09/28/2007 12:26PM

Friday Q&A


richie says: Port Bonheur's final time in race 2 on Sept. 16th in your blog and in Simulcast Weekly is listed as 1:10.54. My notes and the replay show the race run in 1:12.20 which explains why my speed figures for that race were so far off. If you know, could you please explain what happened with that race?

I went back and watched the replay and Richie is absolutely right. There was a huge discrepancy between the fractional and final times posted on the screen during the race and those reported in the official results and charts:

Chart: 21.94, 45.05, 57.25, 1:10.54
Replay: 23.60, 47.18, 59.27, 1:12.20

We queried Equibase about this and were told that the official, faster times are correct and that there was a Teletimer error with when the beam was tripped, resulting in the faulty posted times during the race. A couple of people I know hand-timed the replay and said the faster clocking seems closer to the truth, and the previous figures earned by the few previous starters in the race also suggest the faster clocking is correct. My only problem with the explanation is: Even if the "start" beam was tripped too late, wouldn't the internal fractions match up? In other words, if the problem is that the first quarter was 21.94 instead of 23.60, shouldn't the rest of the races be identical? Instead, they're entirely different. Fast version: 21.94, 23.11, 25.49. Slow version: 23.60, 23.58, 25.02. At least the final half-miles are 48.60 in both versions, but I don't get why the second and third quarters don't match up individually.

floppydog says: How come there can't be $1 or dime Pick 6s? Every time I consider playing a P6, I imagine you heading to the windows with a bankroll the size of a sponge cake, and I figure, Why bother.

I'm a big fan and supporter of lower minimums and fractional bets but the one exception I make is the pick six. If we had dime or 50-cent pick-sixes, there would almost never be carryovers and carryovers are a)a great betting opportunity and b)the reason for the giant pools. But the one time you could do a $1 pick-six with no ill effect is on Breeders' Cup day, and I wish they'd give that some serious thought over at BC Ltd. I think it would open up the bet to players who find it too daunting at $2; it's a mandatory-payout pool so there are no carryover concerns; and it would not decrease handle among existing players -- they'd put in the same or more with a higher confidence factor.

hammer says: Can you explain the A-B-C's of your pick 6 for us novice handicappers? How do the C's figure into the equation?

A couple of people asked me to spell out the cost of last Sunday's pick-six investment under the A-B-C system, so here goes. The play was:

Race 5---A:1 B:5,10 C:3,8
Race 6---A:6,10 B:1 C:2,9
Race 7---A:8,11 B:2,6,9 C:3,5
Race 8---A:1 B:4,5
Race 9---A:7 B:1 C:2
Race 10--A: 1,11 B:3 C:4,5

Using all those horses on one caveman ticket would cost $8400 (5x4x7x3x2x5) The idea instead is to spend a lot less by making out an array of tickets where you win if any of the following combinations of runners comes in:
6 A's
5 A's and 1 B or C
4 A's and 2 B's

This required putting in 22 tickets to cover all the permutations:

6 A's:

5 A's and 1 B or C:

4 A's and 2 B's:

This would have come out to a $324 investment. I actually put in more by tripling and quadrupling up on B's since my A's were so thin (four singles). I also put in some "D" tickets using "alls" in each of the three turf sprints with 5 A singles in the other races. I am so spooked by the six-furlong turf races, where it seems any chronic quitter can jump up and wire the field, that I didn't want to miss out on a result of five top-choice logical winners and one impossible turf-sprint bomb. Since the ultimate outcome was BACAAA, in retrospect I probably should have instead done some 4A/1B/1C tickets, which wouldn't have cost that much and would have taken down the $21k payoff.

Yes, I know, so would the $8400 caveman ticket.

dennis says: Do you have any info on the ten cent supers at Belmont? I can't bet them on NYRA's site.

Charlie Hayward, NYRA's CEO, writes: "We have just received approval from the State and we are finalizing some minor tote issues and should be putting out a statement with an effective date shortly."

The ten-cent superfecta, a popular variation on an already popular wager, is coming to Belmont Park, effective Sunday, September 30. The New York State Racing and Wagering Board recently approved ten-cent superfectas for all NYRA races in which a superfecta wager is offered.

But there's a caveat down in paragraph 5 of the release:

At this time, fans on-track will be able to place ten-cent
superfectas at self service terminals only. NYRA Rewards internet
wagering on the ten-cent superfecta will be available online as soon as
the internet wagering software is successfully updated.

---Well, that mythical SHOWdown play didn't last very long -- out on Day 2, for a mythical loss of $10. One thing I learned was that you have to be crazy to make your selections before late scratches. On both of the first two days of the contest, scratches knocked two fields down to four-horse races, where there was no actual show betting but you could still use these as contest races.

I appreciate alexander_morris's kind offer of a mulligan and restart, but with all the real handicapping and betting coming up in the next two days, I'm abandoning the realm of the mythical for what I hope will be greener pastures.