05/12/2011 1:33PM

Simoblogging the Derby Cleanup Carryover



1:30 pm: About 83 minutes to the start of the pick-6 at Churchill Downs, where racing resumed today for the first time since nobody picked six on Derby Day. So there's $514k in the kitty for a tough sequence, one of four carryovers today at Churchill and Hollywood. There's also a $220k Super High Five carryover at Churchill after nobody tabbed the top five in the Derby, and carryovers of $107k in the pick-5 (starts with race 1 at 4 pm ET/1 pm PT) and $91k in the pick-6 (starts with the 3rd at 5:03 ET/2:03 PT) at Hollywood.

Here's my ungraded handicap for the Churchill sequence, which consists of six claiming races, five on dirt and a turf sprint. five dirt races and a turf sprint. I've plenty of whittling and strategizing left to do.



1:42 pm: Chart above has now been updated with scratches. The two key ones are Hanover Road, who was a threat to wire the 8th, and Solomon's Flag, the ML favorite in the finale.


2:38 pm: Fifteen minutes to post for the 5th at Churchill. .Here goes:


3:00 pm: Everyone's alive. Gaelic Lass, 3-1 ML fave and the 7-5 choice at post time, shook off Kaelins Grandgirls in upper stretch and drew away, with second-choice Donnaguska uo for second and Dreymore third. If you also used (I didn't) the #3 Ancient Love, you're probably alive twice because she was a vet scratch and you scratched into the winning favorite.


3:15 pm: Horseplayers have a new dilemma these days at tracks (Gulfstream and Churchill so far) that offer a pick-6, a pick-5 and a pick-4 on the last 6, 5 and 4 races of the day. If you play the pick-6 and are alive after the opener, does a wider-net pick-5 make sense because of the 50-cent unit? Or should you wait and see how you're doing after two pick-6 legs and then play the pick-4?

"It depends" is probably the right answer. I'm taking door #2 today and waiting for the pick-4 because I feel sufficiently invested (and naked) in this upcoming 6th race at CD with just one A and one B -- one a 1-for-10 deep closer with a case of seconditis and the other a dropdown stab. If I go to a C here and have just A's the rest of the way, I can buy some insanity insurance in the pick-4. 


3:35 pm: Out, by a mile.

Who doesn't like wintering in Florida? Awesome Review, the runaway winner of the 6th at $12.00, apparently. I couldn't take her off three horrific efforts at Gulfstream but she ran back to -- and exceeded -- her big win at this track and distance last fall. My two horses could not have been worse: Gypsy Wind was through before the stretch turn, and Muhaaseb lost contact with the field and may still be running.


4:15 pm: Anabaa's Fortune ($11.80), first time for Maker and dropping from $30k to $17k, outfinished 22-1 Perfect Shadow to win the leg-3 7th at Churchill. Over at Hollywood, 2-1 fave Desperate Measures took the opener to keep hope alive for most in the pick-5. Here's the scoreboard, which I'll update as the afternoon proceeds.



4:45 pm: Thought about singling 6-5 Cherry Included but was bothered by the drop from $15k to $8k off a good second at GP. She easily held off Smarty Slewy and it seemed like a sixteenth of a mile back to third. At Hollywood, 7-2 third choice All The Love beat even-money Moonstruck Maya and 8-5 Going for a Spin to win the 2nd.

As long as we're killing time before the next race, here's an interesting little chart comparing the betting on last Saturday's Derby and last November's Breeders' Cup Classic. The interesting part to me was that even though the Derby attracted nearl;y three times as much handle, the multirace totals are either very similar or even higher on BC Day -- especially the pick-6, which handled $5.2 million on the Cup (14.3 percent of the Classic-related handle) and under $1 million on Derby Day (less than 1 percent of the Derby-related handle.)



5:15 pm: 7-5, 5-1, 9-2, 6-5, 5-1. Any good handicapper (which I was not today) should be alive, and those pick-6's must be paying peanuts, right? Wrong. Only 4 are under $100k: $21k to Cowboy Sam, $31k to Strong Dream, $54k to Tactical Man and Blue Solitude. The next six are paying from $147k to $243k, and it looks like there are just two tickets alive to Waylon's Ghost for $740k and one pool-scooper to Bubbleizer at $1.4 million.


5:45 pm: Campton, bet 12-1 ML to 8-1 and trying dirt for the first time after seven Polytrack drubbings, ran down 7-2 second choice Strong Dream to provide the longest price in a pick-6 sequence that returned $147,507.20.  

The Super High 5 was taken down. The correct top five -- at odds of 8-1, 7-2, 7-1, 17-1 and 13-1 -- returned $21,089.90 for $1.

Good luck to those still alive at Hollywood. I'm going to recover from this parimutuel bloodbath of a week at Churchill and return to the pleasant and greener pastures of Belmont Park on Saturday.