09/30/2008 11:19PM

Run 1-2-3 and You're In?

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Wednesday's Pilgrim and Miss Grillo Stakes at Belmont are the first two of 14 "Win And You're In" races during the first five days of October, eight of them for juveniles. Six of the 14 races are at Keeneland, with four each at Belmont and Woodbine:


The 57-race WAYI schedule concludes a week from Thursday at Keeneland in the oddly-scheduled (just 15 days before its corresponding BC race) Jessamine for 2-year-old fillies Oct. 9, a berth-earner for the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf.

The Pilgrim and Miss Grillo turn out to be incredibly important qualifiers for the two BC juvenile grass races -- not only because of their WAYI status for the winners, but also because they and Saturday's Woodford Reserve at Keeneland are the only U. S. graded stakes for 2-year-olds on the grass prior to the Juvenile Turf and Juvenile Fillies Turf. So the only ways to earn graded-stakes points, used to determine other berths for those races, are either to run in group races in Europe or Canada -- or to run in the Pilgrim or Miss Grillo. In other words, today's Belmont co-features could well turn out to be "Run 1-2-3 and You're In" races.

They're also legs 4 and 5 of a Belmont pick-6 that starts with a $51k carryover from Sunday's card. The lineup:

Race 4: 3+FNY AlwN2x -- 8f -- Field of 8
Race 5: 3+ Clm 60k -- 6f -- Field of 8
Race 6: 3+ Clm 30k -- 8f -- Field of 11 (inc. two entries)
Race 7: 2F G3 Miss Grillo -- 8.5f-WT -- Field of 12+1 MTO
Race 8: 2M Pilgrim -- 8.5f-IT -- Field of 9
Race 9: 2FNY MdClm35k -- 6f -- Field of 13 (inc. one entry, four firsters)

Regrettably, NYRA in recent weeks appears to have embraced the player-unfriendly Southern California philosophy of running maiden races with first-time starters as the last race of the day, in an apparent attempt to build carryovers. Both of last weekend's cards ended with maiden races won by firsters. This obnoxious practice frustrates both pick-6 and late pick-4 players, who are forced to guess on firsters without seeing a single betting pool on the race.

Ah, for the bygone days when the New York pick-6 was run on races 3-8 on a nine-race card, and your pick-6 fortunes were decided by the feature race, often a stakes. By contrast, last Saturday's pick-6, on the premier card of the fall meeting, began with five Grade 1 stakes and ended with...a New York-bred maiden claimer won by a first-time starter.

[Update 10/1 5:35 pm: I passed on the one-day carryover and dodged the last-race bullet that sunk all 47 live tickets: After five plausible winners, 61-1 firster Warrior Hill came from far behind a crazy speed duel to win the finale going away at $124.00 for trainer Glenn DiSanto, 0-for-25 this year and winless since august of 2007. Two-day carryover of $201k into Thursday's card.]

ml/nj More than 1 year ago
Off to Keeneland! Weather looks great (for a change) this weekend. (And isn't it great that I have two day's worth of downloaded PPs to look at on the plane!)
ManuelB More than 1 year ago
Steve, This comment/query is not on the topic you have written, but it is something that has interested me for a long time and that I think it is time for the Racing Form to consider. Jockey stats are given for both the track and the year. However, the winning % stats include two variables: the quality of the jockey and the quality of the horses he/she rides (related, in some way, to the final odds). It would be very interesting to bettors for your jockey stats to include ROI, as you now do for certain trainer stats. This might allow bettors to identify undervalued (or overvalued) jockeys.
greg amoral More than 1 year ago
what are the secret play rules?
todd More than 1 year ago
nice call steve. i was alive, for the 4th time in the last few weeks, to multiple horses in the last leg of the pk 4, only to get whacked by a bomb in a race that was just hard to figure. i probably should have used the 1st timers only, as those who had run already did not look very good. But it sure would be nice to have a race that at least can be looked at intelligently, and "handicapped".
kelso13 More than 1 year ago
...When the last race of the day looks like the last race yesterday, as it does on most days I am happy to make the feature the race that decides my day.Since my handicapping strategy is based on past trips and projecting the pace and trip scenarios I need races where the running styles of the contenders are established.You don't usually get this in maiden races.I am not risking my money based on pedigree or trainer stats.I need running lines to properly evaluate who has speed, who are the pace pressers and who are the dead closers.This is the only way to try and find a situation which might favor a particular style.Some of my most profitable plays have come in races where I can find a lone speed or a race so loaded with speed that a pace meltdown is almost assured.These are some of the best betting situations in racing.You almost never see that in a maiden race with a lot of firsters.Since I am at the track every day it is easy for me to be selective.It was no problem for me to plan my betting day to conclude with the 8th race yeterday and skip the 9th , which worked out well since there was no way to come up with the winner in the last race.
callmetony More than 1 year ago
medi were not saying Kent or John V aren't great riders . Of course they are, but its their effort on horses that are not going to win . They don;t care about coming 2nd.3rd or 4th . They just stop riding . Its a fact that everyone talks about . Look at the Belmont . You know how people had big brown to show or had him tris or supers . Its just not fair to us bettors. Thats the point not that they are not great riders . its a dangerous job .
buffalo joe More than 1 year ago
Flipper- We are not high 5-ing at Fort Erie, appearently the technolgy for that bet has not bet has not entered our tote system yet. As slow as they move it may be in place for the 2010 meet. If any horseplayer wants to feel totally unwanted go to Fort Erie Race Track any evening for simulcast wagering, but it is the only place in town to bet thoroughbred racing at night in he Buffalo, NY area. 1- refreshment stand closes at 6:30PM, no water fountian, 2 unkept 1950's style restrooms, no A/C in summer, no heat in fall & winter TV's so small you need to be on top of them to see odds programs printed in small type, sometimes only 1 or2 running lines per horse to keep 1 race per page. Then walk about 100 yards across unlite paddock area to old grandstand coverted to a slots casino you think your in another world clean state of the art facilities climate controled.
chisox More than 1 year ago
callmetony, You are right on about Kent D, and Gomez and Garcia are on the top of my list as well when it comes to big wagers. I know for sure they will ride very hard.
Medi More than 1 year ago
By the way....Kent is riding at Keeneland. Happy Betting!
Medi More than 1 year ago
On Kent Desormeaux..... 5,029+ Wins!, 3 KD Wins!, 2 Preakness Wins, Breeder's Cup TURF & SPRINT Wins, Over 35 Major Racing Wins since the 90's which include Eclipes & G. Woolf Award and the Racing's "Hall of Fame" recognition. So, where is the problem? I want to see those who do have a problem with Kent, get a jockey's license and try to match his record.