a tremendous amount of publicity. I think those people are mostly going to be making win and across-the-board bets rather than pick-4 investments, but there still will be value if Nicanor loses his debut.

Today's Donn at GP and Santa Monica at SA are the first two Grade 1 races of the year. The Donn's 10 starters have a combined record of 0 for 25 in Grade 1 dirt races, so it's not going to be a shock if someone weird steps up and beats logical favorites Einstein and Arson Squad. The Santa Monica looks like a virtual walkover for Ventura since Indian Blessing is expected to be scratched.

Gulfstream could have had a spectacular all-stakes pick-4 sequence today had it carded the Hutcheson and Forward Gal alongside the Holy Bull and Donn instead of somewhat oddly running those two races yesterday on a Friday. Not that either yielded boxcar results: Frolic's Dream paid $5.00 winning the Forward Gal in 1:24.15 and Capt. Candyman Can paid $7.40 after winning the Hutcheson in 1:23.69.

There's also a little $29k pick-6 carry at Aqueduct today, following a card that produced the first 3-of-4 pick-4 payoff I can remember at a NYRA track. In a pool of $148,158, no one bought a ticket combining Wyatt's Women ($51.50), West Coast Flyer ($9.50), Lilly of Paradise ($18.00) and Amongooseamongus ($53.50). Any three of them were worth $1,467 for $2.

Flip Dawson More than 1 year ago
Re Tuesday bets at Tampa Bay--if off the lawn, no bets are to be made.
Flip Dawson More than 1 year ago
Tuesday at Tampa Bay in Race 9 on the lawn. #7 Judith's Lake (12-1 ML) play $20.00 to win $20.00 exactor on 7-4. The 4 is Somes Sound with ML of 5-1. $5.00 tri of 7-4-2. The 2 is Continental Reins with ML of 15-1. Play all selections cold. Then, take #7 in race 9, and play $20.00 onto #9 in the late DD. Shore Breeze Hero is the 2-1 ML Fave in race 10. Total outlay is $65.00, and I copied my plan used on Sunday.(details in this blogging section.) Best of luck, chumps!!!
mike c More than 1 year ago
re the Morning Line. Is there antything more insignicant in racing?
Lon Keller More than 1 year ago
Matt, Saturday's Big A card was an embarrassment. Perhaps Racing Secy, PJ Campo is lost without turf sprints to card.
AJV More than 1 year ago
Steve, Gotta love Kip Deville. At 8 years old he's as game and consistent as they come. His 5-2 win in the GP Turf Handicap Sunday was an early Valentines Day gift. Anyone know why he was permitted to run uncoupled from Court Vision, both owned/part owned by IEAH? I'm used to seeing uncoupled entries involving common trainer and different owners, but not this instance with common ownership and different trainers. Not complaining, though, because if they were coupled the entry would have been 2-5 and not bettable.
marshall More than 1 year ago
mr crist.. I totally disagree with you about the maiden races.. for me the only way i get involved in a pick 4,5,6 is if there is at least two full fields of maiden races. I only play maiden races as a rule so maybe its personal preference.. but unlocking the keys to a bunch of first/second timers is the ultimate in handicapping. I almost always single( or two deep) in the maiden races while spreading in the other races.
matt More than 1 year ago
Lon Keller, This was the first year that I can recall when they were still carding turf racing after the switch over to the inner dirt. I think they should get those big Cat's on the turf course and start plowing. FAST and FROZEN for wednesday! And yes, it was a record, count em, 4 maiden claimers in a row! Correct that, 4 out of 5, with, I think, a 10 claimer somewhere thrown in. I have that taste comming back in my throat.
ray flack More than 1 year ago
To Bruce Battaglia: For the past two years I have been handicapping and making my selections without looking at or even considering the morning line odds. They generally are compiled so far in advance and with no true analysis of the race that they are almost meaningless. When there is an outstanding favorite in the race, such as Ventura in the Santa Monica at Santa Anita on Saturday past, the morning line is obscene. True, it was made before Indian Blessing bowed out, but still would have been much lower than the morning line. Also, how in hades do they put odds on first-time starters in many maiden races?
C More than 1 year ago
hud, George, I think the whole reason for net pool pricing is to commingle money from other countries who may have a different local takeout. So, instead of one takeout being accounted for and subtracted from the gross pool, we now have a separate takeout rate applied to each bet, depending on where the bet is coming from. The calculation, therefore, is different. In fact, there is no way to actually crunch the numbers using the handle figures provided by the track, because it's impossible for us to know where each dollar in the pool came from and what rate is attached to each bet. Very confusing.
jel More than 1 year ago
I was hoping to play the NY pick-4 Carryover.When I saw there was none I passed on the bet.