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.