10/09/2013 1:18PM

Dick Jerardi: Breeders' Cup pick six formula requires part chaos, part logic


After spending my weekend in search of that elusive Breeders’ Cup pick six single and trying to determine if Eric Guillot’s “voluntary statement’’ to New York officials about the Travers qualifies to be entered in the Eclipse Award writing contest, I began the new week more confused than ever.

I do know Moreno will not be my single or on any of my tickets, pick six or otherwise. Even though I am certain trainer Guillot deserves special consideration for some sort of award, I can’t let my admiration for his unique talents affect my handicapping judgment.

Wise Dan surely looked like a single in the Mile. Then, he got beat under murky circumstances. One could certainly make a case for Game On Dude in the Classic. But there is still time for all of those kinds of individual decisions.

I have been at every Breeders’ Cup but the first one and the last one. Watched the first one from Laurel Park and the last one from Parx Racing after Super Storm Sandy grounded my attempt to fly to Los Angeles.

What happened on Nov. 10, 1984, at Hollywood Park in that first Breeders’ Cup has always stayed with me. There was a certain rhythm to the results that has often been repeated.

Four of the winners were obvious favorites – Chief’s Crown ($3.40) in the Juvenile, Eillo ($4.60) in the Sprint, Royal Heroine ($5.40) in the Mile, and Princess Rooney ($3.40) in the Distaff. Three others were significant longshots – Outstandingly ($47.60) in the Juvenile Fillies, Lashkari ($108.80) in the Turf, and Wild Again ($64.60) in the Classic.

The logic/chaos theory has guided my BC approach since 1984.

As I approach the Saturday pick six, I will first try to identify the races where chaos is most likely. I want to spread in those races as far as my budget allows, hopefully finding the 2013 version of Lashkari or Wild Again. You get one of those prices on a winning BC pick six ticket and you are probably looking at a six-figure payoff. You get two; you are looking at a Caribbean villa.

I will never forget the Fix Six at Arlington Park in 2002. The sequence began with 26-1 Domedriver upsetting heavy favorite Rock of Gibraltar in the Mile. Logical winners took the Sprint, Juvenile, and Turf. Starine (13-1) won the Filly and Mare Turf, and then Volponi (43-1) won the Classic.

I was working the Breeders’ Cup simulcast show with Randy Moss that cold afternoon and announced confidently that there can’t be any live pick six tickets. A few minutes later, it was revealed that $12 worth of tickets had been sold on the winning combination. I repeated that there was no way anybody could have had those six winners on one ticket, much less six tickets with those six winners.

It turned out, of course, that the sequence was rather easy if you created a ticket with the first four winners after the first four races were run and went all/all in the last two. That also turned out to be illegal.

I am not advocating any illegality here. I am advocating a measured, rational approach to a very difficult project that I have yet to solve. But I will keep trying until I do solve it.

What are the races where I have to spend no money or minimal money to cover?

I look at the pick six this way: I need to pick one or two winners. Then, I need to understand how the other races will be run and what horses are most likely going to be helped or hurt by the scenarios I have envisioned.

And then I plan to leverage my opinions, depending on how strong they are and the likely prices. Do not be discouraged if you really like two favorites. In fact, be emboldened if you are really confident in those favorites. That gives you an opportunity to spend more in the complicated races.

You are not going to eliminate the other players in every race, but you don’t have to. Eventually, if you get a longshot or two home, players with live tickets will become players with dead tickets.

You may choose to use Steven Crist’s ABC system for Ticket Maker or a main ticket/substitution ticket play. Both are terrific approaches. You also could just play one giant ticket, but I would not recommend it because you have a bad opinion if you like every horse equally.

Whatever you do, you must play. You can be assured I will be taking my own advice.

