08/05/2007 11:49PM

Silver Tree, Golden Oldie

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Race 2: A--4,6 B--3,5
Race 3: A--4,7 B--2,3
Race 4: A--6,8 C--2,9
Race 5: A--1, B--7,8 C--2,6

Using every horse on one ticket (4x4x4x5) would have cost $640 for $2 or $320 for $1. Instead, to have some combos more heavily for around the same total as the $1 investment, I played as follows:

A/A/A/A+B -- 24 combos at $4 each = $96
A+B/A+B/A/A+B -- 96 combos at $2 each = $192
A/A/C/A -- 8 combos at $1 each =$8
B/A/C/A -- 8 combos at $1 each =$8
A/B/C/A -- 8 combos at $1 each = $8
A/A/C/B -- 16 combos at $1 each = $16
A/A/A/C -- 16 combos at $1 each = $16
B/A/A/C -- 16 combos at $1 each = $16
A/B/A/C -- 16 combos at $1 each = $16
Total = $376

(I hope the above adds up. It's late and I've revised it twice already to fix errors.)

The sick thing about how it worked out was that my three winning A's paid $23.40, $28.00 and $11.40, while my B was a $4.80 favorite about whom I clearly had a bad opinion. [Update: As a commenter points out, I actually had two A's at $23.40 and $28.00 and two B's at $4.80 and $11.40. My bad.] and two B's

And when I went into the last leg alive to five of the eight horses -- the 1,7, and 8 for $2 and the 2 and 6 for $1 -- I wasn't too proud to hedge it out, and I bet the three uncovered horses to win at 14-1, 32-1 and 43-1. Whether these savers are profitable in the long term I can not say, but in the short term they pay for themselves by protecting your sanity and equilibrium.

Bombs Away Bob Grant More than 1 year ago
Steve, can you offer insight into "Net-Pool-Pricing", or more specifically, the curious show payouts when'Bridgejumpers Attack'? On Jim Dandy Day, Street Sense had over $750,000 to show bet on him. I bet CP West & Sightseeing to show,just because it's horse racing. Lo-&-Behold, Street Sense wins, yet I still somehow got $3 & $3.40 to show on my picks! If Street Sense had ran out, would my show payouts have been lower than I expected because of this new net-pool-pricing?
Steven Crist More than 1 year ago
BA Bob: There's an explanation of net-pool pricing and show payoffs in the post "Fix My Computer...." from the week 2 archive.
Steven Crist More than 1 year ago
EJS: Great post. But I think ML's in a race like Sunday's second are meaningless. You had four firsters -- a Pletcher, a Mott, a Zito and an Arnold -- and the only surprise would have been if Arnold was not the fourth choice among those. THAT would have been a sign of real support and why I stubbornly maintain that he was dead on the board.
EJS More than 1 year ago
If I'm reading your posting correctly you actually cashed two B's in your sequence. As listed, the fourth leg $11.80 horse was a B, albeit a B you would have been alive with in your A sequence. Kind of like an A- horse. Regarding morning line odds: while it's true that from one perspective they are nothing more than educated guesses from another perspective the moment they are published they take on a life of their own and influence, deservedly or not, how horses will be bet. Now, I could analagize a betting pool and the morning line to a Jazz set where the leader lays down the notes of an opening theme and the band members are then free to rift and improvise off that theme and in doing so will often take the flow of the music to places where half the audience has no idea how they got there or where they're going. And, even the musicians, if they're very good and very daring musicians, might indeed find themselves momentarily lost at sea, which is when they will use the opening theme as laid out by the band leader as a beacon to guide them back to safe harbor. And the point I would be trying to make is that what seems free form and random to the uninitiated actually isn't, but is ultatrue to its own unique logic. But why bother? The truth of the matter is there are so many variables effecting the psychology of a parimutuel pool that any analyst is sure to find himself soon swirling in the midst of chaos theory. Still, using the published morning line as a guideline, as a betting context if you will, does make it possible for a skilled horseplayer to occassionally deduce that a runner going off at 9/5 is actually cold on the board while allowing him in another instance to realize the board is loudly proclaiming a 10-1, or even a 20-1, or even a 50-1 as with Giaccomo in the Kentucky Derby is actually very live. "There are more things under heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philospophy." Or do you really think that morning odds do not exert any gravitational pull? That in their absense horses would, day in day out, go off at more or less the same odds they are now offering? Or more specifically, do you believe that in yesterday's second race if the odds maker had "guessed" that Morakami was going to be 5-1 you would have still gotten 10-1 on a live first time starter from a good first out barn? Presumptive, your honor, I withdraw my question. No, it's not the accuracy of the morning lines that interest me, but rather how these morning line odds impact upon and illuminate betting patterns which captures my attention. And just for the record: If a horse is 10-1 in the program, sits at 7-1 and then drifts off in the last few minutes to 10-1, it took early money. Whether it took "inside" money or coinicidental money I guess is arguable,(though maybe not all that relevant,) but that it took early money is not. It did what it did; it manifested the "live" pattern it manifested. No, No, they can't take that away from me.
El Angelo More than 1 year ago
Even more impressive for Three in the Bag was the fact that the track was playing pretty fairly. Normally when you see a horse go that fast that early and still win, you would assume a bias; however, closers did fairly well on Saturday, so it's more likely it was just a breakthrough performance.
Phil J More than 1 year ago
Steve, Great blog BTW ... read it everyday. Like you I played the early pick 4 at the Spa yesterday. However I wasn't as successful. My selections looked like this: R2 - 4,6 R3 - 2,3,4 R4 - 2,8 R5 - 1,2,8 They don't pay for 3 winners and a second so while I smoked out some nice prices I came up short. My question is what you liked about the #6 horse in the 4th. Other than natural improvement with age, which I still didn't think was enough, I didn't see much to get excited about. Take Care