09/16/2012 12:15PM

A Grassy Double Carry at Belmont: 9/16/12


1:15 pm: Today's all-turf pick-6 at Belmont is no walk in the park, but a two-day $164k carryover makes it worth a look and, for me, a modest play.

The modesty applies not only to the investment but also to the ambitiousness. This isn't a sequence where I find myself brimming with contrarian positions and juicy longshots. With full fields and plenty of firsters and first-turfers, there's plenty of room for chaos, but those aren't the results I'll be rooting for; if you tried to cover all bases and possibilities, the cost would quickly soar beyond the affordable.

Instead, I'm looking at it as an opportunity to reap a carryover bonus if the results are fairly orderly. Let's say it attracts $800k in new money and thus a new 6-of-6 payout pool (after takeout and consos) of around $400k. If it's "easy" enough for 80 people to have it at $5k each, it would actually pay $7k because those 80 winners would split up the $164k carryover. If 40 people have it, it pays $14k instead of $10k. This may sound like small potatoes in the face of a daunting proposition, but playing on days when a pick-6 will pay an extra 40 percent is a reasonable approach to picking your spots.

With the first four races on the dirt, we won't get any clues about how the turf courses are playing until the sequence begins, but there's been no rain since yesterday, when the grass was firm to hard.

My biggest stumbling block at the moment is race 7 (leg 3), which is (mercifully) the only turf sprint. I have 6 of the 11 entrants -- the 1,2,6,9,10 and 11 -- open to win the race and no strong preferences among them. I've got some more work to do but will be back with my tickets before the scheduled start of the sequence with the 5th race at 2:52 pm.


2:33 pm: Here goes:


The all-A's-andB's ticket is $576. The five 5A/1C tickets are $144, $48, $144, $96 and $96. Total: $1104.


2:40 pm: Here are the multirace willpays into the 5th:

Nothing really out of whack relative to the win odds -- Gustavia (#4) the clear favorite, Pleasant Cat (#12) the second choice, and mild support for firsters Corporate Culture (#5) and Caroline Thomas (#11).


3:00 pm: A quick sayonara for me as Mariel and Kathy ($19.20) walked on the lead to victory while the two firsters ran well to be 2nd and 3rd but couldn't catch her. Pleasant Cat had a perfect trip but no rally and went evenly for 4th, while favored Gustavia was steadied repeatedly early and wide late but didn't run as well on the firm course as she did on a yielding one at Saratoga.

Good luck the rest of the way if you used her.


4:05 pm: You're in good shape if you're still alive as legs 2 and 3 may have broken the best way for those who narrowed. In the 6th, Clever Ending ($6.90) beat 9-5 Yes It's Pink, and in the 7th third choice Kibosh ($14.60) beat 8-5 favorite Quiet Ending and 4-1 second choice Thescreenisred. Pick-3 of first half of pick-6 paid $861.


5:15 pm: After War Hoot ($4.90) and Boots Ahead ($9.10) made it four A's after the whiff in the opener, here are the willpays, with 7 of the 12 covered in the finale:

5:40 pm: Third choice Moonstock ($11.40) just held off 54-1 Barnards Galaxy, who would have given us a $522k triple-carry to Wednesday. Pick-6 paid $37,189, pick-4 was a pretty fat $857. My two stinkin' consos were worth $249.50 apiece.



