02/18/2011 1:20PM

Live Blog: $172,736 Pick-5 Carry at GP


12:20 pm: Thanks to 73-1 and 59-1 winners in Thursday's sequence, there's a $172,736 carryover in the 50-cent pick-5 at Gulfstream Friday. It looks very tough but let's take a shot.

Four of the five races are on the turf, ranging from a five-furlong sprint to a 1 7/16th-mile allowance race, and no morning-line favorite is lower than 3-1. Here's the sequence, which after early scratches would require a $59,800 investment at the 50-cent minimum to buy every combination (9x12x10x10x12):


Early scratches:


7th-The four also-eligibles (#13 through #16)

8th-Zoran (#7)

9th-Champagnelifestyle (#1)

10th-Nathan Ridge (#2), also-eligibles #14 through #16; One horse draws in (#13-Paster's Bad Habit)

Lots of handicapping to do. I'll be back around 2:30 pm. with my thoughts on the sequence, which begins with the 6th race at 3:25 p.m.


2:30 pm: Ay yi yi. "Very tough" may have been an understatement. Only eight complete x-outs and nine pretty-much x-outs among 53 horses in the five races. Here are the comments and prelinary grades. Back to the whittling stool for me.


3:20 pm: Five minutes to post. A caveman ticket with everyone I gave a chance would have cost over $11k, about 11 times what I was looking to put in, so I split them up in A-B-C fashion as follows. The first-leg strategy was to try to beat the known runners with one of the three firsters. RIght now, the Jimmy Jerkens firster Deputy Major (#5) is the 5-2 choice. When the 3-1 ML favorite is a 1-for-17 who has never run up to the par for this kind of race, I'm looking for strangers.

The pool is already over $600k, might top $1 million. Good luck to us all:

3:35 pm: Thought there were three one-way speeds in the race who would set the table for a closer, but Lady Chesterfield and Vinda were off slowly and only Omi's Vindication ($16.60 as the 5th choice) broke sharply and they never caught her. The one-paced veterans followed her around the track and none of the three firsters showed anything. Down to one backup ticket through the winner that goes 1,6/4,6/5,6,10/3,8. Just like that, down from 1,458 combos (a $729 play) to 24 live ones. Feh.


4:10 pm: War Clan ($5.80) was an authoritative winner over the two uncoupled Pletcher entrants to keep my thin ticket alive a while longer. Only three lengths separated the first seven under the wire. War Clan was one of the few potential singles in the sequence, so was probably a welcome winner for those who had to spread in the opener to catch Omi's Vindication.


4:45 pm: Pressure at an overlaid 5-1 held off Huff'n Hughes for seven furlongs of a virtual match race, but Huff'n Hughes ($14.40) got to him and then by him in the final furlong. SO much for the pick-5. I reloaded for another $240 in the pick-4 and am alive for 50 cents on a ticket that goes 4,5,6,8,10/3,4,8 in the last two legs, but I don;t think any of those combos can pay the $969 for $0.50 I need to get out for the afternoon.


5:15 pm: The 9th broke the best way for me with the German filly La Luna de Miel scoring at 8-1. Here are the pick-4 and pick-5 willpays, both being reported as $1 payoffs. Everyone except #6 Champion Eclipse, is covered in the pick-5:


5:45 pm: Paster's Bad Habit ($11.00) wired the favorites to complete a $14,208.40 for $1 ($7,104.20 for $0.50) pick-5. Consos for 4 of 5 paid $113.20. Even though I wasn't in the ballpark today, this is a fun and affordable bet I'll be keeping an eye on for the rest of the Gulfstream meet.