11/16/2007 1:35PM

Q&A 11/16/07


arazi says: You stated that the Red Smith was the toughest race of the card and yet, surprisingly, you went only 4-deep in that leg -- something which is hard to acknowledge or approve knowing it was a double carryover and time to unload.

I'd feel a lot worse about only going four-deep had Dave been my fifth or even sixth choice in the 12-horse Red Smith, but if I'd had to rank the entire dozen he would have been in my bottom four.

The bigger question is what you do in a pick-six with a race where you're utterly baffled. Hitting the All button looks good in retrospect in this case, since Dave plus five easy pieces combined to pay $21k, but I don't think that's a realistic or wise approach. My unease about the Red Smith made me want to put in only a smallish play, and I invested $240 going four-deep in the Red Smith. If I'd used all 12, I would have been spending $720 on a ticket that began 1x2x1, effectively making a pair of $360 pick-3's.

Hitting the All button in a big field eats up way too much money while also reducing your play to a spin of the roulette wheel.

brian says: Do you think the rail @ AQU on the turf course this weekend was dead? I do. . .

I can't think of a reason why the inside path of a grass course would be "dead" and I've never factored that possibility into my handicapping or analysis. It can happen on dirt due to uneven maintenance and drainage but there's no equivalent to scraping (or not scraping) the rail on turf.

I can see how it might look that way on a soft and tiring course, though. Horses who establish early position or get first run are likely to be saving ground, while last-move closers are likely to be flying down the middle of the course. What you're seeing might look like an advantage to the outside paths but is in fact a case of tiring conditions.

davey700 says: I am an annual subscriber using formulator 4.1. The print version of DRF has a page for each track just before the PP that lists a graded handicap and a box of "Selections" with four columns and a consenus column. I know that information would be difficult to display in the formulator format...

Difficult, but not impossible. It's there. On the Formulator menu bar, click "Go" and then either "Selections" or "Analysis/Graded Handicap" to get there. You can also use Control+A or Control+S from the keyboard.

michael says: How about today's pik-6 being hit Steve? I'm talking about 11/14. Something appears very strange, very strange indeed.

There was one winning pick-six ticket in 11/14 at Aqueduct, worth $34k, which struck a few people as odd given a $27.80 winner in the third leg and a $60.50 winner in the finale, and on a non-carryover card. I think the red herring is the $27.80 winner, who I'm guessing was a much, much shorter price in the pick six pool.

The race in question was a statebred maiden event where most of them had already run and those who had were highly unappealing -- no one had run close to the winning par for the race. There were four firsters in the field, two of whom stood out because they were purchased for $100k at 2-year-old-in-training sales last March and were trained by Contessa and Clement, both very capable with firsters.

If I had played this pick six, I might well have made just those two my A's, and I think both of them were used by anyone who went three or four-deep in the race. Remember, the pick-six began two races earlier, before anyone saw that there was little enthusiasm for the Clement firster in the win pool. So the $27.80 winner was probably more like his 6-1 ML odds in the pick six, maybe even shorter.

easygoer says: Man, you had to post the Preakness, didn't you. Not the Belmont? The Travers?

I know, I know. The 1989 Preakness is one of the greatest horse races ever, but 18 years later it still is clearly a source of pain for many. Here's the antidote:

Unitas More than 1 year ago
So, what everybody seems to agree on is "safety comes first, uh, um, ALMOST all the time" , AS LONG AS IT DOESN'T INTERFERE WITH THE ALMIGHTY DOLLAR! Incredible.
jlwood More than 1 year ago
Aldo, according to the latest APR that I have- 2006- Storm Fang raced 12 times in Japan, with 2 wins and over $200k in earnings. Japan's purses are enormous, so take that with a grain of salt.
Tony More than 1 year ago
Unitas I understand what your saying but the breeders cuo is ike the super bowl they had to ride . my opinion was that they should have moved the BC to the sunday because of the weather. It was just awful a nor easter. It wasn't fair to us bettors and may have cost George washington his life. The problem is our sport doesn't really have a unified group making descions . And until that changes its what it is . i can't blame the jocks its their life on the line .
Unitas More than 1 year ago
Hey Tony, I agree, better safe than sorry, but in that same respect, you can't pick your spots. Why did the same jockeys who ride the NYRA circuit, and always put safety first, agree to ride on Breeders Cup day(s)? Your telling me that track (Monmouth)was "safer" to ride than Aqueduct was on Thursday? Or, could it be safety comes first, especially when there is no significant financial gain to be had riding a Thursday afternoon card in mid November at Aqueduct compared to riding in the Breeders Cup? You tell me.
Unitas More than 1 year ago
Yes George Quinn, I did see the race, (race 2 on thursday), and how can you sat that the horse in question(Siver Paradise) was obviously best? In my opinion, she just didn't care for the track...If you look at your PP's, once before on an off track he went off at odds on (4-5), went to the front, and stopped on a dime. These are the cheapest Maidens on the grounds, who knows how sound this horse was to begin with? I didn't see any other horse struggle on the surface, and she alone found two uneven surfaces by the track alone? I think not. This horse in question has now torched the public's money in five straight races as the odds on choice, and now you need to make excuses. Please.
Teresa More than 1 year ago
Of course the jockeys made a different decision on Breeders' Cup day; how often does one stay home from work for illness on a regular day, but drag yourself out of bed when something major is going on? Do you honestly think that their livelihood wouldn't have been in jeopardy if they'd have refused to ride that day? To impugn the jockeys' choice not to ride last week as somehow fraudulent and spoiled ignores both their safety and financial concerns...it certainly doesn't do them any good to take the day off.
aldo_cella More than 1 year ago
At the opening of his book "Stud", Kevin Conley describes a colt by Storm Cat out of Hum Along going through the sales ring at Keeneland in 2001 (2002?). The colt went to Coolmore for 6.8 million. Does anyone know what became of the colt (name, race record)?
Ryan More than 1 year ago
George - Like every Triple Crown race back in 80's and most of 90's (every broadcast really, including travers, etc) ABC used Dave Johnson. You never heard the real track announcer on TV. Same deal now really with Derby and Preakness, Durkin calls for TV, but if you're at the track you get the real announcer.
AndyScoggin More than 1 year ago
george, It says at the beginning of the race that it is "Dave Johnson"!
Tony More than 1 year ago
As harvey pack said in his book . Anyone who's job is to be followed around by an ambulance gets my respect . You have to be kidding you handicapped all night so they should risk their life and the horses life . Cmon .... Play another track that day and forget it . Let's see one of us get out there on a horse in any weather let alone the slop @ the big A . you have to be kidding . I have total respect for these guys all of them and when they say its not safe we have to believe its not safe period ! Better safe then sorry