02/26/2011 3:15PM

Playing the FOY Pick-5


HALLANDALE BEACH -- Someone from DRF had to leave pry himself away from beautiful, balmy New York to do a seminar at Gulfstream Park today and I drew the short straw. Neither sunny skies, 85-degree weather nor an excellent card of racing and betting could deter me.

For those of you who coudn't join me in the Sport of Kings room a couple of hours ago, here's what I said about playing the 50-cent pick-5 today, a sequence that includes three Grade 2 Stakes -- the Davona Dale, Hutcheson and Fountain of Youth:

Race 7: A skullbuster of a Nw3x allowance race at a mile and a sixteenth on turf in which I have only one complete throwout (El Kingdom) in a field of 10. ML fave Nordic Truce can win but doesn't have to off a five-month layoff in what's clearly a prep for bigger things. Second choice Guys Reward fits well but lost the last two runnings of this condition at the meet. The alternatives who most intrigue me are second-off-a-layoff longshots Reb (12-1 ML) and Olympic Election (15-1).

Race 8: The Davona Dale drew the first four finishers from the Forward Gal but I'm using only the second- and fourth-place finishers from that race, Dancinginyourdreams and less strongly, R Heat Lightning. I'm against Forward Gal winner Pomeroys Pistol stretching out to a mile. I'll also strongly use Oh Carole, unbeaten in two starts with a similar profile to Dancinginyourdreams but likely to be twice the price.

Race 9: The whole world seems to be trying to beat Travelin Man in the Hutcheson, and I get that he's stepping way up in class off a maiden victory in a five-horse field, but his 106 debut Beyer was no typographical error and this could be a future star. My backup is Flashpoint, another impressive debut winner, and while he wired the field at Aqueduct Jan. 15, what I really liked was his final quarter of 23.70 and I think he'll be off the pace today.

Race 10: To Honor and Serve is the best horse in the Fountain of Youth and a serious classics candidate but is unlikely to be wound tightly for his season debut. So I'll also use Soldat, no bargain at 2-1 in his fast-dirt debut after some strong front-running turf and slop races, and Gourmet Dinner, who might be the value in the race if dispatched at his 5-1 ML odds.

Race 11: Cast as wide a net as you can in this treacherous maiden-claimer at 7.5f on the turf. And note that two worth a long look -- Philology and Conjuration -- drew in from the also-eligibles.

So the play looks something like this:



AlydarandEasy More than 1 year ago
Steve I noticed that the masthead said "Editor and Publisher Emeritus." Does this mean that you have retired from DRF? We need you in racing; you're one of the few rational, level-headed individuals with clout, that can improve, if not save horseracing. You're always spoken out for the horseplayer, whether it be in the area of handicapping, wagering, take-out, weird track policies, etc., not to mention your Saratoga Journal, which I have enjoyed for years. Can you please clarify your status for me. Thanks for all you have done. [No retirement. It's just an overdue clarification that I haven't really been involved in the day-to-day operations of DRF for several years now. but I'll be writing, blogging, advising and working with the management team as much as ever. -SC]
Don More than 1 year ago
I agree Nick about "stormy the cat" in last GS race #5, I included him, but did not single or get any money, and could have kicked myself....take a look at the trainer, as well as you points well taken! Next time but not at these odds...Don
Ned Daly More than 1 year ago
So Dutrow's runner wins the Hutcheson. In a just world his NY suspension would prevent him from participation. I know that he is still working because it is in someone's interest for him to do so. My serious question is - Who's interest is being served here?
Nick Briglia More than 1 year ago
I don't mean to Monday morning quarterback and I'll gladly show you my account to prove it but I don't understand the price and lack of love for Stormy the Cat in the finale. Both his grass races were very good, he beat the fav in the Jan 9th race and ran against a nice horse in his first grass start, and the cutback seemed perfect for him. Obviously he is not a dirt horse so his last can be excused. 8 to 1 was a gift.
Don More than 1 year ago
Nice try Steve, that last leg is usually the killer...my problem with my pick 5 at GS yesterday was Todd Pletcher...if I had keyed his one horse in one race, I was there...I also read your column after I placed my .50 based bet and saw your "5" s , oh no, but saw no "5" in last leg, where I had it. Don
SamG More than 1 year ago
Oh well Steve,at least the weather was good.I had all 5 winners but not on the same ticket of course.R Heat Lightning has never impressed me...until yesterday!
rick More than 1 year ago
that's why I don't play multiple tix....although people dog the caveman style, it helps to avoid such disaster. and by the way you said "of course", I take it this has happened before, many times.
spectacularbid More than 1 year ago
very tough sequence. i just responded to let you know people are reading your blog.
tony More than 1 year ago
Steve . How much did this Matrix bet cost for 50cents ???? I wonder if a caveman is a better ticket on 50 cent pk 5's because sometimes it doesn't pay out as high . Or is the matrix always the best way to go ???? Lot's of questions . all the best . Tony How's the new PUP ?
tony v More than 1 year ago
Man 5's were wild in this pick 5 ! tough to come up with that last 5
MarcAtDRF More than 1 year ago
I realize he's probably most talented, but given that it's 9 furlongs off a layoff with a somewhat abbreviated work pattern, doesn't it make sense to at least demote To Honor and Serve from the A slot? Whether by demoting him to a B or replacing him with an up-and-comer, IMO today is the day to view him as a play against. I looked at Mott on Formulator in this scenario--9 furlongs, layoff of 80-120 days, dirt, last 5 years. He's 0-5. The fact that he's tried it to rarely says something, I think.