11/15/2008 3:02PM

Stuyvesant Day


3:00 pm: Got off to a decent start but then hit a snag just now in the third leg of today's Aqueduct pick-6, which had a one-day $29k carry from Friday's slopfest into today's:

The usual "B" column is titled "B+" above because my main ticket was an all A's and B's one, not that it's alive any more.

The toteboard solved my problem in the first leg, a six-horse field of 2-year-old maidens that numbered three firsters and three who had run. The best by far of the latter trio was the Baffert trainee Mayor Marv, who has some ability but was disappointing in both of his previous well-bet starts. My approach was that if any of the firsters took serious money, I would lean away from the favorite,and one did exactly that -- Monk's Creek from Kiatran McLaughlin, who was bombed in the race 3-4 double to a quarter the price of the Zito and Imperio firsters. So I made Monk's Creek an A, Mayor Marv a B, and used the rest of them as C's. Monk's Creek, who closed at 19-10, led into the stretch, then 11-10 Mayor Marv ran right up to him and looked like a sure winner, but fortunately for me Mayor Marv just refused to go by.

My miscalculation in the 6th, the third leg, was that Rollers would either outrun fellow front-runner Accredit or the two would run each other into the ground and set the table for Pictural. Instead, Accredit won the duel and drew off as the 3-1 second choice but only a C with me. Pictural never got a call while Rollers faded badly from his early efforts. I guess the good news is that I'm alive at all after three losing favorites, but the winners were all second choices and I'm just 2x4x1 the rest of the way with a very shaky single in the finale. I obviously didn't have a solid opinion in the featured G3 Stuyvesant (race 8), since I used four of the six entrants remaining after scratches as A's.

3:20 pm: Four races, four second choices, as 2.30-1 Cool Tales outsplashed 10-1 Rushing Stag with 2-1 favorite Cheetah Trail a dull fifth.

While we're killing time until the Stuyvesant, here are some entertaining pp's to peruse that I pulled down while riting a Sunday column about some statebred stars who began their careers with long undefeated streaks:

Download HallowedDreams.pdf

Download HappyTicket.pdf

Download PeppersPride.pdf

Download TinCupChalice.pdf

3:50 pm:  Dry Martini went last to the first to win the Stuyvesant as the 4-1 third choice with 2-1 favorite Solar Flare last in a field of six. Dry Martini looked like he was turning into a serious older horse two summers ago when he won the Cornhusker, but this was his first victory since then following a long absence and three trainer changes.

That leaves me singled to the favorite for a $7,668 payoff on an $880 investment. The good news: I'm getting almost 8-1 on a 5-2 shot. The bad news: I would never bet $880 to win on Proud Ruler. And it's annoying that I didn't like Accredit more because the payouts to the other logical contenders in the finale are all in the $10k-to-$20k range. Five of the eight are covered; double-carry with the 1, 3 or 11.

4:13 pm: The finale went off in thick fog, but not thick enough that I couldn't see Proud Ruler running an unthreatening third most of the way around as Masala, slammed to 5-2, was easily best in his second start, transitioning from a turf sprint to a slop mile. Nice payoff of $14,379 for five second choices and a third choice.

Commenter jlove asked about how I would hedge going into the final leg. In this case, I didn't. It's a lot easier to take some equity out of your position if you're alive to a few of them, and even more so if the only ones who can beat you are double-digit odds. No such opportunity here.

The rain is starting up again here; I wouldn't spend too much time handicapping tomorrow's two scheduled grass races until it's announced what surface they'll be on.