08/25/2011 10:04AM

Spa Day 30: 8/25/11


11:00 am: It's a gray and rainy Day 30, nothing like the weather Saratoga might be facing in a few days but wet enough to make today's pick-6 with a $58k carryover -- and 5 of the 6 races scheduled for the grass -- an iffy proposition.

It's a rare nine-race card today, starting off with the New York Turf Writers' steeplechase, which is followed by two dirt sprints and suddenly the pick-6 will be starting at 2:41ish with race 4, an N1x turf allowance that is the last non-claiming race of the day. After a $15k claiming route in the 5th, the card concludes with four claiming races on the turf. None of the main-track-onlies has yet been scratched.

The current forecast:

12:15 pm: Everything's still on the grass but a bunch of MTO's have yet to be scratched -- [Update 12:40 pm: MTO's Rein King and Sam Sparkle in the 4th, Justleavemealone and Patine in the 7th, David the Great in the 8th and Liubango in the 9th are all still unscratched] --  so I'd hold off on putting in those multirace bets as long as possible. 


1:05 pm: Rein King and Sam Sparkle finally scratched from the 4th, so at least the first leg of the pick-6 and third leg of the early pick-4 are staying on the turf.


1:25 pm: Trainer David Jacobson, better known for his work with sprinters and low-level claimers than steeplechasers, accomplished an unbelievable training feat winning the 2 3/8-mile New York Turf Writers Cup with an 8-year-old gelding he claimed three weeks ago. Mabou ($35.20) finished fastest of all in his first start for Jacobson to win a race marred by three late spills. All three fallen horses and riders walked away from it without serious injury but Straight to It lay prone on the track for several scary minutes before suddenly jumping back up.

Jacobson said he claimed Mabou with the plan to run him in this race and then put him back over the flats, where the son of Dynaformer won races at Delaware Park and Tampa before being converted to jumping. Jacobson's father, the late Buddy Jacobson, was known for claiming steeplechasers and winning with them in both jumping and fenceless races. 


2:25 pm: Here's today's ticket. It's sort of a weird play, with C's in only one race, but I used up my budget going a little thicker than usual in the early legs with horses I found hard to split. It's not that I'm saying there aren't C-level candidates in races such as the 8th and 9th, just that I'm willing to live with my top ones if I get that far:


We're coming off two straight races where second-time starters were bet down to even-money for no apparent reason and failed to finish in the top three. In the 2nd, the 3-year-old filly Zero Yield, 5th beaten 6 in a Md Sp Wt turf-sprint debut, dropped to $50k and moved to dirt and was pounded to even money. She was nowehere to be found as Trombetta firster Purely Love wired the field at 7-1.

Then in the third, Asmussen second-timer Barbados Beauty, a distant third in her debut at 2-1 in the slop, apparently was expected to improve greatly on a less wet track. She did not, and Alydarla -- making her third start at the meet, including a career debut in the Schuylerville -- was a lengthy winner.


2:45 pm: They're off....and I never put the pick-6 tickets in. Pretty sure this happened once before, maybe here last summer. After finalizing the play in Ticketmaker, doing a print-screen, saving it as a .jpeg in Paint, uploading it to the server, pasting it into the blog...I somehow thought I was done and plum forgot to go to my account and actually make the bets.

So now I guess I'll root against myself all day. Maybe arggghhhh, maybe I saved $1,320.

It's been raining steadily for the last 10 minutes.

And of course "A" Fire With Fire" just won as the 5-2 fave. 


3:05 pm: Pick-6 pool today, even without my $1,320, is $240,618 (on top of the $58,602 carryover.)


3:20 pm: Another oops on  what's turning into a Senior Afternoon. Or maybe it was that earthquake on Tuesday that rattled my brain.

Yes, I misheard the late scratch of the #7 in the 7th as the #7 in the 6th, so had I put in the tickets I'd now have everyone in the upcoming 6th except the favpored #7, currently 8-5. I had chopped up the nine runners as 3 A's, 3 B's and 3 C's, but switched it to a 4/0/4 alignment when I thoiught Lindell A. C. was scratched.

So I guess I can root for him since that would have been a humiliating way to get knocked out and lose my money, (though I guess I would have seen on the bet screen that he was still running) but honestly he was originally only a B in here with me and I'm not a big fan at this price. He's never been more than 6f or tried the grass. Still planning to spread out here in the pick-4.


3:45 pm: Gunman reeled in Lindell A C for an AAA start to the phantom pick-6 play. Doesn't look like I'm going to miss some major score -- 5-2, 5-2 and 4-1 winners and would be alive 2x3x2 with nothing but top-three betting choices -- but it still will be mildly anoying if it comes in.


3:50 pm: Hold all non-existent tickets! The 7th, 8th and 9th were just taken off the turf and under INSANE New York state racing rules, this means that there is an automatic carryover. This rule totally screws people who remembered to put their tickets in, as only consos will be paid out and 75 percent of the new money, plus yesterday's carryover, carries until tomorrow.


4:00 pm: Yet more scratches are coming in fast and furious and Durkin is trying to explain the bizarro-world rules under which there's an automatic carryover; the pick-4 today pays for 1/All/All/All and the pick-6 pays out like a pick-5 on a 2/4/1/All/All/All even if you have 6 of 6. Everyone clear?

This happened last month at Belmont, and everyone said at the time that the rule about the automatic carryover was some kind of a mistake and would be changed, but here we are a month later and it's still in effect. 

Think it's time to call it a day and start looking at tomorrow when I think there's a double carryover of [($58k from yesterday) + (75%x74%x$240k from today)], which would be just under $200k.  


4:20 pm: But good news for Grand Slam players: Unlike the pick-4 and pick-6, instead of alls and carryovers, there's a simple refund of all Grand Slam bets.


4:47 pm: They just posted the pick-4 willpays -- and you did better than the win payoff! Gunman paid $10.60 to win and the payoff for a 1/All/All/All pick-4 is....$10.80!

As for the pick-6, the "willpays" say it's paying $69.50. So my Senior Moment saved me $480: I would have "had" the pick-6 12 times (2x3x2 in the all races) for a return of $840 on the $1,320 investment. 

And the double-carryover into tomorrow is $192,141.