Boyd Cord More than 1 year ago
last thing for europeans I find the racing post website to be good at ranking the european/asian horses. Also international federation of horseracing authorities is a good web site ite. Can't recall the name , but that site gave me that german horse that won the big euro turf race 7 years ago. And the euro's sweep that race 1-2-3-4. that was my best breeders cup day That was the year Lost in the Fog went off 1-5 and stunk the joint up. they rank by year, and distance and country . they try with americans not so good. worked well in the arc the 38-1 shot on the undercard was ranked the second best French 2yr
saratogajunkie More than 1 year ago
Thanks for the tip, sites worth looking at.
Boyd Cord More than 1 year ago
another thing. I find that Horse that ran on previous Kentucky derby day/Belmont stakes undercard, or ran in the Derby, Belmont stakes do well. Not sure why, other than their good and can handle a big crowd. In the last few years here's a list some of those I caught. Trinneberg - Belmont stakes undercard, kentucky derby Animal Kingdom Drosselmeyer Court Vision Little Mike
Boyd Cord More than 1 year ago
Animal Kingdom came up short. to Wise dan sorry
Boyd Cord More than 1 year ago
you can check out all the European's and top US horses on Video on Youtube It greatly helped me with Treve. Just go to youtube and type in the horse's name and racing etc and you'll get complete race video. That's your homework for Breeder's cup week
Kenneth H More than 1 year ago
Your approach is similar to my theory on trying to hit a pick six payoff that is BIG. First off, we have to realize that as handicappers, there will be some unexpected results if the payoff ends up being BIG. This tells me that to hit BIG, any player has to realize that he can't know everything and that he has to also realize that luck will play some part in the hit. I have looked at some past big payoffs and almost always there is at least a couple of horses that are the 6 or 7th picks via the odds boards. And can you handicap most of these as win horses? Well, you can possibly reasonably eliminate some horses that make no sense at all. But you must go beyond sticking with the first through 4th or 5th choices in each race for the SCORE. You have to, in essence, almost force where you think the 6th or higher choice in races will win. It goes against our egos as handicappers to do this but I truly believe it is absolutely necessary if you want that new home with your winnings.
Marie Jost More than 1 year ago
Mr. Jerardi, You can't put an intelligent ticket together in any shape, IF YOU CAN'T SEE A COMPLETE RUNNING LINE, in the new DRF format. Take your example of Moreno and look up today's (10/10/13) 6th race at Santa Anita and the running line of the #4 horse Secretsatmidnight. You'll see that the 2nd place finisher in Jan 5, 2013, 2nd race was a horse named "Mrn". How am I suppose to know that horse was Moreno? Really !! Where are the complete names or something close to it in THE FIRST 3 FINISHERS? Please pass along to DRF management, thank you.
Brian More than 1 year ago
Didn't you write basically this exact article last year?
Virginia More than 1 year ago
Thought Royal Delta looked terrible in her last...had her head down all the way around the track...with that race winner done for the year look for a bomb in the distaff....that could be key for some extra cash on saturday
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I doubt she will run to in a row. POS might actually run and I don't think you can count on a bomb with Beholder(Proven at SA), Close Hatches, and Authenticity in there.
dameian ramsay More than 1 year ago
I like beholder if pos don't run regardless if royal delta run. Pos is the horse of the yr if god don't win breeders classic
Jerseyjoe B More than 1 year ago
The 1999 Breeders Cup Classic at Gulfstream Park, was wide open, and won by Cat Thief, at 20-1. His only distinction was that he ran well to hit the board in all the big 3YO stakes over the track at Gulfstream Park earlier that year. Daylami won the Turf as a stick out, paying $5.00. The pic six paid 3 Million. The $1 Super in the classic paid $692,900.
Perl More than 1 year ago
The main track was insanely inside speed biased that day. Lukas' filly Cash Run won the juvi filly and she never could get two turns. Cat Thief caught the speedy track and a weak field. I think Budroyale was second and Golden Missile and Chester House were next. I was alive to a nice p3 with Lemon Drop Kid (had bomb Anees in juvi and Daylami in Turf). Daylami's performance was incredible. He dusted Royal Anthem, who was about the nicest physical specimen of a horse I ever did see.
Chris Jones More than 1 year ago
2002 was my first Breeders Cup - I hit the tri with Domedriver, Rock of Gibraltar and Good Journey in the BC Mile & played my 1st pick4 ever. I had Volponi in the classic along with a few others, and singled High Chapperal & Vindication in the races prior to the Classic, but only went 3 deep in the F & M Turf, and did not use Starine. I did hit the late pick3 5 times that day though - my biggest win in my life to that point... I was only onto Volponi because a friend of mine knew PG Johnson, and had been watching the horse work in NY in the week leading up to the Classic. I had actually bet Volponi in his race before the Classic at The Meadowlands, and he was upset by Burning Roma. So that inflated his price. It always helps too when most of the horses, including Medaglia D'Oro and War Emblem, were not truly Classic Distance horses - even though each had won at 1.25 miles in albeit slow times.
Elaine Parkinson More than 1 year ago
Chris - as I recall, the Blinkers On/Off was the only logical explanation for PG Johnson's Volponi. I can't recall; was it On or Off that did the trick for Volponi? My handicapping buddy also hit the Domedriver/Rock of Gibralter/Good Journey Trifecta and I was astounded how much it paid. That was my first BC where I paid a lot of attention to each and every payoff. We did hit a Pick 4 (the early one) when it was at Lone Star but my memory serves me poorly. It was his handicapping and my money and not the other way around. I was grateful that he was as experienced as he was. I remember his Grand-daughter telling us to play the #8 horse (that came from Europe, Wilko) and had we listened to a 5 year old, we would have hit that Pick 4 (I think it paid over $20K.
Chris Jones More than 1 year ago
I played the same late pick-4 at Lone Star. I went 3 deep in the F & M Turf and caught Ouija Board, ALL in the Juvenile race to catch Wilco, but only used Kitten's Joy and Powerscourt in the Turf Classic, and Spencer's horrible ride on Powerscourt set it up for Better Talk Now in an upset. I had singled Ghostzapper in the Classic... Luckily, Lone Star offered a pick4-starting with the Classic, so I was able to make a profit on the day...
Chris Jones More than 1 year ago
As to Volponi, it was "Blinkers-On"
Chuck Berger More than 1 year ago
Years ago I played the Caliente 5/10. I did hit it a few times, but the payoffs were not worth the risk as the races could be hit by playing a few horses in each race. The Breeder's Cup pick six is pretty much of a crap shoot as there are multiple horses in each race that can upset. As I have done in the Triple Crown races, I like playing a couple of bombs in a few Breeder's Cup races who I feel have a good shot at a price. I have had a lot of success with this formula.