Joey W More than 1 year ago
wow bet some north east tracks, would suggest for bettors not to place any wagers as it seems the winner is well placed. But don't take my word, but save some funds so I can get some later
Rick Harrington More than 1 year ago
I wanted to let you know if you didn't already: Saratoga Harness is teasing on Twitter about becoming the first track in NYS to offer a Pick-5 this Fall.
Joey W More than 1 year ago
Steve, don't know if you ever really go back and look at comments, but here it goes. I have always wanted to play the pick 6 but don't have the capital. So I am playing mythically for the next year just to see how many if any at all I would hit. Not really paying attention to the carryover on the tracks I am playing, just putting together tickets. Try to learn from mistakes. I would not play any pick 6 without a carryover except for maybe breeders cup. Plus I need to start putting funds away to start with. Anyway I enjoy reading and seeing your post. I would imagine you have quite a bit of backside information that most people don't have. And has to help, but hope to hit one one day. My best lick so far is a 24K pick four about 4yrs ago on Arlington, which I hit about 2 weeks after reading your book. So thanks, paid my car off and took a trip to Disney. If I ever have the chance of meeting you, would love to buy you a beer or beverage of your choice. Anyway thanks for spreading the knowledge
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
" i would imagine you have quite a bit of backside information that most people don't have?" Just Like The British Tabloids VQ
Joey W More than 1 year ago
Sometime if you are ever at Turfway, I will show you that Tabloid called a W2G. and the other 30 or more that I have.
Robert More than 1 year ago
My advice in your exercise is don't fall into the trap of feeling like you have to find a single. Yes you want to keep it realistic but don't feel you have to single. Handicapping for these multi race bets is different than your regular win or exacta bets so play a realistic ticket then learn how to whittle them down to more manageable plays. I've been lucky to hit 4 pic 6's and never with a ticket of more than $432 on my own. Also CA tracks have much bigger pools than NY and usually a lot less horses per race too.
Jonathan Clark More than 1 year ago
The five uncovered horses in the finale were all unused by Steve on his ticket as A-B-C's. The other 7 were A's, B's or C's.
W.G. More than 1 year ago
A thought: Given how the NFL has become such a monster on Sundays to where it is the 800-pound gorilla of sports, I'm beginning to wonder if it's time for NYRA to consider dropping Sunday racing after Labor Day until the week after the NFL conference championship games in January. It seems only the real die-hards and the few who don't care about the NFL at all now care about Sunday racing once the NFL season starts (one reason you will never see the Breeders Cup go Saturday-Sunday unless it is an emergency situation), and for that reason, I would seriously consider for 2013 if I'm at NYRA dropping Sunday racing entirely after the Saratoga meet ends, either going to a four-day, Wednesday-Saturday week (as Laurel actually has for the last few years in the fall with there also being racing on Columbus Day and Election Day) or if NYRA is required to run a five-day week, replacing Sundays with Monday programs (except the weeks of the move between Belmont and Aqueduct and Election Day, which in years where it does not fall on the week of the move between Belmont and Aqueduct would have racing on that Tuesday). This would actually mean if NYRA retains the current six-day week at Saratoga, except for the weeks noted there would be Monday racing beginning with the Saratoga meet until early into the following year. It may be time to seriously consider this given the sheet popularity of the NFL being what it is.
BigAfan More than 1 year ago
NYRA's handle on Sunday was 10 Million Why would they want to lose that amount of money.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
I tink dat sez it all...
W.G. More than 1 year ago
That to me is a big surprise given how the NFL for most people is now the be-all and end-all of Sundays in the fall. It has for some gotten to where they completely adjust their schedules and do stuff they'd otherwise do on Sundays to during the week just so their calendar is completely clear on Sundays for football and nothing else. There have been a lot of tracks (including Maryland) that have simply given up on Sunday racing in the fall because they simply can't compete with the NFL, something I never thought I'd see. My guess what causes Sundays to hold up in New York is the fact NYC has a large Jewish population that can't come to the track on Saturdays (due to the Sabbath) and Sunday for them is their main day. The reason I brought up replacing Sundays with Mondays in the fall is because a lot of working people actually do get Mondays off (either because they work on Saturdays or Sundays or work a four-day (usually), Tuesday-Friday week). Monday doesn't have anywhere near the distractions of Sundays and I suspect if anything, NYRA would see an increase in live handle on Mondays from those who have Monday off and are not distracted by the NFL like they are on Sundays. That said, if NYRA continues to do well with Sundays opposite the NFL (and they are doing FAR better on Sundays than I realized), then I would continue as long as the handle justifies it.
jim samson More than 1 year ago
I personally have zero interest in football, but that has nothing to do with my saying you totally miss the point. The weekends are the only time WORKING people can attend or otherwise devote full time to days racing. Now you want to cut that to one day? How about moving the NFL to Tuesdays, so it doesn't interfere with racing? I vote YES.
Tim Roberts More than 1 year ago
Great post. Why should our sport of horse racing do anything different because of football? It's all about handle, and the majority of the people I know who bet significant amounts of money on horses, either still bet on horses while football is going on, or aren't football fans. 2 weeks into the NFL and I am already completely sick of it and the coverage it gets.
Meathead More than 1 year ago
jim I second that move them to tuesday I hate to go to the book on sundays the football crowd with their beer drowns out the horses and your concentration PS I have nothing against beer drinking its simply the loud noise that turns me off. MH01
Richard Land More than 1 year ago
Managed to watch both NFL and NYRA action on Sunday. Accomplished this by switching from NFL coverage to TVG at post time. Don't know if I'm the only weekend warrior out here, but I rarely bet on weekdays. Cutting Sundays would effectively cut my action in half. Cutting Sundays also would hurt racing's efforts to cultivate fan base. Want to think outside the box? NYRA should race Friday through Tuesday. Monday/Tuesday racing currently a wasteland. Even currently diluted NYRA product would be very well received on those days.