06/14/2017 12:44PM

Goldfeder: What was I thinking? for June 14, 2017


When you believe you see a live longshot why do you chase the dream? It is probably because the idea of hitting a big number can have such a positive impact on your life, your game and your disposition. However, the thought of passing on an opportunity and missing it can also impact your game and your disposition. During May I missed two great opportunities to cash tickets in excess of $4,000 and later experienced feelings of regret. It’s a pretty human thing to do. I got over the experience but held on to the philosophy that you sometimes just have to take the chance when the opportunity presents itself. However, you also need to weigh all the factors to make sure the expense is worth the risk.

Being a fan who is involved in the game on a daily basis, emotion probably plays a bigger role in my behavior than I would like. The positive part of emotion is the passion and commitment that gives you the courage to take a risk and pull the trigger. The negative part is that it sometimes blocks you from the red flags that are telling you to proceed with caution.

For the most part, the list didn’t perform that well this past week. I did catch breaks because the public was betting down horses with playable morning-line odds to unplayable wagering options. That made it easy to pass races.

From the full list the win bets hit at a paltry 16% (3 for 19), but sticking to the plan for most of the day afforded me the opportunity to take a shot later that went against the bankroll philosophy to which I try so hard to adhere.

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A quick review of a core approach:

I try to bet around 5% of bankroll on any individual race. If I have a strong opinion I will raise that to 10%. The initial approach is to try to attack with simple methods; such as betting basic Win-Place and then jabbing with Exactas and DD’s. If I have strong keys I will go further and play DD’s, P3’s, P4’s…

I prepare a list of horses that I think have the chance to be potential keys and put them in chronological order based on post time.

I played 17 races and despite hitting only 2 of 13 in win wagers (15%), I stayed close to the original bankroll size while churning. I didn’t need a knockout at the end but I went for one anyway.

Review of some key plays:

Belmont 4:  8-Salty’s poor trip in the Kentucky Oaks was pretty obvious to anyone who watched that race but she still had value on the morning line. I felt there were only two possible winners in this race, so I chose to start my day lightly in a spot where I felt I had a pretty good opinion. Wagered 5% of bankroll and made a small profit when 3-Abel Tasman cut the corner and outfinished Salty for the win. A savvy ride by Mike Smith was the difference.

Parx 6: Used TFUS speed edge to find 1-Silver Silence. After watching some replays and taking into account the logical class drop, anything near the 3-1 morning line would be fair. She didn’t disappoint as she wired the field. Lone speed is a strong factor so I ended up wagering 7% of my bankroll.

Delaware 8: I was really looking forward to playing 8-Martini Glass to win in this race, but after the scratches she not only dropped dramatically from her 8-1 morning line but was vying for favoritism with the 7-Mo’ Green. Although I bet her to win (5-2 when I made the wager), the overall value wasn’t there, so I also keyed her in the Exactas with the 7-Mo’ Green and 5-Power of Snunner, who had trips and tactical speed that made her a logical contender. Martini Glass had a good late run, taking the lead at the top of the stretch from Power of Snunner, who came back late to prevail. Martini Glass looked home and it was a tough to watch her give up the lead with no real excuse. At least I had the Exacta which actually put my bankroll ahead a bit at the time. I wagered 7% in this race.

Belmont 12: This was the race I was waiting for. I convinced myself that, 6-Azar, had an excellent shot based on improving form for a hot trainer with the same jockey, Tyler Gaffalione, who had ridden him in Florida. I also remembered Azar as a well-regarded 2-year-old who lost by a neck to Isotherm in the Pilgrim Stakes. I was a fan of his and thought his last 2 races at Gulfstream were indicative of an improving horse. That said, I was skeptical of him at today’s distance and was hoping that his class would help overcome what I perceived as a possible obstacle. I also felt confident because I have historically done well in the race following the Belmont Stakes. I was validating part of my handicapping opinion based on emotion and circumstance that had little to do with the facts of today’s event. I saw this as my chance for redemption to collect on the missed opportunities from May. At 21-1 the world seemed to be in perfect alignment. Azar sat a nice rail trip, made a move on the turn and flattened out in the stretch. I wagered an astronomical 25% of the bankroll and was disappointed to see another longshot, 5-Manitoulin, out of the stakes winning mare Soaring Softly, prevail at 16-1. I had the right idea in what looked like a wide-open race but picked the wrong horse. The result was that I ended up down 15% for the day.

I went for the knockout on a day where I showed I can hold my own, even when I didn’t have my best stuff. The question is: should I take this kind of a shot using this bankroll strategy? The answer is no-not with this bankroll. When you set a strategy it’s best to keep to it. If you let emotions get the better of you once, there is a good chance it will happen again. If that’s the case what’s the point of using this strategy? I should have adjusted the wager to fit within the 10% window. I can still bet Win-Place and exotics-but for less. At 21-1, had the universe rewarded me I still would have gotten paid and felt no regret.

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