01/24/2009 4:43PM

Sunshine Millions Day

Email

4:43 pm: They don't make it easy to play this game, do they?

Just barely got my tickets in for the Magna 5, which starts in a few minutes. I do most of my betting over the Internet through NYRA Rewards and was delighted to see the bet was available online this year for the first time -- in previous years you had to phone it in for reasons that always eluded me. But there it was today, right on the Laurel Race 9 betting menu. I even checked early in the day.

One small problem: When I went to make the bets, the choice of increments at the top of the page began with $2, with no $1 option. I tried putting in $1 under "Other," and got the message "$1 is an invaild bet amount." Great. The big change in the Magna 5 this year was lowering the minimum to $1. Fortunately, I still have a telephone and just finished painstakingly dictating my six partwheels.

More good news: Aqueduct finished in time for Nassau OTB to show all the Magna 5 races but with three minutes to post their four screens are dedicated to SA, FG, GP and....Golden Gate, where it's 20 minutes until the next race and two races until the Golden Gate race that's part of the Magna 5.

Brilliant: Three of the four screens are for Magna tracks, and there are flashing messages on each that the Magna 5 is about to start with race 9 from Laurel. But OTB's not showing the Laurel race.


4:48 pm: I guess they're off and I have no idea if I'm dead or alive. Couldn't one of the three other tracks -- where the next race is either 6, 14 or 21 minutes away -- show the Laurel race or at least put up a Leg-1 result?


4:54 pm: A friend just called and tentatively asked if I used anyone except the odds-on favorite in the Laurel race because some 19-1 shot just ran down the favorite at the wire. Good news: The 19-1 shot was one of my two C backups behind that heavy favorite I virtually singled, The bad news: I'm thinned down to $40 worth of only-A's action (from a $600+ play): The live ticket now goes 1,4,6,9/7,8/1/1,3,7,9,12.

I actually feel better about that single in the Golden Gate allowance race than I do about having only 4 of the 12 in the upcoming Sunshine Millions F&M Sprint. It's a skullbuster where the most talented fillies are almost all one-way frontrunners, and there could be a wicked pace and a big meltdown.


5:15 pm: Do I get paid extra for running 1-2-3-4 in what I thought was such an impossible race? Granted, I managed to smoke out the four favorites as my A's, but at least it was 5-1 third choice High Resolve who proved the speed of the speeds and won it box-to-wire. High Resolve was a new-classic play -- the ol' frontrunner-going-synth-to-dirt angle.

Next up: The $500k S.M. Turf, where I've got two classy easterners (Soldiers Dancer and Icy Atlantic)against a big posse of Cal-breds.


5:32 pm: Phew. Soldiers Dancer came flying late to nip Presious Passion, the third classy easterner in the race, who I used only as a B.

The first two finishers are both pretty neat horses. 5- and 6-year-old geldings with a combined 63 career starts and over $2.4 million in career earnings.

Three minutes to Leg D at Golden Gate, where my single is currently 1-5. Oh, and why exactly does Golden Gate do the countdown to post times on a headache-inducing spinning display in tenths of a second?

And commenter Matt asked a good question below: How in the world is this 1-5 shot even eligible for this race? Perhaps someone more familiar with NoCal allowance conditions can educate us.


5:42 pm: Eligible or not, Beaming Babe went to the lead under a hold, the jock was looking around after a quarter of a mile, and she cruised home an easy winner at 2-5. So I'm alive to five of them in the S.M. Classic: Finallymadeit, Macho Again, Dry Martini, Hey Byrn and Delightful Kiss. I have no idea what these things are paying, and I'd take 2-5 the probables aren't going to be posted on any of the four tiny pictures I'm watching. The four-race win parlay is $927 but who knows how one winning 2-5 shot and one losing 2-5 shot might render that meaningless.


5:57 pm: Oh well.

NYRA simulcast host Andy Serling liked It's a Bird off a bad trip last out and a major rider switch, but couldn't talk me into using him as more than a C. He won by daylight and I ran a distant second and third with Dry Martini and Delightful Kiss.

The Magna 5 paid $52,709 for $2, about five times the parlay, on a disappointing pool of $431,780.

That clinking sound you hear in the background means that it's time for a cocktail.