09/24/2007 12:29AM

I, Idiot


Usually, if you don't like a 4-1 shot who wins, no big deal. When it's the only horse you miss in a pick-six, and in a race where you went five deep, you feel like a pretty big idiot.

And that about sums up my Sunday at Belmont, where a two-day carry of $223k attracted a fresh pool of $851k. I ended up with five stinkin' consos at $150.50 each instead of the $21,954 I would have gotten had Giveityourbestshot ($10.40) been one of my five horses in the third leg. Instead I ran 2-3-4-5-6, though there was nothing tough about my beat: The winner not only won by 3 lengths but was even more the best than that, considering that he blew the turn and was drawing away while racing very wide.

So why didn't I like him, at least enough to include him as one of five? Other than the fact that I am simply a rotten handicapper of turf sprints, my theory was that Giveityourbestshot had backed up late in all of his prior starts and faced a ton of early competition in this speed-packed field. I thought it more likely that one of the more lightly-race entrants would improve or take to the turf than that Giveityourbest shot could survive an early duel and win the war. A bad miscalculation.

A few other points of interest on the Sunday card:

*Race 2: Blowing Kisses, a second-time starter for Michael Matz, ran down favored Psycho D J and then held of Melissa Jo to win this 2-year-old filly maiden-special in 1:04.92. Blowing Kisses is a daughter of Vindication and a half-sister to Pussycat Doll.

*Race 3: Trainer Barclay Tagg was quoted by David Grening in Sunday's DRF saying that Big Truck could be his best 2-year-old. Most handicappers would rate his Futurity winner, Tale of Ekati, much higher both before and after Big Truck ran his record to 2-for-2 here winning the Bongard Stakes for New York-breds. Big Truck, sent off at 1-to-5 off a blowout Saratoga debut, needed most of the Bongard's seven furlongs to put away second-choice Spanky Fischbein, finally pulling clear late to win by two lengths in 1:23.64. That translated to a Beyer Speed Figure of 87 -- as compared to Tale of Ekati's 94 for winning the Futurity in 1:22.31 over a quicker track Sept. 15.

*Race 8: Barancella, the 6-year-old Acatenango mare who has been second in three G1 stakes, made a winning return in her first start since April when she ran down Jade Queen in the final yards to win the $76k Fairway Flyer at 11 furlongs. Barancella could be headed for a third try at the E. P. Taylor, where she was beaten half a length two years ago and ran second by a length to Arravale last year.

*Race 9: Expect the End, a 13 1/2-length winner of the Jena Jena at Saratoga last time out, squared off here with Meriwether Jessica, a 12 1/2-length winner of her debut, in the Gimma Stakes, the 2-year-old filly statebred companion to the Bongard for colts. The two put on a rousing show dueling around the track, with Expect the End taking the advantage in upper stretch but Meriwether Jessica coming back at her on the inside and falling just a nose short of rerallying to win. The time was 1:24.31, good for a Beyer of 78. Expect the End is trained by Rick Dutrow, who also trains the statebred juvenile-miss division's other leader, 2-for-2 By the Light.

*Race 10: For the second time this week, a 99-1 shot on the toteboard landed a piece of the last-race superfecta. Lats Wednesday it was Mesa Nova running third at 145-1, setting up a super payoff of $192k for $2 on which only one winning $1 ticket was sold. Here it was first-timer Sweet Baby Blue lasting for fourth at 102-1 to set up a $19k payoff underneath the third, fourth and first betting choices.

--Racing resumes at Belmont Wednesday and next weekend is a stakes festival. The Saturday card includes the G1 Flower Bowl and G2 Kelso, while Sunday's "Breeders' Cup Challenge" consists of four Grade 1's: The Jockey Club Gold Cup, Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, Beldame and Vosburgh.

E/L More than 1 year ago
Current generally available industry odds in Dublin and London as of Wednesday A.M. courtesy of www.eurohorse.co.uk Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe - Sunday October 7, 2007 Authorized 6/4, Soldier Of Fortune 3, Dylan Thomas 5/1, Zampezi Sun 5/1, Mandesha 12/1, Saddex 20/1, Scorpion 25/1, Ask 25/1, Passage of Time 25/1, Poet Laureate 25/1, Youmzain 33/1, Septimus 33/1, Getaway 33/1 Breeders' Cup Classic 2007: Lawyer Ron 3/1 (from 7/2), Street Sense 5/1, Any Given Saturday 5/1, Curlin 7/1, Hard Spun 16/1, George Washington 16/1, Asiatic Boy 16/1, Student Council 20/1, Awesome Gem 20/1, Tiago 33/1, Diamond Stripes 33/1, Surf Cat 33/1, Diamond Stripes 33/1, Lava Man 33/1, Political Force
WPB More than 1 year ago
Steve, I'd be interested to see your pick 6 ticket(A-B-C) breakdowns for your plays on the Sunday card - - if possible.
Tysto More than 1 year ago
You shoulda played the wheelie.
EJXD2 More than 1 year ago
Arazi: Why did the chance of a carryover in the pick 6 pool prompt you to place a win wager?
Teresa More than 1 year ago
Oops, that was for t_waits, not Jeff.
Teresa More than 1 year ago
Jeff: the four races on Sunday are going to be broadcast on ESPN, so I wonder if it's a TV thing. I assume that ESPN Saturdays are committed to college football.
SamG More than 1 year ago
Missing a 4-1 in a turf sprint doesn`t make you an idiot.Of course playing a pick 6 with a turf sprint in the sequence is kind of like playing a pick 5 and rolling the dice for the 6th leg.I felt kind of stupid for playing a pick 4 with 2 sprints in it a while back,I hit both races but not on the same ticket,doh.Got lucky yesterday singling the winner of the turf sprint in the pick 4 at Delaware yesterday.$177 for a 3-1 2-5 a 6-1 who I thought was an overlay and a 7-10,felt like stealing.
Pat More than 1 year ago
Personally, I miss the original Breeders' Cup preview cards when they'd string together like 6 major Grade 1's on a single card. Those days actually felt special and had enough top racing that people would specifically come out to the track for them. Now they've split up the major races into a couple of days or a couple of weekends and those days feel like real strong cards - but not something that's actually going to lure me to the track. I'd love to see them go back to putting the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Beldame, Champage, Frizette, Turf Classic, and Vosburgh all on the same card like they originally did in the early-mid 90s.
Adelphidude More than 1 year ago
Your stories are beautiful. I feel your pain with the Pick 6, as I have been there too many times to think about. One particularly painful experience occurred with a $30,000 carryover at Ellis Park three years ago. I was 5 for 5 with some nice prices and I had three horses in the last leg. Left out Bejarano on a first time lasix MDN CLMer who was the second favorite (Bejarano was destroying Kentucky tracks at the time). He nipped me at the wire, coming up the rail. Extremely close photo. No winners in the PICK 6.
josephat More than 1 year ago
I share your pain after Sunday's pick 6. I was lucky enough to match the first three legs, (only reason I had the leg you missed was K.D. on the turf in a leg I was x3)but singled Bold Hawk and Jessica like a completed idiot. Fortunately, after I realized my blunder, I was able to single the right horses in the late pick 4 and recover my loses on the pick 6 and a little more. By the way, the $5 pick 4 was nice considering the two middle race's singles.